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animatedmartian
Oct 25, 2013, 10:03 PM
Packard Plant sold for $6 million to Texas woman

Detroit — A last-minute bidding war pushed the sale price of the iconic but crumbling Packard Plant to $6.038 million on Friday, the final day of Wayne County’s annual tax foreclosure auction.

Bids soared from $601,000 shortly after 4 p.m. and skyrocketed in the final minutes of the auction. It was supposed to end at 4:45 p.m. but was extended for a half hour as bids kept coming in. The winning bidder was Jill Van Horn of Ennis, Texas, who was previously unknown to county officials.

....

From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20131025/METRO01/310250092#ixzz2im11SazS

The guy from Chicago couldn't seem to come up with the $1 million dollars needed to pay the back taxes in time.

hudkina
Oct 26, 2013, 1:16 AM
Obviously the bidder doesn't have the money.

Guiltyspark
Oct 27, 2013, 7:08 PM
From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20131025/METRO01/310250092#ixzz2im11SazS

The guy from Chicago couldn't seem to come up with the $1 million dollars needed to pay the back taxes in time.

I hope he has a decent plan for the lot.

alki
Oct 28, 2013, 4:25 AM
Not sure how much of a "development" this is as it is a human hand in speeding up the deconstruction of the city. But, since it's mad national news...

I'd much rather these stay commercial woodlands/woodlots than commercial farms. BTW, just so people don't get the wrong impression, this isn't 140 contiguous acres as there are homes and some business scattered throughout the highlighted area.

What is the general consensus about tearing down most of the abandoned housing in Detroit? Is there a general consensus?

Guiltyspark
Oct 28, 2013, 7:24 PM
What is the general consensus about tearing down most of the abandoned housing in Detroit? Is there a general consensus?

Not sure what the rest of the country thinks, but those most of us who have lived in the area for our entire lives think it is generally a good thing. The city was built for a population that simply isn't there anymore and the giant swaths of mostly abandoned houses are a haven for crime and a deterrent to redevelopment. Many of these houses are not really what you would call architecturally significant. And while some beauty has been lost, there has and will be far more removal of blight.

I have a two fold plan to save the city of Detroit by the way, it is not politically possible, but it would work.

Step 1. Combine Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties into one city. This would have the benefit of spreading the massive amount of tax revenue generated in the region around a bit more. It would also generally raise the quality of the new city council (since the people of Detroit have consistently showed an inability to chose leaders who have their best interest at heart) AND give them resources with which to work to fix infrastructure and crime. It would make us all DETROITERS. And immediately make the city look better as far as income/crime/economics are concerned.

Step 2. Demolish giant swaths of the city (while moving any remaining residents into designated neighborhoods if they chose to stay). They would be given a payout for a new house with extra cash thrown in if they decide to stay within the city. Work on fixing these new, denser neighborhoods while planting trees and letting nature take over the rest. Then in 10, 20 or 30 years when demand starts to rise again, instead of ever expanding out, Metro Detroit and redevelop this land.

Just a dream...

hudkina
Oct 28, 2013, 9:07 PM
I have mixed feelings. There are plenty of historic homes in the city, and even more beautiful brick homes that are worth saving. The problem is that the longer such structures stand vacant, the more likely they are to lose all value to disrepair, scrapping and fire.

I think there are some neighborhoods that this would work great for. But I think they should take a renovation-oriented approach in some of the higher quality neighborhoods. The city had the idea of giving incentives to people to move from the lower quality neighborhoods to the higher quality neighborhoods, and I think renovating some structures in the higher quality neighborhoods should be a part of that plan.

phoenixboi08
Oct 28, 2013, 10:06 PM
Step 1. Combine Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties into one city. This would have the benefit of spreading the massive amount of tax revenue generated in the region around a bit more. It would also generally raise the quality of the new city council (since the people of Detroit have consistently showed an inability to chose leaders who have their best interest at heart) AND give them resources with which to work to fix infrastructure and crime. It would make us all DETROITERS. And immediately make the city look better as far as income/crime/economics are concerned.

Step 2. Demolish giant swaths of the city (while moving any remaining residents into designated neighborhoods if they chose to stay). They would be given a payout for a new house with extra cash thrown in if they decide to stay within the city. Work on fixing these new, denser neighborhoods while planting trees and letting nature take over the rest. Then in 10, 20 or 30 years when demand starts to rise again, instead of ever expanding out, Metro Detroit and redevelop this land.

Just a dream...


I, for one, don't think Detroit is somehow a failure. The problems that plague it are vexing a great number of cities in the country. In reality, it's not that "unique." As such, it is important something be done sooner than later to provide a blueprint.

Yes, I've never lived in Detroit...and I'm relatively young. However, I went to school in Birmingham so I do identity with the 1st point. Birmingham has a similar situation. In the 60s people left the city and established independent communities, sucking tax revenue out of Birmingham Proper and the city began to sag (poor services, job opportunities, education, etc). Now, they refuse to contribute anything to the city and won't work to plan regional transportation and the like.

In regards to 2, I think it may be more successful to offer tax incentives to get people to relocate rather than force them to. A good way to do this would be to gradually consolidate schools and build new facilities in the inner city, give a tax holiday to business and residents who purchase homes in the inner city, etc. In effect, they out to establish a de facto growth boundary. The biggest thing Detroit has going for it is the value of property.

My biggest fear, is that they won't correctly leverage all of the new investor interests in the city. A lot of the Chinese developers could be a very crucial aspect of making any plan for the city work well, if they're brought to the table and given a stake.

animatedmartian
Oct 28, 2013, 10:08 PM
The Packard development dream, Round 2.

Texas doctor plans to turn Packard plant into manufacturing plant for modular homes, offices
By Kirk Pinho
October 28, 2013

http://www.crainsdetroit.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/storyimage/CD/20131028/NEWS/131029839/AR/0/AR-131029839.jpg&MaxW=620&v=201310071326

The suburban Dallas family physician who purchased the abandoned Packard plant on Detroit's east side Friday plans to renovate the 3.5 million-square-foot plant and turn it into a manufacturing site for modular homes and offices.

Jill Van Horn, who along with investors from Detroit purchased the plant for $6,038,000 at a Wayne County tax auction, has until 4:15 p.m. today to pay the county for the shuttered plant, which sits between Interstate 94 and East Grand Boulevard.

Davis Marshall, a spokesman for Van Horn, said the doctor is meeting with Wayne County officials to finalize the deal and that more detailed plans for the site are expected to be released once it is finalized.

"We are just trying to make sure that the deal is finalized, the moneys are paid and then we'll move to the next part," Marshall said. "What you'll find is that a number of people who are involved with the Van Horn team are from Detroit."

Marshall declined to name who the other investors are in the Packard plant, which was formerly owned by Bioresource Inc., a Warren-based entity belonging to Dominic Cristini.

According to a news release sent by Marshall, more than 6,000 employees would be needed to staff the plant.

A message left at Van Horn's office on Monday morning was not returned as of noon.

Wayne County Chief Deputy Treasurer David Szymanski said he spoke to Van Horn and Marshall and said "they indicate sincerity in the offer." Szymanski added that he was working out the details of the payment requirements but that "for payment of $6 million there will likely be some short extension."

.....
http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20131028/NEWS/131029839/texas-doctor-plans-to-turn-packard-plant-into-manufacturing-plant#

ladsnine
Oct 29, 2013, 2:49 AM
I, for one, don't think Detroit is somehow a failure. The problems that plague it are vexing a great number of cities in the country. In reality, it's not that "unique." As such, it is important something be done sooner than later to provide a blueprint.

Yes, I've never lived in Detroit...and I'm relatively young. However, I went to school in Birmingham so I do identity with the 1st point. Birmingham has a similar situation. In the 60s people left the city and established independent communities, sucking tax revenue out of Birmingham Proper and the city began to sag (poor services, job opportunities, education, etc). Now, they refuse to contribute anything to the city and won't work to plan regional transportation and the like.

I tend to think the difference between Detroit and a huge number of other older formerly industrial cities is that, usually, the extreme disinvestment is more or less confined to one portion of a city where the factories and associated low-quality workers' housing was. I live in Buffalo, a city that is often compared to Detroit. Buffalo does have problems, but here as in most places, when people conjure a stereotypical postindustrial image of decay and urban prairies, that image is true but it only describes a relatively small portion of the city. The factories were located on the east side mostly, and that area has mostly returned to urban prairie, but it only makes up about 30% of the city's land area. The rest is relatively prosperous, or at least not bombed-out.

In Detroit, on the other hand, the extreme decay and disinvestment seems to be a lot more wide-spread, perhaps due to its extreme dependence on the factories and thus a more even collapse across the city? There are nicely kept areas, to be sure, but they seem relatively physically small compared to the rougher sections.

I should also note that it's also all a matter of marketing, reputation and perception. I spent many years living in Chicago. As great a city as it is, the dense and vibrant and happenin' part you hear about makes up only about 1/3 of the city's land area if that. The rest of it very much resembles any other legacy industrial city with all the abandonment and disinvestment and crime that you would stereotypically expect. Some areas, especially in the mid-south side, are completely abandoned. Detroit, for whatever reason, has gotten a bad reputation which likely only worsened its plight over time, a reputation that Chicago mostly avoided for various reasons (mostly having a strong mayor at the right time in the 60s).

To be fair, I haven't lived in Detroit so I can't fairly judge, so feel free to set me straight. I have read tons about it (good and bad) and I have visited to try and understand it better, but obviously it's not the same.

animatedmartian
Oct 29, 2013, 3:56 AM
In Detroit, on the other hand, the extreme decay and disinvestment seems to be a lot more wide-spread, perhaps due to its extreme dependence on the factories and thus a more even collapse across the city? There are nicely kept areas, to be sure, but they seem relatively physically small compared to the rougher sections.


That's pretty accurate. Back when urban planners were deciding where to plop the freeways that now crisscross the city, they took major factories and where workers lived into account.

http://atdetroit.net/forum/messages/6790/43294.jpg

http://atdetroit.net/forum/messages/6790/43295.jpg

http://atdetroit.net/forum/messages/6790/43296.jpg

http://atdetroit.net/forum/messages/6790/43297.jpg
http://atdetroit.net/forum/messages/6790/43221.html

These particular industrial areas have since shrunk from hundreds of businesses and companies to now probably only a handful in each area. So it's no surprise the areas with the highest number of workers are now parts of the city with the highest vacancy rates.

Though what this map doesn't show is that after the development of freeways, the factories didn't simply disappear. A lot of Detroit's industrial base moved into the suburbs. There's quite a few corridors of industrial development fanning out from the city to the north, west, and south sides of the metro (there's a few clumps of industrial development in Oakland County, but not as much as Macomb and Wayne). For that reason, you don't see the same amount of decay outside of the city then what has occurred within it. That also brings with it the problems of having an economy sprawled out over a practically transit-less metropolitan area.

phoenixboi08
Oct 29, 2013, 2:25 PM
Interesting. Thanks for that info.

But isn't part of it also the sheer size of the city? It's pretty large, no?

DKNewYork
Oct 29, 2013, 4:00 PM
I tend to think the difference between Detroit and a huge number of other older formerly industrial cities is that, usually, the extreme disinvestment is more or less confined to one portion of a city where the factories and associated low-quality workers' housing was. I live in Buffalo, a city that is often compared to Detroit. Buffalo does have problems, but here as in most places, when people conjure a stereotypical postindustrial image of decay and urban prairies, that image is true but it only describes a relatively small portion of the city. The factories were located on the east side mostly, and that area has mostly returned to urban prairie, but it only makes up about 30% of the city's land area. The rest is relatively prosperous, or at least not bombed-out.

In Detroit, on the other hand, the extreme decay and disinvestment seems to be a lot more wide-spread, perhaps due to its extreme dependence on the factories and thus a more even collapse across the city? There are nicely kept areas, to be sure, but they seem relatively physically small compared to the rougher sections.

I should also note that it's also all a matter of marketing, reputation and perception. I spent many years living in Chicago. As great a city as it is, the dense and vibrant and happenin' part you hear about makes up only about 1/3 of the city's land area if that. The rest of it very much resembles any other legacy industrial city with all the abandonment and disinvestment and crime that you would stereotypically expect. Some areas, especially in the mid-south side, are completely abandoned. Detroit, for whatever reason, has gotten a bad reputation which likely only worsened its plight over time, a reputation that Chicago mostly avoided for various reasons (mostly having a strong mayor at the right time in the 60s).

To be fair, I haven't lived in Detroit so I can't fairly judge, so feel free to set me straight. I have read tons about it (good and bad) and I have visited to try and understand it better, but obviously it's not the same.

I also don't live in Detroit but follow its situation closely and I would agree with a lot of your post.

Read yesterday about Hantz Woodlands and wonder what the locals think of it. I am struck by the apparent logic of the initiative: Detroit land needs to be more scarce to make it more valuable to prospective investors (don't purchase land or buildings now since it will be cheaper next year). And purchases like this 140 acre buy will do just that. I realize it is not a panacea but will it help? Thoughts?

Here's the link to the article I read in The Atlantic Cities project:

http://www.theatlanticcities.com/neighborhoods/2013/10/140-acre-forest-about-materialize-middle-detroit/7371/

animatedmartian
Oct 29, 2013, 5:35 PM
Interesting. Thanks for that info.

But isn't part of it also the sheer size of the city? It's pretty large, no?

City proper isn't really all that much bigger than other cites. Though the difference is that cities of a similar size usually have/had a more diverse job base than what Detroit had. Detroit pretty much had a mega-factory every few miles from each other that seemed to employ 100,000+ workers each. Without them, the city would have likely had a population roughly similar to that of other Rust Belt cities.

The metropolitan area is fairly spread out a little moreso than a city of its population size should be. It's probably the direct effect of a lack of reinvestment in the inner-city.

animatedmartian
Oct 29, 2013, 6:04 PM
I also don't live in Detroit but follow its situation closely and I would agree with a lot of your post.

Read yesterday about Hantz Woodlands and wonder what the locals think of it. I am struck by the apparent logic of the initiative: Detroit land needs to be more scarce to make it more valuable to prospective investors (don't purchase land or buildings now since it will be cheaper next year). And purchases like this 140 acre buy will do just that. I realize it is not a panacea but will it help? Thoughts?

Here's the link to the article I read in The Atlantic Cities project:

http://www.theatlanticcities.com/neighborhoods/2013/10/140-acre-forest-about-materialize-middle-detroit/7371/

The thing is, the land he's buying won't be cheaper next year. Only a few miles from downtown and almost adjacent to the waterfront? And mostly around Indian Village?

http://whydontweownthis.com/system/images/795/medium/hantzfarmmap.jpeg?1364315436

There's other vacant sections of the city where a land grab wouldn't seem so obvious.

animatedmartian
Oct 30, 2013, 2:47 AM
Statement from winning bidder on Packard Plant raises concern
OCTOBER 29, 2013
CHRISTINE MACDONALD THE DETROIT NEWS

http://cmsimg.detnews.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=C3&Date=20131029&Category=METRO01&ArtNo=310290122&Ref=AR&MaxW=640&Border=0&Statement-from-winning-bidder-Packard-Plant-raises-concern

Detroit— Wayne County officials expect to see money Wednesday from a Texas doctor who won a tax-foreclosure auction for the Packard Plant, but acknowledge they’re concerned about a statement released by her staff that likened Detroit’s potential to hydroelectric power.

“It is the process that allows us to transform the lake from a canoeing and fishing kind of place into an energy producing kind of place,” reads a three-page statement from Dr. Jill Van Horn’s staff that was released to the media on Tuesday. “Detroit’s assets, like energy, also have a dormant value.”

The statement cited an energy analogy put forth by Spanish explorer Hernando DeSoto.

“Dr. Van Horn’s prophecy was to resurrect Detroit by providing education, jobs and vocational training to the city’s residence, simultaneously unplugging the financial arteries of the city,” the statement read.

In fact, if county officials doubt her means, she and her investors “are prepared to travel from Texas to Detroit and sit down the with county and make an offer for every vacant, abandoned and dilapidated apartment building within Detroit,” the statement reads.

Detroit has an estimated 70,000 vacant homes and structures.

The statement was attributed to Mark Day, who is identified as a Van Horn representative, and released by her spokesman, Davis Marshall. It was meant as a speech to investors, Marshall said.


From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20131029/METRO01/310290122#ixzz2jAZroghn

hudkina
Oct 30, 2013, 3:13 AM
In Detroit, on the other hand, the extreme decay and disinvestment seems to be a lot more wide-spread, perhaps due to its extreme dependence on the factories and thus a more even collapse across the city? There are nicely kept areas, to be sure, but they seem relatively physically small compared to the rougher sections.

Detroit as an urban center is over 4x larger than Buffalo, so even if Detroit had 4x as much dilapidated land/housing, it would still be proportionate to Buffalo. Detroit has a much larger suburban base than Buffalo, so as a proportion of the total urban population, Detroit still might have it better even if it has a much larger volume.

EuphoricOctopus
Oct 30, 2013, 5:18 AM
Detroit still wields quite a bit of power in the business world and has a lot of corporate philanthropy compared to other rust belt cities. Name recognition and being the center of the auto industry does help to attract other global businesses and money to the area. So, I don't think Detroit will languish in decay for decades as some seem to think.

LMich
Oct 30, 2013, 7:27 AM
Looks like Wayne County is ready to give the failed jail site to Rock Ventures to expand Gilbertown:

http://www.crainsdetroit.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/storyimage/CD/20131029/NEWS/131029799/AR/0/AR-131029799.jpg&MaxW=620&v=201310071326
Crain's Detroit Business

Source: Wayne Co. Commission expected to OK Gilbert bid for jail site on Wednesday (http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20131029/NEWS/131029799/source-wayne-co-commission-expected-to-ok-gilbert-bid-for-jail-site)

by Dustin Walsh | Crain's Detroit Business

October 29, 2013

...

Rock's plan is a $500 million development of 1.7 million square feet of space, with 700 residential and hotel units with 200,000 square feet of retail and parking.

The source said Rock's bid was in the $40 million range.

In a previous interview, Rock CEO Matt Cullen told Crain's the project could resemble L.A. Live, the $2.5 billion, 5.6 million-square-foot development in Los Angeles that includes the Nokia Theatre, Grammy Museum, ESPN broadcasting studios, two hotels, condominiums and several restaurants. L.A. Live is next to the Staples Center, a multi-purpose arena.

...

hudkina
Oct 30, 2013, 5:14 PM
Well it looks like the Texas Doctor won't be redeveloping the Packard site after all. Huge surprise...

Now talks have moved on to the next highest bidder. I still doubt anything will come of the site any time soon, but at least the next guy is an actual developer from Chicago.

Guiltyspark
Oct 30, 2013, 7:21 PM
I, for one, don't think Detroit is somehow a failure. The problems that plague it are vexing a great number of cities in the country. In reality, it's not that "unique." As such, it is important something be done sooner than later to provide a blueprint.

Yes, I've never lived in Detroit...and I'm relatively young. However, I went to school in Birmingham so I do identity with the 1st point. Birmingham has a similar situation. In the 60s people left the city and established independent communities, sucking tax revenue out of Birmingham Proper and the city began to sag (poor services, job opportunities, education, etc). Now, they refuse to contribute anything to the city and won't work to plan regional transportation and the like.

In regards to 2, I think it may be more successful to offer tax incentives to get people to relocate rather than force them to. A good way to do this would be to gradually consolidate schools and build new facilities in the inner city, give a tax holiday to business and residents who purchase homes in the inner city, etc. In effect, they out to establish a de facto growth boundary. The biggest thing Detroit has going for it is the value of property.

My biggest fear, is that they won't correctly leverage all of the new investor interests in the city. A lot of the Chinese developers could be a very crucial aspect of making any plan for the city work well, if they're brought to the table and given a stake.

Most of the people in the city don't pay taxes. The city can't collect 80% of the taxes it is owed so I am not sure tax incentives would be effective.

phoenixboi08
Oct 30, 2013, 11:00 PM
Most of the people in the city don't pay taxes. The city can't collect 80% of the taxes it is owed so I am not sure tax incentives would be effective.

Cost-Benefit...My point is, a heavy handed approach to "right-sizing" or consolidating the city is probably never going to work. If they can shrink the city and move the population, then that provides for cost savings in a variety of other areas, no?

subterranean
Oct 31, 2013, 12:37 PM
Well it looks like the Texas Doctor won't be redeveloping the Packard site after all. Huge surprise...

Now talks have moved on to the next highest bidder. I still doubt anything will come of the site any time soon, but at least the next guy is an actual developer from Chicago.

My actual thought with this was that there was someone on the inside bidding the property up. Either that, or it was a Jimmy Kimmel practical joke.

hudkina
Oct 31, 2013, 1:09 PM
From what I understand she had it set up to raise the bid $1,000 automatically if another bid goes over her own.

DecoJim
Oct 31, 2013, 6:40 PM
From what I understand she had it set up to raise the bid $1,000 automatically if another bid goes over her own.

A reporter on the WUOM NPR station stated that the city is contacting the 2nd highest bidder, William Hultz, a Chicago developer, whose bid was in the $2.2 million range (which itself is now in doubt link to Free Press article (http://www.freep.com/article/20131031/BUSINESS06/310310112/Packard-plant-deal-Peru-Chicago-bid)). If that is true, I wonder how the Texas doctor's bid was forced up to $6 million, a difference of 3,800 $1000 increments.

animatedmartian
Oct 31, 2013, 7:52 PM
Bill Hults is expected to pay 2 million dollars by Monday with a 100,000 deposit due tomorrow at 3 PM.

hudkina
Oct 31, 2013, 10:42 PM
The bid was automatic. They both must have had the $1,000 automatic increment set up.

LMich
Nov 1, 2013, 7:29 AM
This is turning into a clown car and a running joke. Now, they are doing press on the Peruvian developer who swears he's a Very Serious Developer. Everyone is Very Serious and Not-Crazy-At-All until Wayne County asks them to show the money. Hultz was the guy who missed the minimal payment for the site just a few weeks back.

LMich
Nov 1, 2013, 12:20 PM
Not an actual development, but something tangentially related to the redevelopment of the city: DPS enrollment seems to have staunched the bleeding. Overall enrollment is only down 1.8% over the previous year, which is the smallest decline in years, and even more interesting, high school enrollment has surged 14%. No one seems to have anticipated this, particularly with the creation of the EA district a few years back that was yet another direct competitor to DPS.

DPS enrollment surges after years of decline (http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20131101/SCHOOLS/311010051/DPS-enrollment-surges-after-years-decline?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE)

By Jennifer Chambers | The Detroit News

November 1, 2013

Detroit— It’s a problem officials at Detroit Public Schools have wanted for the last five decades: schools bulging with students.

After decades of staggering enrollment declines that have ravaged the district financially, DPS has found itself this fall with an influx of high school students — 1,844 more than last fall, a boost of 14 percent in grades 9-12.

It’s a small number in a district that once held 300,000 students but a feat in a city where more than 60 percent of children attend charter schools or suburban high schools across the city border.

The uptick is happening at only nine of the district’s 19 high schools. Much of the influx has occurred at two of the three general admission or neighborhood schools, East English Village and Western International.

...

Of the high schools, it seems that the only one to show any significant loss was Northwestern.

It'll be interesting to see if this is just a really successful recruitment blip, because, long-term, the city needs to keep as many families as possible.

animatedmartian
Nov 1, 2013, 4:45 PM
Gilbert's plan for the jail site via 7 Action News. Looks like there's going to be some political fiasco before any construction starts.

6-oBwfNFKZ8

animatedmartian
Nov 1, 2013, 11:16 PM
Back From The Brink: Forest Arms in Midtown Gets Second Chance
NOVEMBER 1, 2013 BY R.J. KING

http://www.dbusiness.com/images/cache/9cecdc25670e25336b5e8b5d637e2767.jpeg

Following a devastating fire in 2008, the historic Forest Arms apartment building in Detroit’s Midtown District had been slated for demolition until developer Scott Lowell and his wife, Carolyn Howard, convinced the city that the four-story, brick-and-stone structure could be renovated.

In December, Lowell and Howard will start work on converting the structure, built in 1905 at Second and Forest avenues on what was part of the Lewis Cass farm, into 70 apartments ranging in size from 500 to 950 square feet. As part of the plan, five penthouse apartments and two commercial spaces totaling 7,000 square feet of space will be part of the project, as well.

“It took multiple calls, and we took the time to secure the building, and in the end the city agreed with us that such an important structure in the neighborhood should be saved,” says Lowell, principal of Pied-A-Terre Inc. in Detroit. “Midtown Detroit Inc. and Sue Mosey (president) were incredible advocates, and it really shows you the power of camaraderie and dedication.”

The units — rent will range from $600 to $1,200 per month — will include modern kitchen layouts, ceramic tile bathrooms, wood cabinets, and transom lights over the bedroom doors. In addition, the building will offer a geothermal heating and cooling system, solar panels to preheat hot water, and rainwater collection systems.

The renovation is projected to be completed in fall 2015. Given strong demand for musical rehearsal space at Lowell and Howard’s nearby Traffic Jam and Snug Restaurant, the team plans to install a soundproof practice room in the lower level of the Forest Arms. The courtyard also will be landscaped.

Overall, Pied-A-Terre owns and manages nine residential buildings offering a total of 92 apartments in Midtown. Along with Howard’s brother, Paul, the trio own The Bronx Bar in Midtown and Cliff Bell’s in downtown Detroit.

http://www.dbusiness.com/daily-news/Annual-2013/Back-From-The-Brink-Forest-Arms-in-Midtown-Gets-Second-Chance/

LMich
Nov 2, 2013, 1:16 AM
News out of Eastern Market:

http://cmsimg.freep.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=C4&Date=20131101&Category=BUSINESS06&ArtNo=311010108&Ref=AR&MaxW=640&Border=0&Eastern-Market-grant-will-help-build-200-seat-outdoor-plaza

Eastern Market grant will help build 200-seat outdoor plaza (http://www.freep.com/article/20131101/BUSINESS06/311010108/Eastern-Market-DTE-Energy-food)

By John Gallagher | Detroit Free Press

November 1, 2013

Eastern Market received a $750,000 grant Friday from the DTE Energy Foundation to support redevelopment of the market’s Shed 5 including the development of an outdoor 200-seat social gathering place.

When renovations are completed, Shed 5 will also house the market’s Community Kitchen, designed to help emerging food businesses bring their products to market by offering low-cost licensed production space.

...

Anticipated completion of Shed 5 is scheduled for June 2014.

...

I'm really looking forward to the market atrracting new construction over the coming years. It honestly seems like a place you could build a dense and vibrant neighborhood in an around to the north and east.

LMich
Nov 4, 2013, 8:33 AM
Southfield is finally and seriously planning for a legit downtown around its long-time town center. Here's the concept:

http://cmsimg.freep.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?NewTbl=1&Site=C4&Date=20131102&Category=BUSINESS&ArtNo=311020093&Ref=PH&Item=1&Maxw=640&Maxh=410

Southfield wants after-work downtown vibe and nightlife (http://www.freep.com/article/20131103/BUSINESS06/311030047/Southfied-business-district-Lawrence-Tech-studio-Ci-)

By John Gallagher | Detroit Free Press

August 3, 2013

With its Northland shopping mall and its many suburban office parks on acres of asphalt, Southfield typifies the sprawling low-density suburbs of Detroit. It’s the sort of landscape that met the needs of businesses and residents leaving Detroit for suburbia a generation or two ago.

But that car-dependent mode of development is increasingly falling out of favor as downtown-style walkable urbanism grows more popular. And Southfield, perhaps metro Detroit’s most prototypical suburb, is trying to reinvent itself.

The focus is the City Centre, a varied district that stretches from the Southfield municipal offices and public library east of Evergreen between 10 Mile and 11 Mile roads west through a cluster of office parks and across Northwestern Highway to the Lawrence Technological University campus.

A series of projects, public and private, are under way or in early planning that will make this Civic Centre denser and more pedestrian-friendly. The goal is to attract and retain some of thousands of daytime office workers who typically flee each evening to trendier living spots such as Ferndale and Birmingham.

...

For starters, the City of Southfield has approved a $12.1-million reconstruction of the Evergreen corridor between 10 Mile and 11 Mile roads. Among the new features to come: Traffic-calming devices including two traffic circles or roundabouts, one at the entrance to municipal offices and the other at the entrance to the Southfield Public Library. Enhanced pedestrian crosswalks, bicycle paths, a landscaped median and other “walkable” amenities are on tap.

Nearby, an older office building has been remade as Arbor Lofts, a residential project partially leased for students by Lawrence Tech. If demand warrants, more residential housing will be added where parking lots now exist.

The city has also introduced sleek new bus stops, pedestrian benches, and even a new line of trash receptacles.

...

Renderings & Maps:

http://cmsimg.freep.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?NewTbl=1&Site=C4&Date=20131102&Category=BUSINESS&ArtNo=311020093&Ref=PH&Item=2&Maxw=640&Maxh=410
Another arch rendering of the hoped for Southfield projects, this one showing the idea for a pedestrian plaza/deck over Northwestern Highway looking east through the remade retail district toward the municipal offices in the distance.

http://cmsimg.freep.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?NewTbl=1&Site=C4&Date=20131102&Category=BUSINESS&ArtNo=311020093&Ref=PH&Item=3&Maxw=640&Maxh=410
The street in the foreground is Evergreen; note the two traffic circles that will be created next year in 2014. Also note that many existing parking lots have been filled up with new retail and residential development.

http://cmsimg.freep.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?NewTbl=1&Site=C4&Date=20131102&Category=BUSINESS&ArtNo=311020093&Ref=PH&Item=4&Maxw=640&Maxh=410
A rendering of what part of a remade Civic Centre in Southfield might look like if plans work out. It is Central Park at Flex Street.

http://cmsimg.freep.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?NewTbl=1&Site=C4&Date=20131102&Category=BUSINESS&ArtNo=311020093&Ref=PH&Item=7&Maxw=640&Maxh=410
Frances Mahoney of Roseville waits on her bus at one of the renovated bus stops on Central Park Drive in Southfield.

http://cmsimg.freep.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=C4&Date=20131103&Category=BUSINESS06&ArtNo=311030047&Ref=V4&MaxW=600&Border=0


Quite frankly, people don't even consider it due simply to its proximity to Detroit and its age - and let's be frank, its "demographics." But in my mind, it's particularly well located as a redevelopment node, and one that should have had more attention given to its years ago. Plus, you already have the road infrastructure, there, to shoot you right downtown and east and west down 8 Mile, so why the hell not? Sure, the multiple department stores in the concept are total pipe dreams, but the real thing here is the remaking of the roads and sidewalks.

animatedmartian
Nov 4, 2013, 9:53 AM
It's definitely an interesting plan. Though I'm quite surprised how late in the game Southfield is, so to speak. I would have thought a plan like this would have came about around 2008 or something similar to when Troy devised it's plan to 'urbanfy' it's main corridor (http://en.calameo.com/read/000396107c8943f46394d) or when suburbs like Royal Oak were adding more residential highrise towers.

The plan as it is now looks pretty tame and there's plenty more space they can fill up with residential towers or even townhouses. A lot of it just looks like parking lots-turned-greenspace and even still there a lot of parking lots visible. Really it kind of just looks like a disjointed lifestyle center. I guess the already present office buildings is what separates it from being one.

Still, I'm not terribly impressed by this vision and I really think Southfield could add more and I hope they do so.

LMich
Nov 4, 2013, 10:08 AM
Yeah, it does look disjointed, for sure. For once, they seem to have an awfully optimistic view of retail in the center, but the only way that'd materialize is if 1). you undo Northland or 2). you include far more housing than what I see rendered in the concept to support said retail. I, too, would like to have seen much greater attention paid to residential infill. This looks really great if you're working in the office towers and civic center, but it almost doesn't address actual Southfield residents' access to the town center, which is who you'd pull on for support of the retail in the downtown. At the end of the day, it looks like an outdoor mall on Civic Center, as opposed to something connected to the neighborhoods.

All that said, anything is better than what is there, now. I understand they should have done this years ago, but Southfield is still a huge retail draw for northwest Detroiters, so I don't quite buy the prevailing opinion that it's "too late." I think a reinvigorated town center, here, wouldn't necessarily compete directly with the demographic who frequent the retail and nightlife along the upper Woodward corridor communities. There is a really big opportunity, here, to cater to the middle-class black suburban demographic in this area of the region, and make it their premiere suburban spot in a way you couldn't even do with the gentrifying Midtown and downtown Detroit. I've always seen this area as a missed opportunity - maybe, it's because my family frequented this area a lot as a child as far as retail was concerned - but, it's better late than never.

animatedmartian
Nov 4, 2013, 10:33 PM
Making 375 an at-grade boulevard seems to be gaining serious consideration.

Repair or replace? I-375 at crossroads
City seeks expert to analyze the feasibility, impact of changing busy freeway to boulevard

By Bill Shea. November 03, 2013

http://www.crainsdetroit.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/storyimage/CD/20131103/NEWS/311039945/H1/0/H1-311039945.jpg&MaxW=290&v=201310071326

The city of Detroit is seeking an expert to tell it, along with a group of public and private stakeholders, whether a proposal to transform I-375 into a grade-level boulevard is a good or bad idea -- or even feasible.

Detroit's Downtown Development Authority on Oct. 24 issued a request for proposals seeking a consultant to study and make recommendations on the project, which was floated in April as a way to boost investment along the roughly 1-mile stretch on the downtown's east side.

The bids are due Nov. 14 and a contract would be awarded by Dec. 6.

The DDA wants a consultant to do a traffic analysis, economic and district impact analysis, public engagement plan and alternatives plan.

The schedule within the RFP concludes with the final report being done by July. Along the way are various stakeholder and community outreach meetings, an economic impact analysis and other benchmarks.

...

Early cost estimates say the effort to raise the four-lane freeway, which is about 20 feet deep, and transform it into a boulevard will cost about $80 million, which is the same amount that MDOT believes will be needed in coming years for I-375 maintenance and repairs.

...

A glance at a map suggests there is a finite number of areas along the route that could be opened for development.

[MDOT Director Kirk] Steudle in April said the boulevard idea opens about 12 acres.

http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20131103/NEWS/311039945/repair-or-replace-i-375-at-crossroads

Rizzo
Nov 5, 2013, 12:15 AM
I'm totally in favor of an at grade boulevard. It might clean up some of the edges adjoining 375 and provide additional space for development if transfer of the land is desired

animatedmartian
Nov 5, 2013, 2:11 AM
This probably would have flown way under the radar, but the westward extension of the Riverwalk is already underway.

View Detroit's west riverfront transformation; bold project to bring 20 acres of green space

Eric Lacy/MLive Detroit
November 04, 2013

http://imgick.mlive.com/home/mlive-media/pgmain/img/detroit/photo/2013/11/-267387f8bb16037e.JPG

http://imgick.mlive.com/home/mlive-media/pgmain/img/detroit/photo/2013/11/-7724a57aa6fb39ff.JPG

http://imgick.mlive.com/home/mlive-media/pgmain/img/detroit/photo/2013/11/-d1191fb131dc616a.JPG

http://imgick.mlive.com/home/mlive-media/pgmain/img/detroit/photo/2013/11/-b0f168348d81d330.JPG

http://imgick.mlive.com/home/mlive-media/pgmain/img/detroit/photo/2013/11/-7a6600acd8f9e241.JPG

http://www.mlive.com/entertainment/detroit/index.ssf/2013/11/view_detroits_west_riverfront.html#incart_river_default

As of now, there's nothing of major interest in the area other than the giant post office building and a few light industrial buildings. It's kind of disconnected from the main Riverwalk because of the Riverfront Towers (which have a private marina along the shore) and a concrete jumble of a mess that's the off-ramp of the Lodge Freeway and the JLA parking garage. I wonder if they tear down JLA, hopefully they'll take down the parking garage as well? Fingers crossed.

Anyway, the point is, there's good potential for the strip of area if things are configured right.

http://goo.gl/maps/7XtHz

Rizzo
Nov 5, 2013, 5:45 AM
Too bad the city didn't require some easement along the river. You could still keep the marina private, you'd just have a fenced in section of the riverwalk. Maybe the towers will see interest in that connectivity and open it up.

LMich
Nov 5, 2013, 8:35 AM
So happy to see the progress on the Riverwalk, and the further study being done on 375. These transit projects are what will facilitate more quality development than what would otherwise be possible.

It looks like it's entirely possible to get the Riverwalk through the Riverfront properties. I mean, it couldn't hurt for the city to at least see if they are interested in negotiating something. Knowing Detroit, though, Riverfront probably prizes its privacy to a degree, which is weird for me, because the isolation of the towers has always seemed like the most unattractive parts of the scheme, to me. BTW, does the city own the surface parking lot in between the towers and the arena? Also, does anyone know who owns the giant lot directly to the west of the towers? As for the Joe's parking garage, I'd like to see it go, too, but I wonder if it's not just used by the Joe? Is it used for overflow parking for Cobo? Detroit doesn't give up parking garages very easily. lol

As for 375, yeah, it's days really need to be numbered. I remember reading back during the summer when they are talking about this that this would open up a whole 12 acres of additional land to develop after taking out the service drives, ramps and other superfluous areas of the freeway. The big thing I see with this is revitalizing the western edge of Lafayette Park along the freeway.

animatedmartian
Nov 5, 2013, 8:36 AM
Too bad the city didn't require some easement along the river. You could still keep the marina private, you'd just have a fenced in section of the riverwalk. Maybe the towers will see interest in that connectivity and open it up.

They've done that with the marina section along the Harbortown though there was already plenty of space between most of the existing development and the marina. Pretty much an easy adjustment.

The Riverfront Towers and the property they sit on seems a whole lot less forgiving. I'm trying to see what the plans are/would be on connecting either side of the property.

LMich
Nov 5, 2013, 8:40 AM
I think the opposite. There is a literal straight along the waters edge at Riverfront where this could go with each side of the property being relative open space (empty lot to the west, unobstructed surface parking lot to the east. Whereas the path through/around Harbortown is far more convoluted just given the geography given that the marina at Harbortown is not built off the riverfront like at Riverfront, but into the riverfront.

hudkina
Nov 5, 2013, 11:24 AM
Riverfront Towers already has a "riverwalk" of sorts in front of the marina. I highly doubt there would be much opposition to opening that stretch to the public.

animatedmartian
Nov 5, 2013, 12:08 PM
I think the opposite. There is a literal straight along the waters edge at Riverfront where this could go with each side of the property being relative open space (empty lot to the west, unobstructed surface parking lot to the east. Whereas the path through/around Harbortown is far more convoluted just given the geography given that the marina at Harbortown is not built off the riverfront like at Riverfront, but into the riverfront.

I see what you mean.

deja vu
Nov 5, 2013, 11:40 PM
Yeah, it does look disjointed, for sure. For once, they seem to have an awfully optimistic view of retail in the center, but the only way that'd materialize is if 1). you undo Northland or 2). you include far more housing than what I see rendered in the concept to support said retail. I, too, would like to have seen much greater attention paid to residential infill. This looks really great if you're working in the office towers and civic center, but it almost doesn't address actual Southfield residents' access to the town center, which is who you'd pull on for support of the retail in the downtown. At the end of the day, it looks like an outdoor mall on Civic Center, as opposed to something connected to the neighborhoods.

All that said, anything is better than what is there, now. I understand they should have done this years ago, but Southfield is still a huge retail draw for northwest Detroiters, so I don't quite buy the prevailing opinion that it's "too late." I think a reinvigorated town center, here, wouldn't necessarily compete directly with the demographic who frequent the retail and nightlife along the upper Woodward corridor communities. There is a really big opportunity, here, to cater to the middle-class black suburban demographic in this area of the region, and make it their premiere suburban spot in a way you couldn't even do with the gentrifying Midtown and downtown Detroit. I've always seen this area as a missed opportunity - maybe, it's because my family frequented this area a lot as a child as far as retail was concerned - but, it's better late than never.

I completely agree. Better late than never. Almost anything would have to be better than the asphalt jungle that 'Center City' Southfield currently is. It has the potential to be a much more engaging urban destination than it currently is if certain factors, as you outlined, are addressed.

animatedmartian
Nov 6, 2013, 11:17 AM
Downtown building sales spark Corktown buying spree
LOUIS AGUILAR THE DETROIT NEWS. NOVEMBER 6, 2013

http://cmsimg.detnews.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=C3&Date=20131106&Category=BIZ&ArtNo=311060027&Ref=AR&MaxW=640&Border=0&Downtown-building-sales-spark-Corktown-buying-spree

Detroit— A land-buying spree is erupting around the popular Michigan Avenue strip in Corktown.

Call it “the Dan Gilbert” effect, or an unexpected product of Detroit seeking Chapter 9 bankruptcy, but it’s the latest sign a rush is under way to buy in Detroit’s gentrifying swath, stretching from Corktown to Midtown to downtown, say commercial real estate brokers and building owners.

“Some people want to buy as a way to support the city, and others think they are getting bankruptcy prices,” said James Horn, a broker for Wilhelm & Associates, who was involved in one of the five pending Corktown sales made in the past month.

....

http://cmsimg.detnews.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=C3&Date=20131106&Category=BIZ&ArtNo=311060027&Ref=V1&MaxW=600&Border=0

Among the Corktown sales contracts is one signed last week for a structure most Michigan Avenue visitors will recognize: the triangular, graffiti-riddled “CPA building” across the street from Slows Bar BQ restaurant.

“We signed a contract, we are feeling pretty good, things continue to look up for this neighborhood, really looking up,” said Ray Kouza, owner of the six-story CPA building at the corner of Michigan and 14th Street. The building was for sale for 11 years, according to CoStar, a commercial real estate information service. The list price was $900,000.

Kouza and other sellers declined to name the buyer or the sales price. Most said it was simply too soon since the deals have to go through the usual due diligence of any sale, which often takes one to three months.

The only known price and buyer is the $116,000 paid for a weedy, empty lot at 2126 Trumbull, about a block north of Michigan Avenue. A man named Jim McClellan bought the lot during last month’s Wayne County tax foreclosure auction. The empty 6,700-square-foot lot had 102 bids, according to county officials.


http://cmsimg.detnews.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=C3&Date=20131106&Category=BIZ&ArtNo=311060027&Ref=V2&MaxW=600&Border=0

Other pending sales include a former art gallery on the eastern edge of Corktown. It’s latest incarnation was the 5E Gallery. “We had so much interest from local and national buyers,” said Horn, the broker involved in the deal. “Everyone had big plans — restaurants, bars. Someone actually wanted to make it their personal loft.” The space is 4,600 square feet, according to CoStar. The list price was $149,000.

The highest listed price for any of the sold buildings was $3.7 million. That was for the Corktown Inn, a motel at 1331 Trumbull, about five blocks south of the former site of Tiger Stadium. The Corktown Inn had been for sale for 3-½years, according to CoStar.

“It’s the Dan Gilbert effect,” said Albert Ellis, senior associate for Colliers International, who was involved in the motel deal. “Investors feel pushed out of downtown because of Gilbert’s buying spree there.”

...


http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20131106/BIZ/311060027/Downtown-building-sales-spark-Corktown-buying-spree?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|FRONTPAGE|p

hudkina
Nov 6, 2013, 11:34 AM
It would be nice to see something happen to the CPA building.

detroit_alive
Nov 6, 2013, 3:25 PM
A couple of thoughts today:

The first is of an opportunity, which may or may not come to fruition.
Mike Duggan is the Mayor of Detroit. He has a great opportunity to start real reform, in conjunction with the city (hopefully) receiving bankruptcy protection. Its a chance for a clean start. Although change will be slow, Duggan needs to show real results in a relatively short amount of time. His best bet will be with the police force. If he can find money to cut response time and increase neighborhood presence he will win the trust of the residents.

The second is a certainty in my mind.
Downtown Detroit will not fail. It will be renovated piece by piece until it is a viable market without massive subsidy. Dan Gilbert went all in and he will personally see to it. Its not goodwill, its business. His empire has become "too big to fail" -- if Detroit fails, Dan Gilbert will lose a fortune. He will not let this happen. He will continue to personally subsidize retail and development until critical mass is reached. Then he will profit enormously from all of his cheap buys.

[Edit]: Also really looking forward to Anthony Bourdain's Parts Unknown Detroit episode, which airs this Sunday. Really curious to see where he went and hear his take: Preview (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6kv_DXDrqo4)

animatedmartian
Nov 8, 2013, 12:40 PM
An historic apartment building saved and reused.

Grand opening of Detroit apartment building ends homelessness for tenants
By Tammy Stables Battaglia November 7, 2013

...

Author Mitch Albom, who also writes for the Detroit Free Press, presided over the grand opening celebration at the building at Elmhurst and Woodrow Wilson today. The new tenants — who will pay 30% of their income — were expected to start moving in today, filling the building by the end of the week. All have completed training programs and lived in shelters run by Cass Community Social Services, a nonprofit run by Rev. Faith Fowler.

“What Faith Fowler and Cass Community do is astounding,” Albom said. “The reason this is so special is because it potentially permanently ends homelessness for 41 residents.”

The Homeless Action Network of Detroit estimates Detroit, Hamtramck and Highland Park are home to about 20,000 homeless people. Adults 45 to 54 years old are the largest age group of homeless people, with 61% of them men, according to a 2012 survey the homeless action network conducted in metro Detroit.

Fowler — with developer Bill Pulte, founder of the Detroit Blight Authority, — told the crowd that the Cass Community board was hesitant to delve into the project in October 2012.

“The walls looked like they’d been through the second world war; there were holes in the walls where they’d stole the copper,” she said to laughs. “They finally told me I could buy the building if I got a drug test.”

But dozens of community organizations, volunteers and churches pitched in, and most of the rooms were sponsored by a different group. The basement offers a community room, laundry room and computer room and there are plans for a hair salon. Cass Community Social Services plans to hold everything from vocational and literacy training to 12-step programs and cooking classes for residents.

...

http://cmsimg.freep.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?NewTbl=1&Site=C4&Date=20131107&Category=NEWS&ArtNo=311070138&Ref=PH&Item=1&Maxw=620&Maxh=465&q=90


http://cmsimg.freep.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?NewTbl=1&Site=C4&Date=20131107&Category=NEWS&ArtNo=311070138&Ref=PH&Item=2&Maxw=620&Maxh=465&q=90

http://cmsimg.freep.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?NewTbl=1&Site=C4&Date=20131107&Category=NEWS&ArtNo=311070138&Ref=PH&Item=5&Maxw=620&Maxh=465&q=90

http://cmsimg.freep.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?NewTbl=1&Site=C4&Date=20131107&Category=NEWS&ArtNo=311070138&Ref=PH&Item=6&Maxw=620&Maxh=465&q=90

http://www.freep.com/article/20131107/NEWS01/311070130/homeless-detroit-Cass-apartment

animatedmartian
Nov 8, 2013, 11:08 PM
Have a Look At The Globe Building Now
November 8, 2013, by Sarah Cox

http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/527cf1def92ea14004007816/v7I4OxMy5IGn8lAQ-1SXn_eVBGehfi4tLFg9aln5YJQ.jpg

http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/527cf1f0f92ea14004007870/_tS8w4u2leP5ewlU99AZGmAAS4TOyQOruKzQFrA0Rlc.jpg

http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/527cf1e0f92ea14004007820/ImSGYq9rznlBtquauI-7uSZa4M5b1cj0gnQK8HLHUDU.jpg

http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/527cf1e4f92ea14004007834/wJnEZBgKhImFnQQXn1mqiah45y1iDXHs-s_rzQYtNtc.jpg

http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/527cf1e8f92ea14004007848/DG4H6vtCQOkJNJ3bLcB-tOE6vJK60skk6aRHftpAPeo.jpg

http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/527cf1ecf92ea1400400785c/jVvv1krVUOlaftNaTdnWGno7yjb4pbMAVHnZkQ7Z9kE.jpg

http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/527cf1eef92ea14004007866/z73gWk5cWfCcVu-kmvvHMu9ifTEuF-tU34zjsBU0mIM.jpg


http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/527cf1f2f92ea1400400787a/g-7MTeCGMdGbwZUAqov4f19yBETfaBWJvAgdyIUPlPM.jpg

http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/527cf1f4f92ea14004007884/y07A_D3lRUbfPc8-WNi0kdu6jhv8ChRBfxGkgzd3prw.jpg

http://detroit.curbed.com/archives/2013/11/have-a-look-at-the-globe-building-now.php

animatedmartian
Nov 10, 2013, 8:04 PM
Children's Hospital to build tower, expand rooms
By Sherri Welch. November 10, 2013.

Children's Hospital of Michigan is making plans to construct a six-story patient tower and reconfigure all of its double-occupancy rooms to private rooms for an estimated investment of $100 million or more.

To make room for the tower at Mack Avenue and Beaubien Street, the hospital plans to relocate the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southeastern Michigan house in Midtown from land it deeded conditionally to the charity to a new site at Mack and Brush Street, about a half mile away, for an additional $3.5 million.

The new tower and hospital reconfiguration are part of the $850 million promised when Vanguard Health Systems — now Tenet Healthcare Corp. — acquired the Detroit Medical Center in 2012, said Luanne Ewald, vice president of business development and strategic planning at Children's Hospital.

...

The hospital has hired Boston-based Shepley Bulfinch as project architect and plans to spend the next 12-18 months plotting out departmental needs from space and technology standpoints, Ewald said.

....

Children's Hospital plans to put out a request for proposals for construction firms for the tower and hospital projects by the third quarter of 2015, Ewald said. Construction is expected to begin late in 2015 or in spring 2016.

But before work on the new tower can begin, the hospital has to relocate the Ronald McDonald House.

The hospital donated the land for the charity's use with the proviso that should the hospital ever need it for any purpose, the hospital would provide another location and house, Ewald said.

Children's Hospital acquired four contiguous parcels of land, two from the city and two from private owners, on the south side of Mack off Brush for the new house, Ewald said.

The hospital expects to break ground on the house by spring and has said it hopes to complete it by the end of next year, said Jennifer Litomisky, executive director of the Ronald McDonald House.

Detroit-based Hamilton Anderson Associates is serving as architect for the new house.

Litomisky, who's walked the architects through the charity's current house, said plans call for a 2 1/2-story, 18,000-square-foot home that will look like the historical homes on Mack. That would be 2,000 feet larger than its current site. The new house will still have 25 rooms, but each will have its own bathroom.


http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20131110/NEWS/311109983/childrens-hospital-to-build-tower-expand-rooms

This is the rendering for the tower.

http://img607.imageshack.us/img607/7209/xrvv.jpg
http://www.dmc.org/project-photos.html

Where it'll be and the Ronald McDonald House that'll have to be relocated.

http://img834.imageshack.us/img834/3006/wm0l.png

And also where the new house will be built. The actual spot is just to the left of the edge photo where there is currently one other home and a vacant lot.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8117/8656855970_04f5329610_b.jpg

HAA is a pretty good firm though most of their work consists of modern designs. So I'm curious to see how much of a historical compliment their house on Mack will look.

These aren't the exact homes are Mack, but this is pretty much what's left of the historical housing in this area,

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8117/8656843230_90a027fc0b_b.jpg

LMich
Nov 11, 2013, 8:17 AM
Nice updates, animation. I'm particularly happy to see the Antsidel Apartments renovations. There's a lot of unconventional housing being renovated in this area. In fact, this is not too far from where I grew up, and where my mother's family grew up. There are so many great apartment buildings - many of them mid-block or on residential corners - in these westside hoods, and it's good to see even one vacant one being saved.

hudkina
Nov 11, 2013, 2:02 PM
I think they did a good job of "recreating" the sections of the Globe that had to be torn down. That's going to be a great development for the riverfront.

north 42
Nov 11, 2013, 3:16 PM
I think they did a good job of "recreating" the sections of the Globe that had to be torn down. That's going to be a great development for the riverfront.

I've been watching the progress from over here in Windsor, very easy to see from our riverfront parks. Can't wait to see how it turns out"

Rizzo
Nov 11, 2013, 6:00 PM
I think they did a good job of "recreating" the sections of the Globe that had to be torn down. That's going to be a great development for the riverfront.

Totally agree. I was very concerned when I started seeing large brick sections coming down initially. But this recent set is comforting. The Globe is shaping up to be a really cool building.

LMich
Nov 12, 2013, 8:13 AM
Out along the Gold Coast:

http://cmsimg.detnews.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=C3&Date=20131111&Category=BIZ03&ArtNo=311110097&Ref=AR&MaxW=640&Border=0&Investment-firm-buys-4-Riverfront-area-apartment-buildings
The 43-unit Hibbard Apartments, at 8905 East Jefferson Avenue and the 49-unit Kean Apartments, at 8925 East Jefferson Avenue in Detroit on Monday. (David Coates / The Detroit News)

Investment firm buys 4 Riverfront area apartment buildings (http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20131111/BIZ03/311110097/Investment-firm-buys-4-Riverfront-area-apartment-buildings?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|FRONTPAGE|p)

By Louis Aguilar | The Detroit News

November 11, 2013

Detroit — A Denver-area firm that buys and renovates historical properties continues to show its faith in Detroit’s east Riverfront area, acquiring four apartment buildings, according to a company spokeswoman.

Triton Properties Company announced Monday it bought the buildings — all of which are close to each other — for an undisclosed amount. The aim is to fix them up, said April Sedillos, Triton executive vice president.

“Our initial plans include addressing the deferred maintenance,” Sedillos said in an email statement Monday. “At this time, we are still in the process of formulating budgets for capital improvements to the properties.”

Triton bought the following:

■ Hibbard Tower Residences — 8905 E Jefferson Ave., 43 units.

■ Kean Residences — 8925 E Jefferson Ave., 49 units.

■ Parker Residences — 715 Parker St., 9 units.

■ Van Dyke Manor — 1000 Van Dyke, 38 units.

The buildings are close to Triton’s other investments it has made in the Detroit since 2009. In August 2013, it purchased the Alden Park Towers at East Jefferson and Parker for $2 million. It completed a $5 million renovation of the property earlier this year.

Triton also owns 23 single-family homes in East English Village, and has significant interest in the Harbortown residential complex.

http://cmsimg.detnews.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=C3&Date=20131111&Category=BIZ03&ArtNo=311110097&Ref=V1&MaxW=600&Border=0
The 38-unit Van Dyke Apartments, at 1000 Van Dyke and E. Lafayette street in Detroit on Monday. David Coates / The Detroit News

animatedmartian
Nov 12, 2013, 1:16 PM
There's a news story from a few months ago about TPC's renovation on the Alden Towers.

http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/Detroit-s-Alden-Towers-undergo-massive-renovation/-/1719418/22121226/-/ucxui7/-/index.html

If that's what to be expected at these newly acquired apartments, there's going to be a bump in interest for this area. I mean, the area is good as it is now, but you'd think this area would see a lot of developer interest giving the existing high-rises and waterfront real estate.

Good to see Triton expanding nonetheless.

LMich
Nov 13, 2013, 1:48 PM
Until the RTA gets up-and-running - which is still at least a year away - we're not going to see a lot of movement from the public powers-that-be on regional transit, but a private company is looking to start a regular shuttle bus between Metro and Downtown. No telling how far off this is, but it'd be a start.

Charter bus operator envisions round-trips to Metro Airport (http://www.freep.com/article/20131112/BUSINESS06/311120134/Bus-airport-Detroit)

By John Gallagher | Detroit Free Press

November 13, 2013

The Detroit Bus Company, a 2-year-old operator of charter buses, hopes to start offering regular routes soon between downtown Detroit and Metro Airport.

Andy Didorosi, founder and president of the operation, said he has been talking to the Detroit Department of Transportation for several months about his concept.

If launched as Didorosi envisions, a fleet of four buses would run a dozen or more round-trips per day between downtown and the airport, with stops at various downtown and suburban locations, he said.

“I wanted to find niches to fill that could be useful for everybody, citizens who have lived here their whole lives,” Didorosi told the Free Press this week.

If successful, the service could fill a gap in transit options between the airport and downtown.

Eventually, whenever the Ann Arbor-Detroit regional rail finds regular operating funds, I'd like to see them take the bulk of potential passengers, and the bus system supplement the rail.

animatedmartian
Nov 13, 2013, 8:52 PM
Demolitions plans from out of nowhere. I never thought these two buildings were urban friendly (being set so far back from Woodward and with a huge parking lot), but I never expected them to get the wrecking ball. The letter just states a proposal in zoning change. Not necessarily a possible demolition.

Very interested to see what the proposals look like.

Professional Plaza High-Rise Targeted For Demolition
November 13, 2013, by Paul Beshouri

http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/5283c4baf92ea127d7003219/IMG_1563.JPG

http://img11.imageshack.us/img11/5579/xewz.jpg

http://img197.imageshack.us/img197/511/nr2l.jpg
http://detroit.curbed.com/archives/2013/11/professional-plaza-highrise-targeted-for-demolition.php

animatedmartian
Nov 13, 2013, 11:10 PM
More residential on the way.

Exclusive: Apartments Proposed Behind Westin Book Cadillac Detroit
NOVEMBER 13, 2013 BY R.J. KING

http://roxburygroup.com/projects/images/griswold1.jpg

With demand for apartments in downtown Detroit outpacing supply, the Roxbury Group is reviving a plan to add 80 residential units atop a 10-story parking deck located behind the Westin Book Cadillac Detroit. The development company had proposed offering condominiums above the structure in 2007, but had to pull back due to the 2008 global financial crisis.

“We have submitted a proposal and are working with the Detroit Economic Growth Corp. and the Michigan Economic Development Corp., and we are in the preliminary stages,” says David M. DiRita, a Roxbury Group principal. “Where before we sought to do condominiums, we feel the timing is right for apartments. The demand is there.”

Since 2010, more than 15,000 workers have been added to the central business district. New entrants include Quicken Loans Inc. and its affiliates, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, and added workers at General Motors Co., among others. As a result, the residential occupancy rate downtown has soared above 95 percent.

Brian Holdwick, vice president of the DEGC, confirmed Roxbury had submitted a proposal for adding apartments above the deck, at Michigan and Griswold. The plan includes the construction of a five-level addition with open floor plans and the completion of a dedicated elevator offering access to on-site parking, retail offerings, and the hotel.

Called The Griswold, the project, to be designed by Detroit-based Kraemer Design Group, would take 12 to 18 months to complete, DiRita says. Many of the units would offer excellent views of the Detroit River, Belle Isle, and Canada now that the demolition of the Lafayette Building at Michigan and Shelby has been completed.

The DEGC, which oversaw construction of the 545-space parking deck for the Downtown Development Authority, designed the structure to accommodate five levels of residential or commercial office space. Detroit-based Walbridge built the deck.

In related news, DiRita says the Roxbury Group is on schedule with its redevelopment of the David Whitney Building at Woodward and Park in downtown Detroit. The 19-story structure, designed by David Burnham, is being converted into 108 apartments, a 136-room Aloft Hotel, two restaurants, and retail space. The project is slated to open in fall 2014.

Earlier this year, the Roxbury Group completed The Auburn, a 58-unit loft apartment building along with 9,000 square feet of retail space, at Cass and Canfield in Detroit’s Midtown District. The building is 100-percent occupied. The company also is redeveloping the Globe Building, located east of the Renaissance Center near the riverfront, into a $13-million adventure and discovery center for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. The project is scheduled to open next year.



http://www.dbusiness.com/daily-news/Annual-2013/Exclusive-New-Apartments-Proposed-Behind-the-Westin-Book-Cadillac-Detroit/#comments

The design has changed slightly from 2007. It looks as though they closed up the balconies and squared off the garret. The new design looks a lot more contemporary. This is the old design:

http://198.171.44.249/projectimages/141/griswold_-_ad_rendering_old__detail.jpg
http://thekraemeredge.com/index.php/projects/residentialdetail/the_griswold_capitol_park

LMich
Nov 14, 2013, 8:11 AM
It looks like they chopped off a floor, too. I like the old design better. The mansard roof is the only thing that made the architecture of it worthwhile, to me. Looks like they also took out the balconies. In fact, it looks like they are just going to continue to bland design of the garage to the top, basically. A missed opportunity.

BTW, always like Professional Plaza, if only for the height and creating a landmark in the middle of Midtown (the sign on top was cool, too), but I remember hearing about demolition plans for this years ago. EDIT: Just read the rezoing request. It's like the rezoning request in just about every city. Yes, they are rezoning this to demolish the existing properties to put up medical office building and parking garage.

animatedmartian
Nov 14, 2013, 11:20 AM
I'm guessing they had to go bland because of financial constraints. Tis a shame it is.

hudkina
Nov 14, 2013, 12:24 PM
I was always disappointed to hear about someone wanting to tear the tower down. It seems like it would be a good opportunity for residential development, and the rest of the lot is large enough that they could easily build what they want around it. Seems like a waste to tear it down. The other portion of the site, I'm all for demolition if they replace it with something more substantial.

As far as the Book-Cadillac garage, it seems they learned their lesson with the Book-Cadillac residences. While there is always demand for downtown living, the higher end of the market is probably the weakest. By going more modest, it seems they'll be likely to attract a broader range of residents and fill the units up more quickly. The design is bland, but at least they're coming back to the proposal and adding more residential in a market that sorely needs it.

animatedmartian
Nov 17, 2013, 2:55 PM
Town Center owner weighs 4 purchase offers
By Kirk Pinho. November 17, 2013

http://www.crainsdetroit.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/storyimage/CD/20131117/NEWS/311179970/AR/0/Southfield_Town_Center_towers.jpg&MaxW=620&v=201311071514

The owner of the Southfield Town Center is considering offers to buy the landmark office complex, in default on its mortgage with $138 million owed.

New York City-based Blackstone Group LP is considering four offers from local and out-of-state buyers for the 2.2 million-square-foot Class A office complex, north of 10 Mile Road between M-10 and Evergreen Road, according to real estate sources.

Those offers are between $160 million and $170 million, sources say. Blackstone purchased the five-building complex in 1999 for $270 million, according to real estate information service CoStar Group Inc.

....

The complex is 32 percent vacant, according to Bloomberg. The Southfield Class A office market had a 26 percent vacancy rate during the third quarter, according to data provided by the Southfield office of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank.

Matt Farrell, executive principal/partner of Bingham Farms-based Core Partners Associates LLC, said the Southfield Town Center offers good amenities such as the Westin Hotel — which would not be included — and restaurants on site. It also has a campus-like setting.

"Those are all big, big pluses," Farrell said.

But there are some drawbacks.

"The downside, potentially, is that the newer culture, the younger technology-based firms are looking for that warehouse/potentially downtown-like setting that gives them walkability," Farrell said.

According to CoStar, the largest tenants are GlobalHue Inc., with 109,000 square feet; Fifth Third Bank, 106,000 square feet; and AlixPartners LLP, 63,000 square feet.

...
http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20131117/NEWS/311179970/town-center-owner-weighs-4-purchase-offers

Given the recent news of Southfield trying to create a downtown, this probably would be a somewhat indirect result. Makes me wonder if Southfield is going to ever successfully transform its center to attract businesses or possibly lose them to more vacancy.

Apartment complex redevelopment takes its direction from residents
By Kirk Pinho. November 17, 2013

http://www.crainsdetroit.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/storyimage/CD/20131117/NEWS/311179988/AR/0/Renaissance_Village_Apartments.jpg&MaxW=620&v=201311071514

It took a $30 million redevelopment to transform a largely vacant northwest Detroit apartment complex into one that is now fully occupied.

Novi-based Ginosko Development Co. completed an 18-month redevelopment of the low-income Renaissance Village Apartments at Seven Mile and Evergreen roads in May, according to President Amin Irving.

But Ginosko didn't simply swoop in and redevelop the complex, formerly known as Evergreen Estates, the way it wanted.

Instead, Ginosko sought input from the few residents who remained at Renaissance Village after years of disrepair, Irving said. The complex had a 30 percent occupancy rate when Ginosko purchased it from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority in 2011 for $3.95 million after the previous owner defaulted on a MSHDA loan. According to Chris LaGrand, chief housing investment officer for MSHDA, the previous owner was Ron Weaver Sr.

Every six weeks, Ginosko would hold meetings with the residents to learn about their needs and wants.

"The residents that were there knew the property better than I did," Irving said.

The result?

A reduction in the number of units from 305 to 185 through the demolition of buildings containing 60 units, and merging studio and one-bedroom units to create an apartment complex featuring only two- and three-bedroom units ranging in price from $500 to $700 per month. During the redevelopment, residents were moved into vacant apartments while theirs were renovated.

In place of the demolished buildings, a center courtyard was constructed with an amphitheater, fitness equipment, a splash pad and other outdoor amenities.

Another result was 100 percent occupancy.

"It sounds like their reconfiguration strategy was a good idea and appropriate for the marketplace, which is seeing larger family units living together," said Larry Goss, executive vice president of Bingham Farms-based Core Partners Associates LLC, which is trying to develop two low-income housing complexes in Oakland County.

"Generally, I think we still see a strong demand for affordable housing in our market, and in particular, rental housing. This is in line with what the market is looking for and needs."

The complex was built in the 1940s. The new construction began in November 2011.

....
http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20131117/NEWS/311179988/apartment-complex-redevelopment-takes-its-direction-from-residents

I was never a big fan of garden apartments, but this redevelopment looks pretty decent.

http://ginosko.com/images/renaissance.jpg
http://ginosko.com/recent-projects.php

http://image.apartmentguide.com/imgr/dd894f3c4b9572d45945b9184d49fbaf/525-?city=Detroit&property_name=Renaissance%20Village
http://www.apartmentguide.com/apartments/Michigan/Detroit/Renaissance-Village/181598/

http://image.apartmentguide.com/imgr/e98560ee071b2d615e21dfee1ff53c3f/525-?city=Detroit&property_name=Renaissance%20Village
http://www.apartmentguide.com/apartments/Michigan/Detroit/Renaissance-Village/181598/

LMich
Nov 18, 2013, 8:27 AM
Of Southeast Michigan's three largest office centers (Southfield, Downtown Detroit, and Troy in that order), all three had improving vacancy rates for 2012. Someone can find some more recnt numbers if they'd like. I don't want to get into the thing that happened in City Discussions, but Southfield will be fine. Unlike Troy, it's had to put up with downtown Detroit (which has the lowest overall vacancy of the three, BTW) as a direct competitor these past few years, so it's going to take a bit more time to fill back in.

hudkina
Nov 18, 2013, 12:47 PM
There will always be a market for those particular towers. The major problems with Southfield are the smaller, older buildings that run along the mile roads.

north 42
Nov 18, 2013, 4:06 PM
I was always disappointed to hear about someone wanting to tear the tower down. It seems like it would be a good opportunity for residential development, and the rest of the lot is large enough that they could easily build what they want around it. Seems like a waste to tear it down. The other portion of the site, I'm all for demolition if they replace it with something more substantial.

As far as the Book-Cadillac garage, it seems they learned their lesson with the Book-Cadillac residences. While there is always demand for downtown living, the higher end of the market is probably the weakest. By going more modest, it seems they'll be likely to attract a broader range of residents and fill the units up more quickly. The design is bland, but at least they're coming back to the proposal and adding more residential in a market that sorely needs it.


Are the Book-Cadillac residences having trouble being filled?

animatedmartian
Nov 18, 2013, 5:31 PM
Are the Book-Cadillac residences having trouble being filled?

According to a July Crain's article, 32 of the 67 luxury condos had been sold.

So far they've only repaid $600,000 of the $6 million dollar loan that they took out from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority in 2006.

The building had opened in 2008, at the height of the recession, so all around it wasn't the best circumstances. They've only really just now started to see revenue generated but that will only mostly cover the principal loan. They still have all that interest that will have to be covered.

http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20130728/NEWS/307289989/

hudkina
Nov 19, 2013, 1:17 AM
The loan isn't an issue. That's the type of loan that you pay off with rainy day money. The issue is that the demand for the higher end of the market was relatively weak at that time. Maybe things have changed a bit in the post-recession era, but I'd say the mid-market is a better option for the new units. The people looking to move downtown aren't necessarily upper management. They're sticking to the Pointes for now.

LMich
Nov 19, 2013, 8:25 AM
I've always wanted to see more middle-income housing in and around downtown, but a lot of developers almost always just want to make a quick buck, and, well, some of them miscalculated. It'd be nice if we had some more folks with a longer-term vision.

That said, I'm actually surprised that they even sold about half of them, to be honest. And, had these been rental, there wouldn't be an empty room in the place. I mean, I imagine that the Fort Shelby Apartments in the Doubletree hotel, nearby, are probably full.

subterranean
Nov 19, 2013, 1:41 PM
There certainly is a major lack of middle income housing. I've been keeping my eye on the market for awhile and there really isn't any decent inventory left. There are a few lofts for $150-200k, but that is about it.

There's nothing downtown, Midtown is filled up, the Villages are generally too expensive, there's nothing available in Corktown or Woodbridge, and not much in Boston Edison East of the Lodge.

Sort of wishing I would have purchased a few years ago because this market is looking tough.

animatedmartian
Nov 19, 2013, 3:26 PM
Packard plant bidder Hults buys Cadillac stamping plant
By Kirk Pinho. November 18, 2013.

http://www.crainsdetroit.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/storyimage/CD/20131118/NEWS/131119856/AR/0/AR-131119856.jpg&MaxW=620&v=201311071514

Bill Hults, the former would-be buyer of the Packard plant, has purchased the 954,000-square-foot former Cadillac stamping plant on Detroit's east side.

Meanwhile, Hults blamed the failed Packard plant deal on "greedy" investors.

Alan Holt, an associate with Detroit-based Summit Commercial LLC, said Hults purchased the plant from Detroit-based Ivan Doverspike Co.

According to Washington, D.C.-based real estate information service CoStar Group Inc., Summit Commercial listed the property, at 9501 Connor, for $2.75 million. Hults would not disclose the purchase price.

He said he plans a $35 million to $40 million investment at the site, located at Gratiot Avenue and Connor Street. The Cadillac plant was built in 1928, according to CoStar.

"We are turning it back into a functioning manufacturing facility," Hults said. "We are going to put a pre-cast panel company in there and a modular pre-cast company in there, and we are going to use that to build urban, multifamily in-fill housing."

He said work on the plant has already begun.

"We are essentially stripping everything out of the building," he said. "It hasn't been a stamping plant for 35-40 years, so we are doing everything you can imagine."

....

"I had the financing," Hults said when asked to explain how the deal fell through last week. "It's only when I told them what I was going to do (with the Packard plant) that they (the investors) told me they wanted 10 times the amount of return they asked for. I call that greedy investing."

About his purchase and plans on the Cadillac site Hults said, "I'm doing what I'm doing, and I can only tell you that we are in the middle of a pretty large project."

http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20131118/NEWS/131119856/packard-plant-bidder-hults-buys-cadillac-stamping-plant

I would think he would have told them pretty early on having spent a lot of time trying to get Packard. But it's whatever at this point. He's moved on to another vacant factory that'll actually probably be a lot more manageable than Packard would have ever been.

animatedmartian
Nov 19, 2013, 11:00 PM
Construction to begin on [Wayne State] Student Center
Tim Carroll . November 5, 2013.

http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/thesouthend.wayne.edu/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/f4/ef41386c-4591-11e3-a714-001a4bcf6878/527807a862690.image.png

Bye, bye paper airplanes -- the Student Center is being renovated this upcoming spring and many updates, including new ceilings, are planned.
The lower level and first three floors are the parts being renovated, with the upper floors remaining untouched.

According to an announcement from the Division Of Finance and Business Operations, the architectural firm of Neurmann + WTW Architects was chosen for design services in the renovation project.

Conceptual art for the renovation was posted outside of the building on Friday, Oct. 18 before being taken to a meeting regarding the project. Many students and staff stopped by to see the new plan, approving of the proposal.

The current Student Center was built in 1963, before Wayne State had dorms and was primarily a commuter school. Students would drive downtown, go to class, then drive back home, never stopping by the lounges and study areas of the center.

As more and more students began to live on campus, the need for an improved Student Center was recognized by the administration.

“Planning for a major renovation or replacement of the Student Center has been under way since 2006 to create the modern, central campus meeting and activity space Wayne State needs and deserves today,” said Tim Michael, chief housing operator.

“I believe the best part of the renovation is going to be the overall look and feel that the new Student Center will bring to campus,” Michael said. “It will be the campus crossroads and ‘living room’ where the entire campus community can find services and activities.”

...
http://www.thesouthend.wayne.edu/news/campus/article_8cc1ae7e-4591-11e3-81fc-001a4bcf6878.html

I really need to walk around Wayne State one of these days. There's a lot of architectural goodies that seem mostly under the radar.

hudkina
Nov 20, 2013, 2:40 AM
There's a lot of Minoru Yamasaki around the campus.

jward145
Nov 22, 2013, 9:44 PM
http://www.deadlinedetroit.com/articles/7332/wsu_will_build_an_apartment_hotel_and_conference_center_complex_in_midtown#.Uo_NU8SsjvY Detroit is on a role! It will be apartments, a hotel, and conference center(with retail) all wrapped up in a sleek, modern design. https://d2nyfqh3g1stw3.cloudfront.net/photos/article_landing_wsu_9721.png

uaarkson
Nov 22, 2013, 10:11 PM
Awesome!

animatedmartian
Nov 23, 2013, 12:01 AM
Probably the best looking design in Detroit in at least a decade if not more. Here's more renderings via Curbed.

http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/528fe588f92ea10fb403368d/ren1.jpeg

http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/528fe58af92ea10fb4033697/ren2.jpeg

http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/528fe593f92ea10fb40336c9/ren7.jpeg

http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/528fe591f92ea10fb40336bf/ren6.jpeg

http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/528fe63ff92ea10545004330/wsudevesitj.jpg
http://detroit.curbed.com/archives/2013/11/midtown-moves-forward-9story-apartmenthotel-development-revealed.php

hudkina
Nov 23, 2013, 2:25 AM
I'm a bit surprised they're putting it here. It always seemed that their goal was to put this at the corner of Woodward and Warren. I guess they're just sick of waiting around for that Subway lease to end.;) It makes sense to put the hotel about halfway between the two campuses. Now that they're putting this here, I wonder what their plans are for the Woodward/Warren site.

animatedmartian
Nov 23, 2013, 6:05 AM
I'm not sure if I had heard anything about Woodward and Warren but I do know a RFP was put out for Canfield and Cass back in April. Originally, the request called for a 4-7 story building. The expected price tag was at most $25 Million.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/12/midtown-detroit-development-wayne-state-mixed-use_n_3062367.html

The now recently reveled proposal goes way past expectations.

A $60 million mixed-use development by Wayne State University at the northeast corner of Cass and Canfield streets in Midtown is expected to open by 2016.

The WSU board of governors on Friday afternoon approved entering into a memorandum of understanding with Birmingham-based Broder & Sachse Real Estate Services Inc. to develop the 1.5-acre site that the university owns.

The 410,000-square-foot development is expected to include 248 apartments, 19,000 square feet of retail space, a hotel with up to 120 rooms and a conference center that can accommodate 300 people, according to a news release.

Construction is expected to begin by the first quarter of 2015.
http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20131122/NEWS/131129943/wayne-state-plans-60-million-apartment-retail-building

hudkina
Nov 23, 2013, 10:45 PM
The Woodward/Warren hotel/conference center was never an official proposal, but I remember hearing years and years ago they wanted to put something prominent there to go with the Welcome Center across the street. The idea was to have a hotel and conference center. They tore down a huge chunk of the block except that Subway. The Subway lease was for several years. I'm not sure how much longer the lease has, but I wouldn't be surprised that once they raze that particular building they'll announce something major for that site.

LMich
Nov 25, 2013, 9:38 AM
I know I should be happier, but when I see 248 apartments, 120 hotel rooms, 19,000 square feet of retail space in over 400,000 square feet, and then see they got it up to nine stories in the rendering, the skyscraper fan in me can't help wish they'd have at least stacked the hotel and apartments and got this thing up to 18 stories. lol I mean, 410,000 square feet of space is a significant amount of space, and while 18 floors would be tall for Midtown, I do not think it'd be too tall.

That said, I'm just happy that it's a more-than-decent design, and that it's taking out surface parking lot. I do realize that blocks are relatively large in inner-city Detroit (and particularly in Midtown) and land values are low, so when given the option, for the forseeable future, developers are always going to stretch horizontal rather than vertical. I should just temper my expections, and hope that we'll see something above 20 stories, downtown, before the decades out. lol

LMich
Nov 25, 2013, 1:26 PM
The paper had an update on the study to begin looking into converting I-375 into aa surface boulevard.

http://cmsimg.freep.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?NewTbl=1&Site=C4&Date=20131123&Category=BUSINESS&ArtNo=311230109&Ref=PH&Item=5&Maxw=640&Maxh=410
Jarrad Henderson | Detroit Free Press

No more I-375? Detroit to study removing freeway in favor of walkable surface street (http://www.freep.com/article/20131124/BUSINESS06/311240072/I-375-downtown-MDOT)

By John Gallagher | Detroit Free Press

November 24, 2013

For the first time in a half century, Detroit could follow a national trend and remove aging I-375, cutting off express downtown access for tens of thousands of motorists a day in favor of a pedestrian-friendly parkway connecting Lafayette Park and Eastern Market with the central business district.

Turning the trench-like interstate that runs from I-75 near Gratiot south to Jefferson Avenue into a surface street would make for easier connections between residential areas on the east side and central downtown. Creating that walkable ambiance would come at the cost of high-speed connections on I-375 that suburbanites take to reach the Renaissance Center, Cobo Center and other downtown destinations.

Removing the 1960s-era freeway could sprout residential communities anew in the once-thriving historic black areas known as Black Bottom and Paradise Valley that were torn apart five decades ago by local freeway construction, the same as in cities across the nation.

The area could be developed into some combination of retail, parkland or mixed-use development. There could be several variations on the idea of a surface street. Or, ultimately, the freeway could be rebuilt as is, though that would buck a national trend of removing urban freeways in favor of pedestrian- and bike-friendly areas and greenways.

The City of Detroit and the Michigan Department of Transportation have formed a committee with local stakeholders, including development agencies and downtown employers, to study transforming I-375 into a surface street. The group will choose a consultant next month who will oversee the process of coming up with a proposed plan by mid-next year, at the earliest. Officials said the group would solicit public opinion but has not provided any specifics yet.

...

http://cmsimg.freep.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?NewTbl=1&Site=C4&Date=20131123&Category=BUSINESS&ArtNo=311230109&Ref=PH&Item=2&Maxw=640&Maxh=410
Romain Blanquart | Detroit Free Press

What I found odd was that the article twice mentions Eastern Market. At the end of the day, while I support this, this will have very little effect on connecting downtown to Eastern Market. In fact, it's removal is not even going to connect Eastern Market better with Lafayette Park. That was taken care of when they decided to extend Fisher eastward through the interchange, so it's odd to see them bring up Eastern Market. This isn't really about Eastern Market, it's mostly about connecting Lafayette Park with downtown, which I think will be particularly beneficial for Lafayette Park.

animatedmartian
Nov 25, 2013, 7:30 PM
Rock Ventures Selects SHoP Architects to Lead Design Process for Downtown Detroit's Iconic Hudson's Site

DETROIT, Nov. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Rock Ventures today announced it has selected SHoP Architects as the architect of record to lead the design process for the 2-acre site of the former Hudson's Department Store in downtown Detroit. Headquartered in NYC, SHoP will partner with Detroit-based Hamilton Anderson Associates (HAA) to create an innovative concept for a signature development on Woodward Avenue in the heart of Detroit's Central Business District bordered by Gratiot, Grand River and Library Street.

"These two firms, known as premier urban catalysts, were chosen for their innovation and creativity, as well as their track record of committing to community engagement. We believe SHoP and Hamilton Anderson will join a long list of distinguished architects including Yamasaki, Burnham and Kahn who have created landmark buildings in Detroit that stand the test of time," said Jeff Cohen, Founder, Rock Companies, LLC, a member of the Rock Ventures Family of Companies. "From its six-dimensional Building Information Modeling (BIM), to a live construction mobile and web application, SHoP's well-rounded, entrepreneurial approach is a perfect fit for our culture and for Detroit."

SHoP is the architect on dozens of world-renowned projects like the Barclays Center at Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn, New York, where the world's tallest modular housing towers -- also designed by SHoP -- are currently under construction. The modules are being fabricated in a nearby factory setting with the Brooklyn Navy Yard and point to a promising new frontier for urban manufacturing. Hamilton Anderson's notable Detroit area projects include the Tech One Building at the TechTown Research and Technology Park, Wayne State University Welcome Center and the award-winning North Terminal at Detroit Metropolitan Airport.


In the coming month, SHoP and HAA will meet with local stakeholders to discuss programming and design concepts. In early 2014, the two firms will host a lecture series for the community to learn more about the architects, the Hudson's site and what it will take to get a project of this magnitude underway.

"Designing a signature architectural project from the ground up in downtown Detroit -- or any great city -- is an opportunity of a lifetime, and we are committed to getting it right," said Dan Gilbert, Chairman and Founder of Rock Ventures. "We look forward to working with our local and state partners to help build a lasting contribution to our city.

"Our goal is that this project will become not only a symbol of Detroit's past and present, but more importantly, highlight the high-tech potential, creative future of opportunities for Detroiters and visitors from around the world," Gilbert added.

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/rock-ventures-selects-shop-architects-to-lead-design-process-for-downtown-detroits-iconic-hudsons-site-233337291.html

Detroit might actually get something that looks like it was built in the 21st century. :cheers:

LMich
Nov 26, 2013, 8:12 AM
So, we got us something of a starchitect, huh? It's been a long time coming. So long as it doesn't look like someone spilled a glass of ice cubes at the site, I'll be satisfied. I'm glad he went outside town to find an architect, though. You can only take so many Hamiltons and Smithgroups and Kraemers and Kahn Associates and such. Not that any of those are bad, but we need architects for this time in the city's history who reflect the unbridled exuberance of its local boosters.

Illithid Dude
Nov 26, 2013, 12:21 PM
Wow, SHoP? Incredible! I have a lot of family in Detroit, many of which have played an incredibly active roll in the revitalization of the inner city neighborhoods and downtown. My aunt, for example, is the founder of Avalon Bakery, and helped get the downtown synagogue running again. As such, I've always had an affinity for the city, and it makes me incredibly happy that finally Detroit is going to get a building worthy of it's history and future.

LMich
Nov 26, 2013, 1:58 PM
John Gallagher has an article in the Freep, this morning, giving a bit more detail into Gilbert's intentions, and they are major. There is no height limit, and they say this could be something that rivals the RenCen in height, or something more low-slung. And, while Gilbert doesn't want to copy the old Hudson's store - and quite frankly, god love it, it was no architectural masterpiece - he does want to recreate the feeling of the street wall the store did.

http://cmsimg.freep.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=C4&Date=20131125&Category=BUSINESS06&ArtNo=311250097&Ref=AR&MaxW=640&Border=0&Gilbert-hopes-recapture-Hudson-s-magic-new-iconic-Woodward-structure
file photo

So, apparently, that answers the mystery of how much this site can physically support. They are treating this as a total blank canvas. And, knowing Gilbert, he wants something epic. Now, we'll have to wait and see how the economy is when this goes up and how many other folks buy into it.

BTW, looking at that picture above, it's going to be crazy seeing the streetcar back out in front. lol

LMich
Nov 26, 2013, 2:13 PM
BTW, looks like the Ilitches made out like bandits on the new arena district:

http://cmsimg.detnews.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=C3&Date=20131126&Category=BIZ&ArtNo=311260017&Ref=AR&MaxW=640&Border=0&Tab-new-Red-Wings-arena-s-land-48M
The Temple Bar at the corner of Cass and Temple sits just off the northern border of the site of the new entertainment district. (John T. Greilick / The Detroit News)

Tab for new Red Wings arena's land: $48M (http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20131126/BIZ/311260017/Tab-new-Red-Wings-arena-s-land-48M?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE)

By Louis Aguilar | The Detroit News

November 26, 2013

Detroit —Owners of the Detroit Red Wings have paid at least $48 million in land deals and own nearly half of the 45-block area where the Wings’ new home ice and an entertainment district are planned, according to a city document.

It’s the first time a price has been revealed in the years-long acquisition of property by Olympia Development of Michigan (ODM) for a project that could reap huge financial rewards. It’s also the first time Olympia has divulged how much land it has bought; many land deals in the area have been shrouded in mystery, their buyers in question.

...

“For informational purposes, ODM has indicated it has paid at least approximately $48 million for the land,” according to a document written by the Detroit City Council’s legislative policy division staff. It adds: “ODM suggests it owns almost 50 percent of the land in these areas.”

...

This afternoon, the City Council may consider whether to literally expand the borders of downtown Detroit so the project can reap the tax dollars set aside for Detroit’s Downtown Development Authority (DDA), an entity separate from the city of Detroit. The project will use tax dollars from a budget and revenue stream that is not part of the city’s general revenue fund, which means it’s not money impacted by the city’s bankruptcy filing.

The special tax pot by the DDA has been in place for more than two decades and legally can’t be used for anything other than economic development in the designated area.

...

About $367 million or 56 percent of the entire $650 million project would come from private investment. About $283 million or 44 percent in public investment would come through existing economic development funds requiring no new taxes.

Part of the $200 million additional development includes:

■140,000 square feet of new mixed office and retail development on Woodward at Sproat Street.

■25,000 square feet of office and retail development along Woodward.

■Several parking structures with a total of 25,000 square feet of retail.

■Renovation of the Detroit Life Building at 2210 Park Ave. for 3,645 square feet of retail and 35 residential units.

■Renovation of the Blenheim Building at 81 W. Columbia St. for 1,833 square feet of retail and 16 residential units.

■Renovation of the building at 1922 Cass Ave. for 70,000 square feet of office space.

■A new hotel-retail development with 20,000 square feet of ground floor.

■Parking lots and other amenities.

http://cmsimg.detnews.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=C3&Date=20131126&Category=BIZ&ArtNo=311260017&Ref=V1&MaxW=600&Border=0

Roadcruiser1
Nov 26, 2013, 3:52 PM
This Is What Detroit Could Look Like In 2033 ... And Beyond
By Ashley Woods

If you've never been to Detroit and only know what you see in the news, a story about the city's future could seem confusing.

Detroit is bankrupt. Blocks once filled by families are all but dormant, and major roads remain lined with shuttered buildings that used to be shops, restaurants, bars and factories.

Yet change is brewing in the Motor City. New projects are targeting investment in hotspots like downtown and Midtown, and the city's neighborhoods could see major transformations under long-term plans like Detroit Future City.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/26/detroit-in-20-years-2033_n_4269422.html

animatedmartian
Nov 26, 2013, 7:46 PM
John Gallagher has an article in the Freep, this morning, giving a bit more detail into Gilbert's intentions, and they are major. There is no height limit, and they say this could be something that rivals the RenCen in height, or something more low-slung. And, while Gilbert doesn't want to copy the old Hudson's store - and quite frankly, god love it, it was no architectural masterpiece - he does want to recreate the feeling of the street wall the store did.

So, apparently, that answers the mystery of how much this site can physically support. They are treating this as a total blank canvas. And, knowing Gilbert, he wants something epic. Now, we'll have to wait and see how the economy is when this goes up and how many other folks buy into it.


I always wondered if Gilbert's original plan was to just rebuild the underground parking garage and get rid of the height limitation. Nowadays, it seems like he has plenty of resources to build something bigger and I don't think 16-floors was going to be enough. Especially given with all the momentum for more residential space and possibly office space if the vacancy rates fall fast enough. Things are shaping up for an interesting later half of the decade for Downtown Detroit. :cheers:

subterranean
Nov 26, 2013, 9:21 PM
I always wondered if Gilbert's original plan was to just rebuild the underground parking garage and get rid of the height limitation. Nowadays, it seems like he has plenty of resources to build something bigger and I don't think 16-floors was going to be enough. Especially given with all the momentum for more residential space and possibly office space if the vacancy rates fall fast enough. Things are shaping up for an interesting later half of the decade for Downtown Detroit. :cheers:

My thoughts exactly. He has just the right combination of cash and ego to rebuild the deck and go for a 'Detroit's tallest' designation. Anything to take the focus off the RenCen would be a positive in my book, especially if the building hearkens to the city's past. Still, even if he goes big, I hope it's human scale at street level.

Guiltyspark
Nov 26, 2013, 9:36 PM
My thoughts exactly. He has just the right combination of cash and ego to rebuild the deck and go for a 'Detroit's tallest' designation. Anything to take the focus off the RenCen would be a positive in my book, especially if the building hearkens to the city's past. Still, even if he goes big, I hope it's human scale at street level.

The Ren Cen looks pretty good with the new lighting, but I agree that it is time for a new signature building in Detroit. Actually, its a bit past time.

hudkina
Nov 26, 2013, 11:18 PM
I also find it interesting that he's willing to go tall on that site. It seems that he has the option with the Statler site to build a new "tallest", and keep the Hudson site more in line with the surroundings. Does he even still have the development rights for the Statler site?

animatedmartian
Nov 27, 2013, 2:39 AM
I also find it interesting that he's willing to go tall on that site. It seems that he has the option with the Statler site to build a new "tallest", and keep the Hudson site more in line with the surroundings. Does he even still have the development rights for the Statler site?

I was unaware he ever did. It's not mentioned very often if he does.

Though I imagine whatever the height on Statler, he'd want to fill the street wall in a similar fashion to when the building was standing.

skyfan
Nov 27, 2013, 6:51 PM
I was unaware he ever did. It's not mentioned very often if he does.

Though I imagine whatever the height on Statler, he'd want to fill the street wall in a similar fashion to when the building was standing.

He did when Quicken first said they were moving downtown the city offered them the rights to build a new HQ. Of course we know they didn't to that and instead decided to place employees in multiple building downtown. He may still have it as the Hudson site was also offered to them at the same time when they thinking about a new build HQ.

LMich
Nov 28, 2013, 2:41 AM
Well, we do know that the development rights atop the Premier Garage were extended multiple times, but I don't recall ever hearing anything about the Statler site after the DEGC gave Gilbert the development rights way back in early 2006. I imagine that means that they expired. It's been over seven years now.

BTW, Stacy & Whitbeck, the general contractors for the Woodward Avenue Streetcar line, have now set up shop in White Construction's - the main construction company on the project - office in New Center across from Henry Ford Hospital. We will also find out who the vehicle vendor will be, next week.

animatedmartian
Dec 2, 2013, 2:58 PM
March to bridge: State preps for land acquisition; Canada looks for a CEO
By Bill Shea. December 01, 2013

Michigan predicts it will cost $350 million — entirely provided by Canada — to identify and buy the properties in Detroit's Delray neighborhood needed to make way for a new bridge to Ontario.

The state is assembling a list of property owners in the 170 acres of the $2.1 billion New International Trade Crossing project that organizers say are needed for the six-lane span, its plaza and a highway interchange that are scheduled to open by 2020.

The land acquisition is one of the steps underway.

Also ongoing is Canada's search for a chief executive to lead the Windsor Detroit Bridge Authority, which will oversee the bi-national construction of the span and its operation. The position, advertised to pay up to $247,700 annually, reports to the authority's board of directors.

Next year, the authority will seek qualifications from companies interested in building and operating the bridge under a long-term concession agreement, making the project a public-private partnership.

...

http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20131201/NEWS/312019973/march-to-bridge-state-preps-for-land-acquisition-canada-looks-for-a

At the very least, construction won't begin for another 3 years.

north 42
Dec 2, 2013, 3:07 PM
This bridge cannot be built quick enough! Both Ontario and Michigan, and especially the windsor-Detroit area will benefit big time with this new, modern border crossing! Hopefully Maroun will take a permanent dirt nap so he can't interfere anymore!

animatedmartian
Dec 4, 2013, 5:46 PM
Not quite an official groundbreaking but an important step in the process nonetheless.

Late at Night, Workers Begin Installing M1 Rail's Utility Systems

http://detroit.curbed.com/uploads/lightrailutil.JPG
http://detroit.curbed.com/archives/2013/12/late-at-night-workers-begin-installing-m1-rails-utility-systems.php

LMich
Dec 5, 2013, 8:19 AM
Funny, I was just wondering why we'd not heard about the vehicle vendor, yet. The deadline was December 1st to choose the vendor, and I see nothing mentioned on the website. They didn't ever exactly say they were going to make the news public, but I did expect the media to be waiting for the deadline.

animatedmartian
Dec 5, 2013, 1:13 PM
I think they would announce it when they have the streetcar vendors. I was already really hoping they would have started by this year but persistently missing deadlines worries me for the worst case scenario of the project ballooning over budget or having persistent delays. I just hope that's more or my impatience with the project rather than any real problems.

LMich
Dec 6, 2013, 9:23 AM
Between Curbed catching the utility relocation and other important bids having gone out and contracted months ago, the only thing that give me complete faith in this is when they announce the vendor for the actual streetcars. Other than that, I'm nearly completely satisfied that this is a done deal. I just thought they'd have announced the vehicle vendor, since the deadline was on the first, and they'd already narrowed it down to three companies last month.

Really, I'm just greedy to be able to put an image to the streetcar, finally, and get to critique the design. :) They'd been using Siemens S70's during the planning phases. I want to see if they've gone with Siemens. I actually like the more angular designed United Streetcar vehicles with Portland's system, but I have no idea how much they cost versus others.