Graystone Hotel Centennial: Come and Celebrate With Us!

An open house marking the 100th anniversary of The Graystone Hotel will be held 2-4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 21, at 119 Graystone Plaza, Detroit Lakes, MN.

2 p.m. Tours 3 p.m. Speakers Music by Heart O’Lakes Harmony Quartet Car Display by Antique Auto Group Becker County Historical Society Exhibit

A complete story with photos can be found in the Detroit Lakes Newspapers online.

Office Space Available for Rent

Be a part of history! Office for rent in historic location near premiere downtown intersection, offering Highway 10 frontage in Detroit Lakes, MN. Contact Laura McKnight for details.

MMCDC is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.


International Market Plaza opens

A dream became reality in 2017, when the International Market Plaza opened in Fargo, ND.

With encouragement from MMCDC, the staff and board of directors at the Immigrant Development Center (IDC) of Fargo-Moorhead worked for years toward the opening of a market similar to those in their home countries. In their collective mind’s eye, they saw a grouping of restaurants and retail stores around an enclosed courtyard, where community members could gather to visit, eat and shop.

That vision is not far from the reality taking shape at 1345 Main Ave., Fargo. IDC purchased and remodeled 6,500 square feet of the existing building, and has found 10 new tenants. The result is a

rich ethnic mix of goods and services, including retail shops, two restaurants and a coffee shop coming later, along with the existing Tae Kwon Do studio. Services include hair cutting, henna tattoos, and sewing.

MMCDC provided affordable, flexible loans totaling $420,000 toward the $1.1 million project. A federal grant to IDC also contributed to financing for the building. Key to receipt of the grant was the potential to repurpose up to 25,600 square feet of underutilized commercial space, and add 57 new jobs and 16 new businesses in a low-income neighborhood, with a 33 percent poverty rate and a median family income of just 55.7 percent of the average area median family income.

MMCDC highlights 100th Anniversary of Graystone Hotel

MMCDC members and guests enjoyed a presentation on the historic renovation of the Graystone Hotel and entertainment by the Heart O’ Lakes Harmony group at the annual meeting Thursday, June 15, at the Detroit Lakes Community and Cultural Center.

The Hotel opened in 1917 in Detroit Lakes, MN, and was purchased by MMCDC in 1998. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places and subsequently renovated. MMCDC’s offices are now located in the Hotel and in the former Teague Building, longtime home to Blanding’s Department Store. A public event commemorating the Graystone’s 100th anniversary is planned for the Fall.

Janet Green

President Kevin Shipley and Chairman Ron Lindberg presided at the meeting. Among the items of business was recognition of longtime board members Kathy Henry, Larry LePier, Terry Stallman
and Ron Lindberg. Janet Green is the incoming board chairwoman.

NeighborWorks in the Neighborhood

Every day, the dedicated members and partners of MMCDC work with residents to improve neighborhoods and the lives of people in the communities we serve. This work, along with that of many similar organizations, is celebrated during national NeighborWorks Week, June 3-10, 2017.

Last year, along with our partners, MMCDC rebuilt a restaurant that had been lost in a fire, helped 96 first-time homebuyers acquire a home, renovated 30 affordable rental units for seniors and the disabled, preserved affordability of an additional eight units, financed 14 nonprofit and for-profit businesses, supported training for volunteers who contributed hundreds of hours to their communities, and much more.

As a chartered member of NeighborWorks®, MMCDC must meet a high standard of fiscal integrity and service performance to assist residents in developing leadership, improving their neighborhoods, and securing decent, affordable housing.

We are one of more than 240 NeighborWorks® organizations working in nearly 4,000 urban, suburban and rural communities nationwide. Our link to this powerful and unique nationwide network of community development organizations adds great value to what we do in disadvantaged communities in Minnesota and the Midwest.

Through NeighborWorks®, we have access to financial resources, tools, training opportunities, and the experience of hundreds of colleagues from around the country who can help us make our community a better place to live. Rather than just build housing, we help residents revitalize an entire neighborhood … or develop skilled grassroots citizen leaders … or improve the capacity of local organizations … or optimize the often hidden powers of local institutions. In short, we build community.

Homebuyer education makes buying a home easier

Buying a home isn’t easy, but an in-person class featuring a trained educator, high-quality curriculum, and housing professionals from the community sure helps! Attend one of two free homebuyer education classes offered by our affiliate, White Earth Investment Initiative. Register online by clicking the link below.

Monday and Tuesday, May 29-30, Frazee High School, 305 Lake St. N., 5:30-9:30 p.m.

Tuesday and Wednesday, June 26-27, Detroit Lakes Community Education, 204 Willow St. E., 5:30-9:30 p.m.

'Skinny' budget targets Community Development Financial Institutions

The CDFI Coalition, a broad group of more than one-hundred community development lenders and investors serving America’s low-income communities, expressed concern in a Feb. 28 press release about the soon to be released “skinny” budget from President Trump. The New York Times reported that the President’s plans would “all but eliminate” the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund.

“We were disappointed to read these press reports, and we hope they are premature,” said James R. Klein, President of the CDFI Coalition. “The communities that receive financial assistance through the CDFI Fund are precisely the communities President Trump seeks to help, including hollowed out inner-city neighborhoods and economically distressed rural communities.”

Jamie Marks Erickson, MMCDC; Jennifer Novak, Community Reinvestment Fund; and Kathy Henry, MMCDC, met Feb. 28 with Tim Everett, Sen. Al Franken’s Office, to discuss the work of Community Development Financial Institutions. Both MMCDC and CRF are CDFIs.

CDFIs are specialized community-based financial institutions with a primary mission to promote economic development by providing financial products and services to people and communities underserved by traditional financial institutions, particularly in low-income communities. The report on the potentially devastating reduction in funding for CDFIs comes the same day as some 200 CDFIs are gathered in Washington, DC for the CDFI Coalition’s annual conference.


The CDFI Fund is an innovative federal agency within the Treasury Department, established to promote community development in distressed rural and urban communities by increasing the availability of credit, investment capital and financial services available. Since 1994, the CDFI Fund has awarded more than $2.4 billion on a competitive basis to CDFIs. These organizations then leverage twelve dollars in private sector capital for every dollar of federal support, creating a substantial impact in the communities where they are deployed in terms business growth and job creation. The CDFI Fund also manages the New Markets Tax Credit program and the CDFI Bond program, which together deliver billions in annual investment to low-income communities.

Last year, CDFI Fund awards supported the creation of tens of thousands of jobs, financed more than 11,000 businesses, supported the creation of 33,000 affordable housing units. Elimination of the CDFI Fund would deprive low-income communities of billions in financial services that help communities and businesses grow and thrive. From the Louisville, KY barber who dreamed of owning his own business to the Arkansas town that wanted to save its largest private employer, CDFIs are filling making a difference for communities left behind.

Reprinted by permission of the CDFI Coalition.


Homebuyer Education Opportunities are Blooming

Summer will come–eventually–bringing opportunities to attend Open Houses at available homes in the community. Prepare now for all the decisions of homeownership! Attend one of two free homebuyer education classes offered in partnership with our affiliate, White Earth Investment Initiative, in February. Register online by clicking the links below.

*Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 14-15, Fergus Falls Community Education, 5:30-9:30 p.m.

*Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 27-28, Detroit Lakes Community Education, 5:30-9:30 p.m.

Framework celebrates 100,000th homebuyer!

As of Jan. 4, 2017, more than 100,000 homebuyers have completed Framework, an online homebuyer education program. Find out more about this successful group of homebuyers, or better yet, start down the path toward homeownership by accessing the Framework course website here.

The Framework program is newly updated, making it easier to use than ever before.