Now Reading
$15 million new gift from Jennifer and Dan Gilbert to improve neighborhoods follows their earlier $375 million mega-gift to build two medical centers
Dark Light

$15 million new gift from Jennifer and Dan Gilbert to improve neighborhoods follows their earlier $375 million mega-gift to build two medical centers

Jennifer and Dan Gilbert and the Gilbert Family Foundation announced a $15 million new investment in Detroit’s Strategic Neighborhood Fund (SNF), a partnership between the City of Detroit and Invest Detroit targeting 10 neighborhoods across the city.

The grant formally kicks off the third phase of SNF (SNF 3.0) and aims to expand and build on the impact of the first two phases of the program.

Gilbert Family Foundation’s grant is part of the organization’s 10-year, $500 million joint commitment, shared with Rocket Community Fund, to build opportunity in Detroit neighborhoods. From 2021 to 2023, the two organizations have committed more than $186 million to programs focused on stabilizing housing for residents at risk of displacement, supporting economic mobility through job training and small business support, expanding access to arts and culture programming and developing safe and inclusive public spaces. These investment areas align perfectly with the goals of SNF.

“The Strategic Neighborhood Fund has a proven track record of deep, coordinated neighborhood investment that has resulted in notable decreases in poverty and residential vacancy in all 10 of their target neighborhoods,” said Laura Grannemann, Executive Director, Gilbert Family Foundation. “We are proud to build on this momentum and support inclusive economic growth for all Detroiters in partnership with the City of Detroit, Mayor Mike Duggan and Invest Detroit.”

SNF is administered by Invest Detroit, a 501(c)3 organization and community development financial institution (CDFI). For almost three decades, Invest Detroit has catalyzed growth in Detroit by bringing partnerships and philanthropic resources together to support real estate and business projects that often struggle to find traditional financing.

As part of SNF, each neighborhood goes through a year-long planning process in partnership with residents to shape the implementation of streetscapes, commercial corridors, and parks. These projects are then implemented in the years that follow in all 10 SNF neighborhoods.

Work through the SNF is also designed to reduce displacement, often in partnership with the City’s Affordable Housing Leverage Fund. Residents are engaged from the beginning of the planning process, and the focus is on improving the quality of life in the neighborhoods for those who already live there.

With the investment from the Gilbert Family Foundation, the SNF will deepen its focus in 10 neighborhoods, spread across every council district:

Jefferson Chalmers



East Warren/Cadieux

Grand River Northwest

Gratiot/7 Mile

Russell Woods/Nardin Park

Islandview/Greater Villages



“On behalf of the residents of Detroit, I would like to thank Gilbert Family Foundation for this tremendous commitment to continue the important work that the SNF is doing in so many neighborhoods across the city,” Mayor Duggan said. “The SNF has already made an incredible impact, and it is my hope that others will join them by investing in SNF 3.0 and the ongoing revitalization of our neighborhoods.”

In its first two phases, the SNF has raised $75 million, matched by $110 million in public sector funding for its programs. To date, it has leveraged over $262 million in investments, leading to 78,000 square feet of new retail space, five renovated parks with six more under construction, 12 new streetscapes, and dozens of new and rehabbed affordable and market rate housing units. Those investments are paying off, with data showing notable decreases in poverty and residential vacancy in all 10 neighborhoods currently being targeted by SNF. In addition, population has increased in six of the 10 SNF neighborhoods.

“We can see the data showing change happening in SNF neighborhoods, but just as importantly, you can see the change just by looking around,” said Dave Blaszkiewicz, president and CEO of Invest Detroit. “Investments from organizations like Gilbert Family Foundation are leading to more jobs, more small business growth, improved streetscapes, and better recreational opportunities for people in every corner of the city. There is more work to do, and this gift allows us to continue that momentum, leading to even more opportunity and equitable growth in Detroit. We are truly thankful for their support, and their commitment to Detroit’s future.”

Gilbert Family Foundation is a private nonprofit foundation founded by Jennifer and Dan Gilbert to accelerate a cure for neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) and build economic opportunity and equity in the city of Detroit. The Gilbert Family Foundation supports groundbreaking, cutting-edge research in hopes of eradicating NF1, a genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow on nerves anywhere in the body. Additionally, the Foundation supports the economic stability and mobility of residents in Detroit by investing in wealth-building opportunities and breaking down systemic barriers. For more information on the Gilbert Family Foundation, please visit

Invest Detroit is a nonprofit lender, investor, and partner that supports business and real estate projects that will ignite economic growth in Detroit and support inclusive growth of entrepreneurial ventures across the state.

Our goal is to help create a thriving city that works for all Detroiters with an improved quality of life–inclusive housing, resourced and walkable neighborhoods, and equal opportunities for jobs and business growth; and scale promising early-stage ventures into thriving companies that help support the state’s economy, provide jobs to local talent, and bolster Michigan’s growing startup community.

© 2024 Lifestyles Magazine International. All Rights Reserved.