News Column

JPMorgan Chase to pump $100 million into Detroit

May 20, 2014



DETROIT (AP) — Financial giant JPMorgan Chase plans to invest $100 million over five years into bankrupt Detroit, two newspapers reported Tuesday.

The money will be divvied up in loans and grants and will include funding for home mortgage loans, job training for Detroit residents and blight removal.

"Obviously Detroit was having issues," JPMorgan Chase Chief Executive Jamie Dimon told the Detroit Free Press. "I got together some of our senior people and said, what can we do that's really neat, that could be really creative."

Chase has more than 2,500 employees in southeast Michigan.

"When you're in a town, you try to be a great citizen there and we happen to be a big player in Detroit," he added.

Daniel Howes, a columnist for The Detroit News, first reported Chase's investment plans and that a meeting of bank officials, Mayor Mike Duggan and a representative from Gov. Rick Snyder's office was scheduled for Tuesday night in Detroit. The official announcement was expected Wednesday.

Detroit filed for bankruptcy last July, becoming the largest U.S. city to do so, citing $18 billion in unmanageable long-term liabilities.

Ballots have been mailed to thousands of Detroit creditors for their votes on the city's bankruptcy restructuring plan. State-appointed emergency manager Kevyn Orr expects the city to exit bankruptcy later this year.

Chase's investment will help in Detroit's revitalization, Downtown Detroit Partnership president Dave Blaszkiewicz told the Free Press. The group is a partnership of corporate, civic and philanthropic leaders that supports downtown improvement programs and initiatives.

"You couldn't ask for a better time to bring these dollars in," Blaszkiewicz said.

Chase plans to put $25 million each into Invest Detroit and Capital Impact Partners, which currently loans to Detroit development projects, according to the Free Press. Some $25 million will help with blight removal, including $5 million for families buying homes through a city property auction.

Chase will join with some Detroit nonprofits and use $12.5 million for job training programs. The bank also will invest $7 million into agencies that support entrepreneurs. Some $5.5 million would go to future economic growth initiatives such as light rail.


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Source: Associated Press


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