Companies join Detroit's Live Midtown plan

June 22, 2011 at 8:02 PM
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DETROIT, June 22 (UPI) -- Quicken Loans said Wednesday it will join Detroit's Live Midtown incentive program, designed to revitalize and make "cool" the Motor City once again.

The company joins Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan in participating in the program that began in January, the Detroit Free Press reported. Leaders of Detroit businesses and non-profits invited other companies to join their Live Midtown incentive programs to show how "cool" the city is.

The Detroit Medical Center, the non-profit Henry Ford Health System and Wayne State University began promoting Live Midtown this year in an attempt to assist employees with rent or mortgage payments if they chose to live in the neighborhood, the Web site, based in Michigan, reported.

The coalition began providing additional money toward the effort, providing new renters with a $2,500 allowance their first year and forgivable $20,000 loans for prospective new homeowners if qualified.

"This can be a cool, cool place to live for professionals," said Robert Riney, president and chief operating officer of the Henry Ford Health System which is in the process of "adopting" 300 acres of vacant land and depressed buildings around the facility.

The system will buy up, clean up and help property owners rehabilitate homes, or help residents move to better facilities if their homes are beyond repair, said Tuesday.

"We're leveraging the size and scale of our organization to tell suppliers, 'You're going to build it here if you want to partner with us,'" Riney said.

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