One Year In… Seeding Future Economic Growth


We are investing in strategic initiatives that are important to seeding Detroit’s future economic growth, as well as putting our firm’s expertise and relationships to work to help Detroit strengthen its long-term global competitiveness.

Supporting The M-1 Rail

Construction on Detroit’s 3.3-mile M-1 RAIL streetcar project connecting Midtown to Downtown is well under way. When completed, the project will transport more than 1.8 million passengers annually along an easy-access corridor linking economic, housing, cultural, healthcare, sporting and educational hubs. M-1 RAIL is the centerpiece of Detroit’s transit-oriented development plan to bring urban renewal to the city’s central business district and surrounding areas. It is expected to provide a major economic boost of more than $3 billion in development and 10,000 new housing units over the next 10 years for the Woodward corridor. JPMorgan Chase helped to finance the streetcar line by raising $42.4 million in New Markets Tax Credit allocation that was essential to moving the project forward. We also provided a $1.5 million grant to support construction.

In addition, through a $1 million grant to nonprofit Midtown Detroit, Inc., JPMorgan Chase is helping to ease the disruption for the businesses located in, and the people who live and shop along, the Woodward corridor as the M-1 RAIL construction continues. Midtown Detroit has launched a major effort, with JPMorgan Chase support, to understand what the small businesses in the area need to remain viable during construction, and to provide them with concrete assistance – from parking spaces to software to marketing support – to help them do so. Midtown Detroit has also leveraged JPMorgan Chase’s support to raise $650,000 in matching grants for facade improvements.

Over time, the M-1 RAIL will offer tremendous opportunities for the businesses and residents along its route. We are helping to ensure that current small businesses will be there to reap the benefits.

Bringing The Global Cities Initiative To Detroit

In 2015, the Global Cities Initiative (GCI), a joint project of the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase, held a working session and public forum focused on strategies for Detroit to capitalize on its growing economic assets, including highlighting opportunities for investment that will, in turn, create new and better paying jobs for city residents.

Global Cities Initiative logo

New data provided by Brookings about Detroit’s global engagement revealed that despite Detroit’s strength as a leading exporting city, it is not attracting its commensurate share of foreign direct investment. GCI brought together chambers of commerce, city and county officials, business owners and academic leaders to discuss the collaborative actions they could take to globalize the region’s business attraction and expansion efforts. With new foreign investment data and a tested guide for international trade and investment planning produced by Brookings, Detroit’s leaders are working together to not only diversify, but also globalize their economy.

Mike Duggan, Mayor of Detroit speaking at Global Cities Initiative public forum

Launched in 2012, GCI aims to equip business, civic and government leaders from cities around the world with the information, policy ideas and global connections they need to thrive in the global economy. Through GCI, JPMorgan Chase and Brookings have tapped our network of relationships around the world to convene far-sighted leaders in cities from Seattle to Hong Kong, bringing together policymakers, business leaders and non-governmental organizations to collaborate on best practices and strategies for improving global competitiveness.