Jefferson East, Inc. Opens Neighborhood Resource Center in Historic Kresge Department Store Building


Jefferson East, Inc (JEI) today hosted a groundbreaking ceremony to announce the grand opening of the Neighborhood Resource Hub. Located in a historic Kresge Department Store building in the east end of town at 14300 East Jefferson Avenue, the hub will enable JEI’s Housing & Neighborhood Services team to support more than 1,000 Detroit landlords and tenants each year.

Jefferson East, Inc. (JEI) and its independent real estate development arm, East Jefferson Development Corporation (EJDevCo) are working to build inclusive neighborhoods along Detroit’s East Jefferson Corridor and its five adjacent historic neighborhoods. The Neighborhood Resource Hub provides the Eastside Jefferson-Chalmers community with several essential services and resources designed to help residents stay in their homes. These include home repair loans, housing counseling services, grants and resources; implementation of assistance programs for energy efficiency and public services; preparation for bad weather and funds on the roofs; credit repair and recovery; financial education; Public Wi-Fi and computer access; and support for property exemption requests from Detroit homeowners.

“We are delighted to announce the grand opening of the Neighborhood Resource Hub, which will serve as a drop-in base where residents can easily access housing services, ensuring that

Welcome and counseling areas of the new Neighborhood Resource Hub for Jefferson East, Inc.

The people of Detroit are empowered to stay in their homes and participate in the city’s revitalization, ”said Josh Elling, CEO of JEI. “Opening the hub has been a sustained effort by and for the community, and we are extremely grateful to the partners who have helped bring our vision to life.

The Neighborhood Resource Hub was made possible through grants and support from the Bank of America Foundation, Kresge Foundation, AT&T, JP Morgan Chase, Invest Detroit, Penske Corporation, City of Detroit and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority.

The project was also funded by the Strategic Neighborhood Fund, a partnership with the City of Detroit and Invest Detroit which is providing targeted investments in 10 Detroit neighborhoods and working with residents of the community to identify projects. The fund is supported by philanthropic support from foundations and local businesses like Penske.

“The most important job we do is keep the people of Detroit in their homes,” said Mayor Mike Duggan. “While there are many great programs out there to help homeowners who may be having trouble with their property taxes, making critical repairs, grants and loans, or other needs, they are not very helpful if residents are not. not know how to access it. That’s why the opening of the new Jefferson East, Inc. Neighborhood Resource Center is so important. Now, residents of Jefferson Chalmers have a place in their own neighborhood where they can connect with the help they need.

The redevelopment of the historic Kresge building was led by East Jefferson Development Corporation (EJDevCo), the development arm of JEI. EJDevCo strives to foster inclusive development through innovative tactics that support the hiring of entrepreneurs and local residents.

Man in suit jacket smiling
JEI CEO Josh Elling.

On this project, EJDevCo secured more than 70% of local contracts with Detroit-based subcontractors, which included residents of the Jefferson-Chalmers neighborhood employed directly at the site. Minority involvement in the project exceeded over 60 percent of the workforce.

As part of the development of the Neighborhood Resource Hub, EJDevCo also installed a green stormwater parking lot, which removed hundreds of thousands of gallons of rainwater during the June 2021 floods.

To date, EJDevCo has overseen redevelopment projects of approximately $ 10 million. “As developers, it’s our job to ensure that the redevelopment benefits all members of the Jefferson-Chalmers community, and we’re proud to say that our work on the Neighborhood Resource Hub does just that. Said EJDevCo CEO Derric Scott.

“Our work contributes directly to JEI’s mission and together we have created a space where the people of Detroit can access the housing support and services they need, while generating well-paying jobs for local entrepreneurs. and residents during the development process. “

Speakers at today’s ribbon-cutting ceremony included Mayor Mike Duggan, JEI CEO Josh Elling, EJDevCo CEO Derric Scott, JEI Housing and Neighborhood Services Director Michelle Lee, Member from JEI Board of Directors Alexis Wiley, Elected District 4 City Council Member Latisha Johnson, Senior Vice President of Invest Detroit of Lending Mike Vieregge, AT&T Michigan President David Lewis, Market Manager JP Morgan Chase Michigan Jason Tinsley and Jefferson-Chalmers resident Cynthia Campbell.

“There is a powerful message of hope and renewal in this former Kresge department store building that takes on new life as a resource center for landlords and tenants, as a centerpiece of an inclusive redevelopment that incorporates inclusive redesign principles, ”said Wendy Lewis Jackson, Managing Director. of Kresge’s Detroit program out. “This will benefit a wide range of residents and help revive one of the city’s re-emerging trade corridors.”

The Kresge Foundation began in 1924, with $ 1.3 million from Sebastian Kresge. He created the foundation to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the SS Kresge department store chain (which later evolved into the Kmart chain) and to use its wealth “to leave the world a better place than I found it” . The building where the ceremony took place today is said to have first opened as a Kresge outlet in 1926.

Over the past few years, JEI has developed one of the city of Detroit’s most impactful housing stabilization and resident service models, providing support services to more than 4,500 landlords and tenants. JEI’s team members are HUD-certified housing counselors, who provide a variety of easily accessible housing, financial empowerment, and health and safety services. The additional support provided by JEI’s Housing and Neighborhood Services team is helping 450 homeowners apply for 0% interest rate home repair loans, resulting in approximately 75 loan closings totaling over $ 1.6 million in home repairs and to provide more than 400 people with housing advice and financial education. .

If you or someone you know needs housing assistance, please contact the Neighborhood Resource Hub at (313) 314-6415. To learn more about Jefferson East, Inc., please visit


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