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RossDetroit
Feb 24, 2009, 5:58 PM
:shrug: Hi guys! How are things going in the D? Could somebody post some photos for the overseas Detroit lovers? What is the latest news about the Dequindre Cut, the new Greektown Casino, the Rosa Parks Transit Center and the Port Authority Terminal? Thanks.

LMich
Mar 22, 2009, 9:00 AM
It looks like the Broderick Tower (http://www.brodericktower.com/) finally has updated its website for the first time in years. Perhaps, this is a sign of things to come; who knows?

jodelli
Mar 22, 2009, 9:33 AM
It looks like the Broderick Tower (http://www.brodericktower.com/) finally has updated its website for the first time in years. Perhaps, this is a sign of things to come; who knows?

Thanks for the heads up. I clicked on the commercial lease link and was bumped back to the intro page. The contact info states that info will be made available soon.

Here's hoping.

hudkina
Mar 23, 2009, 11:58 PM
I know. I love the website and would love nothing more than to see this happen, but I'll wait until work begins before I get too excited.;)

BTW, here's a bit of infill that recently went up in the North End. The first three houses were recently built, while the last two are original. Nothing beats historic architecture, but at least they put the garages behind the houses.:)

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3623/3380044689_927477971e_o.jpg

Just in this little four block area, there were over a dozen in-fill houses.

fish2026
Mar 24, 2009, 5:29 AM
Anyone know these? The Book Bldg has been vandalized of much of its copper, the Castle has had severe roof problems, and this has caused some damage. They are still asking way too much for them -several hundred thousand a piece, but both seem to be in better than average neighborhoods ( book Jeff and Burns-- Castle Joseph Berry but next to a not so nice apt complex). I haven't been up there to see them yet but hope to this summer./Users/stevefischer/Desktop/detroit/CastlePhoto2083106 Folder/tiny castle.tiff/Users/stevefischer/Desktop/detroit/8469JeffersonInfo Folder/Burgess Book House.jpg

fish2026
Mar 24, 2009, 5:29 AM
Or perhaps its just bedtime... lol

LMich
Mar 24, 2009, 5:54 AM
What are you asking, actually?

BTW, from what I've heard, the Book Tower has been relatively secured compared to other vacant buildings in the downtown area.

hudkina
Mar 24, 2009, 6:42 AM
You have to load images onto the web. You can't post them from your computer.

Also, what buildings are you talking about? It sounds like you're talking about buildings in the Indian Village/Joseph Berry area, but the Book Tower is downtown.

fish2026
Mar 24, 2009, 7:21 PM
These are buildings which have nice design and have peaked my interest. Detroit's housing prices are projected to decline substantially over the next two years, and none of these might be a economically suitable project but they do look impressive. Where I live in South Texas, the bldgs we think of as historical ( with one exception) wouldn't even be noticed on an average Detroit St.

Anyone know of these buildings?


8469 East Jefferson - that was the Burgess Book Bldg- it had lots of appeal but has been vandalized on several occasions with copper and other items removed and is not boarded up. I know pretty much about this.


THe Castle 530 Parkview, has been vacant and is behind on taxes- listed at over $400k needs a new roof -water damage

624 Alexandrine - El Moore nice front on that bldg but looks somewhat destroyed.

5200 Chicago and the impressive light colored bldg next to it. 5200 is an old large apt building- don't know anything about its neighbor.

hudkina
Mar 24, 2009, 10:56 PM
Are you wanting to buy one? There's probably thousands of buildings like those all over the city.

fish2026
Mar 25, 2009, 1:41 AM
Well If something I have here sells - I would be interesting in fixing up an nice old Detroit building. Maybe leasing out the bottom -using the top as a summer home. Our summers are hot here and architecture boring,everything else is nice.

I expect prices-especially of commercial - to decline further in Detroit. The scary thing is, with population continuing to decline for the foreseeable future I'm not sure when it would pick back up. However some of these buildings and their prices are becoming quite appealing.

If you know any in that category - let me know.

LMich
Mar 25, 2009, 3:24 AM
You keep asking "do you know of these?" but I'm not sure what you're asking. Just so you're under no illusions, this is not a real estate website and none of the Detroit-area forumers are realtors. So, given that, do the more general issues that this board focuses on what you're looking to discuss?

fish2026
Mar 25, 2009, 4:01 AM
Just architecturally if people know them. Project-wise to fix them up what are their opinions. I'm not looking for a realtor.

hudkina
Mar 25, 2009, 4:14 AM
I would assume that it would be somewhat expensive to rehab many of the older structures, especially if you're looking to do it right. I don't know what the interiors of those buildings look like, but if indeed scrappers and the elements have gotten to them, then you're probably looking at a gut job.

BTW, is this that "castle" you're talking about?
http://www.downriverdetroit.net/waynecounty/detroit/eastside/josephberry/020.jpg

The Joseph Berry neighborhood (being home to the mayor as well as many other "important" government officials) is generally well-secured. I doubt scrappers have gotten inside.

fish2026
Mar 25, 2009, 11:19 AM
Thats a good picture of the castle - I don't know if you can see past the red chimney but an entire section of roof is gone, and water has poured in. I think the listing is gone,however I thought odd that the broker was so negative when I talked to him-- honest I guess. Its a great building by Louis Kemper and the property used to include, the house in back. When they divided them up - access to the water was lost.

The area is one of the better in Detroit however the big apt between it and Jefferson st had some vandals -according to a post on city-data.

Anyway of the best things Detroit has going for it, are the old bulidings. The tax system is pretty nasty and high. Buildings that can be purchased for $5k (not this) may have annual taxes of 7k

kenc
Mar 25, 2009, 7:41 PM
I mean no disrespect in asking this question, but what do Detroit residents feel will happen to the city if General Motors goes bankrupt? Not just all the lost jobs, but as so many Detriot citizens are retired GM employees...what will happen if they loose their pensions? What will that do to home prices?

hudkina
Mar 26, 2009, 9:40 PM
Home prices in the city can't get too much lower than they already are. The loss of GM would be bad for the city because a decent chunk of tax revenue comes from GM. While the city does have a good deal of retired GM employees, it's not as big as many people might think. A lot of GM's retirees live in the suburbs and various other areas of the country. I wouldn't doubt that there are more GM retirees living in Florida and Arizona than there are living in the city of Detroit.;)

LMich
Mar 27, 2009, 10:38 AM
Ugh...the DDA is sending out bids to have the Lafayette Building destroyed all the while they announce that they are buying a parking garage near the Monroe Block:



Lafayette Building to be leveled (http://www.freep.com/article/20090327/BUSINESS04/903270362)

BY JOHN GALLAGHER • FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER • March 27, 2009

Another downtown office building appears headed for the history books.

Detroit's Downtown Development Authority is seeking bids to demolish the Lafayette Building, a vacant 1920s-era office building across the street from the newly remade Westin Book Cadillac Hotel.

The 14-story building, designed by famed theater architect C. Howard Crane, once held Michigan Supreme Court offices and many other functions. But it has been vacant for more than a decade and is marred by graffiti and trees growing from the roof.

Bids for the demolition work are due by early April.

George Jackson, president of the Detroit Economic Growth Corp., a quasi-public arm of the city that performs staff work for the DDA, said several attempts to redevelop the Lafayette Building had failed.

And, Jackson is being his normal faux-remorseful self (i.e. we tried to save, really, we did). What a crock. Yeah, "we had to burn the village, to save the village", right? Give me a break.



DDA to buy 600-space parking garage (http://www.freep.com/article/20090327/BUSINESS04/903270326)


BY JOHN GALLAGHER • FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER • March 27, 2009

Detroit's Downtown Development Authority agreed Thursday to buy the Bates Garage, a 600-space, privately owned parking garage fronting on Monroe Street near Campus Martius, for $2.5 million.

Todd Carmody, a staffer at the Detroit Economic Growth Corp., a quasi-public arm of the city, told the DDA board that public ownership of the garage would make it easier to redevelop nearby city-owned parcels, including the Monroe Block and the site of the old Hudson's store.

derekski99
Mar 27, 2009, 5:00 PM
Unfortunate to hear about the Lafayette Building.

I'm also puzzled as to why you suggest that the population continues to decrease. Last I heard the population increased from its low point of about 800,000 to 930,000. News of different industry moving into town is also promising, despite the problems GM, Ford and Chrysler have faced.

Lastly, the best thing for GM and the future of the automotive industry in Detroit is for GM to go "bankrupt." It is the only way they can restructure and cut debt the way they need to. It would hurt a lot of people, but then again a lot of United Auto Workers have been over-compensated for years. People just have this stigma with the word "bankrupt." Bankruptcy for GM doesn't mean the company would be gone or out of business. If we called bankruptcy structural and economical reorganization people wouldn't feel so icky about the term.

fish2026
Mar 27, 2009, 8:56 PM
Not sure where you get your numbers but you must live on another planet to think Detroit is growing.

Restructure with what? Detroit is great for old buildings but I don't see any scenario for growth. If you see one be SPECIFIC on how it would happen. Cheap housing might attract some but the real estate taxes are horrendous.

hudkina
Mar 28, 2009, 7:10 PM
Detroit never had a population of 800,000. (at least not since 2000...;)) The last census put the population at around 950,000. The Census Bureau had estimated that the population had dropped significantly since then, but after the city challanged the Census Bureau estimates, they were revised to a more modest drop. Today the city is estimated to have about 915,000, or about a 4% decline from 2000. In other words, the city never really saw a net gain in population, it just wasn't shrinking nearly as fast as what the Census Bureau had originally estimated. It would be nice if the population loss was even less than the revised estimates, but I'm not so sure about that.

Funkie
Mar 29, 2009, 3:18 PM
for everyone who wants the Lafayette Building to be saved, sign the petition:
http://www.petitiononline.com/Lafayett/petition.html :notacrook:
:previous: maybe it'll help!!
http://i619.photobucket.com/albums/tt279/funkie-Intl/P1020077.jpg
http://i619.photobucket.com/albums/tt279/funkie-Intl/P1010840.jpg
(i took the pics)

fish2026
Mar 29, 2009, 7:32 PM
It makes no sense to tear this down. Detroit doesn't many qualities that would attract new people or investment. Cold climates lose people being at the top of the crime statistics loses people, high taxes lose people.

So what could possibly attract people ? Low cost housing and the wealth of attractive old buildings. Where I live in Texas this would be a real treasure.

Its not like there is a lack of space for development-there's plenty.

Leave the building alone!

derekski99
Mar 30, 2009, 3:24 AM
Meh, there are plenty of good reasons to move to Detroit. Development would be the top one for me. House prices are significantly cheaper. Property taxes as well. Sales tax is apparently only enforced on goods brought in...in CT virtually everything is taxed.

Theres also more nightlife and entertainment in Detroit than in CT.

Let's put it this way, lots down the road from our modest home (raised ranch + addition, 2200 sq. ft on 1/3 of an acre of land) are selling for $165,000...that's without a home. $165,000 in Detroit can buy me a 4000 to 6000 sq. ft. french mansion in need of restoration.

hudkina
Mar 30, 2009, 4:25 AM
Property taxes in Detroit are some of the highest in the nation. Sales tax is 6% on most goods (higher for certain vice products) with groceries and certain other items exempt. There is a city income tax for residents as well as those who work in the city. Insurance rates are also ridiculously high. It's not uncommon for Detroit residents to pay more per month for their car insurance than they do for their car...

$165,000 won't get you a mansion, but it can get you a really nice brick home in a decent neighborhood.

http://a367.yahoofs.com/ypost_re/pacman_9fc0193c1ab1f067bffdb6571ab7c10_task_200903030300_63272_m_000000_0_1145_1238317369/cebefa4c-90cd-4001-a938-a699776bad8c.jpg?reA6q0JBHfQxEKXD

LMich
Apr 1, 2009, 10:44 AM
This is quite a surprise. Looks like the proposed Shoppes at Gateway Park up at the Fairgrounds is still on track to be built.



http://cmsimg.detnews.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=C3&Date=20090401&Category=BIZ&ArtNo=904010336&Ref=AR&Profile=1001

$80M open-air Detroit mall moves ahead (http://www.detnews.com/article/20090401/BIZ/904010336/1001/$80M+open-air+Detroit+mall+moves+ahead)

Jaclyn Trop / The Detroit News

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Detroit -- Despite the economy and other setbacks, developers are moving forward with their plans to build an $80 million open-air mall -- the Shoppes at Gateway Park -- at Woodward and 8 Mile next to the Michigan State Fairgrounds.

More than 60 percent of the retail space in the 365,000-square-foot mall has been leased, and the developers are in talks with two major retailers -- one for a 190,000-square-foot anchor store and the other for a 40,000-square-foot space, according to Bernie Schrott, one of five partners in Gateway Park LLC.

He declined to name either retailer, but said both are union shops and "not Wal-Mart."

An announcement on the retailers could be made within weeks and the developers hope to break ground as early as next month.

(read on at Detnews.com)

hudkina
Apr 1, 2009, 3:33 PM
I like how the dot is in Oakland County.;)

So J.C. Penny pulled out, it would be nice to have a department store, just so the naysayers can't say "Detroit doesn't even have a department store!"

LMich
Apr 2, 2009, 4:04 AM
You really do wonder who makes these maps; they obviously aren't from the metro. lol

Austinlee
Apr 2, 2009, 4:04 PM
for everyone who wants the Lafayette Building to be saved, sign the petition:
http://www.petitiononline.com/Lafayett/petition.html :notacrook:
:previous: maybe it'll help!!
http://i619.photobucket.com/albums/tt279/funkie-Intl/P1020077.jpg
http://i619.photobucket.com/albums/tt279/funkie-Intl/P1010840.jpg
(i took the pics)

Nice pics. I really don't think petitions have much effect. But I did sign it just in case! (I am one of the few PA residents on the list) Looks like a pretty great building. Hope something good happens to it. Maybe Ferchill can take on this project when he's done with the Book Cadillac.

detroit_alive
Apr 2, 2009, 8:03 PM
A temporary stay of execution for the Lafayette Building:
Cockrel puts hold on Lafayette Building demolition (http://freep.com/article/20090402/BUSINESS06/90402104/Cockrel+puts+hold+on+Lafayette+Building+s+demolition)

jodelli
Apr 4, 2009, 10:29 PM
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3225/2655773637_92236728e0_b.jpg

derekski99
Apr 8, 2009, 3:05 AM
More bad news for great, historic architecture...I hope someone steps forward and restores Michigan Central......

http://www.freep.com/article/20090407/NEWS01/90407070/?imw=Y

derekski99
Apr 8, 2009, 3:05 AM
Oh by the way, here's a link to a slideshow compilation from Freep...

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/gallery?Avis=C4&Dato=20090407&Kategori=NEWS&Lopenr=904070808&Ref=PH

LMich
Apr 8, 2009, 5:27 AM
There is talk that this move may be by council to bring this fight over the building to a conclusion. Conyers even kind of hinted that demolition isn't necessarily what they are looking for, so this may be to scare Matty into at least securing the thing and giving it a minimal clean-up.

If it comes to demolition, however, I've decided that this one shows so much less promise than other dinosaurs of ever being redeveloped, so while it'd be sad to see it go, it's even sadder to see it sit open to the elements for another 20-30 years.

However, I do object to the plan for the city to use its money to demolish the and then to try to bill Matty, later. That they are taking this route kind of makes me think this is yet another scheme to line the pockets of the city's prominent demolition contractors. If that is the case, then I oppose the demolition.

However, there is also talk that there has already been a deal made that the city would demolish the structure, and get the land underneath if as an exchange.

There is so much going on, here, that God only knows what's really going on.

Funkie
May 2, 2009, 7:37 PM
Here's a nice YouTube video about the renovation of the Argonaut Building:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TTrFzu128U

fish2026
May 14, 2009, 1:02 AM
dereksi - just make up any facts you like. Taxes low in Detroit? Why not just say all the streets and neighborhoods are safe and that reports or murder are all wrong?

There are houses selling for $10,000 in Detroit that have the same tax bill as my house in Texas appraised at $741,000. Texas is only about average as far as real estate taxes, however we have NO personal income tax.

Texas and many other states use market value -based on arms length sales between a willing buyer and seller as the taxable price, however they usually under-appraise by a bit to keep people happy. Detroit uses "What this could be worth if Detroit was a flourishing vibrant community and if every house on the block was in perfect condition. This is one reason why you have so many abandoned houses.

Why give someone dishonest advice? Would you like it if a dealer sold you a car and said it was in good condition when he know the engine was missing vital parts.

The states in the northeast are all high tax but most of the rest of the country is much lower than Michigan - Detroit.

PistonsFan
May 20, 2009, 2:34 AM
Detroit could cash in on cruise industry


http://cmsimg.freep.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=C4&Date=20090518&Category=FEATURES07&ArtNo=905180363&Ref=AR&MaxW=575&MaxH=400&Border=0

http://www.freep.com/uploads/images/2009/05/0518_portmap.jpghttp://cmsimg.freep.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=C4&Date=20090518&Category=FEATURES07&ArtNo=905180363&Ref=V4&MaxW=180&Border=0http://cmsimg.freep.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=C4&Date=20090518&Category=FEATURES07&ArtNo=905180363&Ref=V6&MaxW=320&Border=0

Its bare steel girders are just going up this week.



But by spring 2010, downtown Detroit's new $15-million public docking terminal is to be ready to accept Great Lakes cruise ships that could bring hundreds of tourists to town.


"We don't like to label it a cruise terminal because from a realistic point of view, it's not going to be like Miami," said John Kerr, director of economic development for the Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority.


"But even if we had half a dozen vessels stopping a dozen trips a year each, it would be beneficial. We estimated back in 1998 that cruise ships contribute $150,000 per stop to the economy."


The terminal is at the foot of Bates and Atwater near the Renaissance Center. It will make Detroit a player in a small but steady tourism sector of the state. Great Lakes cruises draw American and European tourists who pay $4,000 to $11,000 to sail on 100-passenger luxury ships, stopping at ports such as Houghton, Mackinac Island and Holland.

From Detroit Free Press:
http://www.freep.com/article/20090518/FEATURES07/905180363/

au5233
May 28, 2009, 4:08 AM
Does anyone have any idea what the new building is that's going up in midtown on woodward, inbetween the Detroit symphony and McDonalds? The steel outline is all laid out...but no signs on what the building is?

apbest
May 28, 2009, 8:44 PM
As cited on DetroitYes, the MEDC site described the project as;

North Woodward Garden Block Development – A state brownfield tax credit valued at $2.2 million will help the development group revitalize a blighted block on the west side of Woodward between Mack and Warren in Detroit. The project involves the restoration of the Garden Theatre and the Blue Moon Building. The theater will be returned to its original use and the Blue Moon will house a new restaurant. A new, three-story building will be constructed with retail and commercial space. Plans also call for a 300-space parking garage. The project will generate $28.7 million in capital investment and create more than 200 new jobs.

Michi
Jun 24, 2009, 4:29 AM
Anyone have access to the Rosa Parks Transit Hub? I would like to see how that is progressing.

LMich
Jun 24, 2009, 8:50 AM
Don't have any photos of it, myself, but found this one from May. I'm pretty sure that since the photo was taken the fabric has been installed:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3196/3548060790_8987b06f9e_b.jpg
kokochanski (http://www.flickr.com/photos/kaychanski/3548060790/sizes/l/)

hudkina
Jun 28, 2009, 8:20 PM
Yeah, the fabric is installed. I haven't been up close to it in a month or two, but I just went by it on the people mover during the Fireworks.

PistonsFan
Jul 8, 2009, 12:21 AM
http://cmsimg.detnews.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=C3&Date=20090707&Category=METRO05&ArtNo=907070401&Ref=AR

"Detroit -- The Detroit Department of Transportation will open the Rosa Parks Transit Center in downtown Detroit on Monday.

The $22.5 million center -- located at Michigan and Cass -- will serve passengers riding DDOT, SMART, Transit Windsor and Detroit People Mover.

From the new transit center, patrons can connect to 20 DDOT routes from a single location, with routes including: Cadillac-Harper, Chene, Dexter, Fort, Hamilton, Hayes, Grand River, Jefferson, Joy, Linwood, Michigan and Mack.

..."

Article Here:
http://www.detnews.com/article/20090707/METRO05/907070401/DDOT--Rosa-Parks-Transit-Center-to-open-Monday

LMich
Jul 8, 2009, 5:35 AM
She's a beaut, isn't she?

PistonsFan
Jul 9, 2009, 1:24 AM
She's a beaut, isn't she?

Lights up nicely.

But, I'm still not sure what I think about these white canopies around town. It's looks kind of... "temporary".

LMich
Jul 9, 2009, 3:21 AM
I've actually liked all of the tent architecture around Detroit. Instead of "temporary", I think of it simply as "organic".

PistonsFan
Jul 9, 2009, 9:37 PM
http://cmsimg.detnews.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=C3&Date=20090709&Category=METRO05&ArtNo=907090470&Ref=AR&Profile=1409
from:
DetNews
A sneak peek into Detroit's Rosa Parks Transit Center
http://www.detnews.com/article/20090709/METRO05/907090470/1409/METRO/A-sneak-peek-into-Detroit-s-Rosa-Parks-Transit-Center

LMich
Jul 11, 2009, 9:32 AM
No new stand-alone, downtown FBI building, but they'll expand the current space within the McNamara and building a garage on the surface lot across the street:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3502/3283937308_0f1329d796.jpg
diondium (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dionidium/3283937308/sizes/m/)



New building for FBI in Detroit nixed (http://www.detnews.com/article/20090711/METRO/907110359/1409/METRO/New-building-for-FBI-in-Detroit-nixed")

Paul Egan / The Detroit News

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Detroit -- The federal government has scrapped plans to build an FBI headquarters in downtown Detroit, a spokesman for the General Services Administration said Friday.

Instead, the government plans to find more space for the FBI at its present home inside the McNamara Building on Michigan Avenue, David Wilkinson said in a telephone interview from Chicago.

"That will be the long-term answer," Wilkinson said.

It's bad news for agents and support staff who were pleased in May 2007 when the GSA announced it had awarded a $100 million contract to build the FBI an eight-story office building, a four-story parking garage and a single-story automotive facility on a 10.9-acre site across from the Greyhound bus station.

In January 2008 the government announced it had canceled the contract, citing the collapse of the credit market and unforeseen site development problems. But the GSA said it was continuing to plan for a new building and look for alternative sites.

Now, Wilkinson said, the FBI will stay in the building it has occupied since the 1970s.

"It's frustrating," said Andrew Arena, special agent in charge of the FBI in Detroit. However, major renovations and expansion at the McNamara Building "may be the most viable option," he said Friday.

"I think this is going to work out for us."

In addition to occupying more floors in the building, the FBI will get its own lobby and dedicated elevator bank, among other interior renovations, Arena said. There are also plans to build a parking structure and automotive facility on a parking lot across the street from the building, he said.

Arena said he felt it was important the FBI remain downtown, and large street setbacks required for security reasons severely limited the potential sites for a new building. The poor economy also made a retrofit, which will be much less costly than building new, more attractive, he said.

About 400 FBI employees work in the building, a number that is up sharply since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The Detroit FBI has added about 50 agents and 30 translators, among other employees, since then, Arena said.

pegan@detnews.com (313) 222-2069

jodelli
Jul 12, 2009, 4:08 AM
No new stand-alone, downtown FBI building, but they'll expand the current space within the McNamara and building a garage on the surface lot across the street:



The setback from the street requirement is already being partially met since 1st Street has been blocked for vehicle traffic by concrete 'planters'. There's plenty of room across 1st Street as well.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3073/2655736783_a6713043a7_b.jpg
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3293/2655734131_811e04365b.jpg


View from 1st near Michigan:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3163/2655737519_719fdf3442.jpg


The Rosa Parks terminal turned out nice. Maybe I should bother to get a passport and take a bus over.

hudkina
Jul 14, 2009, 2:33 AM
The Terminal looks a lot nicer in person, especially when it's lit up at night. I went to the Tigers game on Saturday and walked by after the game was over. I think the lighting was a purple hue.

LMich
Jul 14, 2009, 5:31 AM
I think it's beautiful. What's bothering me is he horrible-looking DPM maintenance building and Times Square station. I'd really wish they'd have had the money to totally reconstruct it to at least complement of match the new bus terminal.

joshls
Jul 16, 2009, 12:53 PM
Quicken loans announced they are not building a new headquarters downtown and will instead lease space in the Compuware building moving aprox 1,500 people downtown. Bummer..

Michi
Jul 17, 2009, 4:56 AM
re: Quicken

To me, it's all about standards...which IMO are very low in Detroit. We don't expect greatness or mediocrity there anymore. Those who are investing are putting all of their sweat and guts into their initiatives just to barely make a hiccup on the radar. I think one of these incidents is D Gilbert's commitment to the city even after all of the recent turmoil of the American economy.

I'll take whatever is given. I mean, look no further than just down the street where you have many Detroiters barking as loud as they can to destroy the Cobo deal. There's a vicious funk in Detroit right now and when we talk about having nowhere else to go but up (because we hit rock bottom), I think there are people out there who are molded into the theory there is no bottom and that it's just always going to be bad here.

I look at those photos of the Book Tower just sitting there in all its glory and filth and I think, even if D Gilbert can't bring 4,000 paid employees, at least he's commiting to bring who he can at this time. How is this going to impact the downtown neighborhood? I don't know, but it can only make things better. Will the Book get some attention? Probably not, but at least we're not losing those 1,500 new employees and their presence is one little step closer to the day when the Book Tower will be saved and reglorified.

Never underestimate the importants of keeping our standards high for ourselves. Commend the people who are fighting for jobs for Detroiters but also strong-arm them into understanding all consequences of sensitive issues in this city. We have to understand that we CAN make it work and that we're faced with consciencious deliberate decisions that will reveal that or destroy that. D Gilbert, I believe is making the decision to be a part of a long-term solution which someday will rid us of the Monica Conyers and K Kilpatricks of Detroit...the very people who have such low standards that they think they can use Detroit as a dumping ground for the worst in human behavior. Detroit is more than that. It's OUR city which we put too much effort into to just have somone(s) come in on the short-term and ruin it for all of us. Uphold Detroit with high standards for all and we will begin to see the change that we envision our home to be. Enough of the nonsense...I could have said that 30 years ago with the same intention. It's been long enough, so what makes us think we're different? :)

LMich
Jul 21, 2009, 5:01 AM
Update on Quicken: They are still planning to build, downtown, except instead of being given development rights for the Statler Block and Hudson/Woodward Block, they are now looking at the Monroe Block and Hudson/Woodward Block:



Quicken looks at 2 spots for eventual new downtown building (http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20090720/BIZ/907200393/1361/Quicken-looks-at-2-spots-for-eventual-new-downtown-building)

Louis Aguilar / The Detroit News

Monday, July 20, 2009

The sites where Quicken Loans Inc. may eventually build its downtown Detroit headquarters have been narrowed to a pair of Woodward Avenue locations: The place where the old J.L. Hudson's department store once stood or what's commonly referred to as the Monroe block, a Quicken official said Monday morning.

That's somewhat different from the sites Quicken was offered two years ago to build a new headquarters. The Hudson's site was an option, but the 1.9-acre city-owned parcel on the corner of Woodward and Monroe is new. Gone is the option of building on the former Statler Hotel site on Washington Boulevard across from Grand Circus Park, said Quicken spokeswoman Jennifer Kulczycki.

Details of the city and state tax incentives are still being finalized for the online mortgage company's initial move to the Compuware Corp. headquarters in Campus Martius downtown. That deal will likely be a five-year lease for four floors in Compuware that will bring about 1,700 workers from Livonia to downtown. Tuesday, the board of the Michigan Economic Growth Authority is expected to approve a package of incentives for the Quicken move.

Quicken still intends to build a new building, though no timeline has been given. Based on the two potential sites, the new Quicken building would be located within a block of the Compuware building.

The Monroe Block was last proposed as potential site for a $150 million project called the Cadillac Centre, an office, retail and upscale condo project. That project, which was unveiled last year, died quickly.

laguilar@detnews.com (313) 222-2760

joshls
Jul 21, 2009, 3:56 PM
http://www.freep.com/article/20090721/NEWS01/90721020/Quicken-eyes-2013-for-new-Detroit-headquarters

alphawolf
Jul 22, 2009, 6:22 AM
Does anyone have a good picture of what these 2 blocks look like in comparison. Never mind, found them.

jodelli
Jul 24, 2009, 4:52 AM
Does anyone have a good picture of what these 2 blocks look like in comparison. Never mind, found them.

Here's a couple of looks anyway.

Monroe Block:
Area to the right across from Compuware Center. (thanks LMich)
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3019/2656608796_692d3eb046_b.jpg
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3149/2401373857_d012cfcb89.jpg

Left foreground in this picture.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2058/2402199386_d748ab29c2_b.jpg

Old Hudson site:

Open area on the right.
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3108/2656583126_de17722a6e_o.jpg
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3242/2655753565_a4b2f46bf1_b.jpg
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2179/2253838121_81e529494a_b.jpg

Just across the people mover track:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2357/2254636050_bd61c1561e_b.jpg

LMich
Jul 24, 2009, 9:26 AM
Compuware. :)

Some pics better showing the sites, just for reference:

Woodward-Hudson

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/181/424863394_e98c00687b.jpg?v=0
gab482 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/gab482/424863394/)

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2211/2267560315_82cc53abe1.jpg?v=0
gab482 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/gab482/2267560315/)

Monroe

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2332/2267555251_7fe4f3feea.jpg?v=0
gab482 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/gab482/2267555251/)

(where the rendering is)
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2239/2413927121_df2b1f9eae_o.jpg
john in the d (http://www.flickr.com/photos/25660710@N02/2413927121/sizes/o/)

alphawolf
Jul 24, 2009, 10:09 AM
Yeah, definitely a better perspective than google.

PistonsFan
Aug 17, 2009, 10:02 PM
Detroit's Vacant Buildings

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss112/pistonsfan77/DetroitVacancy.jpg
from DetNews

INTERACTIVE MAP (w/ photos and description on-click):
http://www.detnews.com/article/20090817/METRO01/908170334/48-vacant-buildings-blight-downtown-Detroit

Empty monuments
1. Ford Auditorium
2. 501 Woodward
3. 600 Woodward
4. Kresge Building
5, 6. 1200 block Woodward
7. Elliott Building
8. 1413-1415 Woodward
9. 1412 Woodward
10. 1420 Woodward
11. 1459 Woodward
12. 1500 Woodward
13. 1505 Woodward
14. 1515 Woodward
15. Former Lane Bryant
16. 1525-1529 Woodward
17. Former Arts League of Michigan
18. David Whitney Building
19. 124 Grand River
20. Farwell Building
21. 1120 Griswold 22. 1133 Griswold 23. 751 Griswold
24. Detroit Public School's Jamie C. Kennedy Downtown Adult Education Center
25. Charlevoix Hotel
26. 2001 Park
27. Women's City Club of Detroit
28. Detroit Life Building
29. Blenheim Building
30. 30 Clifford
31. 1301 Broadway
32. 1509 Broadway
33. Metropolitan Building
34. United Artists
35. Former AAA Building
36. 1214 Randolph
37. Dell Pryor Galleries
38. Former National Theater 39. 139 Cadillac Square
40. Former Federal Court Building
41. Lafayette Building
42. Former Detroit Free Press Building
43. Former MGM Grand Casino
44. Book Tower
45. 62 State Street
46. Former Salvation Army
47. GAR Building 48. Loyal Order of Moose Lodge

LMich
Aug 18, 2009, 8:29 AM
Some development update photos from Flickr member john in the d (http://www.flickr.com/photos/25660710@N02/):

Eastern Market - Shed 3 Renovation

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2482/3832252941_e055f033f0_b.jpg

Eastern Market - Shed 2 Renovation

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2475/3832252585_330878869e_b.jpg

Port Authority Terminal - Hart Plaza

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2489/3832220309_93946fefdf_b.jpg

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2567/3833013654_eb589830f9_b.jpg

Sugar Hill District Renovation & Construction - Midtown

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3522/3828181943_2fa47d7cd5_b.jpg

Garden Block - Midtown

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2621/3828828520_4874540e89_b.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3491/3828829152_d4279c5642_b.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3424/3828829998_c61f45e5e3_b.jpg

Dequindre Cut Biking & Pedestrian Trail

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2674/3828737798_82ea5966fd_b.jpg

hudkina
Aug 18, 2009, 3:32 PM
It's amazing to finally see the port authority terminal under construction! Also, the Garden Block is going to be amazing. That little stretch was one of the few areas along Woodward between Mack and I-94 that really looked terrible. I can't wait to see a completely revitalized Lower Woodward corridor complete with a streetcar/light rail line!

detmsp
Aug 22, 2009, 1:48 AM
isn't the garden block the development funded by govt that doesn't even have tenants lined up?

hudkina
Aug 22, 2009, 6:48 AM
Not sure what you're referring to...

I believe the plan is to have a theater and restaurant in the two historic book ends, and office/retail in the new building. I can't remember if there will be housing on the upper levels or not.

detmsp
Aug 23, 2009, 3:35 PM
i could be thinking of something else, but i thought this development was being built with plans for a restaurant, office space, etc, etc but no one had actually signed on to open a restaurant or lease any office space... it was the whole "once we build it, i'm sure we'll find a tenant" idea.

i could be wrong though

hudkina
Aug 23, 2009, 5:12 PM
I'm sure they have prospective tenants lined up...

philadelphiathrives
Aug 26, 2009, 3:40 AM
I thought Detroiters would find this article interesting and ameliorating:

http://money.cnn.com/2009/08/25/smallbusiness/Detroit_techtown/index.htm?postversion=2009082512

:D


BTW, hudkina, I saw one of your videos on youtube. I like how you put that racist in his place. White supremacists like him know all about destroying cities and violent crimes!

LMich
Sep 23, 2009, 11:01 AM
Some news...

IT firm to bring 1,000 jobs to Ann Arbor area (http://www.freep.com/article/20090922/BUSINESS06/90922028/1320/IT-firm-to-bring-1-000-jobs-to-Ann-Arbor-area)

By JOHN GALLAGHER
FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER

Sept. 23, 2009

A California company, Systems In Motion, plans to create an estimated 1,085 jobs in the Ann Arbor area during the next five years with the help of tax incentives approved today by the Michigan Economic Growth Authority.

The Silicon Valley-based IT services firm is to open its center in Pittsfield Township, south of Ann Arbor. The company will create a software-development training program to train recent graduates and mid-career workers new to IT work, with most jobs paying in the $30,000 to $80,000 range, the company’s chief executive, Neeraj Gupta, said in a phone interview.

The service center will provide customers with help-desk support, software testing, IT operations, business analysis, software architecture and engineering, and project and program management.

The company will serve clients who are outsourcing their IT work, which often goes to China or India. The business model calls for Systems In Motion to provide a low-cost U.S. location at a price similar to those of offshore vendors.

“We’re delighted to be able to join with state, county and local agencies, as well as education institutions in Michigan, to build a true public-private partnership,” Gupta said. “Systems In Motion’s Ann Arbor facilities will drive technology leadership for global enterprises, while providing an important job-creation engine for the local community.”

The company plans to locate in the Valley Ranch Business Park off State Street south of I-94 near Ann Arbor. Gupta said he was finalizing a lease for the space.

Gupta said that the project is to start within about 30 days with 10 staffers and quickly grow as students go through the “boot camp” IT training.

Core customers will be firms in high-cost cities such as New York, Atlanta, Chicago and Los Angeles that want to outsource their IT services work.

“The core operating model is to build a centralized operation and have small teams of people at customer locations,” Gupta said. “Rather than building a factory 10,000 miles away, you have it in your back yard.”

Systems In Motion was approved today for state tax credits by the Michigan Economic Growth Authority board and will also receive support from Ann Arbor SPARK, the Michigan Economic Development Corp., Washtenaw County Employment Training and Community Services (ETCS-Michigan Works!), the Michigan Department of Information Technology and Eastern Michigan University (EMU).

“A collaboration among state and regional partners to provide Systems In Motion with the training resources, tax incentives and other business-critical support helped the company choose Michigan over competing sites,” said Ken Theis, director of the Michigan Department of Information Technology.

The company was considering Texas and Ohio for its new service center location before choosing the Ann Arbor area.

“Educational and skills-development resources were important factors in Systems In Motion’s decision to choose the Ann Arbor region for its new service center,” said Trenda Rusher, director of ETCS-Michigan Works!

Contact JOHN GALLAGHER: 313-222-5173 or gallagher@freepress.com

And...



Standing alone, Hummer to land in SE Michigan (http://www.freep.com/article/20090923/BUSINESS01/309230004/1205/business01/Standing-alone--Hummer-to-land-in-SE-Michigan)

By TIM HIGGINS
FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER

Sept. 23, 2009

Hummer, as part of a Chinese company, plans to invest up to $9.4 million in a new headquarters located either in Detroit or Auburn Hills, state records showed Tuesday.


The Michigan Economic Growth Authority approved $20.6 million in state tax credits Tuesday for Hummer LLC’s project, beating out sites in Tennessee and South Carolina.

General Motors is working to sell the Hummer division to China’s Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Co., as part of its restructuring plan.

The tax credits are contingent upon the closing of the Hummer sale.

“GM and Tengzhong are making good progress on the negotiations for the definitive agreement,” Hummer spokesman Nick Richards said.

He declined to say where the facility might be located. A final decision is expected by Oct. 31, according to the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

The headquarters is expected to house staff working on design, engineering finance, purchasing, sales, service and marketing.

The project is expected to create 300 direct jobs and about 640 indirect jobs. The average weekly wage of the Hummer jobs is expected to be $2,605, state records said.

Detroit and Auburn Hills officials have indicated that they would provide property tax abatement, according to the MEDC.

LMich
Oct 2, 2009, 12:04 PM
The Cobo renovations are finally occurring under the new authority, and the expansion is still on schedule:



http://cmsimg.detnews.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=C3&Date=20091002&Category=METRO01&ArtNo=910020370&Ref=AR&Q=100&MaxW=290&MaxH=290

Cobo fixes start in time for auto show (http://www.detnews.com/article/20091002/METRO01/910020370/Cobo-fixes-start-in-time-for-auto-show)

Leonard N. Fleming / The Detroit News

October 2, 2009

Detroit --Some renovations are under way at Cobo Center in preparation for the North American International Auto Show in January, as state funds have been freed up to repair the aging facility.

Doug Fox, chairman of the 2010 show, said Thursday the regional authority that oversees the facility has received $9.4 million from the state, $3 million of which will be used for immediate repairs in time for the show.

Fox said "naysayers" doubted Cobo would get the improvements but progress is being made and quickly.

"Had we not had the will of the Legislature, the governor, the mayor, both (Dave) Bing and (City Council President Kenneth) Cockrel, too, this would have never happened," Fox said. "Yeah, times are tough but we've got to do this and help keep this show in Detroit."

Jamaine Dickens, a spokesman for the authority, said workers are repairing leaky roofs, upgrading electrical sources in the ceiling and improving waste and plumbing systems. Loading docks also will be upgraded to include a covered area to increase safety and efficiency during the wintertime show.

Fox said the improvements -- and more extensive ones that are months away -- will help Detroit keep the show that annually pumps some $500 million into the economy.

The five-member authority, comprised of representatives of Detroit, Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties and the state, took control of the center last month.

Most of the money for a planned $288 million expansion comes from bonds that haven't yet been issued, Dickens said.

Work on the 166,000 square-foot expansion will proceed after the show in hopes of completing it in time for the 2011 event, authority officials have said.

The improvements had been in doubt for much of the year after the Detroit City Council balked in February at plans to transfer the aging facility. But members in July opted not to vote on a resolution to shoot down the state plan, clearing the way for the expansion.

lfleming@detnews.com (313) 222-2072

And, the Uniroyal site redevelopment is still inching forward, which was shocking even years ago, but particularly now with the market the way it is. If they offer a creative an interesting project, though, it doesn't sound ridiculously ambitious:



http://cmsimg.freep.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=C4&Date=20091002&Category=BUSINESS04&ArtNo=910020395&Ref=AR&Profile=1322&MaxW=600&MaxW=800&q=50

Uniroyal site redevelopment makes progress (http://www.freep.com/article/20091002/BUSINESS04/910020395/1322/Uniroyal-site-redevelopment-makes-progress)

BY JOHN GALLAGHER
FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER

October 2, 2009

Redevelopment of the Uniroyal site, one of Detroit's longest delayed projects, appears to be inching forward.

On Thursday, the Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority authorized the Detroit Economic Growth Corp. staff to hire legal counsel to negotiate a final agreement with corporations believed responsible for paying for an environmental cleanup of the site.

A cleanup will prepare the 40-acre site, just west of the MacArthur Bridge to Belle Isle, for an ambitious residential and retail development known as Bellview. First announced several years ago, the project is a partnership of former football star Jerome Bettis and Pittsburgh developer Chuck Betters. It would create more than 1,500 residential units on the site.

Of the several corporations that the State of Michigan believes are responsible for paying for a cleanup, one company, Michelin North America Inc., the successor to the old Uniroyal tire company, has balked at participating, creating the need for the new legal services contract.

The contract approved Thursday would pay the Detroit law firm Williams Acosta to conduct negotiations with the corporations.

Contact JOHN GALLAGHER: 313-222-5173 or gallagher@freepress.com

LMich
Jan 18, 2010, 11:00 AM
I'd totally forgotten about this project, and it's on a behemoth of a site in Warren. I'd also forgotten they were constructing a mid-rise office building, on site. Someone get some pics when they can:



New life for Warren and its Arsenal (http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100118/NEWS04/1180317/1318/New-life-for-Warren-and-its-Arsenal&template=fullarticle)

1,800 jobs could be a big boost for beleaguered city

BY TODD SPANGLER
FREE PRESS WASHINGTON STAFF

January 18, 2010

A new building going up? It's not a common sight these days in southeastern Michigan.

But the work being done off Mound Road near I-696 on the grounds of the Detroit Arsenal in Warren represents more than just new construction. It means as many as 1,800 jobs by September 2011, most of them expected to be new hires making about $60,000 a year on average.

...

Warren Mayor Jim Fouts said it's a godsend in his city, where unemployment is more than 20%. The influx of money and hiring should help the local housing market and have spin-off benefits for stores, restaurants and services.

...

The House and Senate approved nearly $30 million more for projects at the arsenal, which houses the Army's Tank-automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM) as well as its Tank and Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) and employs about 6,300 people.

...

Every bit helps with Michigan still trying to come back from its economic downturn.
From Mound Road, the Detroit Arsenal's skyline already is changing -- with the first phase of an eight-story, 230,000-square-foot administrative building under way. But that building, with space enough for 1,100 TACOM personnel, is only part of the project. About $69 million will be spent on the administrative building, a new parking garage, plus another small office space and a fourth building that's being refurbished.

Another $8.3 million -- included in this latest military construction budget -- will go toward a new weapons system support and training facility.

...

Jeeze; that 20%+ unemployment number for Warren surprised me.

LMich
Jan 20, 2010, 11:14 AM
Y mas news on the potential Book Tower reconstruction:



Green renovation for Detroit's Book Tower, Building coming soon (http://www.detnews.com/article/20100120/BIZ/1200330/1001/Green-renovation-for-Detroit-s-Book-Tower--Building-coming-soon)

Louis Aguilar / The Detroit News

January 20. 2010

Detroit --An investment group that plans to redevelop the vacant Book Tower and Building into "green" and affordable apartments, offices and stores says it will unveil its complete plan -- including carefully shrouded financing -- in "two to three weeks."

Despite skepticism from at least one major downtown redeveloper, RoseMarie Dobek, CFO of Key Investment Group Inc., says the multi-million dollar project is on track. It will include a new life not only for the Book complex, she says, but for four other downtown buildings and one on the city's east side.

Detroit City Councilman Kenneth Cockrel Jr. and the Green Initiative Task Force played a major role in helping Key Investment Group, according to both sides. And the potential deal still is going forward, said Rick Bowers, an aide to Cockrel.

...

The Book will house 260 rental residences, and three floors of retail and office space. The entire project will be built with strict attention to sustainability: green or reflective roofs, and geothermal heating and cooling, in collaboration with DTE Energy. The goal is to achieve a LEED Gold designation. LEED is a voluntary, green building rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council for constructing high-performance, sustainable buildings.

Other renovation details:

• Construction will begin this summer, with completion in three years. The first units are to be available in mid-2011.

• The Book Building floors 4 through 13, and Book Tower floors 4 through 38, will be residences with a common area for all residents on the 33rd floor.

• The Book Building will have 14 apartment homes per floor and the Tower will have four per floor. All residences beginning on the 16th floor of the tower will have unobstructed city views.

• Rents will range from $800 to $2,100 a month.

• The third-floor glass atrium will be restored, as will the three-story lobby.

LMich
Jan 22, 2010, 11:49 AM
Not a done deal, but the 3rd District Circuit Court is looking to move into the old MGM Grand complex, downtown. It's currently split between a few locations including the city hall, on Griswold, on Ste. Antoine, and East Forest. Up until a few months ago, this was to become home to an animation studio, which has sense decided to look for other space in downtown:



http://www.freep.com/assets/freep/graphic/C4150527122.JPG

Old MGM complex mulled for Wayne Co. Circuit Court site (http://www.freep.com/article/20100122/NEWS06/1220351/1322/Old-MGM-complex-mulled-for-Wayne-Co.-Circuit-Court-site)

BY KATHLEEN GRAY
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER

January 22, 2010

Former gaming rooms could be turned into courtrooms at the former MGM Grand Casino complex in downtown Detroit.

The closed casino is among seven buildings under consideration for a consolidation of Wayne County Circuit Court space.

Other buildings under consideration are: the old State of Michigan building along the Lodge Service Drive; 1001 Woodward, a vacant building that also was looked at and rejected by the county before it bought the Guardian Building, and the Chase Building on Woodward.

...

In one version of a tentative agreement being negotiated between the county and courts, the county would be required to purchase the MGM complex by the end of March.

...

The agreement, which names the MGM Grand as a location for the courts, said moving the courts into the MGM building would save the county about $3 million a year. Chief Circuit Court Judge Virgil Smith could not be reached for comment.

...

The Wayne County Commission would have to approve whatever decision is made by the Ficano administration and the circuit court. Commissioners knew nothing of any deal involving the MGM Grand complex, which has been vacant since MGM opened its new casino and hotel in 2007.

"I'm afraid it's going to be one of those things where they come to us at the last minute and tell us 'We already did this, and we need your approval now,' " said commission chairman Ed Boike, D-Taylor.

AvatarMike
Jan 26, 2010, 3:51 AM
Its a shame they never built the High Rise Courthouse adjacent to the City-County Building, that would have been a permanent spot for it. Still is nice though that the city will use a vacant site usefully, even if it was from the casino:)

au5233
Feb 26, 2010, 6:16 AM
such a shame to see the LaFayette building torn down. Such beautiful, historical buildings and architecture being demolished...for what, to create space? Like there isn't already an abundance of available land in detroit, not to mention little development in the city. Yet burned-down buildings continue to remain standing, and buildings with the potential to be renovated are lost. Look at Tiger Stadium -- torn down to create an empty lot in the middle of nowhere?!? I'm really starting to lose faith in this city FAST!

LMich
Mar 4, 2010, 4:04 AM
More Quicken news:



Quicken founder wants to bring 2,400 downtown (http://www.freep.com/article/20100302/COL06/3020366/1019/business06/Quicken-founder-wants-to-bring-2400-downtown)

BY TOM WALSH
FREE PRESS COLUMNIST

March 2, 2010

Quicken Loans would like to move another 500 to 700 employees to downtown Detroit from Livonia within the next year, in addition to the initial group of 1,700 coming to the Compuware building in May or June, Dan Gilbert, Quicken's chairman and founder, said in an interview Monday.

"We're very excited about it. We can't wait to get down there," Gilbert said.

Gilbert also said the online mortgage firm more than doubled its loan volume to $25 billion in 2009, from $12 billion a year earlier.

Quicken announced in November 2007 that it would build a new Detroit headquarters, but switched gears a year later when the nation's banking crisis hit, opting to first lease four floors in Compuware's building and delay construction of a new headquarters building until 2013.

Now Quicken is looking to lease more space and move more people downtown as it gains market share, thanks in part to a wave of bank and mortgage company failures nationwide.

Gilbert, who is majority owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team, also ruminated on the possibility of a joint arena for hockey and basketball in Detroit.

...

LMich
Mar 8, 2010, 3:44 AM
Not sure how this will ultimately turn out given the prices, but the site did deserve a rebuilding. That it's right along a freeway gives me more hope about it's chances:

http://www.freep.com/assets/freep/graphic/C415324536.JPG

http://cmsimg.freep.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=C4&Date=20100307&Category=BUSINESS04&ArtNo=3070317&Ref=V2&Profile=1322&MaxW=600&MaxW=800&q=50
New rental units built as part of Gardenview Estates. It's touted as an infusion of affordable housing, transforming the southeast corner of Joy Road and the Southfield Freeway. (WILLIAM ARCHIE/Detroit Free Press)

Detroit mixed-use development includes incentives to buy (http://www.freep.com/article/20100307/BUSINESS04/3070317/1322/Detroit-mixed-use-development-includes-incentives-to-buy)

BY GRETA GUEST
FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER

March 7, 2010

By summer, the first single-family homes will start going in at the former site of Detroit's Herman Gardens public housing project, the result of more than a decade of planning. And the green homes starting at $140,000 are expected to bring new life to an area rich in history, and more recently, heavy foreclosures.

Gardenview Estates is the 139-acre, mixed-use and mixed-income development at the southeast corner of Joy Road and the Southfield Freeway. It features rental units, senior citizen co-ops and single-family homes. Seven acres have been set aside for stores.

Three developers who have worked together on various urban projects for the past 10 years -- William Phillips, Dwight Belyue and William Richardson -- plan to build 231 green homes on the site.

The development was honored last month as the Building Industry Association of Southeastern Michigan's development of the year.

"What we are trying to do is attract people from outside the city," said Phillips, vice president of Windham Development. "There is just a strong likelihood this will sell out quickly. I don't know how deep the market is; I just know there is a market."

...

The project carries a number of buying incentives, including a home buyer down-payment assistance program that offers up to $60,000 through City of Detroit Home Funds and a 12-year tax abatement through the Neighborhood Enterprise Zone designation.

...

LMich
Mar 29, 2010, 10:10 AM
Another story on Gardenview; this one about the first residents moving in. Townhouses are now complete, the single-family homes are now going in:



Detroit housing complex boosts community spirit (http://www.detnews.com/article/20100329/METRO01/3290341/1409/Detroit-housing-complex-boosts-community-spirit)

Santiago Esparza / The Detroit News

March 29, 2010

Detroit -- The first residents to move into Garden View Estates say the $228 million housing complex is rebuilding a sense of community where a troubled housing project once stood.

About 100 rental units have been built in the complex, and 231 single-family homes are slated for this summer on the 139-acre site at Joy and Southfield, site of the former Herman Gardens housing project. A senior co-op also is planned.

"There were times we thought it would not happen," said Ruth Williams, who lived in Herman Gardens and has moved into an apartment at the new project. "But I said with every breath I take, this will be built."

The project is to be completed in 2013.

...

Garden View will boast about 1,000 units when completed. Herman Gardens had more than 1,400.

...

The neighborhood around Garden View Estates has numerous vacant and boarded-up houses.But that did not affect Audrey Spires' decision to move into the development. The 48-year-old said she liked the design.

"They look like they are really trying to make it nice," she said.

I really posted this because the development has a surprisingly detailed (http://www.gardenviewdetroit.com/gardenview-community-builders) website, now (http://www.gardenviewdetroit.com/), and they've included a final site plan. The shadowed-out area is the completed Phase I townhomes:

http://www.gardenviewdetroit.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/gardenviw_plan_small2.jpg

According to the site, of the single family hoems, 103 of them will be on 45-foot-wide lots which can be seen on the periphery, and 128 homes with be on 60-foot-wide lots near the middle of the development, however, all setbacks will be the same.

Frequency
Mar 30, 2010, 4:35 AM
I wonder if they will ever find enough people to fill all those homes...

Sounds like we could eventually have something bigger than a neighborhood development to talk about:
Detroit land deals spark speculation (http://detnews.com/article/20100319/BIZ/3190386/Detroit-land-deals-spark-speculation#ixzz0jdBR8RcU)
Louis Aguilar / The Detroit News
A series of high-priced land acquisitions in a forlorn stretch of Detroit's lower Midtown area is fueling speculation a major development project could be in the works.

Eighteen parcels, mostly blighted and empty, have been quietly bought or optioned since September 2008 in the area just north of the Fox Theatre and close to Woodward Avenue. These properties are near four empty blocks of Woodward Avenue owned by the city. The area of activity is bordered by Woodward and Cass avenues from east to west and Temple and Sibley streets from north to south.

In at least two cases, the sellers have been asked to sign confidentiality agreements not to divulge the identity of the buyers.


New stadium for the Red Wings (and Pistons?) maybe? That's probably the most likely option, but who knows. Maybe somebody else has something big planned for the area.

left of center
Mar 31, 2010, 1:55 AM
Another story on Gardenview; this one about the first residents moving in. Townhouses are now complete, the single-family homes are now going in:



I really posted this because the development has a surprisingly detailed (http://www.gardenviewdetroit.com/gardenview-community-builders) website, now (http://www.gardenviewdetroit.com/), and they've included a final site plan. The shadowed-out area is the completed Phase I townhomes:



According to the site, of the single family hoems, 103 of them will be on 45-foot-wide lots which can be seen on the periphery, and 128 homes with be on 60-foot-wide lots near the middle of the development, however, all setbacks will be the same.

i hate how urban developers always have to break up the street grid and create these "creative" designs. it looks really tacky and cuts off the neighborhood from its surroundings. its happened in Chicago many times, one of the most unfortunate being Dearborn Park in the South Loop, just south of the CBD. When it was built the area was left for dead. Today, its an isolated, walled off subdivision surrounded by the busy city. Unfortunately, you cant just demo and fix the problem

Crawford
Mar 31, 2010, 2:18 AM
To me, Gardenview is makes less sense than anything planned in metro Detroit right now. I hope I'm missing something and eat my words.

The quoted prices are higher than those of grand 1920's tudors in Detroit's best neighborhoods, and the area surrounding Gardenview Estates is crap.

So why would someone buy a small suburban crapbox in Gardenview Estates, and have project dwellers as neighbors, when, for the same price, one could buy a huge tudor with stained glass windows and crown moldings in the University District?

LMich
Mar 31, 2010, 3:47 AM
I guess you can ask someone like Ms. Spires, who was quoted in the article above as saying:

The neighborhood around Garden View Estates has numerous vacant and boarded-up houses. But that did not affect Audrey Spires' decision to move into the development. The 48-year-old said she liked the design.

"They look like they are really trying to make it nice," she said.

I'd guess location has lots to do with it. It's a few minutes from Dearborn and literally right off the freeway. I'd also guess that the newness of it is attractive. Not everyone wants to maintain an old Tudor, and that's probably even more true in Detroit than most places where, quite frankly, folks don't care much about architecture, anymore. I think the biggest thing you're missing is comparing stuff like this to the University District to begin with. You should be comparing it like-marketed developments such as Woodbridge Estates, another former project-turned-mixed income and use neighborhood. I can't see how this is going to be any less successful than Woodbridge Estates. These developments aren't being marketed to the people that'd be buying existing historic homes in the city, anway. I seriously doubt any of these will end up like planned, but there is a market for this type of stuff.

Left of center, ususally, I'd agree, but this replaced a non-gridded public project, so it's not as if any gridded infrastructre was removed to make way for a suburban design. Of course, one can and should argue that you should look to improve the urban streetscape.

PistonsFan
Apr 4, 2010, 9:27 PM
Lafayette Building Demolished

Photos from DetNews:
http://multimedia.detnews.com/pix/photogalleries/newsgallery/20100404LafayetteBldg/index1.html

December 18, 2009

http://multimedia.detnews.com/pix/7c/96/c8/2a/54/50/20100402174147_03-LafBldg.jpg

January 1, 2010

http://multimedia.detnews.com/pix/f3/23/38/4c/21/1d/20100402174423_05-LafBldg.jpg

February 9, 2010

http://multimedia.detnews.com/pix/0e/2f/7c/03/02/28/20100402174723_10-LafBldg.jpg
http://multimedia.detnews.com/pix/d6/7c/c3/86/c3220ed8510ff531086eee53.jpg

April 2, 2010

http://multimedia.detnews.com/pix/da/06/26/57/d5/0f/20100402180006_23-LafBldg.jpg

... let's hope something finds a home on this empty lot, and hopefully it's not another parking lot.

PistonsFan
Apr 4, 2010, 9:54 PM
Detroit Demolition Begins

Photos from DetNews:
http://multimedia.detnews.com/pix/photogalleries/newsgallery/0401dchousedemolition/index1.html

Article:
http://www.detnews.com/article/20100402/METRO01/4020399/1409/Lafayette-Building-demolition-a-slow-process

A construction crew begins demolishing a house on Lewerenz in Detroit. Mayor Dave Bing says he wants to take down 10,000 buildings during his four-year term.

Photos by David Coates / The Detroit News

http://multimedia.detnews.com/pix/1a/ea/f7/cc/3d/e1/20100401104941_03.jpg

Neighbors gather to watch the process...

http://multimedia.detnews.com/pix/a6/d0/c0/0a/45/31/20100401105349_08.jpg


Here is a map of the planned 3,000 house demolitions for 2010...

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss112/pistonsfan77/2010_DetroitDemolition3000.jpg

Interactive map here:
http://www.batchgeo.com/map/?i=d27328506113e9b43b6b44b47e5102d5

LMich
Apr 5, 2010, 5:06 AM
... let's hope something finds a home on this empty lot, and hopefully it's not another parking lot.

It's actually being turned into a park/greenspace.

jodelli
Apr 5, 2010, 5:30 AM
i hate how urban developers always have to break up the street grid and create these "creative" designs. it looks really tacky and cuts off the neighborhood from its surroundings. its happened in Chicago many times, one of the most unfortunate being Dearborn Park in the South Loop, just south of the CBD. When it was built the area was left for dead. Today, its an isolated, walled off subdivision surrounded by the busy city. Unfortunately, you cant just demo and fix the problem


Left of center, ususally, I'd agree, but this replaced a non-gridded public project, so it's not as if any gridded infrastructre was removed to make way for a suburban design. Of course, one can and should argue that you should look to improve the urban streetscape.

The street layout from the Herman Gardens Projects resembled a cemetery layout. I don't know if there are any bodies buried there though.;)

left of center
Apr 5, 2010, 9:04 PM
Lafayette Buliding Demolished

Photos from DetNews:
http://multimedia.detnews.com/pix/photogalleries/newsgallery/20100404LafayetteBldg/index1.html

December 18, 2009

http://multimedia.detnews.com/pix/7c/96/c8/2a/54/50/20100402174147_03-LafBldg.jpg

January 1, 2010

http://multimedia.detnews.com/pix/f3/23/38/4c/21/1d/20100402174423_05-LafBldg.jpg

February 9, 2010

http://multimedia.detnews.com/pix/0e/2f/7c/03/02/28/20100402174723_10-LafBldg.jpg
http://multimedia.detnews.com/pix/d6/7c/c3/86/c3220ed8510ff531086eee53.jpg

April 2, 2010

http://multimedia.detnews.com/pix/da/06/26/57/d5/0f/20100402180006_23-LafBldg.jpg

... let's hope something finds a home on this empty lot, and hopefully it's not another parking lot.

this just makes me so sad. what a terrible loss. i hate when cities do short sited moves like this. reminds me of when the city of chicago gave approval to tear down the old historic chicago mercantile exchange (even though it was over 90% occupancy at the time!)

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3229/3089895493_a0a7c60f7c.jpg
from: flickr.com

TonyAnderson
Apr 6, 2010, 2:46 AM
That is so sad :(

LMich
Apr 6, 2010, 3:33 AM
http://www.freep.com/article/20100405/BUSINESS06/100405046/1318/Henry-Ford-Health-System-plans-500M-investment-in-Detroit



Henry Ford Health System plans $500M investment in Detroit

By PATRICIA ANSTETT
FREE PRESS MEDICAL WRITER

April 5, 2010

Detroit’s Henry Ford Health System plans a $500-million investment on and around its West Grand Boulevard campus, including a 300-acre residential, commercial and retail development and major renovations to the system’s flagship Henry Ford Hospital.

Plans call for two large developments:

• A Community Health Park that would add housing, shops and businesses on 300 acres between the Lodge freeway, West Grand Boulevard, the Ford Freeway and 14th Street.

• Demolition of mostly abandoned homes and businesses south of West Grand Boulevard for possible construction of a doctors’ office building and a research building.

Ford has acquired about 85% of the land for this part of the development, mostly along Sterling Street and Trumbull Avenue, said William Schramm, Ford’s senior vice president for business development.

The area for the research/doctors’ office project is a four-block area bounded by the Lodge, Grand Boulevard, Holden and Sterling.

...

subterranean
Apr 7, 2010, 12:24 PM
That is so sad :(

Yes, it is.

zuelas
Apr 8, 2010, 12:55 PM
Does anybody know what is being built at mound and 696? It's about 10 or so stories and they're currently constructing what looks like a decent-sized parking deck along side of it.

LMich
Apr 9, 2010, 3:21 AM
I think it was posted a few pages back, but it's the renovation and reconstruction of the Detroit Arsenal Tank Plant. Some military center is being constructed there that includes I think an eight-story administration building, and nearly 2,000-spot parking garage, and other facilities for research. It's going to be home to over 2,000 jobs I think.

_ttam_
Apr 10, 2010, 2:48 AM
I hope the Arsenal addition brings the jobs they say it will. Here is the building:
http://i118.photobucket.com/albums/o120/_ttam_/warrenarsenal.jpg

LMich
Apr 10, 2010, 4:24 AM
It'd be good if it only brought half the jobs it said it will bring.

TonyAnderson
Apr 10, 2010, 11:00 AM
I believe in Detroit. It has a lot of history and is still pretty well established despite what's happened. I just needs to keep reinventing itself.

BrandonJXN
May 21, 2010, 3:29 AM
FUCK! I didn't even know they destroyed the Lafayette Building. What a loss.

Michi
May 25, 2010, 4:27 AM
Well, where have you been? It was destroyed back in 1967! ;-)

The next one to go and be put on this "DETROIT CITY COMPILATION LIST" is the Police Headquarters. I betcha a katrillion dollars.

It's amazing to me that the only city listed under "PROJECTS & CONSTRUCTION" > "CITY COMPILATION" is the destruction of Detroit's physical urban fabric.

EuphoricOctopus
May 25, 2010, 6:44 AM
Well, where have you been? It was destroyed back in 1967! ;-)

The next one to go and be put on this "DETROIT CITY COMPILATION LIST" is the Police Headquarters. I betcha a katrillion dollars.

It's amazing to me that the only city listed under "PROJECTS & CONSTRUCTION" > "CITY COMPILATION" is the destruction of Detroit's physical urban fabric.

Eric, you realize, that Detroit is always 30 late in the game. If we were Chicago or NYC those buildings would of been torn down decades ago. Tragic, but not just a Detroit problem. :(

Onn
May 25, 2010, 9:34 PM
The Lafayette Building was one of the better major pieces left, but there IS a lot that could be torn down in the city too. I mean there is not a whole lot worth keeping, personally I think the train station should go. We need new residential construction, I think if some major projects got going people would be more likely to move down there. That kind of thing has been successful for other cities doing it around the country.

deja vu
Jun 7, 2010, 1:49 PM
Update to the Detroit light rail proposal at this thread:http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?p=4868570#post4868570

mind field
Jun 12, 2010, 3:14 AM
Blue Cross may bring 3,000 workers downtown


Christina Rogers / The Detroit News
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is considering moving 3,000 workers to downtown Detroit as part of a consolidation plan that would involve the state's largest insurer leasing out space in the Renaissance Center, according to sources familiar with the situation.



http://www.detnews.com/article/20100611/BIZ/6110454/Blue-Cross-may-bring-3-000-workers-downtown