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Jun 18, 2006, 9:24 PM

Nine on Third

Willy's Overland Lofts

Something wierd in the Cass Corridor

55 West Canfield renovation


El Moore soon to commence

Brainard Street affordable housing. Completed.

Motor City Casino close to being topped out. Impressive from the freeways. :)

MGM Grand

Quite a ways from being topped out.

Action soon on the Pick Fort-Shelby?

And Westin Book Cadillac?

Lafayette Building deal waiting too.

Washing the facade for the 1001 Woodward Condos.

Greektown Casino Site

the pope
Jun 19, 2006, 1:16 PM

i heart michi

Jun 24, 2006, 7:37 PM
Tuesday Tuesday Toooooosday!

Jun 29, 2006, 6:35 AM
http://cmsimg.detnews.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=C3&Date=20060628&Category=BIZ&ArtNo=606280422&Ref=H3&Profile=1001Q=100&MaxW=250 http://info.detnews.com/pix/news/2006/bookcadillachistory062706/312.jpg

Done deal: $180M to revive once grand hotel

Complex Book-Cadillac project will bring 455 rooms, 67 luxury condos to struggling downtown.

Louis Aguilar / The Detroit News

A 33-story eyesore on the downtown Detroit skyline will be transformed into a top-of-the-line hotel under a $180 million plan, unveiled Tuesday, to renovate the long-vacant Book-Cadillac Hotel.

Hailed as the biggest renovation project in downtown Detroit since the Fox Theatre was restored 18 years ago, the new hotel will have 455 rooms (with 42-inch flat-screen TVs, high-speed cable and wireless Internet access), 67 condos (priced at up to $1 million), three ballrooms (two restored to their original grandeur), three nationally known restaurants and retail shops.

The complex deal involving 22 sources of financing literally was not sealed until late Tuesday afternoon, within the hour of the plan's unveiling by Gov. Jennifer Granholm, Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and Cleveland developer John Ferchill at a gathering at the Detroit Athletic Club.

Construction of the Westin Book-Cadillac is expected to begin next month. A grand opening is anticipated in the summer of 2008. The Book-Cadillac, first opened in 1924, closed 22 years ago.

"They keep saying this is the tipping point with the things going on" downtown, said Granholm at the event attended by about 250.

"It is going to be such a signature building for Detroit. This is a done deal. We want this to be a blueprint for others who come. This sort of group financing is a model for the future. There is no future in Michigan without a vibrant city of Detroit."

Kilpatrick said reopening the hotel is a key step in the city's effort to revive downtown, where billions have been invested in the last decade, and a special day for the generation of Detroiters who have never experienced the grandeur of the former Book-Cadillac.

"What a day, what a day in the city. Yeah, this is big," Kilpatrick told the crowd. "For most of my life, even all through high school at Cass Technical School, I wondered, 'when are they going to do something with that thing?' Well they is us. And we are doing something today."

The self-deprecating Ferchill, who has made a fortune in restoring historic buildings in rust belt cities, first addressed the crowd by saying, "I bet you never thought we would be here, huh?"

Condos may top $1M

In an interview before his speech to the gathering, Ferchill said he is most optimistic about quickly selling the 67 condos. He says a market study showed they'd be sold within 90 days of going on the market.

"Now at first I thought that was crazy, so we had a second (market study). It said the same thing."

The condos are expected to be priced from $200,000 to $1 million.

The hotel part of the project is a bit more troublesome, Ferchill admitted, though market studies do show it could draw customers from Dearborn area hotels.

"I actually, candidly, am not as optimistic about the hotel," he said.

"This will be nicest hotel in Detroit, now whether people will go there. "

It's the largest, most complex deal of Ferchill's 28-year career.

2 ballrooms to be restored

The renovation project will restore two of the hotel's grand ballrooms to their original state.

A third ballroom, the largest in the city at 11,000 square feet, will be added to the north side of the hotel.

The complex also will include a national chain steakhouse, a Detroit-oriented sports bar and coffeehouse on the street level. Ferchill mentioned that he is negotiating with a former co-owner of a now-defunct bar near Tiger Stadium to accumulate his Detroit sports paraphernalia.

The hotel, at the corner of Washington Boulevard and Michigan Avenue, will accommodate 2,000 guests and employ 300 full-and part-time employees.

Project is symbolic

Former Marygrove College President Glenda Price was among those who came to listen to the announcement. Price, who retired last week, led the college to do more outreach in Detroit and is a member of various boards and commissions in the city.

"It's very important for everyone in the community to support development because it's going to affect all the work the rest of us do," Price said.

Brother Francis Boylan of the Samaritan Center has been an advocate for families for years. He said the renovated hotel will be good for the city and the families that reside in the city. "Anything that strengthens families is a good thing," he said.

The project "is symbolic of what's happening in Detroit," said Lucius Vassar, chief administrative officer for the city.

The mayor has been trying to turn the city around and make it a destination spot for travelers, Vassar said, adding that the hotel is another part of the mayor's plan.

"This is one of the most unique and complex projects," Vassar said, noting the multiple layers of financing and the city's desire to maintain the building's historical characteristics. "That's why it took so long" to get the project off the ground.

Deal has 22 funding sources

The Book-Cadillac was the city's pre-eminent hotel for six decades. Presidents, movie stars and high-rolling gangsters stayed there.

After closing in 1984, what to do with historic building has vexed every mayor since Coleman Young.

It took developer Ferchill and the Detroit Economic Growth Corp., the quasi-public group that works on reviving the city, more than a year to piece together the finance package that includes 22 sources of funding.

"Next month, we will begin the transformation of this historic and long-neglected corner on Washington Boulevard and Michigan Avenue to anchor downtown Detroit for investment and create catalytic opportunity with its connections to the Convention Center, Riverwalk and the city's celebrated sports arenas and ballparks," Ferchill said.

The project joins billions of dollars in public and private investment that have been poured into downtown the past 10 years, bringing new life to long-empty historic buildings and filling the city's blighted core with new casinos, lofts, restaurants, martini bars and small retail shops.

Jul 5, 2006, 6:40 PM
The Main North Terraces in Royal Oak is just one phase of a larger development. The terraces are sold out, so we are just waiting word on commencement of the next phase of the project.

the pope
Jul 6, 2006, 7:14 PM
had no idea the terraces are sold out already.

and the fifth/washington (18 stories) is at about four stories....

Jul 9, 2006, 11:07 AM

Condos in plan for $180M rehab of Detroit hotel

Associated Press
Published July 9, 2006

DETROIT -- A $180 million package has been secured to finance the overhaul of the historic Book-Cadillac Hotel, a key step in the city's downtown redevelopment strategy.

"The Book-Cadillac certainly is one of the most challenging projects the City of Detroit has ever worked on," said Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. It will anchor three main streets, he said.

City officials in 2004 asked The Ferchill Group, the Cleveland-based developer of Detroit's Hilton Garden Inn, to finance the Book-Cadillac rehab.

The 33-story hotel opened in 1924 and closed in 1984.

Developer John Ferchill announced his renovation plan in November. The restored building, to reopen in spring 2008, will include 455 hotel rooms, 67 luxury condominiums, a conference center and retail and restaurant space that may include an upscale steak house.

Jul 14, 2006, 8:22 PM
Thursday July 13, 2006



Jul 14, 2006, 11:11 PM
You might want to label that for people that may have missed earlier photos, or have no idea what that is.

Jul 19, 2006, 4:06 PM
Demolition crews raze the Neumann Building on Big Beaver at Alpine to make way for 165 condos that will sell for as high as $2 million each.

TROY - Builders are banking on demand from people with big bank accounts and bigger taste. Some units will cover 4,000 square feet and include a private fitness center, fire lounge, home theater, granite countertops, high-end appliances and two climate-controlled parking spaces per unit.

Plus, it's minutes away from the Somerset Collection.

City administrators see the Monarch as a way to diversify Big Beaver, which is essentially Troy's Main Street but relies heavily on retail and office space. They believe adding high-end housing will rejuvenate the area and bring much-needed revenue to the city.

COME AGAIN? Since when does Troy need "much-needed revenue"? Oh yah, since it's a has-been community now. You know, Troy makes so much sense it's not even funny...and here's how it works...City officials think Big Beaver is "Downtown Southeast Michigan" so they're going to build more skyscrapers on it. Residents don't want it because they moved to Troy to live in the suburbs away from density and the congestion that comes from it. So, they leave to greener pastures. It's a double standard and assits with our sprawling problem in Metro Detroit. Now, if only developers would build luxury high rises in the communities that want them, then maybe people will stay put or move closer to where we've originated.


Go to their website and see what the skyline of Troy looks like under "sophistication".

You can also go to views and see what the upper floors will look out to. (nasty)

Jul 19, 2006, 8:12 PM
Hey, you get a pleasant view of the Southfield skyline!

Seriously, why would that be included on the site? Ain't a damn thing there.

Downtown Southeast Michigan's main thoroughfare doesn't even come close to anything in the outer Las Vegas valley when it comes to urbanity. Troy is delusional.

Jul 20, 2006, 12:04 AM

I'd much rather see these towers here than as a 1,000-unit, sprawled housing development out in Oakland Township.

the urban politician
Jul 20, 2006, 12:19 AM
The great thing about the Detroit redevelopment boom, compared to other midwestern cities outside of Chicago, is the enormous INVENTORY of prewar buildings that can be rehabbed. Detroit reached 2 million people 50 years ago, and the size of the city and its construction still reflects that. Although there has been a lot of demolition, this stands as a HUGE advantage for Detroit.

The only thing I don't understand is how these people moving into these condos are going to get around. Are there more mixed-use developments with ground level retail forming in some of these new condos? I'm guessing people will basically be driving, but what really needs to be done is a comprehensive agreement that "hey, we need transit services", although I realize that is years away.

I like that Jennifer Granholm has been supportive of Detroit's rebirth. I just worry that if Michigan gets a Republican Governer again, it'll be in trouble

Jul 20, 2006, 12:57 AM
Effective mass transit really is a missing component that would legitimize and tie together all of these developments and redevelopments. It's ironic that it's so out of reach, now. Until the suburbs get on board, nothing is going to be done. Needless to say, they haven't got on board, yet.

Jul 24, 2006, 5:44 PM
Big Beaver Redevelopment Proposals to be unveiled to Troy City Planning this evening, 7.24.06.

Street Scene






*Photos property of Birchler Arroyo & Assoc.

Jul 30, 2006, 7:47 PM
Photos by DecoJim of the MGM and MotorCity Casino Hotel towers taken 11:00am, July 29, 2006:







Jul 31, 2006, 2:48 AM
I'm actually liking the glass on MGM. Even though you can detect a faint gold, it is overdone by a normal-looking glass.

Friday, July 28






I like the "bowled out" design of the Motor City Casino.

This complex is going up amazingly fast!



Greektown Casino is still just a pile of rubble.

Jul 31, 2006, 9:53 PM
From: http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060731/BIZ/607310360/1001
Monday, July 31, 2006
As casino hotels go up, Detroit wonders who will win the game of
Louis Aguilar / The Detroit News


Downtown Detroit, a longtime also-ran in the hotel and convention arena, is poised to become a more influential player with the addition of glitzy new casino hotels and restored architectural gems.
About 1,850 new hotel rooms are expected to be ready for overnight visitors by 2008, an increase of 56 percent from current levels. The new construction could affect hotel business from Windsor to Cleveland, according to industry experts.
Area convention officials already are hustling to double the number of citywide conventions in Detroit that could bring in tens of thousands of new visitors each year.
"This opens the doors for us," said Michael O'Callaghan, chief operating officer and executive vice president for the Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau, which is responsible for drumming up convention business for Detroit and surrounding suburbs.
"We will have the hotel space to accommodate the existing convention space and attract four more citywide conventions of 10,000 to 15,000. Everyone will be able to benefit."
That would be a dramatic turn of events for a city where nearly half of the hotel rooms sit empty for much of the year and whose marquee event, the North American International Auto Show, can't grow because local politicians can't agree on how to expand Cobo Center.
The best-case scenario: The three new casinos-hotels -- the MGM Grand, MotorCity and Greektown -- plus the renovated Westin Book-Cadillac and Pick-Fort Shelby, lift the entire region.
The new hotels, which will increase the number of downtown rooms to 5,155, may attract large meetings and conventions and provide rooms for major events like the NCAA Final Four coming to Ford Field in 2009.
The worst-case scenario: Business doesn't increase, and a glut of rooms drives some hotels out of business.
"It's an interesting experiment," said Charles Skelton, president of Hospitality Advisors Inc., an Ann Arbor hotel consulting firm -- particularly for a city with a 58 percent hotel occupancy rate in May that ranked second-worst among the 25 largest U.S. cities, according to Smith Travel Research.
"I would think convention officials as far away as Toledo, Cleveland, etc., are eyeing this to see how it plays out," he said.
Can hotels fill rooms?
So are those just across the Canadian border.
Casino Windsor is expanding with 369 rooms in a new tower and 100,000 feet of additional convention space. The renovation will be complete in two years.
"We hope it means that the area becomes stronger for international events that will benefit both sides of the border," said Gordon Orr, managing director of the Windsor, Essex County & Pelee Island Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The optimism of local tourism and convention officials isn't shared by all. Even some of the new competition is skeptical Detroit can lure the visitors to fill all those new hotel rooms.
John Ferchill, the Cleveland developer behind the $180 million renovation of the landmark Book-Cadillac, said the project's 67 upscale condos, 31,000-square-foot conference center and 119,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space should do well.
"I actually, candidly, am not as optimistic about the hotel," he said, referring to the 450-room Westin hotel. It's slated to open in 2008.
Market studies suggest the Book-Cadillac will have to take business away from high-end Dearborn-area hotels to survive, Ferchill said.
"What we see is a trend of people who are doing business down here (in the Detroit area) and staying up there (Dearborn area) because there wasn't a, quote-unquote, facility that they will like to stay in.
"This will be nicest hotel in Detroit. Now whether people will go there ..." Ferchill said, then shrugged.
Suburbs ready to compete
No matter how nice the Westin Book-Cadillac will be, some Dearborn hotels say they can compete.
"Although I expect to see some movement (to) downtown, it doesn't mean we cannot replace it by attracting more business," said Pat Trammell, senior director of sales and marketing at the Hyatt Regency Dearborn.
Less than 15 percent of hotel visitors are in town to do business in downtown Detroit, she said. Further, the hotel's 62,000 square feet of convention space is larger than what the Book-Cadillac will offer, she said.
And the casino hotels will attract a different crowd than the Hyatt crowd, she said.
"A large amount of our convention business is in the education area," Trammell said. "I can't see them wanting to stay in a casino to do business. They may want to go there on their free time, but that's a different issue."
A Troy-based hotel consultant agreed that suburban and city hotels can benefit from a stronger downtown Detroit.
"It's not a zero-sum game," said Ron Wilson, chief executive officer of Hotel Investment Services Inc.
"If two out of five people who usually stay in the suburbs now stay downtown, it doesn't necessarily mean you will have only three people left in the suburbs," he said. "It's been shown (in previous studies) that in order to spur hotel growth, you need to add hotels."
Cobo poses dilemma
Wilson said the additional downtown hotels get Detroit out of its "Catch-22": The city can't expand Cobo Center and lure more conventions because it lacks hotels, and it lacks hotels because it can't expand Cobo and lure more conventions.
The planned $663 million expansion of Cobo is being stalled by political wrangling between the city and suburbs.
Cobo is the home of the North American International Auto Show, which generates close to $600 million in economic impact for the region.
But other cities, most notably Chicago, are trying to upstage the Detroit auto show by offering larger facilities that are less expensive for exhibitors.
But even without an expanded Cobo, the additional hotel rooms mean Detroit can go after convention business it couldn't get before, said O'Callaghan of the Convention and Visitors Bureau.
"We've conducted a lot of studies; something like 85 percent of conventions can actually fit into that floor space" at Cobo, O'Callaghan said.
Beyond the regional conventions and midsize association shows, analysts say the new downtown rooms can help sell the region for splashier events, such as a national political convention.
Existing hotels step up
Some of the hotels downtown are already stepping up their game. The Hotel Pontchartrain is undergoing a $12 million renovation that should be completed by end of year. It will be renamed the Sheraton Pontchartrain to reflect its partnership with the national hotel chain.
"We could all benefit from this," Pontchartrain general manager Todd Roesler said of the new hotels.
"The Convention and Visitors Bureau is doing a great job in scrubbing up potential business."
While the new casino hotels are not likely to attract many business travelers -- "I can't see (a) corporate executive in town to do business with GM staying there," said Skelton, of Hospitality Advisors -- they will win over out-of-town gamblers and more socially oriented conventions, such as the regional meetings of the Order of Eagles.
"It's all pieces of the puzzle to make downtown better," said Skelton, noting there are still pieces that must fall into place.
"Can we attract enough business who feel safe downtown? Are there enough things to do downtown? It's yet another big test for downtown."

Aug 1, 2006, 3:59 AM
So far I like how MGM and Motor City are turning out. MGM it seems will be pretty tasteful complex. MotorCity's hotel isn't nearly as bland as it was in the renderings and they shouldn't be too far behind MGM in starting work on the exterior

Aug 2, 2006, 2:09 AM
I do think it will be breath of modern fresh air in that part of town (Trumbull/Woodbridge area).

Aug 6, 2006, 7:46 PM
A new update for August 04-05, 2006

The Ellington Lofts: The little stickers in the windows that you can't read say, "SOLD". The open spot near the middle is how vehicles will enter the garage behind the building.


Hopefully this slow-as-molasses building will be complete by year's end.

The north end of The MGM Grand Casino looking west. Sorry for the quality. The sun was getting low in the sky.

Hotel component

The midsection on 3rd Street.

The view from Michigan Avenue


As seen from Bagley and the Lodge

Motor City Casino from Michigan Avenue over the Lodge.

Michigan Welcome Center at the Ambassador Bridge border crossing.


Lithuanian Hall is a housing rehab in Southwest Detroit on Vernor Street.

Just down Vernor, Southwest Solutions is redeveloping this building.


Aug 6, 2006, 9:08 PM
Wow! Everything is looking MUCH nicer than I thought it would. The Ellington looks of very high quality, as does the welcome center. BTW, the north half of MGM is that giant-ass parking deck, something like 5,000+ cars and over 100' tall. It will really count as a building itself when completed. lol

Aug 6, 2006, 10:07 PM
I forgot to add the Livernois Median
...between McNichols and 7 Mile...Does anyone know if it will cover 7 Mile to 8 Mile? The Avenue of Fashion?

And Rivard Plaza on the East Riverfront. Half plaza-half parking lot. :rolleyes:

the pope
Aug 8, 2006, 3:48 PM
i could be wrong, but i thought the avenue of fashion was between 6 and 7 mile, and not north of 7......its been a while though......

Aug 9, 2006, 1:25 AM
Greektown gets final approval for permanent casino

DETROIT -- Greektown Casino received final approval Tuesday to begin construction of its permanent $200 million casino/hotel/entertainment complex.

The Michigan Gaming Control Board unanimously approved Greektown's plans, and casino officials hope to have the complex open by September 2008, about six months after the opening of permanent facilities for MGM Grand Detroit Casino and the MotorCity Casino.

Each of the three casinos will feature 400-room hotels, 100,000-square-feet of gaming space, restaurants, entertainment facilities, meeting rooms and parking decks.

Greektown originally planned to spend $450 million to build an all-new facility. Casino officials changed their minds last November and decided to expand the temporary casino in the heart of the Greektown business district -- a move that will save $250 million.

Mike Leinweber, construction manager for Jenkins/Skanska Ventures LLC, which will build the permanent Greektown facility, told the Gaming Board that work would begin almost immediately on the complex.

"We will be taking great care to keep Greektown Casino in full operation during the construction," Leinweber said.

He said the casino will add an additional 30,000 square-foot of gaming space on the second floor of the temporary casino, most of it hanging over Lafayette Blvd. but vehicle traffic will still be able to move under it. A 1,200-seat event center will be constructed off the casino area that will have a flexible use for concerts, meetings and other activities.

Across the street will be a new 30-story hotel and 3,200-car parking structure. That building also will include restaurants, a ballroom and meeting rooms. The facility will be connected to the casino by an enclosed pedestrian bridge with a moving sidewalk.

Approval of Greektown's final plans came just after the Gaming Board announced that the casino's July revenue was down 8 percent over the same month a year ago. Revenue was up for the other two Detroit casinos. The board did not release the numbers for July, only the percentages.

Greektown officials called the drop an anomaly and nothing to worry about.

"Our table game revenue was down for the month," said Roger Martin, a spokesman for Greektown. "It could be as simple as more people winning at the tables, leaving us with less revenue. Hopefully, July was just a blip on the screen.

"We have been very pleased with our financially performance and have gained market share back in the last year."

A check of the Michigan Gaming Control Board records showed that in each of the first six months of 2006, Greektown revenues were up year over year. During the same six month period, total revenue for the three Detroit casino was at $647.6 million, on pace to set a record for the casinos.

Permanent Detroit casino openings
All three Detroit casinos are building new facilities, which will include 100,000-square-feet of gaming space, 400-room hotels, entertainment centers, meeting rooms and parking structures. Here is when they expect to open:
# Greektown Casino -- Sept. 2008
# MtotorCity Casino -- late 2007/early 2008
# MGM Grand Detroit Casino -- early 2008


Aug 9, 2006, 3:35 AM
Whats happening with the Lafayette Building? I heard renovation plans but nothing since. Also, I heard the Valpey Building is under renovation and I have no idea what building that is. Anyone know?

Aug 9, 2006, 2:36 PM
Hmmm...maybe the Valpey is the building on Washington at Michigan across from the Book Cadillac that I was recently wondering why it had no window on a section of it. I really don't know.

The Lafayette Building is just the typical announcement and months of waiting before hearing anything more.

Aug 9, 2006, 5:52 PM
MGM Grand is going to look great. And once the Book-Cadillac is done downtown will be on its way. Thanks Michi. I heard somewhere the Lafayette Building renovation is waiting for the Book-Cadillac's parking garage. I wanted to see if that was true or not.

Aug 9, 2006, 6:26 PM
And another...

picture from forgottendetroit.com

Downtown's Book Tower sold

August 8, 2006


One of Detroit’s older downtown skyscrapers, the Book Tower, has been sold.

A New York-based investment group, the Pagan Organization, completed the purchase from the former owner, local investor Susan Lambrecht, on July 25.

The purchase price was not disclosed. Located on Washington Boulevard, the two-building complex includes the 13-story Book Building, built in 1917, and the 36-story Book Tower, built in 1926. Michael Hidalgo, vice president of the new ownership group, said the buyers decided the time was right to invest in Detroit’s renovation. “We’ve actually had our eye on the resurgence and development of Detroit for some time,” he said. Plans call for a renovation of the buildings, including creation of new retail space and conversion of some of the existing office space into residential units.

Aug 9, 2006, 9:35 PM

the pope
Aug 10, 2006, 4:46 PM
i want to live in the book tower

Aug 13, 2006, 3:54 AM
Here are some new renderings I found of the Chene West proposal along the International Riverfront that was supposed to start this summer. It looks like two floors where added since originally proposed. The complex will include a 10-story tower with groundfloor residential and parking, along with townhomes surrounding the site. It will include 108-110 units:









Go to Kraemer Design Group's website to see the animation. It's under "Our Work," and then "On the Boards"


Also, rough conceptual drawing for the Parkshore at Harbortown that look to be taking reservations according to http://www.downtownpartnership.org/ddp/housing-announcements.htm:


the pope
Aug 14, 2006, 5:05 PM
i'm not a big architecture critic, but its new and breathes some fresh air down there.

Aug 14, 2006, 5:51 PM
and those nearly 30 story towers at Harbortown will add a real punch in the arm for the skyline when viewing from Belle Isle...

Aug 19, 2006, 3:03 AM
Tetsua and Troy posted these Midtown construction pics last week on DY

I had comepletely forgotten about this little project on Woodward nice that it started such a timely fashion



Willys Overland Lofts are coming along nicely, I hadn't realized that they changed plans and added another level it really gives it a nice modern touch.




This building at John R and Garfield was recently fenced off and may be rehabbed in the near future by Jonna Co.

The rest of Tetsua's pics:

Aug 20, 2006, 10:18 PM

Motor City Casino has released a new rendering. It's much more stylish than I imagined. My only complaint is I would've preferred if they didn't try to mix and match new and old. Either make the thing blend in with the current historic design or go completely modern.

Aug 21, 2006, 2:47 AM
I love the design for the Book-Cadillac's new wing. Something about it interests me.

The streamlined area on the front of the Moter City Casino looks like an art deco recreation. Its great, but whats with the rocket at the left?

Aug 21, 2006, 4:13 AM
My buddy owns the building next to the midmed lofts and I was told the building on Garfield was to be rehabbed exactly the same way as the current building on canfield.

I would like to see something go up on the grassy empty lot that is resembling a jungle on John. R and Garfield. That area there is on the upswing. The dirt parking lo ton the corner is kinda going thru a tug of war on ownership, once that is settled it is rumored to be proposed for some really nice lofts......we'll see.

I like the new renderings of Motor City much more than the first, I still wish it where more in tune to the surronding architecture, but christ I'll take it.

Am I the only one wants trolley plaza to be bombed? I hate that fing building.

Aug 21, 2006, 4:24 PM
Trolley Plaza just needs to get its ownership/management team serious about upgrading the facility so it can start to meet the levels of investment coming to Washington Blvd - Especially if Rock/Quicken move next door.

the pope
Aug 21, 2006, 4:39 PM
i feel a subcalc response coming somewhere, at sometime, defending the trolly.

Aug 21, 2006, 4:49 PM
I really like some of those plans Detroit has for its waterfront. Esp with that one LMich posted with the highrises along the waterfront. Its really coming along nicely up there.

Aug 23, 2006, 3:42 AM
Speaking of Mid Med lofts when did the steel start going up? Driving up Woodward today I noticed a crane in the area today, circled back and was surprised to see the new skeleton coming together. It seemed like there had been no progress there for the longest time.

Aug 24, 2006, 7:38 PM
I don't know if this is great but it adds jobs I guess...
heres the link. http://www.crainsdetroit.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060824/FREE/308240001/-1/newsletter04

Salvation Army makes deal to buy Detroit land for center

By Sherri Begin

6:00 am, August 24, 2006

The Salvation Army/Eastern Michigan Division has negotiated purchase agreements with the city of Detroit and the Detroit Housing Commission for 30.24 acres in Detroit for construction of a 100,000-square-foot community center.

The center would be named for Joan Kroc, the late wife of McDonald’s Corp. founder Ray Kroc who left the Alexandria, Va.-based Salvation Army network $2 billion late in 2003 for construction and endowment of community centers across the country.

The Southfield-based affiliate received tentative approval for $50 million of the bequest early in 2005, provided it could secure land for it, obtain commitments for donor support and meet other criteria as part of a lengthy application process.

The nonprofit had until mid-August to work out the purchase agreements or it stood to lose the funds.

The land purchase agreements received approval from the Salvation Army’s regional office in Des Plaines, Ill., last week , said Russ Russell, executive director of development at the local Salvation Army.

The Detroit City Council must approve the city’s agreement before it becomes final, said Douglass Diggs, director of the Detroit Planning and Development Department.

Under the tentative agreement with the city, The Salvation Army will pay $10 for 11.78 acres at Conner and Frankfort on the east side of Detroit, Diggs said.

“It’s a significant investment The Salvation Army would be putting into the property with the construction of the facility and the programs they’ll be offering,” he said.

“It will provide a valuable recreational opportunity for the citizens of the east side of the city of Detroit.”

The project won’t fail entirely if the City Council does not approve the agreement, Russell said, because The Salvation Army could build the center entirely on the HUD land.

Under terms of the agreement with the Detroit Housing Commission, The Salvation Army will pay $10 for 18.46 acres of land owned by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, provided it builds on the land within two years, Russell said.

If it takes two to four years to build on the HUD land, the nonprofit would pay $10,000 for it, he said.

In addition to securing land for the center, The Salvation Army must also get final approval of a 1,500-plus page application that details construction plans, programs for the new center and fundraising goals, among other things, from its regional office, Russell said.

“We’re hoping that our application will be approved before the end of the year,” he said. “Once that is approved, we’ll start with our (fundraising) campaign the first of next year.”

The nonprofit has set a goal to raise an additional $48 million to support construction and operation of the center.

Provided it can raise that amount within two years, it plans to break ground on the new center late by early 2009, Russell said.

Aug 24, 2006, 7:50 PM
Some more stuff...

Anna Scripps Whitomb Conservatory closing for repairs
http://freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll /article?AID=/20060814/FEATURE S04/608140334/1025

Westin Book-Cadillac's new website

Aug 24, 2006, 8:11 PM
WOW! This is the best Detroit thread I've seen in a while:)

Aug 25, 2006, 1:51 AM
I wanna rehash what I said about the building on Garfield. It is not going to be redeveloped like the one on Canfield. I do know that the church(I believe St.Paul's) bought it though.

To tell you the truth I'm not sure what day exactly they began the steel work. Since my friends building is right next door I've followed just about every other piece of progress. I havn't been at his place much th elast few weeks so I've missed alot as of late.

All I know is that this is one of my favorite :yes: developments going up in the city.

Aug 27, 2006, 10:40 PM
Does anyone have any pics of the greektown hotel site? Has any ground work started yet? Any MGM and motorcity construction updates?

If you can post them thank you.

Aug 29, 2006, 4:40 PM
The streamlined area on the front of the Moter City Casino looks like an art deco recreation. Its great, but whats with the rocket at the left?

I'm not from Detroit but a big muscle car enthusiast. I think that "rocket" is supposed to symbolize an old automobile tail light. Like the ones you would have seen on some of the old Chevys back in the 50s.

I like the design and I am also pleased to finally see a Detroit thread!

Aug 29, 2006, 8:07 PM
:previous: Oh! That makes sense.

the pope
Sep 1, 2006, 1:24 PM
i'm still calling it a spaceship.

to the moon lmich!

Sep 11, 2006, 9:55 PM
Some more stuff...

A vacant building on the corner of Trumball and Merrick is going to be renovated into the Woodbridge Tavern. Not skyscraper news, but it still gets another building renovated.

A Biodiesel facility is going to be built in the New Center on Baltimore Avenue. The architect will be the Albert Kahn Associates. It will make $35M in sales.
http://www.crainsdetroit.com/a pps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/2006 0911/SUB/60908044/-1/toc

Sep 12, 2006, 3:29 AM
A REAL MOTOWN NEIGHBORHOOD: New Detroit development pays homage to musical greats

September 10, 2006

Email this Print this BY MARISOL BELLO


Off the Lodge Freeway and down the road from Wayne State University, where 13 hulking public housing towers once loomed over Detroit's Woodbridge neighborhood, construction is booming in one of the city's largest residential complexes.

Along Miracles Boulevard and Contours Lane, newly christened streets in the 47-acre development that were named in honor of the city's past Motown greats, new townhouses and rental apartments are under construction.

Almost all of the 47 single-family homes in the mixed development have been sold and 32 more are being built. All 118 rental apartments that have been built are leased and another 160 or so are under construction.

Three of the towers that used to make up the Jeffries housing project were left standing and converted into senior housing. All are occupied.

In another 2 1/2 years, the developers of Woodbridge Estate hope to finish the ambitious project, complete with luxury houses and condominiums, community parks and a playground.

But for the residents who live there, the development is a sign of the city's rebirth and offers another opportunity for those who want to stay and invest in Detroit.

"It causes people to feel more self-respect and dignity," said Lorenzo Houston, who bought a four-bedroom house in the development two days before Christmas last year. "For all the things happening in the city now, this is a sign that the city is on its way back up."

Last year, Houston and his wife thought about leaving the city after a family tragedy. They looked for homes in the suburbs, but nothing quite fit. They stumbled onto Woodbridge Estates and were sold on it after they saw its large new houses, proximity to downtown and handsome tax breaks.

And they're not alone.

Tom Wilson moved into a four-bedroom, 2 1/2 -bath house on Aretha Avenue last year. The 59-year-old accountant moved from Southfield after he added up the benefits of a 69% tax break that would cut the taxes on the new house from $9,000 a year to $2,500.

"That's what made the deal," Wilson said. "I went around the city. The east side, there's a lot of development there. But I just love these."

Wilson is still working on the home, furnishing it and finishing the basement. He's hopeful as more families move in, that the value of his home will go up.

His neighbor down the street, Pastor Sidney Griffin, is giddy about the increasing value of his home. He estimated that in the year he's been there, the value of his house jumped by about $20,000.

The impact is even greater around the neighborhood, where he said homeowners with historic houses outside of the development are reinvesting in their properties.

"It's a beautiful thing," Griffin said. "It's an experiment. And just like with any experiment, we're praying and trusting it will work. Right now, it's a new fresh start. We'll see how it goes."

Contact MARISOL BELLO at 313-222-6678 or bello@freepress.com.

Sep 17, 2006, 9:44 PM
As of Saturday, September 16, 2006

Motor City Casino - The yellow portion is the gaming space along Grand River Avenue.

North Facade - From the looks of the renderings, it appears that the rows have some sort of lighting (perhaps neon). I'm wondering if that would be added to the slots between each floor (in the gray portion).

Peering underneath


Oops, how did that get in there?

The south facade is a bit further behind.

Looking north from Michigan Avenue over the Lodge Fwy.

MGM Grand:
Peeking out among the buildings.

From the west. Between us sits the Lodge.

From Bagley (Corktown)


Northbound 3rd Street at Michigan Avenue.

Just a few more floors to go.

Greektown Casino Site. Monroe at St. Antoine. Work ensues on a daily basis.

From the back:

MidMed Lofts - Looking south

Sep 17, 2006, 10:04 PM

That thing'll make for some interesting views off the freeway. Thanks for a much needed photo update.

Sep 18, 2006, 12:31 AM
I haven't been that way in a while. Glad to see how far they are on the Motor City Casino.

Sep 18, 2006, 3:10 AM
Thanks for the pictures, everything seems to be coming along quite well.

the pope
Sep 18, 2006, 2:49 PM
but where is the rocketship, i take it, that it is yet to land.

Sep 18, 2006, 10:12 PM
Not development news, but there is tons more Detroit coverage in the Bird's Eye View department (local.live.com) :tup:

Sep 20, 2006, 8:15 PM

Illitch plans to build on empty lots between woodward and comerica park

Sep 21, 2006, 8:20 PM
More small news...
The Kronk Gym people are looking at a new location around Grand River and the Southfield Freeway.

The Broderick Tower has gotten state tax credits for it's renovation.

More small updates to come...

Sep 21, 2006, 11:19 PM
The Kronk Gym incident is NOT good news though. You all know what happened, right?

We can't have irreplacable downtown buildings and we can't have world famous boxing gyms.
The theft of pipes and a boiler from Kronk Gym may be
the final chapter of its storied role in U.S. boxing.

Detroit is the "Can't Have" city.

Sep 25, 2006, 6:26 PM
:previous: I agree, its sad.

Heres somemore news...

StubHub, a ticket reseller, is going to open a permanent location in the Madison Building. They will lease 1,500 square feet on the third floor of the building.

Sep 26, 2006, 5:49 PM
From the this weeks Model D, nice to see some development taking place in the neighborhoods


Islandview Village to see 131 units of market-rate housing
Residential Detroit LLC is developing 131 units of market rate housing in Islandview Village, a neighborhood located just blocks west of West Village. Developer Vic Semelsberger describes the neighborhood as “truly a mixed income neighborhood;” Messiah Housing is building low-moderate income housing in the same area. Islandview is just blocks from Gabriel Richard Park, the terminus of the under-construction Riverwalk and the gateway to Belle Isle.
Residential Detroit has two distinct projects in the pipeline. The first, English Village Brownstones, is a 105-unit townhouse development that consists of 25 multi-unit buildings. 42 of the units have been completed, of which 35 have sold. An additional three units that have not yet been constructed have also been sold. The units range from $230-280,000 and come in 2, 3 and 4 bedroom models. Semelsberger anticipates the entire project to be completed in 3-4 years.

The second project, English Village Lofts, is the conversion of the former St. Charles School into 26 loft condos ranging in price from $150-290,000 and in size from 685-1,665 square feet. Construction will begin in the fourth quarter of this year and be completed by the end of 2008.

Semelsberger estimates his company’s total investment in the neighborhood at $25 million. Site plans and renderings are available at englishvillagedetroit.com.

Source: Vic Semelsberger, Residential Detroit LLC

50 new homes planned for Core City's new $8 million development
The area bounded by Grand River, Magnolia, Vermont and Rosa Parks Blvd. will see 50 new single family homes in the coming year. Core City Neighborhoods and Phoenix Communities will break ground on the project, named Carriage Town, on Thursday, September 21.

The affordable houses will be three- and four-bedrooms and will rent for $280-$680 per month depending on unit size and the tenant’s income. They will be very similar in appearance to the Core City Estates II, located just to the east of Carriage Town, including the 2-car rear-facing attached garages that are accessed via the alley.

The name Carriage Town was inspired by the area’s proximity to the Katharine Ferguson Academy and its farm. Core City Executive Director Willie Cambell envisions the farm's horses being exercised through the streets of Carriage Town. He estimates the construction cost of the project to be $8 million.

The ground-breaking will take place between 3 and 4 p.m. at the northwest corner of Rosa Parks and Grand River. For more information, call Core City at 313.894.8431.

Source: Willie Cambell, Core City Neighborhoods Non-Profit Corp.

69 new homes plus rehabs for Kercheval Estates http://modeldmedia.com/galleries/Default/Dev%20News/Issue%2063/kerchevalestates.jpg
Granite Building Company is working to build up to 69 new single family homes in the area bounded by Kercheval, Charlevoix, Chalmers and Phillips. The project, called Kercheval Estates, also includes rehabilitating existing homes in the area in partnership with the non-profit Detroit Housing Group; nine have been completed.

Gwen Lewis, the owner of Granite Construction, explains that the homes are built after they are purchased. Each house can be customized to the purchaser’s needs; the homes start at $175,000 and 1,300 square feet.

Lewis notes Kercheval Estate’s proximity to Grosse Pointe, Mack-Alter Square, the revitalization of East Jefferson and other residential development like Marlborough Estates as some of the area’s amenities. She plans for 53 additional homes to be built for phase 2.

There are three models onsite that are open weekdays from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and on Saturdays from 2-6 p.m.

Source: Gwen Lewis, Granite Building Co.

Sep 30, 2006, 10:34 PM

Sep 30, 2006, 10:35 PM
Next page, please.

Oct 1, 2006, 12:09 AM
Ugh. Anyway, I kinda went a little overboard with this update.

These are all of Friday, September 29, 2006 I was on a picture-taking frenzy yesterday.

First stop, WINDSOR! - Casino Windsor hotel tower expansion.

The Portofino as seen from Detroit.

Rivard Plaza - Rivard and Atwater

...of course 1/2 the property is a parking lot (out of photo).

Some of my photos came out really BLURRY, so I appologize for the next few. I don't know what was wrong w/ my camera.
This is development on Larned Street. Not sure what it is though.

Relatively new Rock Downtown Financial Park on E. Larned Street.

The bohemith city within a city...I mean BCBC Parking Garage. Good grief, Charlie Brown.

Greektown infill - Monroe Street.

Sorry, I can never remember the name of this loft rehab on S. Broadway.


On to the CASINOS:

First up is Greektown Casino from Lafayette and the Chrysler Fwy.


MGM Grand Casino - 3rd Street & Michigan Avenue @ the Lodge Fwy.

Michigan Avenue, looking east.





I think this is the main enterance to the gamin space off of 3rd Street.


Remember the parking bohemith/city within a city posted above? Well, here's another.

The sky was awesome most of the afternoon.

Lots o' cranes still.

Downtown-bound Lodge Freeway

Motor City Casino as seen from Michigan Avenue over the Lodge Fwy.

Who knew dead logs could bring sexy back?

This thing was freaking loud...whatever it is...

Hotel as seen from the Lodge Fwy.

South facade



I'm really hoping this is as far as the side brickwork goes. It looks like cheap, suburban mall facade or something you'd find at a freeway rest stop building. eek.

Waiting patiently for the windows to be carved out along Grand River Avenue...any day now...

Clark Lofts - Grand River Avenue. Who knew? I didn't.

A never-ending loft conversion: Grand River/Griswold, Capitol Park.

What's this doing in a development thread? ;)

Yes, the Westin Book Cadillac, Detroit!



Imagine it polished in just a few years! :) It'll be an instant asset.

The recently-completed, yet 100% vacant Kennedy Square Building. Way to be, Redico.

Lafayette Building still on the rumor mill.




Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) Building. Recently announced for renovation/preservation.

Rosa Parks Transit Center. Looks like its serving the purpose it was intended for. (I'm kidding)...or am I? *sigh*

Hotel Pick-Fort Shelby restoration. This project will anchor the west side of downtown which hasn't near the amount of activity as the east side. Therefore, it should be a HUGE milestone for this area which has a lot of potential with other vacant buildings, ie: Free Press Building.

What's on Detroit's plate.

DEMOLITION makes its way into a development thread. The old State of Michigan complex will be demolished shortly for a new, flat campus-like, mall-parking lot setbacked, super-blocked piece of garbage for the FBI. A simple facade improvement would have sufficed.

Grinnell Place Lofts - Michigan and Brooklyn, Corktown.

And how about a little Brizz-ush Park for dat ass. Mmmkay.

The latest in the northward construction expansion along Woodward Avenue. Word of mouth all this time was hoping so much for something other than the townhouses on Woodward, but whatever.

Harbor Light Center on the left, and Hotel Eddystone on the right. Their renovations will begin once the Carrolton (see below) is finished and occupied.

But for now, the current tenants occupy this area.

Garden Lofts of Brush Park - Winder Street at the Fisher Service Drive.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE balconies!

The next development culprit - Winder Street:

...and another near Brush and Adelaide. I also believe Brush-Adelaide Park is going to see a lot of investment in it to make it a vibrant, urban park. Haven't heard much confirmation on that yet though.

The old French Mansions that were able to be saved are nothing short of amazing...especially if you saw what they looked like before. Look no further than Edmund Place on Edmund Street.
...simply amazing for Detroit.

More Edmund Street fixer-uppers. These are in great condition compared to most of the other structures that were saved.

This old home will soon be the site of the Brush Park Conservatory of Music and Fine Art - Edmund & John R. I'm telling you, a neighborhood in the making!

This is the Carrolton, as mentioned above. - John R. Street.

John R. is even seeing some historic commercial rehab! "Impossible" you say, in Detroit.

John R. reconstruction. The old surface was comprable to an up north two-track.

Moorey Manor (Erskine Street) was featured on HGTV's Restore America as a fantastic example of restoration and expansion into condominiums.

This caught me by surprise. It's next to Morrey Manor on the Woodward side.

"I wanna play!"

A soon-to-be-rehabber and the Carrolton in the background.

I think this is a private residence...in other words, unlike most of the other homes whose renovations were done by various development, housing, and construction companies.

And old cobblestone alley behind Woodward Avenue.


Sorry, I forgot the name of these renovations. This one in particular is going hella-fast!

That's the Bonstelle Theatre on the adjacent left.

Yes, the infamous Ellington is STILL being constructed on the interior. Hasn't it been like 15 years now? :P

Cass Corridor Area

Willy's Overland Lofts is another amazing renovation! - Willis Street near 3rd.

Nine on Third Townhouses - 3rd Street in Midtown.

Improvements were recently completed on the Detroit Historical Museum in the Cultural Center.

The new garage serving the new condos at Le Park Shelton - Ferry Street.

Mid-Med Lofts - Canfield Street. This is one of Detroit's only projects that demolished the entire thing except for the facade. An outstanding feat if you ask me in a city that blindly bulldozes itself over for sexy parking lots and glamerous, Waldorf Astoria-type parking garages.

Front facade.

Michigan Welcome Center and Supermercado, Mexicantown. This facility is situated adjacent to the customs plaza of the Ambassador Bridge. The plaza and freeway ramps are undergoing a huge reconstruction project right now that will tie it into these two buildings.

There will also be a "Calatrava-like" pedestrian bridge over the Fisher Freeway connecting Bagley Street

The Supermercado (Supermarket) portion. Bad picture...it looks nicer than this in person.

One of Brush Park's greatest assets is its proximity to Detroit's Central Business District and the Riverfront.

These are just a blip on the radar for what's in store for Detroit. Sure, there will still be a lot of great disappointments like the demise of the Commerce Building, but it really is exciting to be a part of a city in such a great transition!

Oct 1, 2006, 12:13 AM
...and just cuz the suburbs left out Detroit for the last 50 years doesn't mean I'll stoop. ;)

The 5th Royal Oak - Washington Avenue. 18 story condo tower.

Looking south.

Looking west.

And of course Main North Lofts. Did I mention I loved balconies!

I think some units are already occupied...as is some of the ground floor retail such as Hollywood Video.

Until the next update! :)

Oct 1, 2006, 12:39 AM
Sorry, I can never remember the name of this loft rehab on S. Broadway.

Thats the Valpey Building.

Oct 1, 2006, 1:11 AM
Nope, that's the Lafer Building on Broadway. The Valpey is on Lower Woodward.

Excellent update, though, as you know, this almost crashed my connection. ;) You captured a lot of the smaller stuff people don't often here about.

BTW, MotorCity said quite some months ago when they started construction their hotel tower that they are going to reface the old casino, but it doesn't seem like they are messing with it. What's the deal?

BTW, I noticed you can see the old Jeffries Projects. But, what surprised me is that it looks like they were givena decorative roof. Is that an illusion? I've never paid attention to it before, I guess.

Oct 1, 2006, 1:11 AM
Fantastic, Michi! There's some great stuff going on in Detroit...man, how much a nice light rail system would do for that city...

It's nice to see this. It's too often we get bogged down in 'Detroit Ruins' photos. It's really great to see these fine developments popping up.

Oct 1, 2006, 1:37 AM
BTW, I noticed you can see the old Jeffries Projects. But, what surprised me is that it looks like they were givena decorative roof. Is that an illusion? I've never paid attention to it before, I guess.

Yep I noticed that while driving by tonight. Hmm, Lee Plaza looses its roof, Jeffries gains a Lee Plaza-esque roof.

Oct 1, 2006, 2:03 AM
Yep I noticed that while driving by tonight. Hmm, Lee Plaza looses its roof, Jeffries gains a Lee Plaza-esque roof.

So it was the Jeffries tenants that scrapped the Lee Plaza for its own roof...:haha:

Awesome update.

Oct 1, 2006, 2:14 AM
LMich, I just realized that right before I clicked on the link for this page.

ya know, no ones posted anything about the Detroit Life Building renovation. It looks like its going to be offices again. http://www.detroitlifebuilding.com/

Oct 1, 2006, 8:31 PM
Nope, that's the Lafer Building on Broadway. The Valpey is on Lower Woodward.
Yes, thanks. What's the Valpey? I've heard of the Vinton, but don't know anything about the Valpey on Lower Woodward.

Oct 2, 2006, 1:06 AM
Thanks for all the pics Michi. I'm still wondering if that's the actual color of the glass on MGM. I much prefer this over gold but looking at your pic from the 3rd street entrance, it doesn't blend very well with the beige on the walls which makes me wonder if it'll turn out gold afterall. Maybe I'll sneak over there tonight and try to peel a layer off the facade- haha.

Those Main North lofts in RO look nice but the balconies facing each other on the corner are weird. I'm assuming they're from the same unit or it'd be real strange sitting out there looking right at your neighbor. I think a larger diagonal/triangular balcony would have looked much better aesthetically.

It's a damn shame that they're going to demo the State of Michigan Complex. It's not the most beautiful thing in the world but it seems like such a waste. Driving South on the Lodge tonight I noticed the black tower section and how prominent it is on the skyline. Detroit is incredible.....would Ruth Spencer do her 'Ruth to the rescue' on this one if I emailed?

Oct 2, 2006, 1:56 AM
There are so many great projects happening in the city right now.

Looks like they started the foundation for Greektown have they released an official height yet?

Oct 2, 2006, 5:52 AM
No, and they probably won't ever release one publicly. But, I'll post it when I find out.

Oct 2, 2006, 9:08 PM
.....would Ruth Spencer do her 'Ruth to the rescue' on this one if I emailed?Hey some of the strangest occurances have evolved due to crazy notions. I'd give it a shot and see what happens. I think I know, but maybe it will at least get them thinking about the diverse interests that people in the community have for Ruth to the Rescue topics.

Oct 2, 2006, 9:18 PM
.....would Ruth Spencer do her 'Ruth to the rescue' on this one if I emailed?Hey some of the strangest occurances have evolved due to crazy notions. I'd give it a shot and see what happens. I think I know, but maybe it will at least get them thinking about the diverse interests that people in the community have for Ruth to the Rescue topics.

Oct 4, 2006, 3:06 AM
Eric gets two oreos for his big development hoopla!

Nicely done sir and I cannot wait for the future announcements/developments that look to be coming over the next few months...

Oct 4, 2006, 3:19 AM
You mean like "DEVOS IS GOVERNOR!!!"?

Oct 4, 2006, 7:14 AM
Oh what the Hell, I had some wine and nothing better to do so I emailed Ms. Spencer about the FBI demolition. I don't expect anything but maybe she could learn more about it. I'd like to see the study and numbers to compare how cost-effective it'd be. Most people don't care but some of us who'd like to see Detroit's bldgs/skyline survive, don't want to see 20+story structures torn down unless there's a good reason for it.

Oct 4, 2006, 10:24 AM
:previous: I agree with that. I think without Executive Plaza there our skyline will look really weird.

Heres One Kennedy Square on 7/7/06. This is my first time posting my own photo, so I hope this comes up...
http://thumb10.webshots.net/t/26/26/9/24/55/2189924550090259250KOlVaL_th.jpg (http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2189924550090259250KOlVaL)

Oct 12, 2006, 2:10 AM

Number of new residential units developed in the greater downtown area in the past three years.


Percentage of new downtown residents who hold a bachelor's degree or higher.


Percentage of new downtown residents with annual incomes of $50,000 or higher.


Percentage of new downtown residents who commute to the suburbs.


Percentage of new downtown residents who said convenience to dining and entertainment was extremely or very important in their decision to move downtown.


Oct 18, 2006, 6:32 PM
I live just north of downtown and I'm obviously in favor of just about any kind of new development. But One Kennedy Square is really ugly and looks very out of place at Campus Martius.

One new update not related to skyscrapers at all but relevant to the city's future development. Last week Crain's Detroit Business reported that a coalition of woodward area businesses are looking to raise funds for a study to privately fund a people mover expansion. The expansion would be up the woodward/cass corridor to the new center area. For those of us who have been craving a light rail system in the city, this may be the next best thing.

Oct 19, 2006, 5:47 AM
Hey JonnyFive- someone made a thread about the ppl mover expansion in the midwest section bout a quarter way down the page. I'd take it but wonder what that kinda money could build in terms of light rail.

I agree with you completely about One Kennedy Square. What a friggin waste of a great space. It doesn't blend in well at all especially during the day. At night, it might end up being okay once it's occupied with all the lights on. Green is my favorite color and Detroit my favorite city so I'm automatically biased towards any green bldg in Detroit but I think it still sucks. Also, from the park it's never gonna be covered up by anything taller which is even worse. I wonder if in the not-so-distant future this will be one of those easily expendable structures that gets replaced by something bigger and better..... hopefully.

Oct 19, 2006, 5:52 AM
The whole point of Campus Martius was to have a "step down" effect towards the park. It was never meant to be surrounded by skyscrapers, which is one of the reasons Compuware didn't build a taller structure. It's supposed to be more human scaled and mid-rise.

Oct 19, 2006, 7:39 PM
I know that was the point of the park but I think there's enough open space to maintain that effect while having a couple tall ones at the Monroe Block and what would've been at One Kennedy Square. I remember seeing a rendering for a proposal there years ago that looked like it was 20-30 stories and I'm pretty sure it would have fit in just fine. I'm a skyscraper geek so of course I'd be happy with something tall there but I actually think it'd be a nice contrast too next to the shorter stuff.

I was just checking out DetroitSky's pic of One Kennedy Square and it really is a joke. You wouldn't even notice it if it were in the suburbs. The 'spire' does nothing to enhance the bldg, it just looks tacked-on. They should have at least encased it in glass making a triangular prism of sorts around it. Blehk

I'm hoping Greektown comes out nice. Anybody been by there to see what's goin on currently?

Oct 19, 2006, 8:58 PM
The whole point of Campus Martius was to have a "step down" effect towards the park. It was never meant to be surrounded by skyscrapers, which is one of the reasons Compuware didn't build a taller structure. It's supposed to be more human scaled and mid-rise.

i never realized that (or heard it before) but it makes complete sense. still, it would've been that much cooler if compuware had decided to build that million-or-so square feet up, instead of out.

/hoping that rock decides to build something up

Oct 19, 2006, 10:01 PM
I wasn't actually arguing in favor of a taller building, just a less ugly one. Compuware isn't that tall but everybody compliments the "coolness" of the front entrance. I've not heard a nice thing said about One Kennedy Square. At first it seemed like most people were confused by it while it was still under construction. Compuware headquarters is a modern building that blends into the city. Comerica Tower is a modern building that was designed to match the historic feel of most of the city. One Kennedy Square looks like a miniature green ren cen. It belongs in Troy or on Northwestern Highway.

As for the comment about it becoming expendable, I was wondering the same thing about some other developments. I wonder if this city really gets off its feet in 20 years if they dont start plowing over some of todays brand new developments for bigger and better stuff.

Oct 19, 2006, 10:23 PM
pardon my unworthy tastes, but i actually kinda like one kennedy, save for the wall on the backside. like compuware, i feel its modern styling contrasts the historic structures well, and its marble matches nicely with the cheese grater next door.

i surely like one kennedy a hell of a lot more than any of the parking garages recently built or about to go up... now those are some expendable structures worthy of plowing over at any moment.

Oct 19, 2006, 10:44 PM
The rendering for Campus Martius Park shows different buildings on the site of One Kennedy and Monroe Block. I thought those buildings were ugly, but they might have been just "filler" so they didn't have to show parking lots.

Oct 20, 2006, 1:29 AM
i surely like one kennedy a hell of a lot more than any of the parking garages recently built or about to go up... now those are some expendable structures worthy of plowing over at any moment.

I totally agree. I like to think of those absurdly enormous structures as temporary until mass transit enters the city. A city cannot grow in the way it should if every massive building requires an equally massive parking structure. It's absurd.

Oct 20, 2006, 3:19 PM
Some great news...
@water construction will be coming soon...
"Among the housing units will be several penthouses likely to be priced as high as $1.5 million, Belyue said"

The Globe Trading Co. building will be redeveloped soon...residential and retail

Oct 20, 2006, 7:07 PM
As for the comment about it becoming expendable, I was wondering the same thing about some other developments. I wonder if this city really gets off its feet in 20 years if they dont start plowing over some of todays brand new developments for bigger and better stuff.
Well, if that's the case, then there is 2 options:
1) Destroy all the new parking garages

2) Destroy the historic residential projects

Other than that, there is no new building in Detroit (of significance anyway).

You have a valid beef with One Kennedy Square, but that's what happens when you try to put up a building in record time with no real committment from tenants. Not to mention that its local architects and developers whose names are on it. In other words, suburban-minded folk. Local Detroit planners, designers, architects, engineers, developers (with few exceptions) know nothing other than the suburban way and it's been that way for a very long time. It's too bad too because, as evidenced by the old city, we use to perfect urbanism.

That's why, in my opinion, it is ever so important at this stage in the game to get as much out of state influence as we can. Brush Park new homes...GREAT, but enough cookie cutter townhouses already...inspired by Novi developer Crosswinds.

Oct 26, 2006, 3:20 PM
Well, if that's the case, then there is 2 options:
1) Destroy all the new parking garages

2) Destroy the historic residential projects

Other than that, there is no new building in Detroit (of significance anyway).

uhh... what about the hideous condos in Brush park that are less than five years old or the new loft building in Brush Park that is equally hideous. New Woodbridge homes that look like they belong in Novi? Hundreds of ugly, ugly units all over midtown.

The destruction of those new parking structures is a lot.... just think... those could all be skyscrapers.....

I'm a dreamer...

Oct 26, 2006, 7:50 PM
Sounds like a fun time to live in Detroit! The rehabs in particular.

The best part is that the current development ought to help bring additional development, due to momentum and due to the fact that redevelopment helps create its own demand. It's easy to imagine Downtown Detroit and nearby neighborhoods really filling in over the next decade or two.

One of these days I'll visit. So far just the airport...

Oct 27, 2006, 7:37 PM
uhh... what about the hideous condos in Brush park that are less than five years old or the new loft building in Brush Park that is equally hideous. New Woodbridge homes that look like they belong in Novi? Hundreds of ugly, ugly units all over midtown.

The destruction of those new parking structures is a lot.... just think... those could all be skyscrapers.....

I'm a dreamer...

We dont' necessarily need skyscrapers. Detroit never really was a highrise city. Although, I think promotion of higher structures should seriously be considered. It's more about contents of what a city is. For instance, think of the 1001 Woodward Garage and its physical and psychological role in the cityscape. Yes, it is a pretty large structure, is built up to the sidewalk, and creates a contiguous, urban "wall" on Woodward. But in reality, all it really is is a bunch of hollow concrete where people store their empty metal contraptions called cars. So, despite this huge, massive structure, all that's really there is a pharmacy.

Do you see my way of thinking? I'm not undermining the importance of parking, because it is a HUGE chunk of making downtowns work. But at the same time, this piece of real estate, in the heart of the CBD, arguable the most valuable land in greater downtown, is 98% parking.

To conclude, I 100% agree that it's obsurd to have to built massive parking with massive new construction. The 1001 garage was built to accomodate the residences in the high rise, and serves the municipal needs as well. However, it is not a full garage. Therefore, it is my understanding that development in such a downtown should craftfully mix and match separate developments together with parking needs and parking availability. If I lived at Merchants Row, there is no way in hell I would park at the elevator garage. I would park either underground at the Millenium Garage or at 1001. Same goes for if I lived at one of those new loft conversions at Griswold and Grand River that are taking forever to construct. Consider where those people will park when those open up. Will they demand that they build a garage on Capitol Park? I think not. :)

mhays, come to Detroit any time. You're always welcome to come see how we're digging out of this mess.

Nov 1, 2006, 11:15 PM
did anyone happen to save the "rocketship" rendering of motorcity casino, that appeared on the news/freep websites? the only one i can find online is the second most recent.


the reason i'm asking has something to do with google earth+sketchup.


Nov 2, 2006, 10:10 AM
http://downtownmotown.8k.com/Detroit%20September/2006_0929AroundDetroit9_29_060245.jpgAnother floor added ?