Daryl Carter left, and Ron McDonald in front of Cameron Court in Detroit.
Photo by Sherri Kolade
Two Black developers with Detroit roots are bringing things back to the city, particularly in the North End of Detroit.
Daryl J. Carter, 65, leading Avanath Capital Management, LLC, and Ron McDonald, RMC Development managing principal, are joining forces to develop a market rate, affordable, senior housing unit — North End Landing.
The 180-rental-unit structure would be housed on Smith Street/Delores Bennet Park area of the North End and is proposed as a mixed-income project located in a federally designated opportunity zone.
The project would be anchored by two senior housing buildings that will be constructed at John R and Smith with a combination of market-rate and affordable units, according to a press release.
Carter is the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Avanath Capital Management, LLC, a California-based investment firm that acquires, renovates and operates apartment properties, with an emphasis on affordable and workforce communities. Carter directs the overall strategy and operations of the Company. Since its formation in 2008, Avanath has acquired $2.5 billion of properties in 13 states in the U.S., comprising 12,000 apartment units.
Carter said that he started looking at this project during the summer of 2018 when Pam Martin Turner, CEO of Vanguard, asked him to look into it and give his thoughts.
“I said, ‘Wow, this looks interesting,’” said Carter, who has 40 years of experience in the commercial real estate industry.
Irvine California-based Avanath is a minority-owned national investment firm that currently operates over 10,000 units. As the largest minority-owned apartment owner and manager in the country, the company has the distinction of being founded by a Cass Tech graduate.
During an interview with The Michigan Chronicle, Carter, who lives in California, said that creating housing opportunities for residents who look like him is important.
“I grew up on the westside — youngest of three,” Carter said, adding that his parents, both from Mississippi, brought his family to be raised in Detroit. “That was at a time in the ‘60s and ‘70s things started declining.”
Carter said, however, that there were neighborhoods that were vibrant in the city.
“Full of people — that is what I remember growing up,” he said, adding that neighborhoods were full of “people walking around.”
Carter, who has other properties in the city’s north end like Cameron Court, hopes to bring that era of bustling neighborhoods back to the city.
McDonald, 58, who lives in the greater Washington, DC/Baltimore region, agrees.
“We have for years been looking for … an opportunity to come here,” he said.
Carter, who was born and raised on Fenkell and Wyoming, said that an opportunity hadn’t really presented itself as it has now to build back up a city he calls home.
The duo has a collective commercial real estate experience of nearly 70 years that they are using to give back to the next generation of Black developers.
“Even with the number of decades there [Carter] he’s been a mentor for not just for me but a lot of African Americans in our industry,” McDonald said.
McDonald said coming back to Detroit is a two-fold opportunity to build in more ways than one through real estate and people.
“There is an opportunity to mentor some of the younger developers trying to do some of the things here in the city,” he said. “It is only a handful of people in the commercial real estate industry who look like us.”
“The North End Landing will be built via modular construction which will allow the return of several vacant parcels to useful life without disturbing the existing homes,” according to the company.