Aug 10, 2023 - News

District Detroit job center opens

The District Detroit Opportunity Center at 2277 Woodward Ave. in a former Starbucks alongside the Fox Theatre. Photo: Annalise Frank/Axios

The District Detroit Opportunity Center at 2277 Woodward Ave. in a former Starbucks alongside the Fox Theatre. Photo: Annalise Frank/Axios

Olympia Development has opened the job and housing Opportunity Center it promised the community as part of its $1.5 billion District Detroit development.

Why it matters: The project's developers, the Ilitch family and Stephen Ross, committed in their Community Benefits Agreement to open a space in the district providing residents with information on below-market-rate apartments and a range of employment applications.

  • They'll be advertising jobs both related and not related to the development's 10 planned new and rehabbed buildings.

The latest: Developers held a grand opening ceremony Wednesday with local officials complete with a ribbon cutting and local media.

  • Meanwhile, the developers' first building was expected to break ground in July, but that hasn't happened yet. Olympia president Keith Bradford declined to give a specific timeline to reporters Wednesday.
  • He said there's a "few other things we've gotta line up and as soon as we get those ducks in a row we'll be ready to go."

Details: The center is open 10am-2pm Monday to Thursday and also by appointment. It offers WiFi, tablets, staff to answer questions and space for community meetings.

  • It officially opened July 24, the agreement's deadline for doing so, per Rian English Barnhill, Olympia's VP of government and community affairs.

What they're saying: "There is still a little disconnect in this city between what we see growing up around us and the inclusiveness that I think most of us want to see, and this Opportunity Center will do a lot to take that and bring it where it ought to be," Wayne County Executive Warren Evans said in a speech during the opening event.

Of note: Olympia is still "working through" parking and transit options for residents visiting the Opportunity Center at 2277 Woodward Ave., which is in an area where it's often hard to find affordable parking.

  • "We are thinking about ease of access, so strategic partnerships, whether that's our parking partners or QLine, we are being thoughtful about that," English Barnhill says.
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