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Old Posted Jun 13, 2006, 8:10 AM
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Detroit Love
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Detroit
Posts: 585
Some good news in this weeks Model D

16 luxury loft rental units going into Lafer Building downtown

Construction has started in the 9-story Lafer Building downtown to turn the 1916 building into 16 high-end loft units for rent, with first-floor space for office and retail.

Mercier Development is renovating the building on Broadway between Gratiot and East Grand River. The Garrison Co. is doing the construction work.

Each floor will have two units — one with 1,800 square feet, two bedrooms and two bathrooms, and the other with 1,500 square feet, two bedrooms and one bathroom. All will have an open floor plan, granite countertops, and other luxury finishes.

A unique feature for residents will be secured elevator access to their lofts, so the lifts drop them off right into their own apartments. "It's very New York-ish in style," says Michael Mercier, who is partnering with his son, Daniel, on the project.

Mercier says the lofts will be for rent, but they plan to convert the building to condos within the next five years, when they will add balconies to the smaller units.

He expects construction to be finished by the end of the year, and says rents will start around $1,250. A web site will go up in a few weeks with floor plans and more rental info. In the meantime, call (248) 244-0007 for more information.

Mercier says he put a sign in a window of the building advertising the space, and so far has had at least 60 people ask to be updated on the building. "There’s much greater interest than even I expected," he says.

"It’s just a wonderful feeling that I’m getting about all these dynamics taking place," Mercier says. "I'm really enjoying investing in the city and seeing all the great things that are taking palce. I think there’s a really bright future."

Sources: Michael Mercier of Mercier Development/Mark Wilcox of the Garrison Co.

Bates Street project finished as construction on RiverWalk's pavillions, boardwalk moves forward
A key piece to putting together the 5 1/2-mile RiverWalk along the Detroit River has been finished at the end of Bates Street, and crews are working on pavilions and other portions of the pathway.

The plan is for the walking and biking trail to extend from the Ambassador Bridge to just past Belle Isle’s MacArthur Bridge.

So far, you can travel a half mile on the RiverWalk, uninterrupted. But by the end of the year, there will be about 2/12 miles of consecutive walkway complete, representing about 75 percent of the East Riverfront project, says Faye Nelson, president and CEO of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy.

“If you go out now you see all that construction,” she says. "There’s major visible construction under way."

At the foot of Bates Street, a structural repair has been completed — a critical step to make way to build a boardwalk for the RiverWalk, Nelson says. The repair also fixes part of the city’s sewer system, preventing sewage backups from polluting the Detroit River. The work was made possible through efforts of the congressional delegation, the City of Detroit and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Other RiverWalk work going on now includes:

At the foot of Rivard Street, crews are building a plaza — one of four planned for the RiverWalk. It will be open to public in May 2007. It will include special water features including a water carousel.
Work is also under way at the plaza for Gabriel Richard Park, at the far-east end of the RiverWalk. It will include water features and a butterfly garden.
Crews are also putting in the boardwalk area in front of the Talon, Omni and Stroh, UAW-GM Center for Human Resources and Harbortown properties.

Sources: Faye Nelson, Detroit Riverfront Conservancy; City of Detroit
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