Motor City Makeover - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

What was once an uninspiring view of several concrete silos will soon be a picturesque community on Detroit’s East River waterfront thanks to developer Dwight Belyue, 47, owner of Belmar Development Group. His project, @water Lofts, is a $300 million redevelopment project that will link the outdoor plaza and promenade of GM’s Renaissance Center with the Tri-Centennial State Park and Harbor.

Belyue has partnered with Skanska, one of the world’s leading construction services group, and Tooles Contracting Group, a Detroit-based minority contractor. Construction of @water Lofts will be completed in three phases, each with an average price tag of $100 million. “We anticipate on a national average to make a 20% profit with revenues of $120 million,” says Belyue. Belmar will break ground on Phase I in August 2007. It will consist of 225 residential units averaging $400,000 each, including 16 penthouses starting at $1.3 million. The structure will also contain 15,000 square feet of retail space and a 378-car parking structure.
“None of this would have taken place if Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick had not made a popular and monumental decision to end the development of riverfront casinos [proposed by the city’s previous administration],” says George Jackson, president of the Detroit Economic Growth Corp., a quasi-public arm of the city.

A $9.7 million Brownfield SBT credit and state and local tax capture valued at more than $1 million will reimburse Belmar for environmental cleanup and certain infrastructure costs as the developer transforms the three-acre former industrial site into a residential, retail, and recreational complex.

“Belmar’s major challenge was the competition and proving they could get the financing,” says Jackson. Belyue’s Seattle-based partner, Michael Dunne, provided $10 million to $15 million in equity financing, while Belyue demonstrated knowledge of Detroit’s unique market history–both assets made them more attractive than national developers. Now Belmar is working to secure a construction loan for $75 million and discussing options for equity and/or mezzanine financing with Canyon-Johnson Urban Fund, one of former NBA star-cum-entrepreneur Magic Johnson’s real estate financing vehicles.

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Marcia Wade Talbert

Marcia is a multimedia content producer focusing on technology at Black Enterprise Magazine. In this capacity she writes and assigns stories to educate readers about social media; digital integration; gadgets, apps, and software for business and professional development; minority tech startups; and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In 2012, she received two Salute to Excellence Awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and was recognized by Blacks in Technology (BiT) as one of the Top 10 Black achievers in the tech arena for 2011 at SXSW in Austin, Texas. She has spoken about technology on panels for New York Social Media Week, at The 2012 Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Summit, as well as at Black Enterprise’s Entrepreneurs Conference and Women of Power Summit. In 2011, chose her as one of 28 People of Color Impacting the Social Web, and through crowdsourcing she was listed as one of BlackWeb2.0's/HP's 50 Most Notable African American Tastemakers in Social Media and Technology for 2010. Since taking on the role of Tech editor in September 2010, she has conceived and produced five cover stories on Technology and/or STEM and countless articles, videos, and slideshows online. Before joining as an interactive general assignment reporter in 2008, she freelanced with Black Enterprise beginning in 2003 while working as the technical editor at Prepared Foods magazine. There she further honed her writing skills and became an authority on food ingredients, including ingredients used in food fortification and enrichment. Meanwhile, her freelancing with Black Enterprise and helped her stay current on issues pertaining to the financial and business welfare of African Americans. As a general reporter for Black Enterprise she attended and reported on the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, where she interviewed Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Marcia has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in food science from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Science degree in journalism from Roosevelt University in Chicago. En route to her secondary degree, she served as the editor-in-chief of the Roosevelt University Torch, a weekly, student-run newspaper. An avid photographer and videographer, Marcia is one of several employees at BLACK ENTERPRISE who interned for the publishing company as a college student. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, a food scientist; her seventeen-month-old daughter; and “The Cat”, but still considers Chicago home.