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The North One
Jun 29, 2015, 3:50 PM
I sure hope they don't duplicate the stye, it's certainly not Detroit's most attractive building.

Jul 3, 2015, 4:15 PM
That Brush Park proposal looks awesome, i especially love the renovation efforts.

Jul 21, 2015, 3:12 AM
Dan Gilbert Gets $1 Million State Loan for Capitol Park Redevelopment


Quicken Loans and Bedrock Real Estate Services CEO Dan Gilbert received approval this week for a $1 million state loan to help with the development of a Bedrock-owned building into retail and residential space. The building, a Capitol Park structure, housed a variety of renters in loft-style units. After the building sold to Bedrock, the firm's strategy of converting the units to market-rate apartments led to residents receiving eviction notices in early 2014. The neighboring building's tenants, seniors, were also given the boot by another developer.

In exchange for the old tenants' displacement, Bedrock claims that the redevelopment project will create a whopping 16 jobs. Gilbert will cover most of the more-than $10 million cost of the project, but will net $1.65 million in tax credits from the federal government in part because he's "preserving" a historic building-and that's in addition to the $1 million loan. Gilbert bought the building in late 2013 for $325,000 from Dearborn developer Mousa Ahmad. Gilbert isn't the only one investing in this very hot part of midtown-developers just completed work on lofts in the old Detroit Savings Bank building, the city's oldest surviving highrise. Construction on Bedrock's Capitol Park building, located at 1215 Griswold, is expected to wrap up some time this fall.


Jul 25, 2015, 5:33 PM
1,100 Quicken workers, Rocket Fiber data center to occupy former News, Free Press building


The former Detroit Media Partnership building at 615 W. Lafayette Blvd. downtown is expected to become home to up to 1,100 new Quicken Loans Inc. employees when its build-out is complete.

According to a document detailing a request for city approval of a commercial rehabilitation district for the 404,000-square-foot building at the corner of West Lafayette and Third Street, the data center for Detroit-based Rocket Fiber LLC is also expected to be housed there.

On Thursday, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held for Molina Healthcare of Michigan, which occupies 30,000 square feet on the fifth floor of the building and houses 125 employees there, with the ability to add more in the future.


Jul 28, 2015, 6:28 AM
Went downtown last week and took a lot of photos of developments:

Dessert Oasis Coffee Roasters, a small company from suburban Rochester, is opening a location in The Albert
http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f271/nicksortzi1/DSC_1246_zps18fd25hs.jpg (http://s49.photobucket.com/user/nicksortzi1/media/DSC_1246_zps18fd25hs.jpg.html)

Detroit Bikes opened about three weeks ago in The Albert
http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f271/nicksortzi1/DSC_1247_zpskx3ea4rd.jpg (http://s49.photobucket.com/user/nicksortzi1/media/DSC_1247_zpskx3ea4rd.jpg.html)

interior of Detroit Bikes
http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f271/nicksortzi1/DSC_1251_zpsnl6puab1.jpg (http://s49.photobucket.com/user/nicksortzi1/media/DSC_1251_zpsnl6puab1.jpg.html)

these two buildings, mentioned a few posts above, are currently u/c
http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f271/nicksortzi1/DSC_1248_zps2olsbpll.jpg (http://s49.photobucket.com/user/nicksortzi1/media/DSC_1248_zps2olsbpll.jpg.html)

Capitol Park Building, set to be completed in the fall
http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f271/nicksortzi1/DSC_1249_zpsunrjhxvy.jpg (http://s49.photobucket.com/user/nicksortzi1/media/DSC_1249_zpsunrjhxvy.jpg.html)

soon to be the new GSTV Headquarters, moving downtown from Birmingham
http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f271/nicksortzi1/DSC_1253_zpssnatssxj.jpg (http://s49.photobucket.com/user/nicksortzi1/media/DSC_1253_zpssnatssxj.jpg.html)http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f271/nicksortzi1/DSC_1254_zps9nwlzaci.jpg (http://s49.photobucket.com/user/nicksortzi1/media/DSC_1254_zps9nwlzaci.jpg.html)

the newest addition to The Lofts at Merchants Row
http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f271/nicksortzi1/DSC_1255_zpsajhyobuf.jpg (http://s49.photobucket.com/user/nicksortzi1/media/DSC_1255_zpsajhyobuf.jpg.html)

Pierson Building wrapping up exterior work. I believe its going to be office space.
http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f271/nicksortzi1/DSC_1256_zpsmdzh88po.jpg (http://s49.photobucket.com/user/nicksortzi1/media/DSC_1256_zpsmdzh88po.jpg.html)

Henry Ford Health is opening a Quick Care location on the first floor of the former Grinnell Bros Building. Not sure what this means for the upper floors.
http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f271/nicksortzi1/DSC_1261_zps6hqzabor.jpg (http://s49.photobucket.com/user/nicksortzi1/media/DSC_1261_zps6hqzabor.jpg.html)

M1 Rail construction at Campus Martius
http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f271/nicksortzi1/DSC_1265_zpsrocjxam1.jpg (http://s49.photobucket.com/user/nicksortzi1/media/DSC_1265_zpsrocjxam1.jpg.html)

cornice being added to the Metropole Building
http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f271/nicksortzi1/DSC_1267_zpsssqbi8lg.jpg (http://s49.photobucket.com/user/nicksortzi1/media/DSC_1267_zpsssqbi8lg.jpg.html)

next to the Vinton Building, a new bar has opened on the second floor here. I am not sure what the space is called
http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f271/nicksortzi1/DSC_1270_zps7oqgg3zy.jpg (http://s49.photobucket.com/user/nicksortzi1/media/DSC_1270_zps7oqgg3zy.jpg.html)

Renovations continue after a years long hiatus at the Vinton Building
http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f271/nicksortzi1/DSC_1273_zpsqoztrfe6.jpg (http://s49.photobucket.com/user/nicksortzi1/media/DSC_1273_zpsqoztrfe6.jpg.html)http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f271/nicksortzi1/DSC_1274_zpslir40cct.jpg (http://s49.photobucket.com/user/nicksortzi1/media/DSC_1274_zpslir40cct.jpg.html)

Renovations at Millender/Renaissance City
http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f271/nicksortzi1/DSC_1290_zpsudjydchs.jpg (http://s49.photobucket.com/user/nicksortzi1/media/DSC_1290_zpsudjydchs.jpg.html)

new outdoor seating in Greektown
http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f271/nicksortzi1/DSC_1293_zpsj6zfjptb.jpg (http://s49.photobucket.com/user/nicksortzi1/media/DSC_1293_zpsj6zfjptb.jpg.html)

Renovations appear to have started at this building at Griswold and Lafayette, rebranded as The 751.http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f271/nicksortzi1/DSC_1297_zpsptjzuu96.jpg (http://s49.photobucket.com/user/nicksortzi1/media/DSC_1297_zpsptjzuu96.jpg.html)

work continues at Town House restaurant at One Detroit Center. It appears to have opened while work is still wrapping up.
http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f271/nicksortzi1/DSC_1271_zpsqa7ofkpe.jpg (http://s49.photobucket.com/user/nicksortzi1/media/DSC_1271_zpsqa7ofkpe.jpg.html)

Jul 28, 2015, 11:40 AM
Thank you so, so much for doing this!! My heart is tied to Detroit and I don't get to go back often enough. I'd always hope someone here would do what you did, even just once a year. You just made my day! :) Hope to see more (from anyone) in the future!

Jul 28, 2015, 3:25 PM
I echo what Michi said! I recently moved away for a job opportunity but already miss it so much. Thanks for taking the time to take some photos and update us.

Jul 28, 2015, 4:23 PM
There's a lot of little stuff being added to everything. I like it. The details really make the city feel more vibrant.

Jul 28, 2015, 5:22 PM
these detroit photos make me happy. downtown looks amazing, they are going to run out of beautiful, abandoned classics to renovate soon!

Jul 28, 2015, 11:51 PM
construction is moving fast on the orleans landing, and the scott or whatever its called now has started earth moving. that one came about quickly, good to see development starting to move quicker now. gilbert needs to get moving on the capital park midrise.

Aug 3, 2015, 4:26 PM
Peter Cummings back, here to stay: 'All in on Detroit'

Whole Foods' investment in Midtown was a key moment for Detroit, but for developer Peter Cummings it was a profound calling back to Detroit, like a "religious experience."

Cummings — son-in-law of famed Detroit businessman Max Fisher — was active on the development scene for years. But after Fisher died in 2005, Cummings concentrated on his Florida-based development firm. He kept his hand in Detroit but nothing like the days when he and Fisher made big deals and built big things.

Since then, he has helped purchase the Fisher and Kahn buildings in a June online auction. The team, which includes HFZ Capital Group of New York, Southfield-based Redico, and John Rhea of RHEAL Capital Management, closed on the $12.2-million purchase in late July.

He has two other sites under agreement — one for a renovation of an older building and one a vacant site where he plans new construction. He won't give locations just yet, but they'll be residential projects. Those sites, plus new residential units in the Fisher and Kahn buildings could add 750 new units to the district.


Aug 9, 2015, 1:51 AM
I want to say something here, once and for all.


Watch them digging for our cities. Then assholes will blame on them for their union rights to vacations from time to time.
And then we're disgusted by this world, fucked up in our sorry lost minds.

I like Detroit like few others cause I watched her story, then it's been a sign to me. It's the only great city that lies on the northern border...

Aug 10, 2015, 10:41 PM
these detroit photos make me happy. downtown looks amazing, they are going to run out of beautiful, abandoned classics to renovate soon!

the good news is that when that happens, Detroit will start getting new buildings.

Aug 12, 2015, 2:56 AM
More foreign investment in Detroit with purchase of Van Dyke Manor apartments
By KIRK PINHO. August 11,2015. Crain's Detroit Business.


A wealthy German family is equity partner in an investment group that purchased a 38-unit apartment building near the east Detroit riverfront for $1.9 million.

The family, which wasn’t identified, is at least part owner of 1000 Van Dyke Investments LLC, which purchased Van Dyke Manor last week from Greenwood Village, Colo.-based Triton Investments Co.

Paul Zulewski, owner of Allen Park-based Source Realty LLC, is the local property manager, according to Cary Belovicz, managing partner of Commercial Property Advisors LLC, which represented 1000 Van Dyke Investments in the purchase.

“The building is in very good shape; however, we do plan to upgrade units as they become available to new tenants,” the new ownership group said in a statement Belovicz sent to Crain’s.

“We are also discussing specific upgrades to the apartments and roof, but are not willing to comment further until those plans are finalized.”

Belovicz said Van Dyke Manor was on the market for less than 30 days.


The neighborhood is West Village, by the way.

Aug 12, 2015, 10:29 PM
Downtown building, empty since ’70s, may reopen in ’18
Louis Aguilar, The Detroit News. August 12, 2015.

A downtown building that’s been empty for nearly 40 years is expected to get a $32 million makeover and reopen as an extended-stay hotel with ground-floor retail.

The Metropolitan, a tall, thin Gothic-like structure at 33 John R, has been graffiti-riddled and thoroughly vandalized for decades. The city has spent tens of thousands to board up its broken windows as well as set up scaffolding and netting to prevent pieces of the exterior from falling onto passersby. The historic building was at risk of being demolished two years ago.

Last year, a developer declared the 15-story structure could be revived as high-end rental apartments, joining the trend of transforming historic office buildings into residential. On Wednesday, that developer, Metropolitan Development Group, changed its plans, saying a better idea is transform the Metropolitan into an extended-stay hotel with lower-level retail, such as a restaurant.

“Overall, it’s a better fit for the great details of the building, and plus, a hotel and retail, like a restaurant, means we create jobs,” said Eric Means, managing partner in the Metropolitan Development Group.

On Wednesday afternoon, the board of the Downtown Development Authority approved the change of plans. The DDA is a unit of the quasi-public agency, the Detroit Economic Growth Corp. The DDA has say in the plans because the Metropolitan remains city-owned until the development plan is carried out.

The name of the national hotel chain wasn’t released Wednesday because the deal couldn’t be finalized until the DDA signed off on the new plan, Means said. More than 100 hotel rooms are being considered for the building, Means said. Developers hope to find a restaurant for a space that once was home to an eatery decades ago, Means said.





Aug 13, 2015, 10:56 PM
Apartments, retail, offices planned in $14 million project on Woodward in New Center area
KIRK PINHO. Crain's Detroit Business. August 13, 2015.


Peter Allen, president of Ann Arbor-based mixed-use urban developer Peter Allen & Associates, and three investment partners have purchased a building, have another under contract and are trying to buy the remaining buildings on the block between Milwaukee and Baltimore avenues for a redevelopment project that would add new apartments, retail and office space to that area of New Center.

Allen — also an adjunct faculty member of the University of Michigan’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business and the A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning for more than three decades — said he and three former students have purchased the building at 6408 Woodward Ave. two months ago and have the corner building at 6402 Woodward Ave. under contract with the city with plans to close on the deal by early October.

The developers would add a third floor to the building at 6402 Woodward for a configuration with first-floor retail and 12 second- and third-floor apartments. At 6408 Woodward, the group would have first-floor retail, second-floor office space and three floors for 36-44 apartments. All told, the project would bring 48-56 new units to the market.

Construction is expected to begin on the $14 million project in the fall, with completion by the time the M-1 Rail project is completed in 2017, Allen said.

The project was originally conceived by three former students — Clarke Lewis, Dang Duong and Myles Hamby — during a real estate development course in the fall 2013 semester. Lewis received his master's degree in architecture; Duong an MBA and juris doctorate; and Hamby, a master's of urban planning.

As for the other buildings on the block — which include the Detroit Hardware Co. building and the Woodward Cocktail Lounge Inc. building — Allen said plans for those are in the works.

“We are looking at the entire block,” he said. “Nothing formal, but we are in discussions. We are interested in buying more property in that immediate area. We’ve opened a dialogue with all our neighbors, but there’s nothing in writing.”

Duong said there are "no concrete plans" for the remaining buildings, but the three former students, who are first-time developers, see great potential for the area.

In addition to the new construction, the group plans to "excite the sidewalk" with things like coffee shops, bars and cafes.



Other renderings from the developer's website.




6402 is currently gutted, though it seems like it's been like that for a while.





Aug 15, 2015, 7:39 PM
Shipping container restaurant collective, beer garden hits Detroit in 2016
By Ian Thibodeau. MLive. August 11th, 2015.

With a new home comes a place to eat outside of it.

A group of childhood friends is currently working out the final details on a project that will erect a nearly 10,000-square-foot restaurant collective and beer garden somewhere in Detroit's midtown neighborhood.

The bones of the building: shipping containers.

Jonathon Hartzell, co-CEO of Detroit ShipYard, said that he and his business partners are a little behind schedule. Originally, the $1.2 million ShipYard was going to Corktown near Bucharest Grill on Michigan Avenue.

That deal fell through at the last minute.

Since then, Hartzell, 39, and his 38-year-old business partners James Therkalsen and Dominic Walbridge, have connected with some Motown movers and shakers, namely Susan Mosey, executive director of Midtown Detroit, Inc.

Hartzell said he expects to close on one of three spots in midtown within the next two weeks. After that, he and his team will need 60 days to redesign the space, and about six to eight months to build it.

When Detroit ShipYard is finished, the multi-use facility will host five micro restaurants -- equivalent to food trucks -- two bars, indoor and outdoor seating, art gallery space, retail space and a place for big events.


These are renderings for the original Corktown plan, but it is expected the Midtown property will look pretty similar.








The same group is also responsible for the container homes being built in North Corktown. Currently, there is one model home open.




Aug 17, 2015, 1:02 PM
I love the New Center project. Looks like M1 is already paying off.

Aug 25, 2015, 10:10 PM
Detroit nonprofit to invest $10.2 million to redevelop New Center apartment building
By CHAD HALCOM. Crain's Detroit business. August 25th, 2015.


Faith-based economic development and employment training nonprofit Central Detroit Christian Community Development Corp. will invest $10.2 million to redevelop the donated Casamira Apartments building in Detroit.

The Michigan Strategic Fund on Tuesday approved a $1 million performance-based grant under the Michigan Community Revitalization Program, plus about $820,000 in property tax capture funds, to go toward a redevelopment project at Casamira, a four-story, 42,200-square-foot building at 680 Delaware St. in the city's New Center area.

Central Detroit Christian received the property, which was built in 1925, as a donation and plans to lease 29 of its 44 apartments at market rates, with another 15 units as affordable housing, following redevelopment. Casamira Detroit LLC, a business entity managed by Central Detroit Christian co-founder and Executive Director Lisa Johanon, last year also acquired two properties a block east of the apartment building that will be converted into expanded parking.

The project is expected to create two new jobs: a full-time property manager and maintenance technician at the apartment building.

Central Detroit Christian will finance the remainder of its development cost through a mix of traditional lending, federal historic tax credits and $2.5 million in city funds to support affordable housing.


Aug 27, 2015, 12:50 AM
Ilitches bet big on land near MotorCity Casino Hotel


The Ilitch organization is on another land-buying spree, this time in an area just beyond the 45 blocks of Detroit it already plans to develop into an entertainment, retail and residential district.

The focus is the desolate area around the MotorCity Casino Hotel on West Grand River, just a few blocks west of downtown. The Ilitches have spent more than $10 million in at least 15 different sales since 2011, according to Detroit News research. The total footprint of the properties rivals the 650,000-square-foot new home of the Detroit Red Wings, which is being built six blocks away from MotorCity.

MotorCity Casino Hotel is owned by Marian Ilitch. She and her husband Mike co-founded Little Caesars Pizza, the international franchise based downtown. Mike Ilitch owns the Red Wings and Detroit Tigers.

The Ilitches have never publicly disclosed the Grand River area purchases, nor their plans for the land. The organization’s real estate unit, Olympia Development of Michigan, had no comment when contacted.

“The Ilitches once again appear to be playing the long game with these investments. And land development is often about the long game,” said John Mogk, a Wayne State University law professor who closely follows urban planning issues.

Public records show the Ilitches paid handsome prices for empty warehouses, small businesses and vacant lots around MotorCity. The acquisitions are just past the area that’s being targeted for $200 million of development surrounding the new arena.


Information culled from public documents and private databases show many of the purchases happened after the 2013 announcement that the new Red Wings arena will be built six blocks east of MotorCity. That announcement increased real estate activity not only by the Ilitches, but also by other buyers.

An empty lot on West Grand River and Fifth, for example, is under contract to be sold after being purchased by a local investor about a year ago, said Gary Smith, a commercial real estate broker for Marcus & Millichap, who is involved in the sale. The 1/3- acre lot was listed for $650,000.

“The Ilitch activity certainly has sparked lots of interest,” Smith said. “There’s a lot of potential for retail, housing and they have already demolished one building they purchased,” he said.

It’s likely the Ilitches are waiting to see how the 45-block development surrounding the new arena plays out before details emerge about plans for the West Grand River property, according to several people who follow Detroit development. The overall plan for those 45 blocks is called District Detroit. The Grand River area purchases are in some cases a half block away from that targeted District Detroit, which is expected to attract hundreds of new residents as well as plenty of retailers and other businesses.

“Investors, developers, they buy land where there is not current demand, but speculate that in four, five, seven years, there will be much demand. You anticipate what may be the future use of the land,” Mogk said.

The number of sales and the total amount paid by the Ilitches is not clear because many properties in the West Grand River area have been bought through limited liability corporations. Various records show at least two of those entities are linked to Ilitch Holdings. But there are other purchases in the area that may be connected to the company that are not yet known publicly.



The Lurker
Aug 27, 2015, 5:58 PM
Pediatrics tower to stand among best

Aug 27, 2015, 11:06 PM
180 luxury condos with 40 boat slips planned for vacant east Detroit riverfront land
By KIRK PINHO. rain's Detroit Business. August 27th, 2015.


A development with 180 luxury condominiums along the east Detroit riverfront is planned now that the Detroit Police and Fire Retirement System has sold vacant land on East Jefferson Avenue for $2.3 million.

Shelby Township-based Shamrock Acquisition LLC purchased the land, which totals about 2.75 acres and had been planned to house a new headquarters for the retirement system before it moved into One Detroit Center.

Matthew Duffield, principal of Shamrock Acquisitions, said Thursday morning that the two-building high-rise development will also include underground parking, a rooftop pool and patio, and possibly about 40 boat slips.

The exact makeup of the development group is yet to be determined, he said, adding that he is in discussions with companies from Chicago and New York City. “We are interviewing the right development partners,” he said. “We are extremely excited.”

A construction time frame has not been determined, and Duffield declined to disclose expected development costs.

The land is just east of the River Towers high-rise apartment buildings with 472 units between Gabriel Richard Park to the west and Owen Park to the east.


Aug 27, 2015, 11:25 PM
Detroit’s Alger Theater Undergoing Renovations, Rooftop Deck Planned
BY ADRIENNE ROBERTS. DBusiness Daily News. August 27th, 2015.



The Alger Theater on Detroit’s east side is undergoing renovations to enhance the audiovisual system and restore the theater’s commercial space. Additionally, the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and the Friends of the Alger Theater are working to raise money to create a rooftop deck with a patio.

“This campaign will greatly accelerate our efforts and help us engage even more of the community in the transformation,” says Mike Gentile, vice president of Friends of the Alger Theater, a nonprofit dedicated to restoring and preserving the historic Art Deco theater.

The nearly 13,500-square-foot Alger Theater, built in 1935 and closed in 1984, just began showing movies earlier in the summer for the first time in 30 years. It has undergone renovations to repair the roof, remove asbestos, and install security doors.

The Friends of the Alger Theater have launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for continued renovation work. The nonprofit is working to raise funds for an audio-visual system that would provide the auditorium with equipment to show movies, present live music, and support community meetings. The goal of the campaign is $25,000 and the MEDC will match that amount.

The theater is located at 16451 East Warren Ave. [East English Village/Morningside]


Aug 28, 2015, 1:08 AM
Anyone know what this development is? I took this from Belle Isle the other day.

http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f271/nicksortzi1/DSC_1474_zps9jngpfqm.jpg (http://s49.photobucket.com/user/nicksortzi1/media/DSC_1474_zps9jngpfqm.jpg.html)

north 42
Aug 28, 2015, 4:43 PM
Wow, I just read that Dan Gilbert just bought the Book Tower and has big plans for it!!!!! Finally!

Aug 28, 2015, 7:46 PM
Yep. This really is great news for the city and the building as, so far, Gilbert has been getting buildings renovated and put back into use. That said, however, this will probably take the most work out of any of the projects Bedrock has bet on so far...especially if they plan on doing this and the David Stott concurrently. All the best to them!

Gilbert purchases Book Tower, Book Building from Milan-based Akno Enterprises
Kirk Pinho | August 28, 2015

Dan Gilbert has purchased another 517,000 square feet of space in downtown Detroit by way of the historic Book Tower and Book Building, as well as a nearby two-story community center.

His Bedrock Real Estate Services LLC announced Friday that the buildings will be turned into “a game-changing, mixed-use development that will bring jobs, energy and new life to these properties while expanding revitalization efforts further west of Woodward Avenue to Washington Boulevard.”

The Book Tower at 1265 Washington is 241,000 square feet and the Book Building at 1249 Washington is 246,000 square feet. They were owned by Milan, Italy-based Akno Enterprises, which purchased them in 2006 for $4 million, according to CoStar Group Inc., a Washington, D.C.-based real estate information service.

The sale price for the buildings -- which were named after the real estate entrepreneur brothers J. Burgess, Frank and Herbert Book -- was not disclosed.

Real estate experts in the past have estimated that redevelopment of both buildings combined would cost at least $100 million.

Jim Ketai, managing partner and CEO of Bedrock, said the buildings will contain “a new innovative and unique mix of retail, office and residential tenants.”

Aug 28, 2015, 7:48 PM
Tremendous news!

Steely Dan
Aug 28, 2015, 8:05 PM
yeah, that's some really fantastic news!

such a beauty finally getting some long overdue TLC.

The Lurker
Aug 28, 2015, 8:10 PM
Very big news indeed. I'm having trouble thinking of another major tower that hasnt been spoken for. Central Detroit is quickly approaching a tipping point that could justify major new construction.

Aug 28, 2015, 8:19 PM
great news for Detroit! and what a massive return for Akno's investment.

Aug 28, 2015, 10:58 PM
So I think there is now (certain) renovations planned for all highrise buildings downtown that are vacant except for United Artists

Aug 29, 2015, 1:04 PM
Anyone know what this development is? I took this from Belle Isle the other day.

http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f271/nicksortzi1/DSC_1474_zps9jngpfqm.jpg (http://s49.photobucket.com/user/nicksortzi1/media/DSC_1474_zps9jngpfqm.jpg.html)

I'm not familiar with the location myself but it looks like the Water's Edge Apartments that were posted back in February:

I'm not sure if I missed the announcement of this some time back, but it seems they are adding to harbortown

Water's Edge Apts (http://tritonproperties.com/properties/residential/michigan/harbortown/waters-edge/)


Also earth moving has started for Orleans Landing.

Aug 30, 2015, 1:38 AM
I was in Detroit a week ago for about an hour. I wish I had more time there to see everything that was happening with the city but but time was limited. I thought people who follow this thread who don't live in the Detroit area might be interested in the few photos I did manage to get.

The GAR building
https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5668/20748674428_a022824353_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/xBuo31)Restored GAR Castle (https://flic.kr/p/xBuo31) by Brandon Bartoszek (https://www.flickr.com/photos/eridony/), on Flickr

The new cornice of the Whitney Building
https://farm1.staticflickr.com/639/20762081648_36a8d3de4d_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/xCF6wY)David Whitney Building's New Cornice (https://flic.kr/p/xCF6wY) by Brandon Bartoszek (https://www.flickr.com/photos/eridony/), on Flickr

M-1 Rail is making progress
https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5830/20929598716_f4023b5a4a_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/xTtEwh)M-1 Rail Under People Mover Track (https://flic.kr/p/xTtEwh) by Brandon Bartoszek (https://www.flickr.com/photos/eridony/), on Flickr

The Wright-Kay building with upgraded street-level
https://farm1.staticflickr.com/641/20966302091_87b34b27cf_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/xWHMa6)The Wright-Kay Building (https://flic.kr/p/xWHMa6) by Brandon Bartoszek (https://www.flickr.com/photos/eridony/), on Flickr

Pierson Building
https://farm1.staticflickr.com/699/20772130378_8ac7edcd0b_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/xDyAEW)Wrapping Up Pierson Building Renovation (https://flic.kr/p/xDyAEW) by Brandon Bartoszek (https://www.flickr.com/photos/eridony/), on Flickr

Valpey Building
https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5781/20772756078_a07e0db439_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/xDBNES)Valpey Building Renovation Begins (https://flic.kr/p/xDBNES) by Brandon Bartoszek (https://www.flickr.com/photos/eridony/), on Flickr

A couple general shots of Woodward
https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5772/20766575058_a663e46025_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/xD58gy)Downtown Detroit - Woodward Avenue (https://flic.kr/p/xD58gy) by Brandon Bartoszek (https://www.flickr.com/photos/eridony/), on Flickr

https://farm1.staticflickr.com/619/20775913619_2e79f30731_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/xDTZie)Woodward Avenue (https://flic.kr/p/xDTZie) by Brandon Bartoszek (https://www.flickr.com/photos/eridony/), on Flickr

Construction on John R. I think it is utility worked related to the streetcar
https://farm1.staticflickr.com/638/20975202115_43f33d6cab_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/xXvoPM)John R Street Construction (https://flic.kr/p/xXvoPM) by Brandon Bartoszek (https://www.flickr.com/photos/eridony/), on Flickr

Wurlitzer looked pretty much the same but last I saw it those windows were closed. I hope that means work has started inside.
https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5748/20788558168_c583a1bc5b_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/xF1N5G)Wurlitzer Building (https://flic.kr/p/xF1N5G) by Brandon Bartoszek (https://www.flickr.com/photos/eridony/), on Flickr

Gillis House in Brush Park
https://farm1.staticflickr.com/699/20978121975_7ddba673b9_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/xXLmNc)Gillis House Restoration (https://flic.kr/p/xXLmNc) by Brandon Bartoszek (https://www.flickr.com/photos/eridony/), on Flickr

https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5644/20951940696_3667932ec0_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/xVsb1Q)Gillis House Turret (https://flic.kr/p/xVsb1Q) by Brandon Bartoszek (https://www.flickr.com/photos/eridony/), on Flickr

Midtown the streetcar construction in front of the buildings
https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5664/20794171719_e270974657_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/xFvyN4)Midtown Begins (https://flic.kr/p/xFvyN4) by Brandon Bartoszek (https://www.flickr.com/photos/eridony/), on Flickr

James Scott Mansion
https://farm1.staticflickr.com/754/20984724545_c2fe2f282e_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/xYmcvB)James Scott Mansion (https://flic.kr/p/xYmcvB) by Brandon Bartoszek (https://www.flickr.com/photos/eridony/), on Flickr

A couldn't get a good view of the arena work, but this view shows off the remaining hotel building
https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5720/20798301780_f9d7f15c26_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/xFSJw1)New Arena Coming (https://flic.kr/p/xFSJw1) by Brandon Bartoszek (https://www.flickr.com/photos/eridony/), on Flickr

I hate the look of the new MCS windows, but I'm glad the building is getting closed up
https://farm1.staticflickr.com/686/20369391203_c509346d08_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/x2Ysm4)Michigan Central Station Gets Windows (https://flic.kr/p/x2Ysm4) by Brandon Bartoszek (https://www.flickr.com/photos/eridony/), on Flickr

https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5648/20802506448_fa939b4bb1_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/xGfhqh)MCS's Ugly New Windows (https://flic.kr/p/xGfhqh) by Brandon Bartoszek (https://www.flickr.com/photos/eridony/), on Flickr

The North One
Sep 1, 2015, 5:03 PM
Wow, I just read that Dan Gilbert just bought the Book Tower and has big plans for it!!!!! Finally!

FUCKKK YESS!!!! :cheers::notacrook::worship:

If book tower gets renovated that will truly be a symbol of the rebirth of Detroit.

It's one of the greatest pre-war towers in the United States and deserves nothing but the best!

Sep 3, 2015, 6:49 PM
Lear Buys Downtown Building for Satellite HQ


DBusiness reports that automotive supplier Lear Co has purchased the Hemmeter Building on at Centre and Grand Ave to use as a downtown satellite office. The company's principal location in Southfield has manufactured automotive assemblies and stamped metal since 1917. The Hemmeter Building, a 7-story medium rise office building once home to a cigar company, has 50,000 square feet of space.

Lear told DBusiness their plan is to renovate, but that they have no timeline for moving personnel into the space, but that the move made sense because of the company's ties to the city.


Over in LaSalle Gardens

Paul Johnson, owner of New York City's Johnson Trading Gallery, purchased Woods Cathedral at auction last year for $6700. As we reported Monday, Mr. Johnson has been renovating Woods since this winter, with plans to make the building into artists' studios, event or display space. Curbed Detroit has exclusive images from the remodel of the 90-year-old building in progress. Johnson's investment is already paying off, and Curbed's photographs show that the building has tremendous potential.

Sep 5, 2015, 1:07 AM
Live webcam has been set up. Construction is ramping up now.



Thread in case you haven't subsribed yet: http://www.skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?p=7148122#post7148122

Sep 20, 2015, 2:35 AM
All taken yesterday:

Work continues on the Valpey Building
http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f271/nicksortzi1/DSC_1690_zpsojfhftp1.jpg (http://s49.photobucket.com/user/nicksortzi1/media/DSC_1690_zpsojfhftp1.jpg.html)

and at the new GSTV HQ
http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f271/nicksortzi1/DSC_1688_zps08eu1vgo.jpg (http://s49.photobucket.com/user/nicksortzi1/media/DSC_1688_zps08eu1vgo.jpg.html)

Construction on Capitol Park Building's cornice has begun
http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f271/nicksortzi1/DSC_1689_zpsco3nsmgf.jpg (http://s49.photobucket.com/user/nicksortzi1/media/DSC_1689_zpsco3nsmgf.jpg.html)

I remember reading a new restaurant is moving into this space
http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f271/nicksortzi1/DSC_1691_zpsbreyhf0x.jpg (http://s49.photobucket.com/user/nicksortzi1/media/DSC_1691_zpsbreyhf0x.jpg.html)

New mural on the back of that same building
http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f271/nicksortzi1/DSC_1692_zpsjplrjdoa.jpg (http://s49.photobucket.com/user/nicksortzi1/media/DSC_1692_zpsjplrjdoa.jpg.html)

Work continues on the Metropole Building's new cornice
http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f271/nicksortzi1/DSC_1685_zpseptzd7qt.jpg (http://s49.photobucket.com/user/nicksortzi1/media/DSC_1685_zpseptzd7qt.jpg.html)

The main reason I came downtown yesterday: work to renovate the Wurlitzer Building into a hotel began yesterday
http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f271/nicksortzi1/DSC_1695_zps7vxqf0cx.jpg (http://s49.photobucket.com/user/nicksortzi1/media/DSC_1695_zps7vxqf0cx.jpg.html)

http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f271/nicksortzi1/DSC_1693_zps0igg8ihj.jpg (http://s49.photobucket.com/user/nicksortzi1/media/DSC_1693_zps0igg8ihj.jpg.html)

http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f271/nicksortzi1/DSC_1697_zpsivbx6gcz.jpg (http://s49.photobucket.com/user/nicksortzi1/media/DSC_1697_zpsivbx6gcz.jpg.html)

Henry Ford QuickCare in the Grinnell Bros Building. Hopefully this means the upper floors will be filled soon
http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f271/nicksortzi1/DSC_1698_zpsglto4fva.jpg (http://s49.photobucket.com/user/nicksortzi1/media/DSC_1698_zpsglto4fva.jpg.html)

This came out of no where. Construction seems to have begun at the Woodward Building by Gilbert. I might have missed the announcement?http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f271/nicksortzi1/DSC_1699_zpsvbignl2s.jpg (http://s49.photobucket.com/user/nicksortzi1/media/DSC_1699_zpsvbignl2s.jpg.html)
http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f271/nicksortzi1/DSC_1701_zpsymnogzuf.jpg (http://s49.photobucket.com/user/nicksortzi1/media/DSC_1701_zpsymnogzuf.jpg.html)

Work at the Pierson Building seems to be completed, at least externally
http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f271/nicksortzi1/DSC_1700_zpskifysiio.jpg (http://s49.photobucket.com/user/nicksortzi1/media/DSC_1700_zpskifysiio.jpg.html)

The North One
Sep 20, 2015, 2:49 AM
Thanks for the update! Everything looks great!

Sep 22, 2015, 5:14 PM
Construction begins on DuCharme Place project.


Construction work has begun on DuCharme Place, a 185-unit, $42-million upscale residential community planned for 1544 E. Lafayette, just east of the iconic 1300 Lafayette Tower. The project is headed by Southfield-based Arco Construction. McIntosh Poris architects designed DuCharme Place and Sachse Construction is building it.


Sep 25, 2015, 7:52 PM
Construction Starting on Apartments Atop Downtown Garage
by Rebecca Golden
Thursday, September 24, 2015
Curbed Detroit


Last year, we reported that plans were approved for a stack of apartments atop a parking garage on Michigan Ave. Today, residents in the apartments inside the tony Westin Book Cadillac received notice that construction on those apartments begins next week.


While we reported that the new apartment stack, to be called "The Griswold," would have five stories, the notice sent by the Book Cadillac states that the project actually consists of "8 floors of apartments on top of the 150 Michigan Avenue parking garage."


The current set of renderings on the the Kraemer Design Group website show a building that will blend very well with neighbors, the Book Cadillac included. We've seen other renderings that make the thing look more like a stack of old-school East German apartments fell on top of a garage in Detroit, so we're hoping the ones we're seeing now are truly the plan.



The North One
Sep 25, 2015, 8:02 PM
It's about damn time, I remember seeing those renders back in 2008.

IDK if I like the green color of the roof though...

Sep 25, 2015, 8:13 PM
GREAT NEWS on the Book Tower!

Also, I can't believe how many midrise and high rises are being renovated/rehabbed and repurposed in downtown right now as shown in this thread. All I can see are great projects. When Detroit does well, we all do well!


Dan Gilbert: Hero?

While the building itself sold for $30 million, it will reportedly take approximately $140 million total to complete renovations for what Gilbert described to the Detroit Free Press as “a game-changing, mixed-use development.”

Sep 25, 2015, 8:29 PM
Construction Starting on Apartments Atop Downtown Garage
by Rebecca Golden
Thursday, September 24, 2015
Curbed Detroit



I'd somewhat doubt but would be pleasantly surprised if it was the pre-recession rendering that ends up being built. The original design was intended for luxury condos and the boxy design is the post-recession rentals.

It's about damn time, I remember seeing those renders back in 2008.

IDK if I like the green color of the roof though...

It's supposed to match the color of the roof of Cadillac Hotel which will turn green after the copper oxidizes.

Sep 25, 2015, 10:39 PM
Herman Kiefer hospital area in Detroit to get redo
Christine Ferretti, The Detroit News. September 25, 2015.


The Detroit City Council on Tuesday is expected to green-light a land deal paving the way for a plan to redevelop the shuttered Herman Kiefer Hospital complex and largely vacant surrounding neighborhood.

Visible from the Lodge Freeway, the 18-acre site comprises 10 buildings, including three former schools and the 424,000-square-foot hospital. The complex, with an Albert Kahn-designed expansion, has been empty since October 2013.

New York-based developer and architect Ron Castellano bid on the project last spring and has spent nearly 19 months hammering out an agreement with Detroit’s administration for the project that could exceed $75 million.

The undertaking will be Castellano’s first in Detroit. It’s a venture he says he’s eager to take on with the goal of transforming the depressed neighborhood into a destination.

Specifics aren’t yet determined, but Castellano says there’s potential for a mix of housing, retail and office space with a core emphasis on preserving the historic character of the area and incorporating the needs of its residents.

"A lot of people there are holding on to the neighborhood. They see a vision and see potential,” said Castellano, who purchased a home in the neighborhood and is relocating to the city. “That’s where we want to come in and boost that and show that we do care about it and take an interest, as they do.”

To achieve that goal, Castellano’s Herman Kiefer Development LLC has partnered with the city on the years-long agreement to save, rehabilitate and creatively reuse the seven medical complex buildings; the former Hutchins and Crosman school buildings; JTPA Nursing school; and about 100 vacant land bank homes in the Virginia Park neighborhood.


Over the next several years, the developers are required to spend at least $1 million per year towards rehabilitation with at least $20 million spent within five years or have the site 35% in use.

Sep 28, 2015, 1:39 PM
Henry Ford unveils plan for $110 million outpatient cancer center
By JAY GREENE. Crain's Detroit. September 28, 2015.


Plans for a long-awaited, $110 million outpatient cancer center in Detroit's New Center area will be announced today by Henry Ford Health System, Crain's has learned.

The cancer center project is the second development so far for the 300-acre parcel, known as Henry Ford's South Campus. The area is bounded by Grand Boulevard to the north, the Lodge Freeway to the east, I-94 to the south and 14th Street to the west.

The exact location of the five-story, 144,000-square-foot center on the South Campus isn't expected to be decided until later this year, Henry Ford officials said. But the design calls for integrating the cancer center with the existing main hospital.

The project is part of a long-term plan for a $1 billion community health park.


Location: A 300-acre parcel known as the South Campus. The area is bounded by Grand Boulevard to the north, the Lodge Freeway to the east, I-94 to the south and 14th Street to the west. The exact location on the campus isn't expected to be decided until later this year.

Size: Five stories, 144,000 square feet. Will include rooftop garden and skywalk connecting to Henry Ford Hospital across West Grand Boulevard to the north.

Funding: From Henry Ford operations, supplemented by a possible bond offering with other projects and money raised through philanthropy.

Groundbreaking: Next spring, with the opening expected in the summer of 2018.


Based on that rendering, the likely spot for that building (assuming the design doesn't change) would be on the southeast corner of the Boulevard and Trumbull.

mind field
Sep 29, 2015, 1:35 AM
Amazon, Lear moves help boost Detroit as a tech hub

By John Gallagher, Detroit Free Press 4:18 p.m. EDT September 28, 2015

Hopes of turning downtown Detroit into a major technology hub took a couple of big steps forward Monday as digital giant Amazon and Lear announced major moves and investments, including the first sale of a building owned and renovated by Dan Gilbert's real estate arm.


Wonderful news. 2015 has been a banner year for corporate moves into downtown. The feather in the cap was Ally Bank choosing One Detroit Center for their new corporate headquarters over suburban Southfield. Amazon's expansion will bring at least another 100 jobs and Lear "up to" 150. I'd imagine with all these moves, downtown's class A vacancy is rapidly shrinking.

Sep 29, 2015, 7:33 PM
DDA issues RFP for 7 Paradise Valley properties
By KIRK PINHO. Crain's Detroit. September 29, 2015.


Five buildings and two surface parking lots in the downtown Detroit area formerly known as Harmonie Park are up for redevelopment under a request for proposals issued Monday by the Detroit Downtown Development Authority.

The area is now called the Paradise Valley Cultural and Entertainment District after the DDA purchased the properties and spent millions in infrastructure improvements.

Those submitting proposals can do so for one or more of the properties, which are zoned for mixed-use development.

A preproposal meeting is scheduled for 10 a.m. Oct. 15 at the Detroit Economic Growth Corp. offices in the Guardian Building at 500 Griswold St., followed by a tour of the Paradise Valley area.

Proposals are due by 3 p.m. Nov. 11.

The winning bidder is expected to be chosen by mid-December with notification coming about a month later, according to the RFP.

According to the RFP, the properties are:

-the 36,000-square-foot Harmonie Club Building at 311 E. Grand River Ave. Appraised value: $1.44 million. (pictured)

-the 8,300-square-foot Harmonie Pointe Building at 1407 Randolph St. Appraised value: $1.21 million.

-the 7,200-square-foot Harmonie Recording Studio building at 1427 Randolph. Appraised value: $410,000.

-the 31,000-square-foot Randolph Centre Building at 1435 Randolph. Appraised value: $2.13 million.

-the 10,200-square-foot Harmony Studios Building at 1502 Randolph. Appraised value: $1.42 million.

-a surface parking lot at 1455 Centre St. Appraised value: $603,000.

-a surface parking lot at 1468 Randolph. Appraised value: $790,000.



Oct 1, 2015, 12:01 AM
Passed by the Wayne State new medical office building next door to the Hammer and Nail building. Grass is growing on the dirt with exposed rebar and pipes in the ground. Definitely seems like the project stalled for some reason.

Meanwhile other projects are happily continuing.

Orleans Landing is starting on foundation work:




HAA (https://www.facebook.com/Hamilton-Anderson-Associates-454740904607751/timeline/)

5 projects are near approval (http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20150927/NEWS/309279979/developers-aim-to-rejuvenate-city-sites-among-them-rec-center-brush)

Building at Cass and York to become 80 residential units. (http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20150926/BLOG016/150929885/albert-kahn-designed-building-at-cass-and-york-to-be-redeveloped)

Free Press Building hits market for $16 million (http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20150930/NEWS/150939858/former-detroit-free-press-hq-building-owned-by-chinese-investment).

Oct 1, 2015, 11:10 PM
Building at Cass and York to become 80 residential units. (http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20150926/BLOG016/150929885/albert-kahn-designed-building-at-cass-and-york-to-be-redeveloped)

This would be HUGE for TechTown and bridging the gap between Midtown and New Center. That area has next to no housing currently but is wedged between WSU, CCS at the Taubman Center, HFHS, and the New Center office buildings. The daytime presence is there but after 6:00 it is a ghost town.

Also great to see earth moving on Orleans Landing. It is my favorite project currently under way in the city. The whole east riverfront is primed to become the next big residential neighborhood. The riverwalk is just too nice an asset to ignore.

Oct 3, 2015, 5:39 PM
Former Corktown Inn to get $9 million makeover, open with new rooms in January
October 02, 2015
Crains Detroit


The 144-room former Corktown Inn in Detroit is expected to open early next year with newly renovated rooms now that the owners have closed on a $5 million construction loan from Kansas City-based NCN Lending.

An investment group with Detroit ties purchased the hotel for $70,000 a year ago and has rebranded it as the Trumbull and Porter. Barry Caplan, managing principal and COO of Orlando, Fla.-based Access Hospitality, said his company is renovating the third and fourth floors of the building, which was built in 1964.


Caplan, a 1986 Michigan State University graduate who still owns a home in West Bloomfield Township, said the hotel will have multiple bar areas, a swimming pool, restaurants, a fitness center, artwork by Detroit artists, a coffee bar and a private meeting room that can seat about 50.

“We want to make this an authentic Detroit hotel,” Caplan said, adding that things like Anthology Coffee, local craft beer and spirits and the Detroit Bikes bike service will be available.



Oct 7, 2015, 11:19 PM
Eastern Market projects could add more than 210 residential units to area
By KIRK PINHO. Crain's Detroit. October 7, 2015.


A pair of large mixed-use projects — one a new development, another a redevelopment of several buildings and construction of a new one — in the Eastern Market area are working their way through Detroit City Council approvals, with more than 210 new residential units possible for the greater downtown enclave.

The first project, which is what a source said is expected to cost $35 million to $40 million, is planned for the area generally bounded by Gratiot Avenue to the north and Rivard, Russell and Maple streets.

According to a memo to City Council, there are six buildings — five of which are vacant — as well as surface parking lots and vacant land on the site. Plans include new construction of a 170,000-square-foot residential and/or hotel building consisting of 154 apartments and/or 160 hotel rooms plus 28 commercial tenant spaces. The plan also calls for demolition of “several” of the existing buildings.

If the project is residential, some of the units would be designated affordable housing. The existing brick paved alleys of the area would be used for “a walkable, year-round community hub,” the memo says.

The development is proposed by Detroit-based Town Real Estate LLC, which is registered to Jordan Wolfe, a 2011 Crain’s 20 in their 20s honoree for his work as director of the CommunityNext program of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit. Kyle Polk, who declined comment, is also a principal of Town Real Estate.

The project developers are seeking from City Council the establishment of a commercial rehabilitation district, established under Public Act 210 of 2005, which allows for the abatement of property taxes generated by new investment for up to 10 years.

A public hearing is pending.

The project would also include the renovation and reuse of the building at 1400 Gratiot Ave. for loft apartments with first-floor retail space; the rehabilitation of a warehouse at 1350-1366 Service St. into a “mixed-use, food-oriented centerpiece” with a food hall and exhibition space, according to the memo.

The first renovation work would begin early next year, according to the memo, which also says the project would create about 70 short-term construction jobs and 40 full- and 20 part-time jobs long-term.

The 23 parcels involved in the project are owned by Busy Bee Detroit LLC, Stroh Properties Inc., Historic Trinity Lutheran Church and the city, according to the memo.

The second project, proposed by Joey Jonna, is the construction of a new four-story, 80,000-square-foot mixed-use building with about 10,000 square feet of retail space on the first floor, 10,000 square feet of flex space on the second floor and the remaining two floors devoted to about 60 multifamily units, according to Jonna.

He said Wednesday that he is still working on the site plan process.

The city council referred the sale of two parcels near Rivard and Alfred streets to Jonna for about $32,000 to the public hearing process, which has not yet been scheduled, according to the clerk.


Oct 8, 2015, 7:14 PM
Its really great to see that there are more new units in the works for Eastern Market, recently it seems like there has been a lot of development starting to take place on the Lower East Side Du Charme Place in Lafayette Park, Orleans Landing and the planned new apartment building West Village. Also there's the planned redevelopment of the Brewster Douglass site (although technically in the Midtown Loop) its very much a part of the "eastern gateway" to downtown. Its been ten years since this area first seemed like it was going to take off like Midtown but now it seems like this time its for real.

Oct 9, 2015, 7:53 PM
I'm gonna do a couple Metro Detroit updates, i've been bookmarking some interesting projects and articles that i've come across and haven't had the time to post. I'm going to start close to home with a Farmington Hills update. Google signed a lease at an office complex at the corner of 12 mile and Farmington roads over the summer and should be moving in this quarter, this seems to have sparked a large scale hotel development that they are somehow squeezing in across Farmington rd. Construction had already started with the demolition of a couple 70s era office buildings along I-696 and now earth moving has begun, i'm interested to see how they plan to fit 3 hotels on such a small site there's a hill overlooking the area with an unobstructed view perhaps ill snap a couple pics if things get interesting its only a block south of where i live.

Google signs 90,000-square-foot lease in Farmington Hills
Source: Company to move into 696 Centre in fourth quarter

Crain's Detroit Business
June 05, 2015


Google Inc. is taking about 90,000 square feet in the 696 Centre building on Farmington Road in Farmington Hills.

The Internet giant is expected to move an unknown number of employees into the 264,000-square-foot building just north of I-696 in the fourth quarter, according to a real estate source.

The lease comes one month after Google announced it will be moving into about 140,000 square feet of space outside of downtown Ann Arbor in the third or fourth quarter next year. The company will occupy a 67,000-square-foot building in the Traverwood Business Park north of Plymouth Road and west of Huron Parkway and build an additional building on the campus.


There was also an announcement of Google signing a lease in the city of Plymouth i around the same time i believe.

Oakland County makes room for new hotels
Low financing, high demand spur plans in county

Crain's Detroit Business
July 04, 2015


Construction of new Oakland County hotel projects continues in the midst of historically low financing rates for developers and strong demand.

And they aren't all limited-service projects.

A project under construction in West Bloomfield Township's community center district, for example, includes a Hampton Inn, a restaurant with rooftop seating, retail storefront space for multiple tenants, courtyards and a garden. The garden includes a running stream and waterfall — and a spot for an extended-stay hotel to be added.

A couple of miles away in Farmington Hills, a project comprising a trio of hotels will offer multiple options: limited-service and extended-stay, plus a full-service hotel bringing banquet space and a restaurant to the community.

They're two of at least four hotel projects underway or planned in western Oakland suburbs — featuring Hilton Worldwide-owned Hampton, Marriott International and Holiday Inn flags. The projects are expected to bring 370 rooms to the market, adding to the 416 rooms coming online in another Oakland community, Troy, this year or early next.

1) A $4 million Marriott Towneplace Suites near 14 Mile and M-5 in Commerce Township will add 72 extended-stay rooms to the short-stay rooms at the Hampton Inn next door.

2) A Courtyard by Marriott is the first of three hotels planned near 12 Mile and Farmington roads in Farmington Hills. Also planned for the site: A four-story Homewood Suites by Hilton with 121 rooms and a six-story, full-service Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites with 140 rooms, a restaurant and banquet center.

3) The Hampton Inn complex under construction at Orchard Lake Road and Northwestern Highway in West Bloomfield Township has 89 rooms, retail, a restaurant site with rooftop seating, courtyards and a garden area — including a waterfall.

4) A $4 million Holiday Inn Express and Suites on Northwestern Highway will bring an additional 107 rooms to Farmington Hills.


The reason i said this would be a Farmington update is that the Hampton hotel is located on the new Orchard Lake - 14 Mile - Northwestern Hwy Roundabout on West Bloomfield side of the Farmington Hills border and the Marriott is a quarter mile west of the western border of Farmington Hills.

Ford and GM are both making major investments modernizing their tech centers while Redico is making big moves in Bloomfield and Northville and also U of M has designed a model city for testing of automated cars, more updates coming soon.

The Lurker
Oct 10, 2015, 2:20 AM
I used to drive 696 past here every day. I'm sure these projects will be as horrible as the homewood suites at Halsted but still interesting to see that spot get more developed.

The Lurker
Oct 10, 2015, 2:27 AM

Oct 20, 2015, 6:24 PM
New Detroit auto supplier expected to employ 350


India-based auto supplier Sakthi Automotive Group on Monday broke ground on a new multi-million-dollar manufacturing facility in southwest Detroit.

The planned 180,000-square-foot, $30 million plant at 6921 W. Fort is part of a larger campus encompassing the former Southwestern High School building and American Mailers Building. The manufacturing plant is expected to open in March and will employ 350 workers, including some ex-convicts returning to the workforce after incarceration.

Sakthi executives were joined by Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, delegates from Mexico and executives from General Motors Co. and others

“It’s a special day,” Duggan said Monday. “Everything about this city’s recovery starts with jobs. This city is not going to be what it should be unless everybody’s included in that comeback, and if you look at what’s happening here, it’s remarkable.”

Sakthi has already hired 25 ex-convicts through a partnership with Focus Hope that trains them for manufacturing jobs.


Oct 21, 2015, 5:15 PM
Great to see that the redevelopment of Southwestern is moving forward. I think that perhaps this may be another sign along with all but one of Matty's lawsuits being thrown out, that construction on the Gordie Howe Bridge is going to begin sometime soon.

The official groundbreaking for Orleans Landing happened today and it comes with renderings of the overall project, it looks like at least one high rise is planned for phase 2.

Orleans Landing Breaks Ground
Rebecca Golden
October 21, 2015
Curbed Detroit


Sometimes a picture is all you need. Yesterday, developers broke ground on Orleans Landing, which promises to bring 272 housing units to Detroit's riverfront.






Here's the promised 2nd Metro Detroit Update.


Redico plans $150 million redevelopment of former women's prison site in Northville
Company expects retail, residential, hotel space at Five Mile and Beck roads

June 02, 2015
Curbed Detroit


According to the Northville Hometown Life Redico hopes to have a conceptual plan by the end of the year and start work next fall.


GM tech center expansion spurs growth in Warren
Tech center expansion spurs development

September 05, 2015
Crains Detroit

(This aerial view of Warren's city office complex (right center) is anchored by parks, courts and other buildings.)

When one of the largest companies in the world decides to invest $1 billion in your city, there are bound to be a few ripple effects.

Some of those ripple effects: More than 200 high-end loft apartments around City Hall, a new Prestige Cadillac dealership and possibly a new five-star hotel across the street from General Motors Co.'s Warren Technical Center -- all evidence that the automaker's planned spending barrage at the tech center is a catalyst to a range of investment in Warren's city square area.

City officials estimate about $300 million in new development is planned in the Downtown Development Authority district alone, which is anchored around the tech center on Van Dyke Avenue north of 12 Mile Road.


General Motors Co. Technical Center renovations
Cost: $1 billion
Project: Expansion and renovation of the 326-acre campus, coupled with the creation of 2,600 jobs
Expected completion: End of 2018
Location: Van Dyke Avenue between 12 Mile and 13 Mile roads

Former Campbell Ewald building redevelopment
Cost: $35 million
Project: Renovation of 10-story building across from the GM tech center for 800 new GM jobs
Expected completion: By 2017
Location: Van Dyke north of North Civic Center Drive across from the tech center

City Square Lofts
Cost: $30 million
Project: 210-unit loft project with rents from $1,200 to $2,000 per month by Bingham Farms-based Burton-Katzman LLC
Expected completion: 2017
Location: South and east of Warren City Hall

Five-star hotel
Cost: $50 million
Project: 200-room hotel with retail space including specialty grocery store, a 1,000-person banquet center, conference room and rooftop swimming pool by Lansing-based The Boji Group
Expected completion: Not known
Location: East side of Van Dyke across from the tech center

Prestige Cadillac dealership
Cost: $10 million
Project: New dealership by Gregory Jackson, chairman, president and CEO of Jackson Automotive Management, on 4.6 acres
Expected completion: April
Location: Van Dyke and 12 Mile Road

Majestic Plaza Shopping Center redevelopment
Cost: $2 million
Project: Redevelopment of shopping center for new 40,000-square-foot Y & C Beauty Supplies store
Expected completion: 2017
Location: Van Dyke at Martin Road

Tech Plaza redevelopment
Cost: More than $10 million
Project: Redevelopment of shopping plaza with at least a dozen new stores
Expected completion: By the spring
Location: Van Dyke at 12 Mile Road

Cost: $8 million
Project: Construction of new 170,000-square-foot store
Expected completion: Sept. 21
Location: Van Dyke at 14 Mile Road

Art Van Furniture warehouse renovation
Cost: $18 million
Project: Warehouse and office remodeling
Expected completion: October
Location: 14 Mile east of Mound Road



Ford draws up plans to modernize Dearborn research and engineering hub

June 07, 2015
Crains Detroit

Ford Motor Co. is embarking on a 10-year plan to modernize its research and engineering hub in Dearborn and consolidate the majority of its 26,000 local employees there in reconfigured and updated office and testing space.

Real estate sources who asked to remain unnamed expect Ford to embark on the estimated $1 billion reinvestment in the complex after selecting an architecture firm.

While a Ford Land Development Corp. representative said Friday there were not yet specific plans to announce, the project outlined in a request for proposals document suggests building improvements and new building construction, building demolition, infrastructure upgrades, more green spaces and gathering places, and added parking.

The complex includes engineering offices, testing labs, parking and ancillary buildings. The automaker plans to weigh architectural options on how to best reconfigure the campus.

Brokers and architects say the space is due for a makeover.



UM opens 32-acre Mcity test environment for connected, driverless vehicles

July 20, 2015
By Keith Naughton (of)
Bloomberg News
Crain's Detroit Business


A simulated city opened today on the north campus of the University of Michigan to test how self-driving cars will travel in the future without mowing down pedestrians or causing colossal crashes.

“We had the faculty here at the university design the fully evolved future,” Peter Sweatman, head of the Transportation Research Institute, which oversaw the creation of the Mcity test facility, said in an interview. “After all, we’re replacing humans with machines and those machines need to be able to operate in a full, rich environment.”

Automakers are racing to develop self-driving cars and overhaul their business models for a world where mobility is being redefined as most of the global population crowds into megacities during the next two decades. Driverless cars that move in harmony may become essential to keep people and goods flowing safely and efficiently.

Mcity, a 32-acre mini-metropolis, seeks to replicate modern urban chaos with traffic jams and unpredictable pedestrians, alongside suburban streetscapes, superhighways and rural roads. The $6.5 million facility in Ann Arbor has 40 building facades, angled intersections, a traffic circle, a bridge, a tunnel, gravel roads and plenty of obstructed views. There’s even a four-lane highway with entrance and exit ramps.


Automakers have said driverless cars may be on the road within five years. The market for autonomous technology will grow to $42 billion by 2025 and self-driving cars may account for a quarter of global auto sales by 2035, according to Boston Consulting Group. By 2017, semi-autonomous cars that operate in auto-pilot mode, park themselves and change lanes automatically will be available in “large numbers,” the firm said.

Ford has already tested a driverless Fusion hybrid sedan in Mcity and computer mapped all the streets and structures. The automakers will prove out their own technology on the course, but they are jointly researching issues like legal liability and how robot cars will make ethical decisions when confronted with a crash, said Greg Stevens, global manager of Ford’s driver assistance and active safety research.


Until now, tests of autonomous cars have been conducted on public roads or private proving grounds. Automakers study robot cars on old test tracks designed to evaluate how fast traditional cars can run laps or how well they handle with humans at the wheel. Google Inc. has logged more than 1 million miles of testing its self-driving cars on Silicon Valley roads and, as of last month, Austin, Texas, highways.

Mcity represents an alternative to that.



Magna Seating plans new $48 million headquarters in Novi

July 02, 2015
Crain's Detroit

LANSING — Magna International Inc. plans to spend $48 million on a new facility in Novi for its seating division.

The Canadian auto supplier, which bases its U.S. operations in Troy, plans to build the 180,000-square-foot building for its Magna Seating of America Inc. subsidiary, the Michigan Economic Development Corp. said this week. The project would add 164 jobs.

The MEDC’s Michigan Strategic Fund this week awarded Magna Seating a $984,000 performance-based grant to put toward the project. Novi will offer a property tax incentive, the state said.

Magna Seating currently has headquarters in Novi on Lewis Drive, near Haggerty and 13 Mile roads. Its new headquarters will also be in Novi on Cabot Drive, north of 13 Mile Road and east of the M-5 highway, Magna spokesman Scott Worden said.

It will house Magna Seating’s engineering, sales and marketing, and research and development functions, the state said.

Construction is expected to start in the fourth quarter, Worden said. He did not have a target completion date.


There are already several projects being constructed along Cabot Drive in the 13 Mile and Haggerty area, helping reinvigorate development along the M-5 corridor which had stalled during the great recession.


I found an interesting tidbit about a possible new mixed use development between Joe Louis Arena and The Riverfront Towers

The Fisher, Kahn redevelopment project isn't the only one Peter Cummings plans in New Center

August 03, 2015
Crain's Detroit

Peter Cummings has his sights on a surface parking lot totaling just over 1.4 acres in the New Center area for a mixed-use development that includes multifamily residential units.

Cummings, who is part of the development group that last month closed on the $12.2 million purchase of the Fisher Building and Albert Kahn Building, plans to buy the parking lot at the northwest corner of West Grand Boulevard and Third Street near the two office buildings, according to a real estate source.

Reached by phone Monday, Cummings, also one of the developers behind the first Whole Foods Inc. store in Detroit, declined to comment.

But he did tell me that he has three properties in the city “under control.” That’s Cummings’ parlance for either having them under contract or having a memorandum of understanding to purchase them.

Cummings, featured in a Sunday Detroit Free Press story, also said he owns a 2.3-acre parcel of land wedged between the Joe Louis Arena and the Riverfront Towers high-rise apartments, which are currently up for sale.

“We are in early planning stages for (mixed-use) development there,” Cummings, the chairman of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.-based Ram Realty Services, said.

He declined to elaborate.


The Lurker
Oct 21, 2015, 7:09 PM
Thank you for putting together this update. Its starting to get hard to keep up

Oct 21, 2015, 8:23 PM
Thank you for putting together this update. Its starting to get hard to keep up

No prob i've been bookmarking articles that catch my eye for a while so i can post them when i have time. But yeah it really has been hard to keep up, especially with all the big announcements that have taken place this year in the greater downtown area there's been a lot of major projects in the burbs and some important but smaller projects in the neighborhoods that have been overlooked.

Speaking of being overlooked i had posted about a possible riverfront transit system in the works a while ago and in the new renderings for Orleans Landing a streetcar is pictured in what looks to be phase 2.

Report: Detroit Riverfront Conservancy plans transit system along Detroit River
By Associated Press
May 11, 2015


The nonprofit Detroit RiverFront Conservancy is preparing to raise $3 million to fund a transportation system along the Detroit River that includes water taxis and trolley buses.

The Detroit News reports that the conservancy hired Michigan-based Freshwater Transit to study the feasibility of such a system. Based on the research, the conservancy proposed a plan for six water taxi stations and 14 trolley stops from West Riverfront Park to Gabriel Richard Park.

William Smith, the conservancy's CFO, said the first phase of the water taxi route would use six existing docks or access points along the river.

Its a cool idea and as projects like Orleans Landing and not to mention the numerous loft conversions that have already taken place along the eastern part of the river walk. Then there's the western part of the riverwalk there's finally going to be investment in Riverside Park the riverwalks western terminus. While the idea of a water taxi now is a little bit premature it seems that in the near future the infrastructure should be there to support it, i think the Riverfront Conservancy shouldn't have too difficult of a sell in the initial fundraising effort, despite the setbacks and cancellations during the recession the East Riverfront seems to have reached a critical mass and with a major hotel development coming to the eastern terminus the west riverfront once the Red Wings move to their new arena seems primed.


Touching back on a possible riverfront transit system, with the groundbreaking of the Orleans Landing happening today new renderings have been released and one that i believe is of the 2nd phase has a streetcar pictured in it. While we all know that the job of a rendering is to help sell the development and create the kind of image that the public wants its interesting that they would include a streetcar while a riverfront transit system seems to be in the works.


Oct 21, 2015, 11:53 PM
Wow, that Orleans Landing project is enormous! Way to go Detroit!

Busy Bee
Oct 22, 2015, 1:35 AM
What an absolute suburban mess that Warren aerial is.

Oct 22, 2015, 2:58 AM
What an absolute suburban mess that Warren aerial is.

The Warren City Center Complex is an ugly dysfunctional mess filling in the parking lots and open spaces along Van Dyke Ave with lofts a hotel and shopping isn't going to be a game changer for the city as a whole. But it'll go a ways toward making what should be one of the most desirable areas in the city at least in terms of development less of an embarrassment and more of an asset.

Oct 22, 2015, 10:05 PM
Warren does have an older historic downtown area, however, it's bisected by Mound Road and partially developed over by the GM Tech Center.

The current sort of faux downtown area was originally planned in the 1950s as a civic center and was built following the trends of the time. By the 2000s, the area was retrofitted to fit current trends in urban planning though only partially due to the economic crash. The city's vision is for at least a few several storied mixed-use buildings and townhouses but that business article is touting a big box store and a car dealership as signs of progress. Guess urban development gave way to the lowest bidder. :rolleyes:

Oct 25, 2015, 12:34 PM
Wow, that Orleans Landing project is enormous! Way to go Detroit!
:haha: Yeah. But the actual current plan they call Orleans Landing appears much, much much smaller though. These drawings are only visions of what it could turn into on the long run. Some sort of large urban village nearby the riverfront, apparently.

Oct 26, 2015, 6:16 PM
RecoveryPark project to revamp east side Detroit neighborhood with $15M plan (http://www.mlive.com/business/detroit/index.ssf/2015/10/recovery_park_project_to_revam.html)
By Ian Thibodeau. MLive. October 26, 2015.

A massive five-year plan was announced Monday for a blighted neighborhood on Detroit's east side.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan joined a jovial Gary Wozniak in announcing a $15-million plan to turn 22 blocks around the former Chene-Ferry Market into an urban agriculture hub for the city.

Wozniak is the CEO of the nonprofit RecoveryPark, which essentially repurposes blighted abandoned land in Detroit into specialty urban farms through RecoveryPark Farms, a for-profit arm creating agricultural jobs for Detroiters.


It's RecoveryPark Farms that are behind some of the produce featured on the city's hottest restaurants. Republic Tavern, Chartreuse, Selden Standard, Wright & Co. and Stockyard Detroit all use specialty produce grown by Wozniak's team.

The project taking root on the lower east side will boost the RecoveryPark Farms mission. According to Duggan, 35 acres of city land will be leased to RecoveryPark for $105 per acre each year.

The deal is pending approval from the Detroit City Council, but councilwoman Janee Ayers expressed definite support for the project on Monday.

Duggan said the massive plan with "transform lives" in the neighborhood.

The project will encompass a 60-acre stretch of land bounded by I-94, Chene Street, St. Aubin Street and Forest Avenue.

Buildings in the area will either be secured or demolished. At least one blighted structure has already been pegged as the RecoveryPark headquarters.

Wozniak said the Chene-Ferry Market shed will be secured and saved. It's not yet been decided what the structure will be used for, because the Farms aren't going to be open to the public like that at Eastern Market.






Not sure how much I'd trust the produce from this area since it's directly downwind and only a couple of blocks from Detroit's massive incinerator.

Oct 27, 2015, 4:43 AM
Not sure how much I'd trust the produce from this area since it's directly downwind and only a couple of blocks from Detroit's massive incinerator.

The article mentioned hydroponic's and i see greenhouses, from what i see it looks like that a good amount of the produce will be produced that way so no dirt no prob. hah


I have a few more updates from over the summer that ended up slipping through the cracks that i have left over from my metro updates. There all in the greater downtown area and there all decent sized announcements.

I decided to start with this one cuz i've heard a lot about this movement of HQ's to downtown as a zero sum game. Especially from the likes of L. Brooks Patterson and cities such as Southfield which perhaps i'm more sympathetic too. Although the one thing that will make that part of Oakland County again is a rejuvenated Detroit, anyways.

Ferndale IT company Creative Breakthroughs opening downtown Detroit office
June 26, 2015
Crain's Detroit Business

Ferndale-based Creative Breakthroughs Inc. is opening an office in nearly 10,000 square feet of space in downtown Detroit in early fall.

The information technology advisory and network security services company, which goes by CBI, is taking the second, third and fourth floors in the 15,000-square-foot building at 1260 Library St., according to a news release from Farmington Hills-based Friedman Integrated Real Estate Solutions LLC, which represented landlord Corked Tusk Development LLC, an entity registered to Paul Huth.

Huth is president and owner of Detroit-based Huth Lynett.

Steve Barone, CEO of CBI, said the company plans to move about 50 members of the executive, sales, marketing, recruiting and pre-sales team downtown by early September. He expects about 100 to be in the office by the end of 2016.

"I've got Detroit in my DNA," Barone said. "I was born at Seven (Mile) and Gratiot."

CBI has 7,600 square feet in a 50,000-square-foot building at 1260 Woodward Heights Blvd. in Ferndale, according to CoStar. Barone said CBI will keep its Ferndale space for IT support staff.


For no. 2 here's an article that could end up having an out-sized effect compared to the size of the development. The co-owner of Café Muse a popular European-Style Royal Oak based eatery is opening up a new eatery on Kercheval Ave. in West Village, if the place is legit his high profile could potentially make Geiger Eat Shop a destination that helps kick-start the burgeoning West Village retail scene like Slows Bbq did for Michigan Ave. in Croktown.

Cafe Muse chef to open restaurant in Detroit's West Village
July 02, 2015
By Maria Esquinca
Crain's Detroit Business


The chef and co-owner of Royal Oak’s Café Muse plans to open a restaurant in Detroit’s West Village neighborhood next year.

Greg Reyner, 46, is renovating the first floor and basement of the 3,806-square-foot building located at 8044 Kercheval Ave. that had been vacant for 25 years to open Geiger Eat Shop. Renovations will cost $300,000 to $400,000, he said.

“That neighborhood is really underutilized,” Reyner said. “In five years it’s going to be totally different.”

Once open, Geiger Eat Shop will employ 30 to 40 people and add to the growing list of businesses in West Village, which include Craft Work restaurant, Sister Pie LLC and Parker Street Market.

“You can definitely see there’s a lot of retail coming,” said Reyner, a Detroit resident who is restoring a house in the Atkinson Avenue Historic District purchased in a Detroit Land Bank Authority auction.


Geiger Eat Shop will occupy 3,000 square feet on the first floor with an adjoining patio, with a wall separating the 75-seat dining area space from the bar. A private-dining space will be available in the lower level.

The restaurant will have an open kitchen, inspired by Beast, a Portland, Ore., restaurant.

“I want the lines between the kitchen and dining room to disappear,” he said. “It’s just totally open.”

Geiger Eat Shop will feature a New American, seasonal menu. Although it’s still being developed, Reynolds envisions 10 to 15 menu items that will rotate on a weekly basis, priced from $12 to $20. The dishes will be made primarily with local food items.


No. 3 & 4 are Gilbert Related the first is an announcement that Bedrock Real Estate Services LLC has reached a 1 million dollar financing agreement with the state of Michigan. The jist is that Dan puts the money for the financing up front and he gets reimbursed with historic tax credits later on. I know it's always been harder than it is nationally to get financing in the city but comon, i'm counting on Dan Gilbert impressing me with his Hudson's Site plan. Cuz i can think of other ppl who may deserve the now limited amount of historic tax credit money that's available due to a roll back in funding by the state. But like i said i can totally forgive such discretion's as long as he doesn't suddenly downsize or cheapen Hudson's site. The Book is coming back, truly all i want for X-Mas now is some sexy Hudson's Block renderings.

Dan Gilbert's mixed-use redevelopment in Capitol Park gets $1M state loan
1215 Griswold to turn into 25 residential units, 5,500 square feet of retail

July 15, 2015
Crain's Detroit Business


A $10.3 million plan to turn a vacant Capitol Park building into 5,500 square feet of first-floor retail space and 25 residential units on the top five floors has received approval for $1 million in state financing.

The project to redevelop the Dan Gilbert-owned building at 1215 Griswold St. north of State Street is expected to create 16 jobs, according to a memo to the Michigan Strategic Fund board, which approved the Michigan Community Revitalization Program performance-based loan that was announced Wednesday.

Gilbert’s Bedrock Real Estate Services LLC will provide all of the upfront financing for the project with the expectation of reimbursement from $1.65 million in federal historic tax credits; the $1 million state loan and $2.85 million will be financed with traditional debt, according to the memo.

The remaining $4.8 million would be funded through owner equity.


1,100 Quicken workers, Rocket Fiber data center to occupy former News, Free Press building
City memo: Gilbert plans $54.6 million build-out in 404,000-square-foot structure on West Lafayette

July 24, 2015
Crain's Detroit Business


The former Detroit Media Partnership building at 615 W. Lafayette Blvd. downtown is expected to become home to up to 1,100 new Quicken Loans Inc. employees when its build-out is complete.

According to a document detailing a request for city approval of a commercial rehabilitation district for the 404,000-square-foot building at the corner of West Lafayette and Third Street, the data center for Detroit-based Rocket Fiber LLC is also expected to be housed there.

On Thursday, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held for Molina Healthcare of Michigan, which occupies 30,000 square feet on the fifth floor of the building and houses 125 employees there, with the ability to add more in the future.

In addition, about 15,000 square feet of first-floor restaurant and/or retail space is expected


The redevelopment of the building, constructed in 1916, is expected to cost $54.6 million, according to the memo.

The project includes new mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems; roof replacement; restoration of the building’s exterior; and new interior build-out and finishes, according to the memo.


The memo says that the rehabilitation and 1,225 new jobs are expected to create $919,000 in income tax revenue for the city in the first year, $10.2 million over 10 years and $38.8 million over 30 years.

Construction began in February and is expected to be substantially complete by the end of the year, according to the memo.


Here's one more that wasn't planned on but it fits in with Rocket Fiber, the gigabit craze is coming to Downtown Detroit.

LightSpeed gigabit Internet comes to downtown Detroit residents
Ultra high-speed service is about 100 times faster than traditional cable companies

October 05, 2015
Crain's Detroit Business


East Lansing-based LightSpeed Communications LLC is providing the first gigabit Internet service to downtown Detroit residents.

Residents of the 56-unit Savings Bank Lofts Building at 1212 Griswold St. in Capitol Park can subscribe for $65 per month.


LightSpeed provides service to more than 10,000 homes in and around Lansing, according to a news release, and it expects to cover more than 45,000 in the next two years.

Rocket Fiber LLC, also a gigabit Internet service, is expected to deploy service later this year, covering downtown and eventually spreading to Midtown and other areas of the city.

Dan Gilbert and his Rock Ventures LLC have internally financed the $30 million cost of the first phase of Rocket Fiber’s plans.

Rocket Fiber will cost $70 per month.


The building is also home to the Archdiocese of Detroit, which also has LightSpeed service, according to the release. Service is also provided to Cobo Center.


Oct 27, 2015, 6:47 PM
Here's an update on the Hammer and Nail Building aka Professional Plaza, it looks like financing is in place and it looks like work is stalled no more.

State awards Detroit developer $3.5 million for $21.1 million The Plaza project in Midtown
October 27, 2015
Crain's Detroit Business


LANSING — A developer won state financing in its bid to turn a former medical office tower in Detroit’s Midtown neighborhood into a $21 million mixed-use complex with apartments and retail.

The Michigan Strategic Fund, an arm of the Michigan Economic Development Corp., today approved a $3.5 million equity investment for Detroit developer The Roxbury Group to redevelop the tower at 3800 Woodward Ave. into The Plaza. Roxbury Group is backing the project through its ownership entity, The Plaza Midtown LLC.

The $21.1 million project is expected to include 72 apartments — 51 one-bedroom units, 19 two-bedroom units and two three-bedroom units — and 2,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space, the MEDC said.

The developer also will update the building’s mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems while restoring the façade in keeping with its original mid-century modern architectural look. The MEDC said the building, built in 1965 and vacant since 2013, is considered functionally obsolete.

MEDC said The Plaza project, along with a $68 million renovation of Wayne State University Physician Group’s clinical space next door, “represents the redeployment of nearly five acres in the heart of Midtown that as recently as last year sat entirely vacant, with a total investment across the two sites of over $100 million.”

The Plaza also will help link Woodward Avenue between Mack Avenue and the new Detroit Red Wings arena district development roughly bounded by Charlotte Street to Grand Circus Park, add residential units in a high-demand area along the new M-1 streetcar line and increase walkability through the corridor, the state said.


The city of Detroit is contributing a 12-year tax credit worth $4.2 million under the state’s Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Act, the state said.

Roxbury Group’s previous projects include:
The $94.5 million David Whitney Building into 108 apartments
The 136-room Aloft Detroit hotel and Grand Cirque Brasserie restaurant
The $12.3 million renovation of The Auburn apartments, with 58 units and retail space

Redevelopment of the Globe Trading Co. building into a $12.8 million outdoor activity center for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

The company received $4.8 million in Michigan Strategic Fund equity financing for The Griswold, which will have residential units spanning five stories atop the Westin Book Cadillac hotel parking deck, according to the state. The MEDC said that project should close on its financing in the next month and start construction by early December.


Oct 29, 2015, 8:28 PM

**Delete Double Post

Oct 31, 2015, 2:13 PM
Lawrence Technological University officially opens Detroit Center for Design + Technology
By Michael Lewis II. Crain's Detroit Business. October 30, 2015.


Lawrence Technological University officially opened its Detroit Center for Design + Technology with a ribbon cutting ceremony this morning.

The 7,800-square-foot center was developed by Midtown Detroit Inc. as a part of the $6.73 million Woodward Willis development and is expected to give LTU students a chance to interact with the Detroit community.



Nov 2, 2015, 11:01 PM
It looks like the design has been finalized Kreamer Design Group's page on the project only includes renderings of the more traditional looking plan that mimic's the look of the Book Cadillac and blends with the parking garage its being built upon.


Construction begins on $24 million development with 80 apartments downtown
The Griswold is being built atop a 10-story building at Griswold Street and Michigan Avenue

November 02, 2015
Crain's Detroit Business

Construction has begun on an 80-unit apartment development on top of an existing 10-story building next to the Westin Book Cadillac Detroit hotel in Capitol Park.

The Griswold, a $24 million development, is expected to have one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments ranging from 750 to 1,600 square feet for rent by the end of next year, according to a news release. The project at Griswold Street and Michigan Avenue is billed as the first new-construction apartments in the central business district since Riverfront West was built in 1992.


Detroit-based Roxbury Group is the developer, Detroit-based Kraemer Design Group PLC is the project architect and Detroit-based Walbridge Aldinger Co. is the construction manager. Southfield-based Fourmidable Group will be the property manager, while Center City Properties will lease the apartments to tenants.

The Downtown Development Authority approved the development agreement for the project in March 2014.

The Griswold was originally planned as 80 for-sale condominium units in 2007. The DDA approved a development agreement for that project, but it was shelved that same year because of the economic collapse and inability to find financing.

“It is gratifying to be able to revive the Griswold nearly a decade after our initial plans for this location were put on hold,” David Di Rita, principal of Roxbury Group, said in a statement. “We see the renewed project as a natural evolution of our original vision for the site, which also builds on the current momentum in Capitol Park.”


Last week, the MSF awarded Roxbury Group with a $3.5 million equity investment for Roxbury’s planned redevelopment of the Professional Plaza former medical office building —perhaps best known for the hammer and nail atop its 12 stories at Woodward Avenue and Selden Street —into 72 apartments with 2,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space in a $21 million project expected to begin construction early next month.


Nov 2, 2015, 11:02 PM
The Scott is making good progress in Midtown


Nov 2, 2015, 11:14 PM

Nice to see work progressing, i remember hearing that the bigger Brush Park projects were going to wait till the 4th quarter to begin construction bc of the work already being done on the arena & M1 rail to ease parking woes for Tigers, Lions and Red Wings fans especially if by chance the Tigers had made a deep post-season run...

Nov 5, 2015, 12:40 AM
Work on another long vacant gem started today. The turnaround in Capitol Park really has been amazing to from nearly all vacant in 2013 to now all neary occupied.

"Renovations on the Farwell Bldg have begun. This is an exciting time as #Detroit has waited many years for this day!"

EDIT: Forgot to mention wrapped up construction on the building next door and new residents started moving in this weekend




The North One
Nov 5, 2015, 2:16 AM

Book tower lit up for the first time.... In HISTORY! :cheers:

Nov 6, 2015, 2:43 AM
Well... first time in a long time, at least. Longer than many other high rises downtown.

Nov 6, 2015, 12:32 PM
Not sure how much I'd trust the produce from this area since it's directly downwind and only a couple of blocks from Detroit's massive incinerator.
Move it to planet Mars, it wouldn't bother anyone over there.

In fact, their concept of urban farming isn't uninteresting. It might even be great if properly done, turning the city into something highly organic and fashionable.

I can tell, it would at least seduce our green hipsters/NIMBYs making us laugh with their tiny kitchen gardens upon their Parisian roofs drowned in crappy diesel engine emissions.

The North One
Nov 6, 2015, 8:21 PM
Well... first time in a long time, at least. Longer than many other high rises downtown.

I think they mean the crown, the first time it's been lit up.

Unless that account is flat out lying, lol.

Nov 6, 2015, 10:21 PM
I think they mean the crown, the first time it's been lit up.

Unless that account is flat out lying, lol.

There's some pictures of the crown being lit up during the 1930s but it seems dark in subsequent decades or else wasn't photographed too often when it was lit (or seemingly was just very dim compared to the surrounding area). Either way, it's been a pretty long time.



Of course, plenty of old school postcards show it lit so.... maybe someone at bedrock just didn't feel like looking it up.


Nov 6, 2015, 11:23 PM
Developer plans project in Detroit's North End neighborhood


A three-block stretch of Detroit’s North End neighborhood just east of the New Center area is being looked at for a redevelopment geared toward small manufacturers, artisans and other businesses, along with live-work spaces.

Detroit-based Town Real Estate LLC, whose managing partners are Jordan Wolfe and Kyle Polk, is asking the city for a property tax abatement for 10 years for 43 parcels in the area generally bounded by East Grand Boulevard to the north, Milwaukee Avenue to the south, Beaubien Street to the west and Hastings Street to the east.

The district will offer live/work production office studios and industrial showrooms where tenants will produce and showcase products to consumers and other buyers,” the application said. “The office space and showrooms will be complemented by additional mixed-use developments that will contain multi-family housing and food/beverage retail concepts.”

According to the application, the first phase of the project would redevelop several properties in the area, including a building at 2831 E. Grand Blvd. into a music recording studio; shared and freelance manufacturing and equipment storage space at 6465 St. Antoine St.; a product design hub with a furniture design and fabrication center and live-work space at 6540 St. Antoine St.; a distribution center and retail showroom with live-work studios at 575 E. Milwaukee Ave.; and a café with a shipping and packaging design center at 2841 E. Grand Blvd.

The company plans to buy and renovate more properties in the future “to entice and enable additional developers and entrepreneurs to utilize the proposed district to do the same.”


Nov 7, 2015, 1:22 AM
Apparently some thanks or some icy hot is in order for the 6 dudes that lugged all that equipment up 38 floors to illuminate the top of the Book, also the David Stott has been light up too.


Nov 7, 2015, 2:47 AM
Almost as exciting as the Book being renovated is the fact that work's starting on the Metropolitan Building.

Work Beginning on Metropolitan Building
Thursday, November 5, 2015
by Rebecca Golden


The Metropolitan Building, long slated for redevelopment into market rate apartments under a plan approved by the Downtown Development Authority (DDA), is beginning to show signs of new life. A tipster sent us photographs showing work crews beginning fresh projects at the long-vacant triangle-shaped building downtown.

The development plan calls for the construction of 71 apartment units, along with retail spaces on the first two floors. To date, developers have spent $300K stabilizing the building's facade. Our tipster, Steven Halmaghi, noticed scaffolding on the iconic Detroit building and noted that all the boards had been removed from the windows on the structure's third floor, too.




Nov 7, 2015, 3:04 AM
Some updates from today 11/6

Capitol Park Building work continues

As noted above, the Farwell Building renovation has begun

This building on Capitol Park seems completed

And next door to the south it appears this building has begun renovations

Valpey Building renovations continue with a new coat of paint. I'm not sure how i feel about it being painted, however the details in the facade really stand out now

Rear of the Valpey Building

Woodward Building work continues

A new floor and rooftop terrace was recently completed at the Detroit Athletic Club

Wurlitzer Building renovation continues

Dilla's Delights, a new donut shop, is opening in The Ashley

Lear Corp. is expected to renovate this structure to become a satellite headquarters for the corporation

Work continues on the new GSTV headquarters and the building to the north, barely in this shot

The North One
Nov 7, 2015, 4:22 AM
Very exciting stuff here. :cheers:

I actually wouldn't mind the new paint, but it's such a bright white, I think a more cream color white would look better.

Nov 8, 2015, 3:14 AM
Some more updates, from 11/7

Also noticed but not photographed, painting appears complete at the Valpey Building.

New Red Wings arena/The District Detroit construction

Has work begun on the Eddystone Hotel? It appears all the broken windows are out on this side. Note this is also within Red Wings arena grounds

in North Corktown, this shipping container house on Trumbull appears complete. It is supposed to be the first of a few container structures in greater downtown

Construction has started on The Griswold apartments atop the Westin Book-Cadillac Hotel's parking garage

Work continues at Briggs House

Hoping to see work start soon at Philip House on Bagley

Nov 10, 2015, 1:57 AM
Being that many of the buildings are near full occupancy, when do you think we'll see guys think Detroit will see its next skyscraper?

Nov 10, 2015, 1:58 AM
I will have to get to Detroit to see all these buildings when they are done. Awesome!

Nov 10, 2015, 4:10 AM
Being that many of the buildings are near full occupancy, when do you think we'll see guys think Detroit will see its next skyscraper?

That depends, do you mean something over 12 floors or something that will break the skyline? It's very likely within the next year something between 10 and 15 floors gets proposed/built. On the other hand, I think Detroit is still a few years away from anything skyline changing, for example, anything taller than 300 feet and visible from outside the CBD (unless it's built outside of the CBD).

There's still a lot of space to fill both in yet renovated buildings and vacant lots and I'm not yet convinced that the local economy is at the point of supporting new (non-speculative) skyscrapers. Of course though, I'm hoping it gets there sooner rather than later.


Nov 10, 2015, 5:58 AM
I'd expect a lot of woodframe at first due to low land prices, high land availability, and low rents. Hopefully it's allowed up to five floors (the top 5) and 85' as it is in some regions. Woodframe isn't beloved on SSP, but it's a lot cheaper. You can get a decent amount of density, like 200+ units per acre.

Quite an impressive array of jobs underway now!

The Lurker
Nov 10, 2015, 6:24 AM
Being that many of the buildings are near full occupancy, when do you think we'll see guys think Detroit will see its next skyscraper?

Construction on the Griswald just started. Thats an apartment project that adds five floors to an existing 10 story parking structure to become the first "highrise" construction in Detroit since the Casino hotels back in 08? Scroll to the top of the page 2nd post for more information

Nov 10, 2015, 6:38 AM
That depends, do you mean something over 12 floors or something that will break the skyline? It's very likely within the next year something between 10 and 15 floors gets proposed/built. On the other hand, I think Detroit is still a few years away from anything skyline changing, for example, anything taller than 300 feet and visible from outside the CBD (unless it's built outside of the CBD).

There's still a lot of space to fill both in yet renovated buildings and vacant lots and I'm not yet convinced that the local economy is at the point of supporting new (non-speculative) skyscrapers. Of course though, I'm hoping it gets there sooner rather than later.


There is already one, early this year Bedrock proposed this at Griswold and Grand River. There's not many empty buildings left downtown and just about all of them are spoken for with plans. If you're a developer who wants to be downtown your only option is increasingly you have to build new. And the market it hot Merchant's Row has a six month waiting and the same true for other apartment buildings. I think we'll see more than few in the 10-15 range proposals maybe one in the 20 story range in the next year.


Nov 10, 2015, 6:41 AM
That depends, do you mean something over 12 floors or something that will break the skyline? It's very likely within the next year something between 10 and 15 floors gets proposed/built. On the other hand, I think Detroit is still a few years away from anything skyline changing, for example, anything taller than 300 feet and visible from outside the CBD (unless it's built outside of the CBD).

There's still a lot of space to fill both in yet renovated buildings and vacant lots and I'm not yet convinced that the local economy is at the point of supporting new (non-speculative) skyscrapers. Of course though, I'm hoping it gets there sooner rather than later.


There is already one, early this year Bedrock proposed this at Griswold and Grand River. There's not many empty buildings left downtown and just about all of them are spoken for with plans. If you're a developer who wants to be downtown your only option is increasingly having to build new. And the market it hot Merchant's Row has a six month waiting and the same true for other apartment buildings. I think we'll see more than few in the 10-15 range proposals maybe one in the 20 story range in the next year.


Nov 10, 2015, 8:01 PM
If i were a betting man id say that the next skyscraper will be built after Joe Louis Arena is demolished in 2017, there's a deal with one of Detroit's holdout creditors that in exchange for taking pennies on the dollar for their bonds that they get to redevelop the site. The deal is that a hotel with potential office - residential and recreation the development is limited to 30 stories and have a minimum of 300 rooms. It seems like this is pretty much a done deal due to the location and the fact that there is a develop by 2020 clause built into the deal not to mention this is how they are getting a return on Detroit after accepting a big bond loss.


Nov 10, 2015, 10:41 PM
That hotel at the Joe Louis Arena site sounds promising. I can't wait to see something as tall, or taller than the Renaissance Center, however far in the future that may be.

Nov 11, 2015, 3:51 AM
Valpey Building renovations continue with a new coat of paint. I'm not sure how i feel about it being painted, however the details in the facade really stand out now

They didn't have much choice KDG posted this update on the 5th:

"The exterior of our 1413 Woodward project is getting a serious facelift.

"Originally, we thought the building’s façade was terra cotta, but once the masonry cleaning commenced, we were surprised to find out that it is actually a type of brownstone, with staining that non-abrasive cleaning techniques simply could not remove. Therefore, we decided that coating the building would be the best option available, so that the outside will look just as clean and new as the inside.

We reached out to historic Detroit entities (NPS, SHPO, and HDC), and received their support before beginning. Now, coating is currently underway – with the GFRP cornice and faux balcony becoming a grayer shade of white, while the GFRP, cast-iron elements and the window and storefront frames are becoming dark bronze."

I can't wait to see the finished product. I not sure how many of you remember what it looked like prior to the Super Bowl. When they ripped out the Woodward 70's era streetscape, the DDA also funded some facade improvements to this and other buildings.


The North One
Nov 11, 2015, 3:51 PM
Meh, I'm not concerned with building taller right now.

What Detroit really needs is a more consistent and dense urban fabric like it did before.

Nov 11, 2015, 7:39 PM
Conservancy, City Seek Proposals for Riverfront Development
by Rebecca Golden
November 9, 2015
Curbed Detroit


The Detroit RiverFront Conservancy and the City of Detroit Planning Department have put out a call for development plans for East Riverfront. The East Riverfront, a district bounded by St. Antoine Street to the west, East Grand Boulevard to the east, Larned Street to the north and the Detroit River to the south, used to be heavily blighted. Over the last decade, the RiverFront Conservancy's projects in the area have included moving cement factories away from the river, redeveloping the Renaissance Center, and to building the RiverWalk, a public park set along 3.5 miles of trail.

According to a study commissioned by the Conservancy, the riverfront has taken in over $1 billion in public and privately funded investment since redevelopment began in 2003. Firms interested in helping to develop the 400 acres under consideration have until 5 pm on Dec 4 to submit RFQ responses. According to the city's request for qualifications report, new developments need to address several major goals for the riverfront.


Meh, I'm not concerned with building taller right now.

What Detroit really needs is a more consistent and dense urban fabric like it did before.

Yeah i agree i want to see downtown build-out and better connect with the surrounding neighborhoods, were starting to see some good signs the Lower East Side and in neighborhoods like Corktown, Woodbridge and the Northend see reinvestment but there's still a way to go. Honestly if there's anything we should have learned as a city over the last 40 years that reinvesting in building vibrant neighborhoods has greater impact on the cities over all vitality than big flashy developments like the Ren Cen.

Nov 11, 2015, 8:42 PM
Has anyone heard scheduled completion dates for the Restoration Hardware in the GSTV building?

Nov 12, 2015, 8:22 PM
Whole Foods Developer to Add 230 Units in New Center


Peter Cummings, the Detroit developer who brought Whole Foods to midtown and shepherded the deal for the Fisher Building, told Curbed that he plans to build a 230-unit midrise apartment building in New Center. This summer, rumors about Cummings' plans to buy the parking lot at 3rd and Grand (pictured above) from Henry Ford Health System were met with a firm "no comment" from Cummings. Now, he says that there's an agreement to purchase, and that architects have been selected for the project.

"The sale hasn't happened yet," Cummings explained, "But I do have a firm agreement with Henry Ford Health system. I want to build 230 units," Cummings added. Cummings has already tapped Chapel Hill, NC, Cline Design for the new development which will combine retail with residential units just steps away from the Fisher Building. "They did a great job for me on a similar scale project, housing over parking and retail in Chapel Hill," Cummings said.

Cummings says there's a timeline in place and that the sale should be finalized soon. "We would like to launch the project in summer 2016," Cummings said. Cline Design built 140 West Franklin for Cummings' former Florida venture, Ram Real Estate. The eight-story, $55 million, mixed-use building in Chapel Hill opened in 2013 after nearly a decade of work.


Hopefully this thing doesn't take ten years.

Nov 13, 2015, 12:09 AM
It's good to see the speed that this project progressed although small that whole area of New Center is about to take off just like Midtown did just look at the new announcement about potential midrise. with the M-1 Rail Line to be completed by early 2017 and its northern terminus is in the area the dam has broken young man. I'm really excited to see what happens with The North End-Boston Edison-Arden Park area I could see it becoming more like Woodbridge or Corktown in the since of being an hip up and coming area bordering a rejuvenated new center.

Regis Houze Set to Offer 58 New Apartments in New Center
Rebecca Golden
Curbed Detroit


Regis Houze is bringing 58 new apartments to New Center. Developers held a ribbon cutting for the property Tuesday, and the newly constructed annex to the Hotel St. Regis will rent the units starting in December, according to Barbat Holdings, LLC, the project's developer. Many of the apartments have market rate prices, and the developers at Tuesday's tour of the new property suggested that Regis Houze's tiny studios—just 365 square feet—would be great as second homes for people who live in the suburbs but work in New Center, including employees at Henry Ford Hospital.


Regis Houze represents a partnership between Barbat Holdings, owned by West Bloomfield's Wireless Toyz founder Joe Barbat and the Woodward Corridor Investment Fund. With the upcoming opening of the M-1 Rail, developers and the city are betting on New Center as Detroit's next neighborhood success story.


According to a release, the Woodward Corridor Investment Fund is responsible for $30 million of the loans that have allowed for the renovations, and Crain's reports that the project created 144 temporary jobs and 17 permanent jobs in New Center. Regis Houze is all out of tiny studios—they're all rented—but 1- and 2-bedrooms are available. Regis Houze's website already banks on the M-1 to sell apartments. Copy on the site brags that the building is "just steps away from the M-1 Rail line on Woodward Avenue, giving you quick access to all that downtown has to offer." True…in eighteen months or so.


Nov 19, 2015, 6:37 PM
Speaking of New Center starting to take off here's a shocker not only is Lee Plaza to be renovated but it is to be the center piece of a $200 million dollar redevelopment. Personally i had thought that it was only a matter of time before the heavily stripped Lee Plaza would face the wrecking ball.

Lee Plaza hotel poised to get $200M redevelopment
November 19, 2015
Holly Fournier
The Detroit News


Detroit — The abandoned 17-story Lee Plaza Residential Hotel will be renovated into a zero-energy building boasting around 200 units of luxury, market-rate apartments slated to open in fall 2017, according to buyer and Detroit native Craig Sasser.

The $200 million project will include redevelopments to two adjacent lots as well as the addition of moderate, low and very low-income housing, said Sasser, 63-year-old managing member and CEO of Moneta Energy, LLC.


The Lee Plaza closed in 1993 and has fallen into disrepair since, Sasser said.

“This is a symbol of the shame and decline of what we as citizens have allowed to happen to our city,” Sasser said. “We can’t blame others. We are the solution.”

The hotel has been stripped to the studs but remains standing on a solid foundation of concrete and steel, he said.

“We don’t have to build from the ground up,” Sasser said. “It’s totally sound.”

It also is located in a developer’s dream spot.

“In real estate, it’s location, location, location,” Sasser said. “This is right next to the booming areas of Detroit. Downtown and Midtown are minutes away.”


The building renovation itself will cost around $34 million, with another $50 earmarked for adjacent lots. In total, approximately $200 million is expected to be spent redeveloping the hotel and surrounding area, Sasser said.

“One large energy investor” has committed to the entire bill, Sasser said.

Sasser also said he is committed to hiring local workers for the project, including ex-Navy SEAL veterans for security during construction as well as students from nearby Northwestern High School.


Work on the project will begin in January with cleaning crews sweeping through the building, he said. Completed apartments are expected to retail for $1.75 to $2 per square foot, and will feature state-of-the-art technology including electronic artwork and music geared toward the individual resident.

“I’m aiming at people that are into all the toys,” he said. “This is going to be a ‘smart’ building.”

Detroit-based architect firm Hamilton Anderson Associates is working on renderings of the renovated Lee Plaza as well as an adjacent parking structure to feature a rooftop pool during the summer and skating rink in the winter, Sasser said. Meanwhile, Rossetti has been tapped to design an outdoor public gathering space near the old hotel.


“This project has been adopted by the National Trust for Historic Preservations,” Sasser said. “This is going to be their model for how we can make these old buildings energy efficient.”

Sasser said the renovation coincides with Detroit’s motto.

“It will rise from the ashes,” Sasser said. “I believe that. I believe it is the time.”