Deals + Doings

July 19, 2021

Former Lewis College in Detroit Repurposed into Affordable Senior Housing Development

Anthony Pellegrino, Senior Associate at P.A. Commercial, worked hand in hand with Wallick Communities, Presbyterian Villages of Michigan (PVM), URHope Foundation, and the City of Detroit to secure an affordable senior housing development at 17470 Meyers, Detroit.

This $20 M project will repurpose the former Lewis College (which served as Detroit’s only HBCU of its time) into an affordable senior housing development. Lewis College has a vibrant history and was founded in the early 1900s by the renowned Violet Lewis, where she spearheaded a secretarial program for young African American women. The school began educating men after WWII and soon after absorbed the Detroit Conservatory of music.

Anthony sold the school years after its closing to URHope Foundation. ¬†Anthony and URHope unified and turned away many offers in order to protect the community and building, as they wanted to find the right fit that would benefit the community. This was not your typical real estate deal, as it has strategic importance for the neighborhood, Detroit seniors, history, education, and every partner involved had the community’s best interest in mind.

Wallick and PVM’s new development will serve as a tremendous advancement for Detroit’s City and District 2. Thank you to Mayor Duggan, MISHDA, Wallick Communities, Kim Tandy, Frank Gillespie (Violet’s direct decedent),¬† City Councilman Roy McCalister Jr, and so many others for working so hard to bring this project to light.