Developers Wanted! DPS brings together experts in Planning and Development, Building Reuse, Funding and Zoning for a Major Property Developers Conference

Registration begins Monday for the conference entitled “Old Schools, New Uses: Reinventing Vacant School Buildings & Sites in Detroit for Innovative Redevelopment”

Detroit Public Schools will hold a major property developers conference titled “Old Schools, New Uses: Reinventing Vacant School Buildings & Sites in Detroit for Innovative Redevelopment” on Thursday, March 13, 2014 from 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Registration, which costs $65 per person, begins Monday, February 10, for the event which will be held at Gleaners Community Food Bank, 2131 Beaufait, Detroit MI 48207.

The registration fee includes refreshments, lunch, and valuable information and takeaways on dozens of featured Detroit Public Schools properties.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan will offer the keynote to attendees. DPS Emergency Manager Jack Martin also will address the participants.

To register starting Monday, go to

At the event, Detroit Public Schools will highlight surplus property in prime development locations throughout the city, including waterfront property, property located in the highly-sought Midtown district, developing Downtown area, in numerous neighborhoods, property located in the Detroit Future City target areas, and properties located in neighborhoods designated as Building Sustainable Communities by Detroit Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC).

At the end of the conference, networking opportunities will be provided to negotiate and make on-the-spot purchasing deals.

Optional shuttle tours of sites will be available.

Participants will learn how to broker a purchase with Detroit Public Schools, including expedited processes, and how the school properties fit with the city’s long range redevelopment vision. Information will also be provided on the new school re-use zoning ordinance, land use permits, examples of school buildings that have been reused, tax credits and other funding opportunities.

This event will offer useful information and technical details and seeks to inspire developers who are passionate about the City.

“It is our hope that the conversations had at the conference will lead to a creative reuse of the properties that will ultimately benefit the neighborhoods in which they are located,” said Tammy Deane, DPS Real Estate Manager.

Networking will be available for commercial and residential real estate brokers, developers and investors who are in the market for large or bundled parcels or facilities in the City of Detroit.

“The DPS Property Developers Conference will be a great opportunity for developers and community leaders to convene and exchange ideas in response to best practices related to adaptive re-use of vacant school buildings,” said Tahirih Ziegler, Executive Director, Detroit LISC. “Detroiters are eager to see these properties “re-purposed” to once again contribute to a healthy and safe living environment in neighborhoods throughout the city.”

Experts will showcase dozens of Detroit Public Schools’ sites and buildings and provide investors, developers, and builders with site specific details, and an overview about how to purchase real estate from DPS and navigate City development review processes.

Panels and Speakers:

  • Dan Kinkead, Director of Projects of Detroit Future City
  • Funding Panel discussion including Tahirih Ziegler, Executive Director of Detroit Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and bankers
  • Representatives from the City of Detroit Planning and Development Department to speak about the school reuse zoning ordinance
  • Developers to discuss various redevelopment projects including the Leland Lofts, Burton Theater, and the Detroit Music School
  • Architects experienced in adaptive re-use projects

Participants attending this event will learn how to:

  • Reuse, preserve, and redevelop historic buildings to become a vital part of the community
  • Work with DPS and the City to acquire land use permits, approvals, and properties
  • Gain resources and information about funding through historic designation and tax credits
  • Explore the School Building Adaptive Reuse Zoning Ordinance Amendment

Sponsors include Detroit Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), Plante Moran and ASTI Environmental.

View a map of all DPS properties for sale at

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