Earlier this week, developers broke ground on a new apartment building that will bring 27 apartments to the Virginia Park neighborhood. Sauda Ahmad-Green's S&S Development Group is leading the development of Merrill Place II, located at Merrill and Seward just west of the Lodge.

Ahmad-Green previously developed Merrill Place I over a decade ago, which was a rehab of six nearby townhomes. 

14 of the 27 units will be for those making up to 60 percent Area Median Income (AMI), while the rest will be market-rate. The $12 million project will have nine one-bedroom units and 18 two-bedroom units, with parking and a lobby for residents.

“It’s incredibly rewarding to give back to the neighborhood that raised me by creating affordable housing options for Detroit residents,” Ahmad-Green said. “Virginia Park and New Center are such vibrant community hubs, so I’m excited to be developing housing that offers Detroiters easy access to such vital amenities.”  

The project is funded through a variety of sources, including Lower-Income Housing Tax Credits and financing from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, $1 million in HOME funding and nearly $2 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Funding from the City of Detroit’s Housing and Revitalization Department.

S&S Development Group is also receiving support from the Ebiara Fund and Capital Impact Partners. 

“S&S Development is the first African American women-led firm supported by Ebiara,” said Rod Hardamon, Managing Director of Ebiara, “Merrill Place is the largest project to date for S&S and the ability to participate in the firm’s growth is the exact reason we launched the Ebiara Fund. We are committed to inclusive economic development throughout our neighborhoods and city.”

Merrill Place II sits between two substantial developments in the area; the long-planned Herman Keifer redevelopment is a few blocks to the north, and the $3 billion Henry Ford/Pistons/MSU development is a few blocks (and across the Lodge) to the south.