Detroit’s revitalization hopes are getting a boost from one of the deepest-pocketed players in U.S. finance.
JPMorgan Chase, the nation’s biggest bank, will announce Wednesday that it is investing $100 million in Detroit over five years, strengthening the city’s redevelopment efforts, speeding up blight removal, helping train city residents for new jobs, and making mortgage money available for home loans.
About half the cash will come in the forms of loans and the rest in grants. Chase has been working for several months developing the program, which is being announced Wednesday at a luncheon featuring Gov. Rick Snyder, Mayor Mike Duggan, and JPMorgan Chase Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon, as well as local foundation leaders and business executives including Dan Gilbert, founder and chair of Quicken Loans.
Dimon told the Free Press in an exclusive interview that the idea started last fall when Detroit — where Chase and its predecessor banks have done business going back to the old National Bank of Detroit in the 1930s — was going through its painful bankruptcy.
“Obviously Detroit was having issues,” Dimon said. “I got together some of our senior people and said what can we do that’s really neat, that could be really creative.”
Chase is already a leading Detroit lender to consumers as well as to businesses. “When you’re in a town, you try to be a great citizen there and we happen to be a big player in Detroit,” Dimon said.
Gov. Rick Snyder hailed the commitment, calling it “very exciting.”
SOURCE: John Gallagher
Detroit Free Press