Piquette Square for Veterans has earned a prestigious “Developments of Distinction” award in the Community Impact category.
The national awards are sponsored by the Novogradac Journal of Tax Credits (JTC). They recognize projects that demonstrate outstanding vision and make significant contributions in the field of tax-credit development.
Tim Thorland, executive director of Southwest Housing Solutions, which developed Piquette Square, accepted the award at a special ceremony in Miami, Florida on January 13, 2012.
“We are very proud of Piquette Square,” Tim said. “It combines state-of-the-art construction with a most important community mission – helping formerly homeless veterans regain their self-sufficiency and reintegrate into the community.”
In the Community Impact category, projects were evaluated on how well they fulfilled these criteria:
- Established measurable benefits to meet an important community need and then proved successful in meeting that need
- Used community resources effectively and efficiently
- Formed strong community partnerships
- Implemented innovative approaches
- Demonstrated that the benefits of the project outweighed the costs
- Instituted successful strategies that can be replicated
Piquette Square rated outstanding on all these criteria, and thus received the first place award in the category.
Piquette Square is a $22.5M project, funded through a variety of sources, including $1.7M in Brownfield Credits. The four-story building is situated on the same ground where the historic Studebaker factory near New Center was destroyed by fire in 2005. The new development consists of 150 one-bedroom units, as well 11,000 square feet of common area and commercial space.
Piquette Square offers mental health counseling, substance abuse treatment, on-site job training, computer labs, educational programs and other support services to help the veterans develop healthy and independent living skills. Southwest Solutions is partnering with numerous human services providers, government agencies and veterans’ groups to provide access to these services. Piquette Square expands Southwest Solutions’ commitment to place homeless veterans in permanent supportive housing, an evidence-based and proven recovery model.
Numerous organzations collaborated to fund and plan and the Piquette Square project. They include:
- Michigan State Housing Development Authority
- Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago and its member bank, Bank of America
- Great Lakes Capital Fund
- Wayne County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority
- Development Corporation of Wayne County
- Michigan Economic Growth Authority
- NeighborWorks® America
- City of Detroit
- Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority
- Corporation for Supportive Housing
- Environmental Protection Agency
- Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ)
- Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Veterans Administration for Project-Based Vouchers
- Spartan Foods
“NeighborWorks’ commitment to Piquette Square was especially unique because not only did they understood the need for permanent supportive housing for Veterans, but they also understood the importance of their financial commitment,” said Steve Gabrys, real estate director at Southwest Solutions. “Piquette Square was going through its funding in 2008-2009 during the market collapse and having a vested partner like NeighborWorks was invaluable and enabled Southwest to bring other groups to the table. It helped us get the project to the finish line.”