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Michi
Jan 17, 2013, 10:54 PM
^Thanks for those!

Any visual progress worthy of documenting happening at the David Whitney Building? David Broderick loves the attention but wants a brother...

hudkina
Jan 17, 2013, 11:37 PM
Wow.. Did not see that coming. Iv always found greektown casino to be in a weird spot. But with gilbert owning it, im sure the surrounding area will clean up!

Are you sure you're not thinking about MotorCity?

LMich
Jan 19, 2013, 2:19 AM
It's happening:

U.S. commits funds; M1 Rail construction to begin this year, Cullen says (http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20130118/NEWS/130119851/u-s-commits-funds-m1-rail-construction-to-begin-this-year-cullen)

By Bill Shea / Crains Detroit Business

Janaury 18, 2013

Construction should begin this summer on a Woodward Avenue streetcar project in Detroit now that the U.S. Department of Transportation has committed $25 million to the $137 million-to-$140 million private-public effort known as M1 Rail.

That was the word from M1 Rail CEO Matt Cullen after this morning's announcement by U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood that Washington was supplying the funding.

M1, which has secured $100 million in capital funds from the local business community, foundations and other sources, has been doing preliminary environmental work on the 3.3-mile streetcar route that will stretch between Congress and Grand Boulevard.

The streetcar effort will begin additional testing on Woodward, such as taking borings to learn what's underneath the roadway, Cullen said.

...

Money was also given to get the Southeast Michigan Regional Transit Authority off the ground:

This morning, at Wayne State University's Welcome Center, LaHood delivered on that promise -- and said the RTA's bus rapid transit project would get $6.5 million in planning funds from the Federal Transit Authority.

"This is not a dribble. This is a good amount to start with (for the RTA)," said John Hertel, general manager of the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART) system and the former regional transit czar whose plans became the foundation of the bus rapid transit proposal.

And, then, Gilbertown grows, again...

Gilbert promises 'retail action' along Detroit M-1 rail route (http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130118/BIZ/301180449#ixzz2INm6yS6d)

By Louis Aguilar | The Detroit News

January 18, 2013

Detroit — Dan Gilbert's Rock Ventures is working hard to ensure "a lot of new retail" will be open on and along Woodward Avenue by the time the proposed M-1 Rail debuts its 3.3-mile line from downtown to New Center.

"I'd like to coordinate that with a lot of new retail action at the exact same time," Gilbert said during a Friday morning interview at Wayne State University.

The founder and chairman of Quicken Loans, Inc., the nation's largest online mortgage lender, attended the announcement by U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood that the M-1 Rail will receive $25 million in federal funding. The money will support construction of a planned line that costs an estimated $137 million. M-1 officials say construction could begin as early as this summer and the rail could be running by late 2015.

...

And Gilbert, one of downtown's major employers and private land owners, said his group has "definitely gotten commitments" from retailers who will be ready for business when the M-1 debuts.

"That's the goal as we work behind the scene, versus just taking a rough shot of opening one (retail store) at a time here and there," Gilbert said. He would not specify which retailers have made commitments.

Since August 2010, Gilbert's portfolio of companies has moved 7,000 workers downtown.

...

uaarkson
Jan 19, 2013, 5:28 PM
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-vpE6uMJ37dk/UOScrne47aI/AAAAAAAAEL4/Ki-4IWO-SoY/s1600/ron-paul.gif

JonathanGRR
Jan 19, 2013, 7:06 PM
Oakland County-based Moosejaw looks like it will be keeping its pop-up store at 1275 Woodward. According to the Free Press, this is the first major retailer to open downtown since 2005!

JonathanGRR
Jan 24, 2013, 12:36 AM
According to Crain's, the Detroit Free Press and Detroit News will be moving out of their downtown building into something more modern. They expressed wishes to stay in Detroit, but I couldn't tell from the article whether the building would be new or if a suitable building is being searched for.

http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20130123/NEWS/130129940/free-press-detroit-news-to-move-out-of-historic-building-but-will

animatedmartian
Jan 24, 2013, 4:11 AM
^Thanks for those!

Any visual progress worthy of documenting happening at the David Whitney Building? David Broderick loves the attention but wants a brother...

Not quite, they're still trying to secure financing. This just in today.

Whitney Building gets $8.5M in state grants for renovation
By John Gallagher and Paul Egan
January 23, 2013

http://cmsimg.freep.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=C4&Date=20130123&Category=BUSINESS&ArtNo=130123093&Ref=AR&MaxW=640&Border=0&Whitney-Building-gets-8-5M-state-grants-renovation

The renovation of the 19-story David Whitney Building in downtown Detroit was awarded a total of $8.5 million in state grants.

[...]

For the renovation, Whitney Partners, a commercial real estate development company, was awarded a $1-million Community Revitalization Program performance-based grant and a $7.5-million performance-based loan for the project in downtown Detroit.

The incentives are just one small piece of the total financing going into the project. Developers said it will transform the building into 108 residential apartments and 135 hotel rooms, with retail space on the first floor, and restore access to the Detroit People Mover stop at the building. The project is expected to create 75 permanent full-time jobs and capital investment of $82.5 million.

[....]


http://www.freep.com/article/20130123/BUSINESS/130123093

LMich
Jan 24, 2013, 8:12 AM
According to Crain's, the Detroit Free Press and Detroit News will be moving out of their downtown building into something more modern. They expressed wishes to stay in Detroit, but I couldn't tell from the article whether the building would be new or if a suitable building is being searched for.

http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20130123/NEWS/130129940/free-press-detroit-news-to-move-out-of-historic-building-but-will

They don't just want to stay in Detroit, but the greater downtown area. My only worry is this building will end up like the Detroit News building, at best, and demolished at worst. With the papers struggling, though, it's completely understandable why they don't want to be landlords and make a quick buck off of selling their building. My guess is that they'll end up in something of Gilbert's; it'd be nice to see the local media setting up shop around Campus Martius. It's always been a hope of mine that some local news affiliate would have their studio facing the park, but now I'm kind of getting off topic. lol

subterranean
Jan 24, 2013, 12:26 PM
Not quite, they're still trying to secure financing. This just in today.

Link?

animatedmartian
Jan 24, 2013, 3:49 PM
Link?

Sorry. Updated the post.

JonathanGRR
Jan 28, 2013, 4:13 PM
State could make play for arena
Emails: Ilitches suggested strategic fund own Wings' home
Bill Shea | January 27, 2013

The Ilitch family, which owns the Detroit Red Wings, has privately floated the idea that the state of Michigan own a new downtown hockey arena proposed for the National Hockey League franchise.

The suggestion to possibly use the Michigan Strategic Fund as the venue's owner was discussed in a November meeting between state economic development executives and representatives of the Ilitch family, according to copies of emails obtained from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. by Crain's through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Details of that meeting have not been disclosed, but a source familiar with the situation, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed to Crain's that the Ilitch organization was suggesting state ownership as part of the preliminary brainstorming for the new venue.

The fund, which can sell low-interest bonds for projects, is an autonomous board within the quasi-public MEDC and was created in 1984 to promote economic development. The fund owns the Cadillac Place office building in Detroit's New Center area and the Michigan House of Representatives Building (Anderson Office Building) in downtown Lansing, the MEDC said.

The Ilitches appear to be interested in a similar arrangement for an arena to replace aging, city-owned Joe Louis Arena.

Pat Harrington of Lansing-based lobbying firm Muchmore Harrington Smalley & Associates and William Danhof, a Lansing-based municipal finance attorney with Detroit law firm Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone PLC, requested the Nov. 14 meeting with MEDC President and CEO Michael Finney and Mark Morante, MEDC senior vice president of program management, capital markets and incentives group, according to an email from Morante provided by the MEDC.

"Bill and Pat want to meet with you next Wednesday the 14th to discuss the MSF 'owning' the arena in a similar manner as to how we own the state office building in the D," Morante wrote in the email to Finney.

Danhof is the state's bond counsel and helped draft the bonding provisions for the Michigan Strategic Fund, according to his Miller Canfield online biography.

Neither Harrington nor Danhof returned messages. They have been retained by the Ilitch organization, which declined to comment, to work on the arena project. MHSA and Miller Canfield both have done work on behalf of Ilitch Holdings Inc. in the past.

The MEDC made Steve Hilfinger, its executive vice president and COO, available to comment on the situation, but he limited his words to warning that no decision has been made on how the arena will be owned and financed.
...
The Ilitches announced in December a proposal for a $650 million district of residential, retail and office facilities anchored by a multi-use events center that would be home to the Wings. No location, ownership or financing details were disclosed.

The Ilitches are expected to put up some portion of the project's costs, and they have a notable fortune: They've stated that their companies, with the Detroit-based Little Caesars pizza chain as the backbone, generated more than $2.4 billion in revenue last year, but they haven't disclosed details.
http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20130127/NEWS/301279962/state-could-make-play-for-arena

I understand, from a business perspective, why Ilitch is trying to do this, but does he really have to keep his wallet so tight here? It seems as though he wants to own all the positive aspects of the Red Wing with the state shouldering all the risk. Any thoughts?

LMich
Jan 29, 2013, 8:05 AM
Not going to lie, I'm really not a fan of getting the state to build the Ilitches an arena. It's one thing to ask the state to subsidize it, it's another to ask them to be the developer. This isn't exactly a strategic way to be using the Michigan Strategic Fund.

LMich
Jan 29, 2013, 11:42 AM
Hmmm...now we're getting more details, with this article making it sound as if maybe the primary funding won't be from the Michigan Strategic Fund:

http://cmsimg.detnews.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=C3&Date=20130129&Category=BIZ&ArtNo=301290329&Ref=V2&MaxW=600&Border=0

Land deals suggest new Red Wings arena may land north of Fox Theatre (http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130129/BIZ/301290329/Land-deals-suggest-new-Red-Wings-arena-may-land-north-Fox-Theatre?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE)

By Louis Aguilar | The Detroit News

January 29, 2013

More clues are emerging about where a $650 million, 35-acre entertainment district that includes a new arena for the Detroit Red Wings could be built.

The hints point to a swath of blighted land north of the Fox Theatre in Detroit where at least 22 secretive land deals have taken place since 2008.

House Speaker Pro Tem John Walsh, R-Livonia, who sponsored legislation that would make the Ilitch organization — whose businesses include the Red Wings, Detroit Tigers, Fox Theatre and Little Caesars Pizza — eligible for $13 million a year in Detroit tax money, said Monday that Ilitch representatives indicated they are looking to Wall Street for financing and labor unions to invest in the project to secure some of the construction work.

The taxpayer-supported Michigan Strategic Fund also may provide state taxpayer incentives for the project if Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch applied, Walsh said.

...

BTW, I always find it odd that they talk about this area in relation to the Fox when I've always more associated it with nearby Cass Park.

animatedmartian
Jan 30, 2013, 6:32 PM
Former Pontchartrain among spring hotel openings near Detroit area convention centers

BY LOUIS AGUILAR | THE DETROIT NEWS | JANUARY 30, 2013


http://cmsimg.detnews.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=C3&Date=20130130&Category=BIZ&ArtNo=301300318&Ref=AR&MaxW=600&Border=0

Detroit's once-landmark Pontchartrain Hotel, now a shuttered eyesore, is slated to reopen in April as an upscale Crowne Plaza property.

It is scheduled to be joined by a Hyatt Place at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi later in the spring. The two hotels will add nearly 500 rooms to the recovering Metro Detroit hotel scene, which at least one hotel expert expects won't experience as much growth as it did in 2012.

The larger of the two additions is the 25-story, 371-room Crowne Plaza building — known in its heyday as "The Pontch" — which is across the street from Cobo Center, Detroit's convention center.

Built it in 1965, it was a luxury hotel frequented by celebrities and wealthy business people. George H. W. Bush, for example, watched on a television at the Pontch in 1980 when Ronald Reagan made a surprise, late-night appearance to Republican National Convention delegates at Joe Louis Arena, announcing Bush would be Reagan's vice-presidential running mate.

At its height, the area's elite watched outdoor concerts and the annual Freedom Festival fireworks from the second-floor patio. And a special night-on-the-town wasn't complete without a view from the "Top of the Pontch" nightclub and restaurant.

It last operated as the Detroit Riverside Hotel and struggled for years under different names. Court-appointed receiver David Findling shut it in July 2009 when the air conditioning system failed. A Mexican developer last year bought the building.

"The deal really shows the impact of an expanded Cobo and convention business in Detroit," said Bill Bohde, a senior vice president of the city's convention bureau.

Cobo Center is midway through a $299 million renovation that will have added 22,500 square feet of exhibition space and other amenities. Last year, Cobo's convention, trade show and meeting business doubled to $200 million in bookings, compared with $94 million in 2011, according to convention officials.

The Crowne Plaza is considered an upscale hotel, catering to business travelers and the meetings and conventions market. It is part of the InterContinental Hotels Group, which include InterContinental Hotels & Resorts and Holiday Inn Hotels & Resorts. The chain operates in 52 countries; its hotels usually are in city centers, resorts or near major airports.

"I think because of its prime location and the fact that the Crowne Plaza uses the Holiday Inn reservation system, this hotel can work really well downtown," said industry analyst Charles Skelton, president of Ann Arbor-based Hospitality Advisors.

The hotel's location has historical significance because the original Fort Pontchartrain was established near it.

The Crowne Plaza development would be the second new hotel planned for downtown. Michigan's first Aloft Hotel, part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, is expected to open by 2014 in the empty David Whitney building on Woodward in Grand Circus Park.

The scheduled hotel openings follow increased Metro Detroit room bookings in 2012 that resulted in the region's highest occupancy rate since 2000 at 61.9 percent, according to Smith Travel Research, a Tennessee firm that monitors the industry.

December seemed particularly brisk with a nearly 11 percent uptick in revenue per room and a 4.3 percent gain in occupancy to 51.4 percent — the best December rate since 1999, according to STR.

For the year, the Detroit area's revenue per room, a key measure for hotels, increased 7.1 percent to $49.20. The average daily rate rose to $79.51, a 3.7 percent hike from 2011.

"Michigan has come roaring back in the last few years and, because little to no new supply (of rooms) has come online, things have improved," said Ron Wilson, CEO of Hotel Investment Services Inc., a Troy consulting firm.

But Wilson said he doesn't see the hotel business growing as much this year — particularly hotels like the Crowne Plaza and Hyatt Place that depend on convention traffic.

"Larger conference and convention hotels will see slowing growth the most," he said.

From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130130/BIZ/301300318#ixzz2JU8YbvoT

Michi
Feb 5, 2013, 10:48 PM
I am most excited to stand in the lobby atrium for the first time! This building is a bit of a game changer, especially since David Broderick is making its mark on Grand Circus!
http://www.modeldmedia.com/Images/Features/Issue%20304/david-whitney-bldg-0350.jpg

http://modeldmedia.com/devnews/davidwhitneyfullyfunded0213.aspx

David Whitney Building secures final $8.5 million in funding, will begin construction immediately

Tuesday, February 05, 2013


Downtown Detroit
A recent $8.5 million investment by the State of Michigan in the David Whitney Building has made headlines recently. This money finally enables the Whitney Partners, LLC to move forward with construction.

The Whitney Partners are the Roxbury Group, the Detroit-based real estate development and consulting firm that is heading up this renovation project and most recently completed the Auburn, a new construction project in Midtown, and Troy-based investment firm Trans Inn Management Inc.

"The $8.5 million is coming as a loan being lent to us through the Michigan Community Revitalization Program," says David Di Rita, owner of the Roxbury Group. "It is enormously important. It closed the remaining funding gap between all of the other credits and incentives."

So far the project has received $9.8 million in a state brownfield redevelopment tax credit and $12.4 million in state historic tax credits. "We still had about $8.5 million to bring to the deal to get financing closed and that’s what this will do. It was the final piece."

At press time the Whitney Partners were working to close on overall financing for the project. Construction will start immediately once the funding is in place.

"We won’t be announcing when we close the financing deal," Di Rita says. "We will just start construction and that’s how people will know."

So keep an eye out for those construction cranes.

The David Whitney Building has sat empty since 2000. The Roxbury Group bought the building in 2011 for $3.3 million. The renovation will create 105 residential apartments, a 136-room Aloft Hotel (a Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide property), a new and improved People Mover station, and ground floor retail.

"We’re very proud of the fact of being able to (secure funding) within 24 months of getting the building," says Di Rita.

They are targeting early 2014 for full completion of the project, which is expected to cost $82.5 million and create 75 jobs.

Source: David Di Rita, Owner, The Roxbury Group
Writer: Nicole Rupersburg

jodelli
Feb 6, 2013, 5:15 AM
^^^ While still a child I had a dentist in the David Whitney and remember that interior light court very well. It would make a great hotel lobby with the layout it has, and rooms radiate out from the interior balconies. My dentist's office overlooked GCP.
Not familiar with the upper floors layout in person though. If this thing is done right it should take off.

LMich
Feb 6, 2013, 8:20 AM
Michi, just a heads up, but animated martian posted about the project a few posts up on the 23rd.

Yeah, it's going to be a great project. I'm particularly interested in how they are going to do the new People Mover station since I've heard it'll also incorporate a streetcar station into its design, since it'll be a stop along the new line.

LMich
Feb 8, 2013, 11:33 AM
The Magic Johnson proposal for the fairgrounds was the one chosen:

Magic Johnson's Michigan State Fairgrounds development proposal accepted (http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2013/02/magic_johnsons_michigan_state.html#incart_river_default)

By Khalil Al Hajal | MLive.com

February 7, 2013

DETROIT, MI – The Michigan Land Bank Fast Track Authority on Thursday unanimously voted to accept a bid for the Michigan State Fairgrounds from Magic Plus, LLC, a group of investors that includes former NBA star Earvin “Magic” Johnson.

The Land Bank last year sought proposals for the historic Detroit property bordering Ferndale and Oakland County. The last state fair was held there in 2009 and the property currently costs taxpayers about $1 million to maintain.

The Magic Plus proposal was the only one that met minimum financial requirements, and the authority Thursday decided to move forward with negotiations over a possible development.

The executive director of the land bank goes on to say that Magic's team will consider input from those who came up with the alernative (and more urban) plan, META Expo, but it's probably just paying them lip service. Anyway, the Magic proposal was just a rough outline, and they are going to work through the next months finalizing a plan at which point the land will be turned over to Magic's team.

animatedmartian
Feb 9, 2013, 11:24 PM
Whoops posted the same article.

animatedmartian
Feb 14, 2013, 7:08 PM
Announced in last nights state of the city speech by Mayor Bing.

Pulte leads nonprofit Detroit Blight Authority to clear city of vacant buildings
By Kirk Pinho
February 14, 2013

http://www.crainsdetroit.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/storyimage/CD/20130214/NEWS/130219920/AR/0/Detroit-Blight-Authority.jpg&MaxW=620

A new public-private initiative unveiled this morning to demolish blighted structures in Detroit will receive a boost from a big name in the housing industry, Pulte Capital Partners LLC.

Bill Pulte, the managing partner of Pulte Capital Partners, is spearheading a nonprofit effort called the Detroit Blight Authority, which has begun demolishing vacant homes at a lower cost.

The authority, Pulte said in a Thursday news conference, has already cleared out a 10-block area at St. Aubin and Wilkins streets near Eastern Market for less than $5,000 per blighted structure.

It typically costs $9,500 — about twice the blight authority's cost — through publicly funded efforts, Pulte said.

[...]

Other organizations helping with the program are Kresge Foundation, Pricewaterhouse Coopers and DTE Energy and the Detroit Blight Authority is working to secure financing to eliminate blight from the city.

"We want to do the whole city" (if the funding is available), the elder Pulte said today.

Michigan Caterpillar, Luke's Services, MCM Demolition and Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP are also assisting with the Detroit Blight Authority. A big priority is recycling materials; 80 percent of the material removed from the St. Aubin and Wilkins area was recycled.

Mayor Dave Bing first publicly discussed the initiative Wednesday in his State of the City address.

Bing said today that it is yet to be determined where the next target of blight removal will be, adding that he plans to travel to Washington, D.C., to "take a look at some federal funding that can help us get this done."

Bing added that it's "too soon to say" what will happen next with the cleared property at St. Aubin and Wilkins.

[...]


http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20130214/NEWS/130219920/pulte-leads-nonprofit-detroit-blight-authority-to-clear-city-of

The ATX
Feb 14, 2013, 7:45 PM
It looks like clearing trees was just as important as clearing blight.

Michi
Feb 15, 2013, 5:16 AM
February 12, 2013
Crown Plaza (Ponchartrain Hotel):
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8520/8475562110_1550e71931_b.jpg

Notice the fake brick. Looks fresh, but also cheap if you look at it closely.
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8234/8474473517_61dc2cfd0c_b.jpg

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8374/8474473465_13c9302ccb_b.jpg

animatedmartian
Feb 15, 2013, 5:55 AM
The windows are looking nice. I hope they're doing all the panes and not just ones for the rooms. The black reminds me too much of the 70s.

Dat purple.

The brick does kinda look pasted on and a bit uninteresting but it wouldn't be the first thing I'd notice.

LMich
Feb 15, 2013, 8:36 AM
Announced in last nights state of the city speech by Mayor Bing.

http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20130214/NEWS/130219920/pulte-leads-nonprofit-detroit-blight-authority-to-clear-city-of

The blight authority is bitter-sweet, to me. Obviously, folks that have to live in these neighborhoods will be glad to see the rotting hulks gone. They attract/invite crime, depreciate property values, and are havens to all kinds of animal infestations. I mean, I'd much rather live among the fields than say what Robinwood looked like a few years ago.

But, I still can't but help to see the last remaining houses-on-the-prairie as losing, too. It's kind of the final mark of defeat. And, if the homes attract negative attention, you need to go no further than Brightmoor to see the negative attention empty lots attract if not kept clean and cut. Tires, trash...bodyparts.

If by some miracle there is ever large-scale residential redevelopment on these empty blocks, I hope the city sticks to keeping the narrow 30-foot lots and alleyways. Even better, I'd like to see someone buy up a block and merge the lots to create attached single-family rows. But, that just seems so far in the future. To me, it seems like a no-brainer that north of Gratiot and West of Mt. Elliott would be the perfect place to restart rebuilding family-oriented residential neighborhoods (as opposed to the lofts and condo/apartment towers in downtown/midtown) since it's about the most clear space directly outside the city center.

Now, on the Pontch...That purple; oh boy, that purple. lol It really looks like a second-rate renovation, but I'm just glad to see it as a national brand, again, and there is no reason a hotel next-door to a convention center should have ever been vacant.

subterranean
Feb 15, 2013, 1:31 PM
Wow, that does look pretty shoddy. Hopefully they at least trim out that faux brick, jeebus. Sort of surprised how quickly this is moving along, too.

I was wondering if we shouldn't start a list of major redevelopment sites in the past 5 years or so, and what's planned for the next couple of years. If someone did that, I would attempt to map it.

mousquet
Feb 16, 2013, 12:33 AM
Googling Pontchartrain leads to this rendering:

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-B3lVXn-ItDA/UO7aJs9G0aI/AAAAAAAAB-c/U40RB9Q71t8/s760/Detroit+Crowne+Plaza+-+Preliminary+Rendering.jpg

This rendering is courtesy of Stephen Berry Architectural Design out of Youngstown, Ohio. The canopy is being done by Tensile Structure Systems out of Baltimore, says the guy who posted it on the forum Google brought.

Those black panels actually look like they were something high end back to the 60s to me, because they didn't age too badly, did they? no, there is worse even in Manhattan.
Only the mullions (those sticks to joint the panels) should be refreshed, I think. They need some hard cleaning maybe.

animatedmartian
Feb 18, 2013, 2:32 AM
MOCAD Renovation: Plan For Detroit Art Museum Wins Architectural Review Award
02/15/2013

Get ready for an all-new MOCAD. The contemporary art museum in the Midtown neighborhood of Detroit will be getting a series of renovations, and a rendering of the new face of the building released by architect firm Rice+Lipka has us pretty excited for the real deal.

...

According to a release, the judges hailed the MOCAD design as “an inspirational project that combines past and present in a well resolved and convincing manner. It creates new space for new creativity in a post-industrial city."

Rice+Lipka Architects and urban design and landscape architects James Corner Field Operations were selected for the project last February. The two firms will work to make the interior more energy-efficient. They'll also reconfigure exhibit, event and storage area. Exterior changes will also create a brand-new outdoor event space.

...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/15/mocad-renovation-detroit-photo_n_2696124.html?utm_hp_ref=detroit

http://www.ricelipka.com/media/files/537e2e77cb6056f09c0d8588340f5721.jpg
Concept rendering from Woodward Avenue. Full proposal scheduled for release mid-2013.

http://www.ricelipka.com/media/files/ad423934c067851992fbd55298db7996.jpg
Current view.

http://www.ricelipka.com/media/files/6cc48d67450161412e0f71b05c26399f.jpg

http://www.ricelipka.com/media/files/42ec055a111f433910766c4885073a1e.jpg

Source images. http://www.ricelipka.com/work_detail.php?id=56

JonathanGRR
Feb 18, 2013, 4:29 AM
Wow! This should be a nice transformation; I would be a little afraid to stop and check-out the museumas it is now. I couldn't find any timeline, though? Ideas?

animatedmartian
Feb 18, 2013, 4:54 AM
The article and rendering says that the full proposal will be released in mid-2013 so renovations probably won't happen until late 2013 into 2014 I'd guess.

Don't be fooled by the exterior, it's purposely left that way to make it look gritty. It's also one of the more active areas of Midtown being a block away from the Medical Center and right across Woodward from those newly built condos (Woodward Studios or something like that?). Not to sound derogatory, but it's a Hipster haven. :tup:

LMich
Feb 18, 2013, 11:56 AM
Love hearing about turn-arounds in the satellite towns:

http://cmsimg.detnews.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=C3&Date=20130218&Category=BIZ&ArtNo=302180332&Ref=V2&MaxW=600&Border=0

(http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130218/BIZ/302180332/New-businesses-pump-life-back-into-downtown-Pontiac?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE)

By Michael Martinez | The Detroit News

February 18, 2013

Pontiac — There's new life inside "the Loop."

The city's downtown — bounded by a stretch of Woodward Avenue that circles the central business district like the frame of a tennis racket — is reinventing itself with a wave of young residents and technology-based businesses.

Since late 2010, Pontiac has received tens of millions of dollars in state and federal grants that have given it a much-needed face-lift. At least 47 vacant or blighted buildings have been demolished, and there are plans to raze the little-used Phoenix Center — an amphitheater and parking facility — to make downtown's Saginaw Street more accessible and to uncover the Clinton River.

"The old image of the gritty industrial town where nothing happens is changing," Pontiac Mayor Leon Jukowski said. "You're starting to see young people walking and living downtown, and that's a huge step. It's on its way back."

Thanks to incentives such as free rent for multiyear leases, businesses have moved into the government seat of Oakland County, including an energy drink company, information technology firm, mobile app design company and a 3D printing facility.

Single-family homes are being built in the Unity Park neighborhood, and the former Sears store has been renovated into Lafayette Place Lofts, 46 residential units with a market and fitness center.

Its developer, Kyle Westberg, also plans to spend millions of dollars to rehabilitate the Strand Theatre, which has been closed since the mid-1990s.

And last month, General Motors Co., once the city's biggest employer, announced a $200 million expansion of its Global Powertrain Engineering headquarters here that will create 400 engineering, research and technical jobs.

...

It'll be awesome if they can find the money to daylight the Clinton.

JonathanGRR
Feb 18, 2013, 8:39 PM
Great news for Pontiac! I wonder how much of that growth can be attributed to its EFM...

In other news:

Biggby's big gulp: Metro Detroit plan is litmus test for U.S.
Nathan Skid
The executive team behind Biggby Coffee wants to turn the Lansing-based chain into a national brand. But first, they say, the company has to dominate Southeast Michigan.

The company looks to open 136 Biggby Coffee shops in metro Detroit by the end of 2015, bringing its total store count in the area to 150.

President Mike McFall and CEO Bob Fish of Global Orange Development LLC, which operates as Biggby Coffee, said mastering metro Detroit is a litmus test to see whether the company can dominate a larger market.

"Metro Detroit is going to get every ounce of effort we have," McFall said. "We are not spreading resources over seven states. Rather, four or five counties."

Biggby has a strong presence in Kalamazoo, Lansing and Grand Rapids -- about one store for every 24,000 people. In metro Detroit, it looks to open one store for every 30,000 people, following a food chain market penetration model.
http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20130217/NEWS/302179975/biggbys-big-gulp-metro-detroit-plan-is-litmus-test-for-u-s

This is exciting news for Biggby, and it'll be interesting to see if it catches on in Metro Detroit.

Michi
Feb 19, 2013, 6:12 AM
Cobo Center Renovations, 02/12/2013
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8228/8488531562_b519fc0d8c_b.jpg

Cobo Arena
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8226/8488531680_842d982b32_b.jpg

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8382/8487439107_1fc2033abc_b.jpg

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8390/8487439225_98a283d669_b.jpg

City side
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8507/8488531980_97357bedc4_b.jpg

Connecting atrium
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8518/8487439041_18b4f5d829_b.jpg

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8252/8487438927_9941e21384_b.jpg

JonathanGRR
Feb 22, 2013, 4:16 PM
http://detroit.curbed.com/uploads/charlevoixparking.jpg
Ralph Sachs To Raze Charlevoix, Put Up a Parking Lot
February 22, 2013|Paul Beshouri

As if we didn't already know it, owner Ralph Sachs is expected to replace the 108-year-old Hotel Charlevoix with surface parking. Because that's how you have to treat historic buildings in Detroit — tear 'em down for parking, or park directly underneath their crumbling exteriors and wait for an errant brick to smash your car. There is no third option. That's why the Charlevoix commands such an excellent view of nearly ten city blocks of asphalt. City officials tell us Sachs has yet to apply for a demo permit, though he is expected to do so soon.

Hopefully once an emergency manager is in place, the maintaining of buildings by their owners will actually be enforced...

uaarkson
Feb 22, 2013, 4:53 PM
Shitty, but the Charlevoix is probably too far gone anyway.

Kingofthehill
Feb 22, 2013, 6:25 PM
How the hell can anybody make the case that Detroit needs even more parking - of any type (covered, surface, underground)? What a shame. Talk about a city that downright doesn't care about its past!

NYC2ATX
Feb 22, 2013, 11:48 PM
Read a few interesting pieces recently on Detroit...thought you guys might be interested:

Detroit
Skid row

A state takeover of Detroit, once America’s third-largest city, looks likely
Feb 23rd 2013 | CHICAGO |From the print edition

THE city of Detroit has been in financial difficulty for so long that it has become almost an article of faith on the streets that, somehow, it will manage. But on February 19th it became highly unlikely that it will be allowed to muddle on for much longer. A state review team concluded that there was a local-government financial emergency in Detroit and no way of resolving the situation.

The governor of Michigan, Rick Snyder, has 30 days to respond, but most people think he will take far less time than this to appoint an emergency manager. A looser power-sharing agreement between the city and the state has already been tried over the past year and has, clearly, failed. The authority of elected officials, including the mayor and the city council, will be suspended and the manager will assume control of public contracts, city assets, staff, pay and benefits. Reports suggest that Mr Snyder already has a shortlist of candidates for the job... cont'd

http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21572194-state-takeover-detroit-once-americas-third-largest-city-looks-likely-skid-row


CHARTS
Quantifying Downtown Detroit's Comeback
RICHARD FLORIDA FEB 20, 2013

When people talk about the resurgence of urban America — the shift of people, jobs and commerce back to downtowns and center cities — they're usually talking about a narrow group of elite cities like New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Boston, and San Francisco.

That's why a report [PDF] released this week on the transformation of downtown Detroit is so interesting. It documents the ongoing regeneration of a decent sized swath of the city's urban core. Detroit's Greater Downtown spans 7.2 square miles (reflected in the title of the report). It runs across the city's riverfront* from the central business district to trendy Corktown, home of Slows Bar B Q and Astro Coffee; Mies van der Rohe's verdant Lafayette Park and Rivertown, north to the Eastern Market, Detroit's farmer's market; the Cass Corridor, with arts institutions; Midtown, home to Wayne State University, up Woodward Avenue to Tech Town and New Center... cont'd

http://www.theatlanticcities.com/jobs-and-economy/2013/02/quantifying-downtown-detroits-comeback/4734/

jodelli
Feb 24, 2013, 4:23 AM
How the hell can anybody make the case that Detroit needs even more parking - of any type (covered, surface, underground)? What a shame. Talk about a city that downright doesn't care about its past!

I'm not making a case for it, but... I parked on an early Sunday morning in a nearly empty lot north of the Leland. Back at 11am guy wanted to kick me out for Lion tailgaters, and my ticket was for the day.
This had to be a kilometer from the stadium. It's all about slum landlords who want in on this action.

LMich
Feb 25, 2013, 8:42 AM
The Charlevoix is a classic case of death by neglect. It needs be demolished; I've heard there isn't even an interior staircase in the place, anymore. And, hell if anyone knows how that happened, though, it's most likely and inside job, pun not intended. Parking is definitely not needed, there, but these property owners have to find some way to make money on these lots given that there isn't exactly any real demand for existing space in all put the closest in areas of downtown.

Land values and demand are so low in some places you're left with two options: either paying taxes on a rotting liability, or clearing it an turning a few bucks for parking. It's the sad reality in a city with an unconvential economy.

animatedmartian
Feb 25, 2013, 3:47 PM
There's a set of interior photos on Detroit Urbex.

http://detroiturbex.com/content/downtown/charlevoix/index.html

That wouldn't have been a renovation, that'd be downright reconstruction. Even if I were the person to have enough money to fix it up, I wouldn't be comfortable with the structural integrity of the thing and would probably demo it anyway to rebuild a completely new structure. And those photos are a few years old so who knows how much further it's deteriorated to by now. :runaway:

mousquet
Feb 25, 2013, 7:58 PM
Surprising that there's no demand in the Charlevoix's area. It's around Campus Martius, right? The Whitney and Broderick buildings shouldn't be far from there, why renovating these 2 and not that one? Sometimes offer creates demand, I guess. It could in this area that's obviously interesting.

The Charlevoix could probably be saved by a heavy renovation that would rebuild it all by preserving its original facades only, which is known as facadism. It's something common that could likely be done to that structure, no matter how damaged it is, again since everything would be changed except for the facades to keep the original looks of the building.

Edit: that's not Campus Martius, the name is Grand Circus.

animatedmartian
Feb 25, 2013, 10:33 PM
That sounds expensive and I'm not so sure demand is high enough in Detroit that someone would be willing to make that kinda of investment. At least not for another few years.

Broderick and Whitney both took quite awhile to get financing before renovation started and there's still a whole wealth of vacant buildings in the area (mostly to the west and northwest of GCP) that probably require the same if not more work. But time will tell if demand gets strong enough for developers to start investing.

LMich
Feb 26, 2013, 8:32 AM
Edit: that's not Campus Martius, the name is Grand Circus.

Yes, this is up near Grand Circus Park, which is still a bit of a spotty area in terms of viability the further you get away from Woodward. More precisely, it's in the Park Avenue district, a district planned as a high-end neighborhood that never fully panned out.

As for a facadectomy, let's entertain that rents and such where high enough to even justify the attempt. I'd still argue that it wouldn't make sense on the Charlevoix, since much of its historic exterior was stripped long before it was even abandoned. This building literally went from being a (low-end) hotel to a stripped-down office building within ten years of its operation.

This is not to argue that it shouldn't have been maintained, but rather that it wasn't working with much from the start, so even a little neglect pushes the building far down on the priority list of preservationists.

I'd hope the new Red Wings arena would help the area. I really do think the freeways, though, present an obstacle and handicap to any of the areas in the "corners" of downtown regardless of how well the major avenues are redeveloped.

mousquet
Feb 26, 2013, 10:44 AM
^ It's unrelated to the standing of the hotel that once was in the building, that must've been nice looking long ago, though, but I agree that its pitiful shape certainly questions the relevance of saving even its facades only. Yet, I find it interesting because it keeps the density of historic buildings almost unbroken over the few blocks between West Adams street and the Fox Theater, despite a couple of small parking lots already in there. That's what Street View let me see. It would just be annoying to have one more hole in the urban fabric in its place. Something modern that would fit the other buildings around would be fine on the Charlevoix's lot.

LMich
Feb 27, 2013, 8:20 AM
It's really not unrelated. Are we looking at the same building? Honestly, what "facade" is left to save? I've rarely seen a historic downtown building more stripped of its exterior architectural detail. If you're going to pump money into saving a facade, you're going to save something either unique or intact. What's left of the Charlevoix's is neither unique nor intact.

My point was that, as a long-end hotel, it wasn't architecturally extraordinary when it was new, so just imagine how far down a preservationist's list it slips when its ornamentation was largely stripped. I, too, would have prefered for it to have been maintained and saved if only to continue the streetwall. And, really, as I already said, there is no real need for parking in that section of downtown.

All I'm saying is that the loss of the Charlevoix isn't anywhere near as consequential as other fairly recent preservation losses the city has suffered, and not even the most consequential loss in that section of downtown, even. When you go down a preservationist's list of factors to support renovation, this one would just rank lower than most. It's not on a major thoroughfare or in a high-traffic area of downtown; it's not particularly architecturally significant; it's not intact...in a city with more abandoned structures than it knows what to do with, no less, there is very little working in its favor.

animatedmartian
Feb 27, 2013, 12:56 PM
While we're on the subject of architectural losses in that area, I wanna talk to the guy who thought this alteration was a good idea. :hell:

http://img28.imageshack.us/img28/2719/eb02f187jp2re2finaldpa1.jpg
http://quod.lib.umich.edu/d/dpa1ic/x-eb02f187/EB02F187.TIF?chaperone=S-DPA1IC-X-EB02F187+EB02F187.TIF

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8162/7489771880_4d8a90095b_b.jpg

subterranean
Feb 27, 2013, 1:37 PM
While we're on the subject of architectural losses in that area, I wanna talk to the guy who thought this alteration was a good idea. :hell:

http://img28.imageshack.us/img28/2719/eb02f187jp2re2finaldpa1.jpg
http://quod.lib.umich.edu/d/dpa1ic/x-eb02f187/EB02F187.TIF?chaperone=S-DPA1IC-X-EB02F187+EB02F187.TIF




Ha. Looks like the modernists massacred the applied ornamentation.

hudkina
Feb 27, 2013, 10:52 PM
Didn't that have something to do with a chunk of some building's cornice breaking off and killing a woman or something in the 50's?

animatedmartian
Feb 27, 2013, 11:07 PM
I think so, but I don't get how that'd prompt a complete removal of the spires on top.

Welp, nevermind. Wikipedia has the answer.

Grand Park Centre was constructed in 1922 as an eighteen story office building. It was originally constructed as the headquarters for Strohs Brewery Company, and as such, had a beer garden on the roof. An artist's rendering of the building, as it originally was designed, including the rooftop beer garden, hangs in the building's management office.

....

In the 1950s, in an effort to both modernize the building and increase leaseable space, the original cornice and beer garden were removed and two additional floors were added to the tower, which are clad with brick masonry and stainless steel.

Could have been the most unique high-rise in Detroit but instead they wanted those extra few floors of office space. :yuck:

Michi
Feb 27, 2013, 11:36 PM
While sad, I'm more concerned about the complete loss of the developed city behind that row of buildings. It has all but disappeared. The Park Avenue District has (had) the potential to be one of the central core's most charming, urban neighborhoods, connecting the Capitol Park/Washington Boulevard area to Cass Park. It seems there's more focus on leveling it with the Fisher Freeway, removal of surface streets connecting to the north, and wiping out underutilized parcels of land and further disrupting what could be a walkable street grid. Detroit has been doing a really louzy job connecting the dots where they are the easiest to connect. Just some random 2 cents...

LMich
Feb 28, 2013, 8:30 AM
I guess this is a bit of mixed news. On one hand, they are extending Gilbert's development rights on the Hudson's site. The good news is that it seems to be a sixth month extension, instead of asking for additional years, and the better news is that we're hearing about this, at all, meaning that he's still working behind the scenes.

Gilbert group gets more time to shape Hudson's site plans in Detroit (http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130228/BIZ/302280335/1001/rss21)

By Louis Aguilar | The Detroit News

February 28, 2013

An entity controlled by Dan Gilbert's Rock Ventures and Quicken Loans Inc. was granted more time by the state of Michigan on Wednesday to complete development plans on the old Hudson's site downtown.

Documents for the extension provided by the state show the entity, 1208 Woodward LLC, intends to invest up to $75 million for a mixed-used development of residential, retail and parking.

The Michigan Strategic Fund, a quasi-public agency that handles economic development, approved changing the deadline for the project to June 30, 2016, from the original December 2015 deadline.

The extension was granted because Gilbert's real estate unit launched "an international design competition" for the site that delayed plans, according to the document.

The city-controlled property has been vacant since the city demolished the flagship store for the J.L. Hudson Co. in 1998.

The vacant Woodward block sits atop an underground parking structure, with infrastructure already in place to have a building constructed on top of it.

...

A bit peeved that they even mentioned parking as a part of the future development, when this thing will literally sit atop the 750-space underground Premier Parking Garage - and, really, there should be zero parking frontage on Lower Woodward. And, here's to hoping that the mention of parking only means the existing parking.

But, happy to hear this is still moving forward.

animatedmartian
Feb 28, 2013, 11:41 AM
^^^
$75 million dollars doesn't really sound like a lot for a project of this potential. But then I'd assume that's not the only funding source? Then I also keep reading that they might have to rebuild the parking garage anyway because it hasn't been maintained well or something.

I just hope it doesn't end up looking like the rendering Gilbert showed at his one speech.


While sad, I'm more concerned about the complete loss of the developed city behind that row of buildings. It has all but disappeared. The Park Avenue District has (had) the potential to be one of the central core's most charming, urban neighborhoods, connecting the Capitol Park/Washington Boulevard area to Cass Park. It seems there's more focus on leveling it with the Fisher Freeway, removal of surface streets connecting to the north, and wiping out underutilized parcels of land and further disrupting what could be a walkable street grid. Detroit has been doing a really louzy job connecting the dots where they are the easiest to connect. Just some random 2 cents...

Actually, the neighborhood seems like in was in decline many years before freeways were even considered, even as early as the 1930s. By the time Fisher Freeway was built through, it was already mostly parking lots and vacant buildings and so it was probably the cheapest section to build the freeway through. But then you are right in that the freeway really didn't do anything to help the area.

Hopefully Illitch's new stadium will have enough residential and retail to jump start the area (which I think is his plan).

LMich
Feb 28, 2013, 12:49 PM
^^^
$75 million dollars doesn't really sound like a lot for a project of this potential. But then I'd assume that's not the only funding source? Then I also keep reading that they might have to rebuild the parking garage anyway because it hasn't been maintained well or something.

I just hope it doesn't end up looking like the rendering Gilbert showed at his one speech.

Actually, the neighborhood seems like in was in decline many years before freeways were even considered, even as early as the 1930s. By the time Fisher Freeway was built through, it was already mostly parking lots and vacant buildings and so it was probably the cheapest section to build the freeway through. But then you are right in that the freeway really didn't do anything to help the area.

Hopefully Illitch's new stadium will have enough residential and retail to jump start the area (which I think is his plan).

Yeah, the $75 million struck me as low for a site that large. But, you're right, that's the money his company is investing, not the total cost of the project.

Yeah, I'm reading Detroit (A Biography) by Scott Martelle, right now. Lots of stuff I already know, but it does focus on areas that had turned to slums far before many people remember. The Cass Corridor has been Detroit's skid row forever, and, as I said earlier, the the Hotel Charlevoix was built as a cheap hotel, and it was out of business just after 10 years of its completion. Across Woodward, Brush Park was already on its way out by the 20's when most of its historic mansions were converted to apartments and flop-houses. That's actually one of the things kind of unique about historic inner-city Detroit as opposed to other cities. Even during its so-called boom years, much of the development was either confined to the heart of downtown, or the ever expanding streetcar suburbs, with key inner-city areas around the downtown left to rot. It's why there is so little left immediately around downtown. These areas were never reinvested in as the city was booming

You see where the Fisher and Lodge and Chrysler freeways cut through, and its pretty obvious as to why when you know the histories of what they replaced. Had Brush Park been kept up better, we'd have probably never had the Fisher, and that alone would have saved acres of land devoted to its massive interchanges with the Lodge and the Chrysler. It's always made me angry how careless Detroit was even during its boomtimes in terms of city planning. You had neighborhoods becoming hot and then becoming slums in the inner-city sometimes within 20 years of their creation. It's really a wonder what's left of Corktown still remains, and even it's hardly unscathed, with the entire northern section of it cut off by the Fisher and then it too withered away. It used to stretch all the way up to Grand River running into Woodbridge.

subterranean
Feb 28, 2013, 1:38 PM
Fascinating. I, too, am happy to finally hear something about this, even if it is only a peep. Maybe I'm completely bonkers here, but I thought at one point the Hudson block was to become a new headquarters for Quicken? Or was that just wishful thinking or speculation on the part of forumers? It's been about 15 years since that site was cleared and it definitely sounds like there's enough housing demand that they could easily build a rental/condo highrise combo. I'm curious if this will be part of his retail plan. Given the footings/foundation that exists there now, could they go to a height and capacity of, say, the Broderick? The site is pretty massive, however.

animatedmartian
Feb 28, 2013, 4:14 PM
Yeah, the $75 million struck me as low for a site that large. But, you're right, that's the money his company is investing, not the total cost of the project.

Yeah, I'm reading Detroit (A Biography) by Scott Martelle, right now. Lots of stuff I already know, but it does focus on areas that had turned to slums far before many people remember. The Cass Corridor has been Detroit's skid row forever, and, as I said earlier, the the Hotel Charlevoix was built as a cheap hotel, and it was out of business just after 10 years of its completion. Across Woodward, Brush Park was already on its way out by the 20's when most of its historic mansions were converted to apartments and flop-houses. That's actually one of the things kind of unique about historic inner-city Detroit as opposed to other cities. Even during its so-called boom years, much of the development was either confined to the heart of downtown, or the ever expanding streetcar suburbs, with key inner-city areas around the downtown left to rot. It's why there is so little left immediately around downtown. These areas were never reinvested in as the city was booming

You see where the Fisher and Lodge and Chrysler freeways cut through, and its pretty obvious as to why when you know the histories of what they replaced. Had Brush Park been kept up better, we'd have probably never had the Fisher, and that alone would have saved acres of land devoted to its massive interchanges with the Lodge and the Chrysler. It's always made me angry how careless Detroit was even during its boomtimes in terms of city planning. You had neighborhoods becoming hot and then becoming slums in the inner-city sometimes within 20 years of their creation. It's really a wonder what's left of Corktown still remains, and even it's hardly unscathed, with the entire northern section of it cut off by the Fisher and then it too withered away. It used to stretch all the way up to Grand River running into Woodbridge.

I began to suspect as much. While people like to believe one event is central to Detroit's decline, it seems like just uncontrolled depopulation that other cities didn't really encounter/had a better handle on. Then again, I guess it could simply be pointed to Detroit's rapid industrialization and subsequent de-industrilization, but it all happened during different time periods and certainly didn't happen overnight.

I always found it fascinating how Detroit's once densest neighborhoods are now the most vacant. Yet the west side of the city, mainly between 8 Mile and the Jefferies going west of Livernois managed to stay pretty stable until the recent economic downtown. The only exception was Brightmoor, but even then, there was and still is a lot of activity in this part of the city. If it wasn't for the high crime, the west side of Detroit would be growing, I think.

animatedmartian
Feb 28, 2013, 7:30 PM
Fascinating. I, too, am happy to finally hear something about this, even if it is only a peep. Maybe I'm completely bonkers here, but I thought at one point the Hudson block was to become a new headquarters for Quicken? Or was that just wishful thinking or speculation on the part of forumers? It's been about 15 years since that site was cleared and it definitely sounds like there's enough housing demand that they could easily build a rental/condo highrise combo. I'm curious if this will be part of his retail plan. Given the footings/foundation that exists there now, could they go to a height and capacity of, say, the Broderick? The site is pretty massive, however.

I think the maximum height the foundation is built for is 15 floors. Broderick is 35. The foundation supports are also uneven so only one section of the block would reach 15 floors.

Kramer Design Group actually did a case study for the potential of the site back in '05.

http://imageshack.us/a/img836/7873/padcwoodwardblocksedeta.jpg
http://thekraemeredge.com/index.php/projects/residentialdetail/the_woodward_block

Though I'd definitely take this over several floors of parking garage.

subterranean
Feb 28, 2013, 9:26 PM
Thanks for finding and posting that. They've included residential, office and hotel space in that concept. I hadn't really thought about how big of a challenge that might be to incorporate multiple buildings on one foundation. Now that I see how it could theoretically be carved up, I think a handful of more human scale buildings would be more appropriate for the location.

LMich
Mar 1, 2013, 8:38 AM
I began to suspect as much. While people like to believe one event is central to Detroit's decline, it seems like just uncontrolled depopulation that other cities didn't really encounter/had a better handle on. Then again, I guess it could simply be pointed to Detroit's rapid industrialization and subsequent de-industrilization, but it all happened during different time periods and certainly didn't happen overnight.

I always found it fascinating how Detroit's once densest neighborhoods are now the most vacant. Yet the west side of the city, mainly between 8 Mile and the Jefferies going west of Livernois managed to stay pretty stable until the recent economic downtown. The only exception was Brightmoor, but even then, there was and still is a lot of activity in this part of the city. If it wasn't for the high crime, the west side of Detroit would be growing, I think.

Not to get too far off subject, here, but when my mother was coming up just before the riot, her area around 12th Street extending into Dexter-Linwood had a population density over 20,000 people per square mile. What a lot of people don't think about when they see the old density numbers in some of the city's neighborhoods is that it was often do to legitimate overcrowding, particularly of blacks, since so few areas they could realistically move. In fact, this area she grew up in was one of the few areas outside the old city (Grand Boulevard loop) where blacks could really live. And, because no one wanted to build housing in these neighborhoods - of anywhere else in the city for blacks, really - there wasn't adequate housing capacity to house everyone even close to comfortably. As overcrowded as this area was, Black Bottom and Paradise Valley were in even worse situations. There was a complete denial for decades during the city's boom that anything was wrong.

Oh, back on subject. lol On Hudson's, I don't mind different heights/facades along the Woodward frontage, but I really do want a solid Woodward frontage, no spaces. I think if there is any street in the city along which to rebuild a solid streetwall, it should be Woodward. We can leave courtyards and such for any of the other commercial streets, but let's keep or rebuild Woodward whole. I mean, I could go along with a light court or even a full courtyard on the back of the site.

I wonder how cost prohibitive it'd be to retrofit the garage to hold something taller? I mean, since the parking garage is actually just the old basement of Hudson's - a nearly 400-foot tall tower - you'd think it wouldn't be hard to rebuild the garage to specifications that'd allow something taller than 15 floors. I'm not necessarily saying we need a soaring skyscraper on part of the plot, but I seems like from a visual perspective, you'd want something at the site at least a bit taller than Compuware so that you could really see the building peeking out from Campus Martius.

I love that we're even back to talking about this, again. The possibilities...

http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2211/2267560315_82cc53abe1_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/gab482/2267560315/)
pano386-387cq (http://www.flickr.com/photos/gab482/2267560315/) by gab482 (http://www.flickr.com/people/gab482/), on Flickr

EDIT: Just read the news, and they got a few more details on the extension. Apparently, Gilbert has to have completed the permit process by September 1st of next year, so it seems that this is getting quite serious. The 2016 deadline is the completion of the project.

animatedmartian
Mar 1, 2013, 2:30 PM
In other more concrete news;

https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/58436_10200671607892413_159642357_n.jpg
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10200671607892413&set=a.1124703797600.2020814.1227274995&type=3&src=https%3A%2F%2Fsphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net%2Fhphotos-ash3%2F58436_10200671607892413_159642357_n.jpg&size=641%2C395

joshls
Mar 4, 2013, 6:53 AM
Does anyone know whats going up on the east side at Alter and Mack? Looks to be an entire city block across from a newer shopping development.

LMich
Mar 4, 2013, 8:45 AM
Did a little research and found that the project is simply called Mack-Ashland. It's a mixed use development with speculative office and retail space on the ground floor, and 39 units of affordable housing on the top two floors. It's supposed to be done by June.

http://www.loopnet.com/xnet/mainsite/HttpHandlers/attachment/ServeAttachment.ashx?FileGuid=BCB5177C-630D-41F4-9F6A-719F485C2677&Extension=jpg&Width=627&Height=472&PadImage=True&DisableVisualWatermark=&ClipImage=False&ExactDim=-1&UseThumbnailAsOriginal=False&UseStandardAsOriginal=False
LoopNet.com (http://www.loopnet.com/Listing/17788259/14711-Mack-Avenue-Detroit-MI/)

Speaking of that area, just down Alter at Kercheval on the Grosse Pointe Park side, a developer is going to rejuvante a five block stretch of Kercheval. It'll be converted to a five-block pedestrian mall, and, apparently, the developer has already lured businesses from Oakland County. I wonder if that area is dense enough to make a five-block pedestrian mall work, particularly with the Detroit end of the street so emptied out, but we're about to find out. But, it's good to see something happening in the inner-most ring of the inner-ring, for once.

animatedmartian
Mar 4, 2013, 2:52 PM
Hotel on the registry for historic firehouse site
By Sherri Welch
March 03, 2013

A $23 million boutique hotel is in the works for the historic firehouse site in downtown Detroit.

A development group led by Walter Cohen and his Southfield-based 21 Century Holdings LLC has agreed to pay $1.25 million for the 1929 building that serves as the Detroit Fire Department headquarters, said Beth DunCombe, director of the Detroit Building Authority.

...

http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20130303/NEWS/303039961/this-just-in-hotel-on-the-registry-for-historic-firehouse-site

This is the building on the block just behind the Ponch and across from Cobo. Detroit's hotel market is looking a little bright this year (at least in terms of added square footage). :cheers:

hudkina
Mar 4, 2013, 4:52 PM
http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3502/4003820534_623c14214d_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/alibearry/4003820534/)
Fire Station, downtown Detroit, built 1929 02 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/alibearry/4003820534/) by alibearry (http://www.flickr.com/people/alibearry/), on Flickr

LMich
Mar 5, 2013, 8:07 AM
That's going to be an awesome hotel. I was never worried about this building being torn down, but it's good to see it snapped up so quickly.

subterranean
Mar 5, 2013, 2:12 PM
Yes! I much prefer staying at smaller boutique hotels over the monster chains. This will be very cool.

detmi7mile
Mar 5, 2013, 2:12 PM
I was wondering if they would come up for a good use for the building. It will be in a perfect location right next to Cobo.

LMich
Mar 6, 2013, 8:11 AM
More development news:

http://cmsimg.freep.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?NewTbl=1&Site=C4&Date=20130305&Category=BUSINESS&ArtNo=303050809&Ref=PH&Item=1&Maxw=620&Maxh=465&q=60

Campbell Ewald moving headquarters, 600 employees to downtown Detroit (http://www.freep.com/article/20130306/COL06/303060100/Tom-Walsh-Ad-agency-Campbell-Ewald-headed-downtown-with-600-jobs?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE)

By Tom Walsh | Detroit Free Press

March 6, 2013

Downtown Detroit will get a new jolt of creative talent and another funky work space with the move of advertising agency Campbell Ewald from suburban Warren into the old J.L. Hudson warehouse space in Ford Field, a move to be announced today by Bill Ludwig, the firm's chairman and CEO, and Detroit Mayor Dave Bing.

More than 600 Campbell Ewald employees will make the move, starting during the holiday season at the end of this year. The agency has signed an 11-year lease for 122,000 square feet of space on four floors. It will seek a buyer for its 10-story headquarters at 30400 Van Dyke, between 12 Mile and 13 Mile roads, across the street from the sprawling General Motors technical center complex.

"I must have looked at every building in Detroit, and some in the suburbs, during the past three years," Ludwig told the Free Press on Tuesday during an interview and tour of the Ford Field space, where he and Bing will discuss the move at a 1:45 p.m. news conference today.

The search for a new headquarters for the 102-year-old agency, Ludwig said, was driven by a need for culture change because of the explosion of technology and social media, along with Campbell Ewald's need to diversify its client base as the auto industry struggled through the crisis of 2008-09.

...

I'm really wanting to see a downtown census taken of employers, because this has to be over 10,000 jobs that have moved to the city center just since Gilbert started the serious, sustained migration a few years ago. It's enough of a saturation to start attracting greater retail options.

BTW, a general story on the downtown hotel market after the story on the DFD Headquarters the other day:

http://cmsimg.detnews.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=C3&Date=20130305&Category=BIZ&ArtNo=303050328&Ref=V4&MaxW=600&Border=0

Detroit sees hotel rebirth with boutique developments, renovations (http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130305/BIZ/303050328/Detroit-sees-hotel-rebirth-boutique-developments-renovations?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|FRONTPAGE|p)

By Mark Martinez & Louis Aguilar | The Detroit News

March 5, 2013

Downtown Detroit's hotel scene is roaring back to life.

The former Hotel Pontchartrain is being transformed into a 371-room Crowne Plaza Hotel, and a 136-room Aloft boutique hotel is coming in the old David Whitney building on Woodward. Now, Chicago-based Aparium Hotel Group is in the "early stages" of buying and converting the Detroit Fire Department headquarters, across from Cobo Center, into a 75-80 room boutique hotel, according to the company's CEO.

In addition, Crain's Detroit reported Monday Marriott at the Renaissance Center plans to remake its 1,289 rooms and 100,000 square feet of meeting space — its first renovation since 2002. A Marriott spokeswoman wouldn't comment further on the improvements.

The hotel market remained flat following the late 2008 reopening of the iconic Westin Book Cadillac, and the nearby Doubletree Guest Suites Fort Shelby in the midst of the recession. But analysts say an improving economy, the rebounding auto industry and the upgraded Cobo Hall convention center are making the area attractive to out-of-towners and developers.

"All of these point to really good signs about where Detroit is heading," said Ron Wilson, CEO of Hotel Investment Services, Inc., a Troy consulting firm. "You don't place money and put assets at risk if you think something is heading in the wrong direction."

....

JonathanGRR
Mar 13, 2013, 10:11 PM
http://media.mlive.com/news/detroit_impact/photo/12412134-large.gif
Photo courtesy of IADS

Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue, Detroit's last freestanding one, launches fundraising campaign
Eric Lacy | March 12, 2013

DETROIT, MI - The Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue (IADS), the last freestanding synagogue in Detroit, launched this week a fundraising campaign with a $60,000 goal.
The funds will be used to match $60,000 raised from private donors and will go toward interior and exterior improves to the 92-year-old building in the city's Capitol Park area downtown.

Donations can be made online at the IADS' fundraising page. As of 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, $7,850 had been raised online

The IADS has been declared part of Detroit's Capitol Park Historic District, an area with the following boundaries: Clifford Street, Woodward Avenue, Michigan Avenue and Washington Boulevard.

The $120,000 the IADS hopes to raise will be used for the following projects:

A bathroom overhaul
Kitchen improvements
A fire escape
A bike rack
Murals outside the building
Other exterior improvements
A long-term vision and plan for the building

A first phase of improvements for the synagogue began two years ago when the IADS launched a successful windows campaign that made energy efficient improvements to the building.
http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2013/03/isaac_agree_downtown_synagogue.html

LMich
Mar 14, 2013, 10:47 AM
Kind of a general development issue, and this was not at all unexpected given that we knew the state had staunched its population loss, but we now get word from the Census that Metro Detroit is growing, again, nearly now having replaced all the population loss since the 2010 Census:

Metro Detroit has a small growth spurt, census finds (http://www.freep.com/article/20130314/NEWS06/303140190/)

Kristi Tanner | Detroit Free Press

March 14, 2013

Despite a marginal population increase of 0.1% -- an estimated 4,094 people -- metro Detroit continues to drop in rank among the nation's most populous areas.

The region dropped from the 13th to 14th in population rankings from 2011 and 2012, according to census data released today. In 2010, metro Detroit ranked 12th. Phoenix's metro area, with an estimated 4,329,534 residents, surpassed metro Detroit, which now stands at 4,292,060. New York, Los Angeles and Chicago continue to have the largest metropolitan areas with population sizes of 19.8 million, 13 million and 9.5 million, respectively.

...

Among counties in metro Detroit, Wayne lost 9,424 residents, a decline of .5%. Oakland and Macomb counties saw increases of 0.8% and 0.5%, respectively.

...

A very modest gain, but something to build on. It's always been known that whenever the metro as a whole has lost population, it's been cyclical, as opposed to other metro-wide population losses in those metros that have had structural population decline.

LMich
Mar 20, 2013, 7:07 AM
More Gilbert-related real estate news:

http://multimedia.detroitnews.com/pix/78/ea/e3/29/0c/a6/20130319115921_1001woodward.jpg
(Daniel Mears | The Detroit News)

Dan Gilbert buys 1001 Woodward Avenue building (http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130319/BIZ/303190394/Dan-Gilbert-buys-1001-Woodward-Avenue-building?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|FRONTPAGE|s)

The Detroit News

March 19, 2013

Dan Gilbert's Rock Ventures announced Tuesday morning that it has acquired its 16th downtown Detroit building, the 1001 Woodward office tower.

Gilbert's Quicken Loans will lease 65,000 square feet in the 23-story building, bringing its occupancy to 87 percent, according to a press release. The building is across from Compuware Corp. and Campus Martius.

The building features first-floor retail space and is home to information technology provider GalaxE.Solutions, Meridian Health Plan, the University of Phoenix and the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, among others. Rock Ventures said the building is currently 68 percent occupied.

"Detroit has become a key destination for brain economy companies," said Gilbert, founder and chairman of Rock Ventures and Quicken Loans. "The acquisition of the 1001 Woodward building allows us to continue to offer premium office space at affordable rates for those looking to join us in the technology district that is gaining more and more momentum each and every day."

Included in Gilbert's purchase is an attached parking structure with 730 spaces and 15,000 square feet of first floor retail space facing Woodward Avenue.

...

JonathanGRR
Mar 26, 2013, 7:32 PM
For more Gilbert-related news:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/70/Vinton_Building_Detroit_MI.jpg/285px-Vinton_Building_Detroit_MI.jpg
Andrew Jameson | Wikipedia Commons
Gilbert buys Vinton Building on Woodward Avenue
Kirk Pinho | March 26, 2013

Dan Gilbert has added the Albert Kahn-designed Vinton Building at 600 Woodward Ave. to his downtown real estate portfolio.

The 44,000-square foot building was sold to a limited liability corporation that lists Jim Ketai, who heads up real estate purchases for Gilbert through Bedrock Management Inc., the entity that Ketai and Gilbert co-own.

The vacant building was sold on Dec. 28, 2012, according to Washington, D.C.-based real estate information service CoStar Group Inc.

A limited liability corporation listed as the building's seller lists Aaron Alston as its manager and owner.

Paula Silver, vice president of communications for Gilbert's Quicken Loans Inc., said in an email to Crain's Tuesday afternoon that there was "nothing to report at this time" about the sale.

Built in 1917, the 12-story building is north of Congress Street near Cadillac Square and Campus Martius.
...
http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20130326/NEWS/130329903/gilbert-buys-vinton-building-on-woodward-avenue

Gilbert is mum on retail detail, but check out invitees to Thursday event
Kirk Pinho | March 25, 2013
If Dan Gilbert isn't planning to announce his retail strategy for Detroit Thursday ... well, he's bringing together one heck of a group to talk about other things.

Details are still slim on what the billionaire founder and chairman of Quicken Loans Inc. and Rock Ventures LLC — and other representatives of Detroit business groups — will roll out Thursday, other than to discuss the “Woodward Corridor Place-making and Retail Strategy.”

Speakers will include Dave Blaszkiewicz, president and CEO of the Downtown Detroit Partnership; Matt Cullen, president and CEO of Rock Ventures; Gilbert; George Jackson, president and CEO of the Detroit Economic Growth Corp.; Fred Kent, president of the Project for Public Spaces; and city of Detroit officials.

Those groups, and four urban planning firms, have been working for the last seven months on the strategy, according to a news release.

Thursday’s event is billed as the unveiling of “plans for a creative and distinctly Detroit development of Woodward Avenue retail and the activation of public spaces, sidewalks and streets along the corridor.”

Additional information on what will be announced was not provided.

Place-making is a community development concept to improve surroundings in an effort to that involves bettering a community’s quality of life to attract and retain businesses and workers.

Crain’s has previously reported that the plan will likely involve properties Gilbert owns or controls near Grand Circus Park and Campus Martius, including frontage on the east side of Woodward Avenue and the former Hudson’s lot north of Compuware Corp. headquarters.
...
http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20130325/BLOG016/130329915/gilbert-is-mum-on-retail-detail-but-check-out-invitees-to-Thursday

Why does Thursday have to be so far away? It'll be interesting to see what comes out of the meeting!

LMich
Mar 27, 2013, 7:10 AM
Y mas...

http://cmsimg.freep.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=C4&Date=20130326&Category=BUSINESS06&ArtNo=303260019&Ref=AR&MaxW=300&Border=0&Whitney-Building-Globe-Trading-work-start
Patricia Beck | Detroit Free Press

Whitney Building, Globe Trading work to start (http://www.freep.com/article/20130326/BUSINESS06/303260019/Whitney-Building-Globe-Trading-work-to-start)

By John Gallagher | Detroit Free Press

March 26, 2013

Two long-awaited redevelopment projects are expected to get under way in downtown Detroit in coming days.

On Thursday, the Detroit-based Roxbury Group and other partners will celebrate the start of reconstruction of the David Whitney Building, a 1915 skyscraper that is to become a boutique hotel, shops and apartments.

An invitation from Bank of America, which is part of the team financing the project, said Monday that Gov. Rick Snyder is scheduled to headline the event. The building is at Woodward and Park near Grand Circus Park.

The Roxbury Group also expects to begin construction within days on the remake of the Globe Trading building on the east riverfront. The former marine dry-dock facility will be converted to a Michigan Department of Natural Resources indoor-outdoor recreation and education center that ties in to the nearby Milliken State Park.

Financing for both projects closed in recent days, the company said.

Both projects carry symbolic importance for the redevelopment of the downtown area. Both have been vacant for many years, and both occupy key places in the cityscape and in Detroit's history.

The David Whitney Building was designed by the Chicago firm of famed architect Daniel Burnham and named for lumber baron David Whitney, whose personal mansion on Woodward Avenue in Midtown is now one of the city's most elegant restaurants.

The 19-story tower is notable for its lofty courtyard atrium on the interior. Originally an office tower catering to doctors and dentists, the building has been closed and empty for many years.

http://cmsimg.freep.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=C4&Date=20130326&Category=BUSINESS06&ArtNo=303260019&Ref=V1&MaxW=600&Border=0

Southfield architecture firms interested in downtown Detroit (http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130326/METRO01/303260443/1361/Southfield-architecture-firms-interested-in-downtown-Detroit)

By Louis Aguilar | The Detroit News

March 26, 2013

As Southfield-based Neumann/Smith Architecture announced Tuesday it will open a design studio in the downtown Detroit Woodward building owned by Dan Gilbert's real estate arm, talks were underway between Gilbert's people and another Southfield architecture firm also looking to open a downtown office.

Neumann/Smith will open a design studio in June in the Wright Kay Building bringing about 12 people downtown. The building is at the corner of Woodward and John R and was originally called the Schwankovsky Temple of Music and later the Wright Kay. The building is owned by Bedrock Real Estate Services, the real estate arm of Quicken Loans Inc. founder Dan Gilbert.

...

The Southfield firm ROSETTI Architects also is in talks to set up an office in the former Federal Reserve building at 160 W. Fort St., but the deal is not yet sealed, according to a source familiar with the situation. The building, now empty, is owned by Gilbert's Bedrock Real Estate Services. ROSSETTI has done work for several of Gilbert's downtown spaces.

...

Since August 2010, approximately 71 companies have moved into Gilbert-owned downtown Detroit buildings.

The pace of the redevelopment in the greater downtown area is seemingly back up to pre-recession levels.

animatedmartian
Mar 27, 2013, 10:12 PM
^Indeed. But for the love of Pete, when are there going to be more residential projects? :haha:

WOODWARD RETAIL PLAN TO BE ANNOUNCED THURSDAY

http://detroit2020.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/woodward-ff2.jpg

Big things could be happening downtown along Woodward Avenue.

On Thursday, plans will be rolled out for what’s being called “a creative and distinctly-Detroit development of Woodward Avenue retail and the activation of public spaces, sidewalks and streets along the corridor.”

For the past seven months, the Downtown Detroit Partnership, Detroit Economic Growth Corp., City of Detroit, Project for Public Spaces, Rock Ventures and four award-winning internationally-recognized urban planning firms have been actively developing a ‘retail and placemaking’ strategy for the Woodward Corridor, according to a news release.

Dan Gilbert, President and CEO of Rock Ventures, with join hundreds of downtown Detroit stakeholders for the announcement during a gathering at the City Theater.

http://detroit2020.com/2013/03/27/woodward-retail-plan-to-be-announced-thursday/

JonathanGRR
Mar 27, 2013, 11:23 PM
Well, we know that Gilbert has made at least one offer on the David Stott Building before...:tup: There's also supposedly going to be residential units as a part of whatever is built on the Hudson Department Store site.

mind field
Mar 27, 2013, 11:35 PM
The pace of the redevelopment in the greater downtown area is seemingly back up to pre-recession levels.

I was recently thinking the same thing. There seems to be quite a bit of downtown development and activity going on. About time!!!! Just imagine the onslaught of investment if Detroit was widely viewed in the metro area as a functioning, vibrant city.

LMich
Mar 28, 2013, 7:32 AM
I was recently thinking the same thing. There seems to be quite a bit of downtown development and activity going on. About time!!!! Just imagine the onslaught of investment if Detroit was widely viewed in the metro area as a functioning, vibrant city.

To be honest, it's the metro area nearly single-handedly supporting this resurgence at the behest of Gilbert, who is reshaping this place with sheer force of will. Metro Detroit really seems to finally be buying into Detroit proper, which is pretty amazing when you realize what the area has been through politically over the last decade.

The real problem, it seems, are outside investors and developers still not feeling very comfortable. Out-of-state banks and such still aren't lending at the levels required to get large-scale new construction off the ground in the city. Every Metro Detroit company and their momma is jumping on the Detroit bandwagon; they all want a downtown office, at least. It's the national names that aren't really knocking, yet. But, this will all come in time. It's good to get the region buying in, first, and this will convince out-of-staters to take a chance, hopefully.

That said, I am a bit surprised (a) local developer(s) hasn't found a creative financing package and the courage to put up a legitimate residential high-rise, yet. Someone needs to be first; I realize the housing market isn't all the way back, but it's not like the demand isn't there when you look at occupancy rates, even in the high-end residential.

animatedmartian
Mar 28, 2013, 1:06 PM
And so we have our first sneak peek into downtown Gilbertsville. More is expected later in the day.

http://img560.imageshack.us/img560/2998/pfps.jpg
Via Curbed (http://detroit.curbed.com/archives/2013/03/gilberts-plan-downtown-detroit-as-a-pedestrian-paradise.php).

LMich
Mar 28, 2013, 1:17 PM
NICE! I see they are going to turn Cadillac Square back into the market it originally was, at least temprorarily. The subtle infill/renovations also looks interesting.

subterranean
Mar 28, 2013, 4:26 PM
Yea, Cadillac Square has way more potential/severely underutilized given the location. All I want to hear about are commitments from tenants and anchors. Also, that rendering is very underwhelming.

hudkina
Mar 28, 2013, 4:36 PM
So does that mean Cadillac Square would go pedestrian-only? And does that low-rise on the Monroe Block mean that Gilbert is looking to build a retail complex there?

mousquet
Mar 28, 2013, 6:25 PM
Also, that rendering is very underwhelming.
I find the streetcar coming up there and the restaurants all over the square are something quite sexy to it. Only the added buildings could be more ambitious.

That said, I am a bit surprised (a) local developer(s) hasn't found a creative financing package and the courage to put up a legitimate residential high-rise, yet. Someone needs to be first; I realize the housing market isn't all the way back, but it's not like the demand isn't there when you look at occupancy rates, even in the high-end residential.
What about the Broderick tower BTW? If I remember well, it's rental and pretty expensive but still something to make more people live downtown. The high-rise living (i.e. dense downtown oriented living) can't remain forever that expensive anyway. It should end up affordable to some wide extent. What's going on in Canada is a clue.

JonathanGRR
Mar 28, 2013, 8:00 PM
hudkina: it appears as though it is still open to cars, at least on the rendering it is.

More news. Downtown is getting its own grocery store:

Dan Gilbert rolls out a vision for Detroit that includes districts, connections, new retail - and Papa Joe's
Crain's Detroit | March 28, 2013

Dan Gilbert led a group of developers, officials and urban planners in rolling out details today at City Theater of a vision for Detroit that follows Woodward from the riverfront to the north Woodward area, includes dozens of new tenants and retailers, and brings Papa Joe's gourmet grocer to downtown.

Papa Joe's will open in the First National Building, Gilbert said more than two hours into the presentation as he rattled off the specifics attendees were waiting for.

Many of the new tenants and features of the plan will be implemented as soon as this summer.

Some details:
◾Moosejaw signed multi-year lease to stay in Detroit permanently
◾Grand Circus Park will become one of the most prominent neighborhoods in the city.
◾Avalon Films and Neumann/Smith will move into the Wright-Kay Building.
◾RAM Construction, TubeMogul, and Harmony Point and Uber coming to Detroit
◾Just Topped ice cream store, by owner of Just Baked cupcakes, to open
◾Salon Detroit to open
◾Boutique hotel or apartments/lofts for the recently purchased Vinton Building.
◾Basketball courts and a prepared food market in Cadillac Center by this summer.
◾Graffiti artists with art all over walls of the parking garage in the Library District.

The presentation, still going on after more than two hours, provides a broad vision including esplanades, wide sidewalks, retail and walkable areas.

Gilbert brought four nationally recognized experts to consult on the project:

◾Project for Public Spaces of New York
◾Terremark Partners 4th Street in Cleveland Atlanta
◾Shook Kelley of Charlotte, N.C., branding and urban planning
◾Gibbs Planning, Birmingham, Mich.

Besides a new mix of national, regional and local retailers, the plans call for a facelift for public spaces and more pedestrian-friendly hubs downtown.

Examples include raised sidewalks, narrowed driving lanes on Jefferson Avenue, and more promenade/esplanade public walking areas. The public spaces would be dotted with shopping kiosks, biergardens, burger joints and even a surf shop.
...
http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20130328/NEWS/130329856/dan-gilbert-rolls-out-a-vision-for-detroit-that-includes-districts

animatedmartian
Mar 29, 2013, 1:54 AM
Dan Gilbert lays out vision for Downtown Detroit
March 28, 2013 by JA Staes

Capitol Park
http://imageshack.us/a/img855/69/capitolparkdowntowndetr.jpg

Grand Circus Park
http://imageshack.us/a/img560/1425/grandcircusparkthissumm.jpg

1001 Woodward
http://imageshack.us/a/img801/4695/1001openplandowntowndet.jpg

Woodward Corridor
http://imageshack.us/a/img14/2393/1500blockofwoodwarddown.jpg

Kennedy Square
http://imageshack.us/a/img713/4720/onekennedysquarevisionm.jpg

Library
http://imageshack.us/a/img849/1245/librarystreetdowntownde.jpg

Source images: http://blog.thedetroithub.com/2013/03/28/look-dan-gilbert-lays-out-vision-for-downtown-detroit/

uaarkson
Mar 29, 2013, 4:39 AM
Well, the renderings themselves are kind of sad.

PEORIA
Mar 29, 2013, 5:14 AM
Well, the renderings themselves are kind of sad.

:haha: :D :yeahthat: :laugh: :yuck: :haha:

Docta_Love
Mar 29, 2013, 7:16 AM
While this perhaps isn't the most traditional development news it appears that Detroit is in the running to get the the 2014, 2015 and 2016 summer X Games.

Detroit bid for three years of Summer X Games gaining traction

By David Muller
M Live
December 14, 2012

http://www.mlive.com/business/detroit/index.ssf/2012/12/detroits_bid_for_three_years_o.html

A rally car track around downtown Detroit's Campus Martius and a skate park in Ford Field are some of the ideas being tossed around as Detroit’s bid to host the ESPN’s Summer X Games beginning in 2014 gains momentum.

It appears that Detroit is making a serious bid, Susan Sherer who helped snag the Super Bowl is aiding the process.

In addition to his ideas for the actual sites of events in the city, here are some of the ways Krease said Detroit have the inside lane for this bid:

Ford Motor Co. is already a leading sponsor in the X Games. “We think there’s a major synergy in them sponsoring with Ford,” Krease said.
One of ESPN’s executives involved with the X Games played football with former University of Michigan football coach Lloyd Carr, and worked in auto industry for 30 years.
Detroit has “immense cultural capital,” and could bring in local musicians for concerts accompanying the games.
The city has proven that it can put on large events like the NFL Super Bowl.

Speaking of the Super Bowl, Krease and his partner in this effort, Ian Studders, have also been receiving aid from Susan Sherer, who crafted the winning bid for Super Bowl XL in Detroit.

..........

Here is an article by Deadline Detroit as well giving an update on the bid's process

Bid To Host Summer X Games Shuts Campus Martius, Other Sites For Video Shoot

Lauren Ann Davies
Deadline Detroit
March 23rd, 2013

http://www.deadlinedetroit.com/articles/4222/bid_to_host_summer_x_games_shuts_down_train_station_campus_martius_for_video_shoot

Campus Martius, Roosevelt Park, Belle Isle and Cobo's roof were shut Saturday to shoot a promotional video for the bid to host the 2014, 2015 and 2016 games. Helicopters and rally cars circled the city, showing off the extreme sporting possibilities in Detroit.

..........

With the city being in such dire financial straights I suppose one of the biggest unanswered question's so far is who is going to foot the bill?

The specifics are speculation for now, but the official bid is due April 2. No word yet on whether they've found the $7 million in financial commitments previous reports said was necessary to place the bid.

The winning city will be announced in August

...........

I was talking with a good friend of mine earlier a skateboarder who is flow for Nike (which means he is sponsored by them without being on the official team). He told me that today March 29th him and several other local semi professional skateboarders are going to be filming downtown with the purpose of showcasing the skateboarding scene here in Detroit.

Apparently the montage they are gonna be putting together is going to be submitted as part of the larger bid. I may head downtown with them this afternoon, if i do i will try and take some pictures.

LMich
Mar 29, 2013, 7:22 AM
What about the Broderick tower BTW? If I remember well, it's rental and pretty expensive but still something to make more people live downtown. The high-rise living (i.e. dense downtown oriented living) can't remain forever that expensive anyway. It should end up affordable to some wide extent. What's going on in Canada is a clue.

I was talking new construction residential high-rises. Not everyone wants to live in a loft/redone office tower.

From what I could tell of the Cadillac Square rendering, it looks like they have the northern part of the boulevard above the median open to traffic. I do like that the general vision, here, is to use more of the existing sidewalk open spaces and maybe a conversion of a lane or two on the wider avenues.

Yeah, those "renderings" are pretty sad. lol I got a particularly good kick out of the the Grand Circus Park one. I spot one black guy, and he's a cop. lol

animatedmartian
Mar 29, 2013, 8:05 AM
Yeah, those "renderings" are pretty sad. lol I got a particularly good kick out of the the Grand Circus Park one. I spot one black guy, and he's a cop. lol

The hot air balloons up in the corner got me.

And for some reason I thought that cop was dancing. Oh man. I'm going to stop myself here. :haha:

subterranean
Mar 29, 2013, 1:45 PM
Yeah, those "renderings" are pretty sad. lol I got a particularly good kick out of the the Grand Circus Park one. I spot one black guy, and he's a cop. lol

That one does stick out as particularly bad. And I love the ambition of filling Grand Circus park with people! Oh, wait...are those Occupy protestors??

uaarkson
Mar 29, 2013, 7:50 PM
The hot air balloons up in the corner got me.

LMAO, that's so bad. I didn't notice it at first.

animatedmartian
Mar 29, 2013, 8:46 PM
Okay, to make up for the renderings, here are some nicer overhead plans of the sites.

Long-term vison 2014 and beyond.
Grand Circus Park
http://imageshack.us/a/img138/7760/screenshot176.png

Capitol Park
http://imageshack.us/a/img7/2478/screenshot175l.png

Campus Martius
http://imageshack.us/a/img4/4943/screenshot174n.png

Source: http://www.pps.org/blog/detroit-leads-the-way-on-place-centered-revitalization/

Short-term (between now and 2014) implementation includes:

Closing off streets during large events (which kinda already happens)
Bringing in food trucks and outdoor markets
Sponsored art exhibitions and events
Tables, chairs, and umbrellas
Construction of M1-Rail and stations


My feeling is that this is not unlike many other redevelopments in the downtown cores of many other cities (ie; Portland, Pittsburgh, etc) but I think the key difference here is that this is largely being supported by private enterprise rather than being a top-down city plan. These plans were not created by the city government and I think it shows (especially if you're familiar with the ails of Detroit's city government).

JonathanGRR
Mar 29, 2013, 10:22 PM
There appears to be awnings around two buildings at Grand Circus Park between Washington and Bagley and Bagley and Adams. I wonder if this is hopeful thinking on the part of the planners or if there are actually concrete plans for those sites?

animatedmartian
Mar 29, 2013, 11:32 PM
I don't think they're concrete. Of course, everyone in Detroit is hoping that the holes get filled in, but I think the intent is that by making the park(s) attractive, it'll spur more development on the surrounding blocks.

Then again, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if Gilbert decided to buy the land himself and develop it at some point.

hudkina
Mar 30, 2013, 2:27 AM
It wouldn't be that difficult for him to build a couple little 5 or 6 story buildings and fill them up with more of his umbrella/start-up businesses. What I'm waiting for is an announcement for a new 800 ft. (to the spire) "Rock Ventures" world headquarters on the old Statler site.:D

LMich
Apr 1, 2013, 7:25 AM
Campus Martius
http://imageshack.us/a/img4/4943/screenshot174n.png

Source: http://www.pps.org/blog/detroit-leads-the-way-on-place-centered-revitalization/

Okay, so the vision is closing down most Cadillac Square to auto traffic. Unlike a lot of pedestrian malls, I actually think the layout of downtown Detroit makes ita place that this could work. Cadillac Square is basically a street created for little other reason than a vista, anyway, and, heck, "square" is in the name.

Of course, the vacating of streets is something city government has to agree to, but I'm really liking the idea of dieting some of these downtown streets, particularly given that Campus Martius will be too small to handle all of the additional events as the downtown population grows. It already gets crazy during certain events.

Really, this seems to be a plan simply to put the squares and the areas connecting them to good use. It seems so obvious, but it's never really been done, even back in the "glory" days of the downtown.

skyfan
Apr 6, 2013, 11:46 AM
New office building going up on Woodward and Stimpson.

Queen Lillian Development to break ground in August on Midtown office building




http://www.crainsdetroit.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/storyimage/CD/20130405/NEWS/130409907/AR/0/AR-130409907.jpg&MaxW=620

Construction is expected to begin in August on a 75,000-square-foot office building at 3439 Woodward Ave., south of Mack Avenue, in Detroit.

It is Detroit-based Queen Lillian Development LLC's second project.

Chris Jackson, principal at Queen Lillian Development, stated in a news release that the Midtown Professional Building will fill "a need for Class A office space in Midtown."

According to a news release, a medical practice, dental practice and retail tenant have expressed interest in the Midtown Professional Building, which will include a 280-spot parking garage.

In addition, Queen Lillian's first project, the $18.4-million Medical Office Building at Tolan Park, has been completed.

Doctors and researchers from the Wayne State University School of Medicine's Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences are moving in, according to a news release.

http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20130405/NEWS/130409907/queen-lillian-development-to-break-ground-in-august-on-midtown#

animatedmartian
Apr 6, 2013, 2:07 PM
Nice to see some development creep past Mack.

hudkina
Apr 6, 2013, 2:51 PM
It looks fairly nice.

BTW, are there plans to do something about the massive number of homeless people that hang around outside that NSO at Third and Mack? It seems that on any given day there's dozens of homeless people hanging out in the fields around that intersection and it also seems like there is always mountains of garbage everywhere. Now that development is filling in between the University/Medical Center and Downtown, it seems like they are going to have to deal with the issue. Maybe move the NSO somewhere further outside of the downtown area. (maybe up near Ferry and Russell.)

skyfan
Apr 6, 2013, 6:58 PM
It looks fairly nice.

BTW, are there plans to do something about the massive number of homeless people that hang around outside that NSO at Third and Mack? It seems that on any given day there's dozens of homeless people hanging out in the fields around that intersection and it also seems like there is always mountains of garbage everywhere. Now that development is filling in between the University/Medical Center and Downtown, it seems like they are going to have to deal with the issue. Maybe move the NSO somewhere further outside of the downtown area. (maybe up near Ferry and Russell.)

I feel the same way. Why is it that the surroundings of COTS is so much more well maintained than NSO? It's a homeless shelter, but it doesn't look like a pig sty.

LMich
Apr 8, 2013, 7:15 AM
New office building going up on Woodward and Stimpson.

Queen Lillian Development to break ground in August on Midtown office building

http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20130405/NEWS/130409907/queen-lillian-development-to-break-ground-in-august-on-midtown#

It's really nice to see something of that size going up in that area. I'd like to see more type of this low-rise infill in the area. It's just a natural transition area between the two business districts.

Rizzo
Apr 8, 2013, 7:22 AM
It's really nice to see something of that size going up in that area. I'd like to see more type of this low-rise infill in the area. It's just a natural transition area between the two business districts.

I agree. I'm really liking the scale of this.