Detroit/ Real Estate & Development
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Published on June 13, 2024
New Urban Equestrian Center to Gallop into Northwest Detroit, Backed by Nonprofit Detroit Horse PowerSource: Google Street View

Transforming a long-vacant plot in Detroit's northwest quadrant, a 14-acre site will soon be the setting for the area's new urban equestrian center, backed by the nonprofit Detroit Horse Power. This development comes as part of Detroit Horse Power's move to establish an urban horseback riding hub within the city limits. The Detroit Public Schools Community District board gave the green light for the land sale, and the city's Building Safety Engineering and Environmental Department has signed off on the project's site plan.

Detroit Horse Power, founded by former teacher and competitive horseback rider David Silver, has been an anchor for youth development since 2015, utilizing horseback riding to foster social skills in children aged 11-18. The new center is set to include amenities such as stables for up to 17 horses, an indoor arena, and outdoor riding spaces plus, classrooms and a community space; a strategic extension of the organization's footprint, which to date has served approximately 500 students with offsite programs. "When we set off on this journey to do something so out-of-the-box as include horses in a Detroit neighborhood to serve young people, there was no guarantee that we’d be able to secure an appropriate site in a neighborhood that wanted this to be a part of the community’s future," Silver mentioned, according to FOX 2 Detroit.

Groundbreaking for the project is poised for this fall, with aspirations to enhance the nonprofit's already significant influence on local youth. As noted by WXYZ, Detroit Horse Power has successfully rallied financial backing, raising $5.2 million with an additional $1.4 million pending toward its $11.4 million goal. Moreover, the venture promises to not only bridge a gap in urban recreational infrastructure but also to provide enriched opportunities for community engagement and youth education.

Ambitious outreach and charitable contributions have allowed Detroit Horse Power to evolve from small-scale summer camps to visions of expansive learning environments. As part of their due diligence, the purchase from the Detroit Public Schools Community District comes after a unanimous vote by the school board, underscoring a shared investment in community endeavors. Furthermore, the adaptive reuse of the land, previously the home of the demolished Paul Robeson School, signals a positive shift in use for spaces burdened with blight. "To have these major foundational milestones achieved is something we’re very proud of", Silver explained, according to FOX 2 Detroit.

The tangible impact of such programs can be discerned through the experiences of participants like Leairra Jones, a recent graduate of Cass Technical High School, who discovered her passion for horse riding through Detroit Horse Power, and who will join the organization as a counselor this summer. "I saw that it had a pony on it and third-grade me was in love," Jones recounted her initial encounter with the program, as per WXYZ, "I'm running home to tell my mom 'We have to do this!’” Through the program's expansion, experiences like Jones's underscore the anticipated positive outcomes of the new equestrian center buildout.

Detroit-Real Estate & Development