Development Projects

Housing Development Projects:

North End Landing

North End Landing is a multi-family, mixed income, rental project. We began project pre-development in 2016. We have engaged our project architect, construction company, environmental consultant, and management company. North End Landing is projected to be 115 units of one (1) and two (2) bedroom units, within a variety of building types including apartments, townhouses, duplexes, and tri/quadplexes. It will include 7,000 square feet of commercial space on the John R Road frontage. Vanguard is working with the full support and help of the city of Detroit. North End Landing is going to provide a twenty-six (26) million dollar investment in the North End community. Pre-development work has already begun; we will begin construction in 2018.


Economic Redevelopment Projects:

North End Career Center

Vanguard Community Development (VCD) has redeveloped an abandoned 7,00 square foot, adding 3,000 square feet of space totaling to 10,000 square feet of reclaimed commercial estate. The building, the new North End Career Center, is located next to our Vanguard Community Center and office at 2777 East Grand Boulevard. Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit will be our permanent lessee and will house their renowned “Flip The Script” program there. This project was fully funded at $2M and construction completed in September, 2016.


Green Space Development Projects:

Delores Bennett Park Enhancement

Vanguard was awarded an Innovative Project grant from the Kresge Foundation to create a plan for the enhancement of Delores Bennett Park.

The Delores Bennett Park sits at the heart of the southern section of the greater North End. It is a community jewel. The park is beloved and well used. Given this, and the fact that Mrs. Bennett passed away recently, we believe it is the right time to implement our proposed park project. Thus, Vanguard is seeking funding to completely rehabilitate the park. We have submitted significant proposals to The Kresge Foundation; the city of Detroit; NeighborWorks; and KaBoom! We have tentative approval of our proposal from the city, pending resolution of legal conditions. We anticipate that our Bennett Park project will begin this summer.

To complement the park renovation, Vanguard actively advocated and sought to place a Detroit Bike Share station at Delores Bennett Park. Detroit Bike Share is a growing community network of on-demand bicycles and self-serve stations. The network is designed to complement neighborhoods’ existing transportation infrastructure, giving people more access to affordable choices in the types of transit that can best get them where they want to go. The first phase of Detroit Bike Share will consist of 420 Bikes and 42 stations located throughout greater Downtown Detroit.

We are pleased to announce that one of those stations will be at Delores Bennett Park, placed on E Bethune Ave, just east of Brush St.  The bike share station was constructed in April 2017 and operational in May 2017. Vanguard is collaborating with the Detroit Bike Share team, as well as with our landscape architects, to make sure that the park renovation and bike station site are complimentary and successful. 

North End Greenway

Vanguard received a grant from the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, which supported a community engagement planning process to create a North End Greenway plan. The Greenway will go through the North End on Grand Boulevard, Beaubien Street, Oakland Avenue, and Arden Park Boulevard. The creation of a North End Greenway will be a pedestrian and bike-friendly route to connect neighborhood open spaces, uplift community assets, and re/create a sense of place highlighting historic locations, community art installations, and neighborhood businesses. This project was identified as one of the community priorities within the Building Sustainable Communities Initiative. Vanguard is concluding the Phase II of our planning process, which will produce a report that will include decisions pertaining to the proposed location and route of the proposed promenade, parameters for art and place-making installations, green infrastructure recommendations, and details for treatments that emphasize beautification and environmentally sustainable stewardship.


North End Landing FAQ

Will this project provide affordable housing?

Vanguard is committed to producing, maintaining and supporting affordable housing in the North End. Therefore, all our projects will have an affordability component to them. Vanguard’s staff is skilled in seeking financing opportunities for our projects that enables us to do this.

How will North End Landing affect property taxes in the neighborhood?

Residential taxes will not see increase with the development of this project. This is because Michigan voters approved the Headlee Amendment into our constitution. The State of Michigan's Budget Office's website states:

“In 1978, Michigan voters approved the "Headlee" tax limitation amendments to the Michigan Constitution of 1963 (Article IX, Sections 24 - 34). Article IX, Section 26 establishes an overall limitation on total state spending each fiscal year. The "Headlee" Amendment also creates two significant limitations on the fiscal relationship between state and local units of government.

Article IX, Section 29 prohibits the state from reducing its share of existing state-mandated programs and requires the state to reimburse local governmental units for any new state-mandated programs.

Article IX, Section 30 prohibits the state from reducing the proportion of total state spending paid to all units of local government as a group below the proportion in effect in fiscal year 1979.”

More information on the Headlee Amendment can be found here.

Will community space or public space be an aspect of this project?

We recognize and agree with the demand for public space in community development projects. We believe such common space is optimal for the social health of the community. Vanguard is actively seeking additional financing that will ensure us to include a detail such as this in North End Landing. In the meantime it is our intention to continue to gather community feedback on what type of public space North Enders would prefer. Once more information on our plans for a public space are ready to be revealed, we will include it here.

Community Initiatives

Grand + Woodward Building Sustainable Communities

VCD is the Convening Agency for the Detroit LISC Building Sustainable Communities Grand+Woodward area. We led a community planning process to develop a Quality of Life Plan (QoA), which identifies the community’s highest priorities. Vanguard continues in our role as Convening Agency by organizing community stakeholders and organizations to execute the QoA Plan.

VCD continually works to organize our community. Our core values include economic equity and racial justice. We believe that this is accomplished only through making certain that diverse voices are at the table when decisions are made and opportunities arise.

Books on the Block

On September 10th 2016 we kicked off our "Books on the Block" project. We have created 10 Little Free Libraries we have installed around the neighborhood. They will help promote literacy and reading within the North End. Little Free Libraries make books available free of charge within neighborhoods by asking readers to leave a book whenever they take a book. Books on the Block is a part of a larger initiative being conducted by Detroit Little Libraries. Detroit Little Libraries is taking part in the national Little Free Library movement with a goal of planting 313 libraries in Detroit metropolitan areas with low access to books.

More information about Detroit Little Libraries can be found here:

Community Cabinet

The Vanguard Community Cabinet is an VCDC internal group. The mission of the cabinet is to serve as our community advisers, whom we consult with for a first review of our programs and initiatives. A major role of the cabinet is to inform VCDC about important community needs and desires to ensure North End neighbors and stakeholders are included in Vanguard's work.

Community Coversations

Vanguard asks our Community Cabinet members to host small focus group meetings at their home. The purpose of these meetings is for Vanguard to talk with North End residents in a direct, personal environment. Our CEO, or other senior staff, sit with our neighbors to discuss our proposed projects, take advice/input; and learn about community concerns, which to us, includes building substantial relationships. Regular community conversations with our neighbors helps to develop and reinforce such relationships.

North End Community Wide Meetings

Vanguard Community Forums are public meetings in which we present detailed information about our work; including real estate development projects. We welcome our neighbors to come and talk with us at our forums.