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  #101  
Old Posted Jun 18, 2006, 9:24 PM
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POPE!

Nine on Third


Willy's Overland Lofts


Something wierd in the Cass Corridor


55 West Canfield renovation




El Moore soon to commence


Brainard Street affordable housing. Completed.


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


MGM Grand


Quite a ways from being topped out.


Action soon on the Pick Fort-Shelby?


And Westin Book Cadillac?


Lafayette Building deal waiting too.


Washing the facade for the 1001 Woodward Condos.


Greektown Casino Site
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  #102  
Old Posted Jun 19, 2006, 1:16 PM
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yay!

i heart michi
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  #103  
Old Posted Jun 24, 2006, 7:37 PM
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Tuesday Tuesday Toooooosday!
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  #104  
Old Posted Jun 29, 2006, 6:35 AM
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Done deal: $180M to revive once grand hotel

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

Louis Aguilar / The Detroit News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Condos may top $1M

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2 ballrooms to be restored

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

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

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

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

Project is symbolic

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

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

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

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

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

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

Deal has 22 funding sources

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

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

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

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

The project joins billions of dollars in public and private investment that have been poured into downtown the past 10 years, bringing new life to long-empty historic buildings and filling the city's blighted core with new casinos, lofts, restaurants, martini bars and small retail shops.
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  #105  
Old Posted Jul 5, 2006, 6:40 PM
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The Main North Terraces in Royal Oak is just one phase of a larger development. The terraces are sold out, so we are just waiting word on commencement of the next phase of the project.
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  #106  
Old Posted Jul 6, 2006, 7:14 PM
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had no idea the terraces are sold out already.

and the fifth/washington (18 stories) is at about four stories....
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  #107  
Old Posted Jul 9, 2006, 11:07 AM
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http://www.chicagotribune.com/classi...realestate-hed

Condos in plan for $180M rehab of Detroit hotel

Associated Press

Published July 9, 2006

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

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

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

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

Developer John Ferchill announced his renovation plan in November. The restored building, to reopen in spring 2008, will include 455 hotel rooms, 67 luxury condominiums, a conference center and retail and restaurant space that may include an upscale steak house.
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  #108  
Old Posted Jul 14, 2006, 8:22 PM
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Thursday July 13, 2006




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  #109  
Old Posted Jul 14, 2006, 11:11 PM
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You might want to label that for people that may have missed earlier photos, or have no idea what that is.
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  #110  
Old Posted Jul 19, 2006, 4:06 PM
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Demolition crews raze the Neumann Building on Big Beaver at Alpine to make way for 165 condos that will sell for as high as $2 million each.


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

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

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

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



Go to their website and see what the skyline of Troy looks like under "sophistication".
http://www.monarchliving.com/music/main.html

You can also go to views and see what the upper floors will look out to. (nasty)
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  #111  
Old Posted Jul 19, 2006, 8:12 PM
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Hey, you get a pleasant view of the Southfield skyline!

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

Downtown Southeast Michigan's main thoroughfare doesn't even come close to anything in the outer Las Vegas valley when it comes to urbanity. Troy is delusional.
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  #112  
Old Posted Jul 20, 2006, 12:04 AM
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Still,

I'd much rather see these towers here than as a 1,000-unit, sprawled housing development out in Oakland Township.
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  #113  
Old Posted Jul 20, 2006, 12:19 AM
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The great thing about the Detroit redevelopment boom, compared to other midwestern cities outside of Chicago, is the enormous INVENTORY of prewar buildings that can be rehabbed. Detroit reached 2 million people 50 years ago, and the size of the city and its construction still reflects that. Although there has been a lot of demolition, this stands as a HUGE advantage for Detroit.

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

I like that Jennifer Granholm has been supportive of Detroit's rebirth. I just worry that if Michigan gets a Republican Governer again, it'll be in trouble
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  #114  
Old Posted Jul 20, 2006, 12:57 AM
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Effective mass transit really is a missing component that would legitimize and tie together all of these developments and redevelopments. It's ironic that it's so out of reach, now. Until the suburbs get on board, nothing is going to be done. Needless to say, they haven't got on board, yet.
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  #115  
Old Posted Jul 24, 2006, 5:44 PM
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Big Beaver Redevelopment Proposals to be unveiled to Troy City Planning this evening, 7.24.06.


Street Scene












*Photos property of Birchler Arroyo & Assoc.
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  #116  
Old Posted Jul 30, 2006, 7:47 PM
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Photos by DecoJim of the MGM and MotorCity Casino Hotel towers taken 11:00am, July 29, 2006:

MGM










MotorCity
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  #117  
Old Posted Jul 31, 2006, 2:48 AM
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I'm actually liking the glass on MGM. Even though you can detect a faint gold, it is overdone by a normal-looking glass.

Friday, July 28











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


This complex is going up amazingly fast!






Greektown Casino is still just a pile of rubble.
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  #118  
Old Posted Jul 31, 2006, 9:53 PM
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From: http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll...607310360/1001
_________
Quote:
Monday, July 31, 2006
HOTELOPOLY
As casino hotels go up, Detroit wonders who will win the game of
Louis Aguilar / The Detroit News




Downtown Detroit, a longtime also-ran in the hotel and convention arena, is poised to become a more influential player with the addition of glitzy new casino hotels and restored architectural gems.
About 1,850 new hotel rooms are expected to be ready for overnight visitors by 2008, an increase of 56 percent from current levels. The new construction could affect hotel business from Windsor to Cleveland, according to industry experts.
Area convention officials already are hustling to double the number of citywide conventions in Detroit that could bring in tens of thousands of new visitors each year.
"This opens the doors for us," said Michael O'Callaghan, chief operating officer and executive vice president for the Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau, which is responsible for drumming up convention business for Detroit and surrounding suburbs.
"We will have the hotel space to accommodate the existing convention space and attract four more citywide conventions of 10,000 to 15,000. Everyone will be able to benefit."
That would be a dramatic turn of events for a city where nearly half of the hotel rooms sit empty for much of the year and whose marquee event, the North American International Auto Show, can't grow because local politicians can't agree on how to expand Cobo Center.
The best-case scenario: The three new casinos-hotels -- the MGM Grand, MotorCity and Greektown -- plus the renovated Westin Book-Cadillac and Pick-Fort Shelby, lift the entire region.
The new hotels, which will increase the number of downtown rooms to 5,155, may attract large meetings and conventions and provide rooms for major events like the NCAA Final Four coming to Ford Field in 2009.
The worst-case scenario: Business doesn't increase, and a glut of rooms drives some hotels out of business.
"It's an interesting experiment," said Charles Skelton, president of Hospitality Advisors Inc., an Ann Arbor hotel consulting firm -- particularly for a city with a 58 percent hotel occupancy rate in May that ranked second-worst among the 25 largest U.S. cities, according to Smith Travel Research.
"I would think convention officials as far away as Toledo, Cleveland, etc., are eyeing this to see how it plays out," he said.
Can hotels fill rooms?
So are those just across the Canadian border.
Casino Windsor is expanding with 369 rooms in a new tower and 100,000 feet of additional convention space. The renovation will be complete in two years.
"We hope it means that the area becomes stronger for international events that will benefit both sides of the border," said Gordon Orr, managing director of the Windsor, Essex County & Pelee Island Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The optimism of local tourism and convention officials isn't shared by all. Even some of the new competition is skeptical Detroit can lure the visitors to fill all those new hotel rooms.
John Ferchill, the Cleveland developer behind the $180 million renovation of the landmark Book-Cadillac, said the project's 67 upscale condos, 31,000-square-foot conference center and 119,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space should do well.
"I actually, candidly, am not as optimistic about the hotel," he said, referring to the 450-room Westin hotel. It's slated to open in 2008.
Market studies suggest the Book-Cadillac will have to take business away from high-end Dearborn-area hotels to survive, Ferchill said.
"What we see is a trend of people who are doing business down here (in the Detroit area) and staying up there (Dearborn area) because there wasn't a, quote-unquote, facility that they will like to stay in.
"This will be nicest hotel in Detroit. Now whether people will go there ..." Ferchill said, then shrugged.
Suburbs ready to compete
No matter how nice the Westin Book-Cadillac will be, some Dearborn hotels say they can compete.
"Although I expect to see some movement (to) downtown, it doesn't mean we cannot replace it by attracting more business," said Pat Trammell, senior director of sales and marketing at the Hyatt Regency Dearborn.
Less than 15 percent of hotel visitors are in town to do business in downtown Detroit, she said. Further, the hotel's 62,000 square feet of convention space is larger than what the Book-Cadillac will offer, she said.
And the casino hotels will attract a different crowd than the Hyatt crowd, she said.
"A large amount of our convention business is in the education area," Trammell said. "I can't see them wanting to stay in a casino to do business. They may want to go there on their free time, but that's a different issue."
A Troy-based hotel consultant agreed that suburban and city hotels can benefit from a stronger downtown Detroit.
"It's not a zero-sum game," said Ron Wilson, chief executive officer of Hotel Investment Services Inc.
"If two out of five people who usually stay in the suburbs now stay downtown, it doesn't necessarily mean you will have only three people left in the suburbs," he said. "It's been shown (in previous studies) that in order to spur hotel growth, you need to add hotels."
Cobo poses dilemma
Wilson said the additional downtown hotels get Detroit out of its "Catch-22": The city can't expand Cobo Center and lure more conventions because it lacks hotels, and it lacks hotels because it can't expand Cobo and lure more conventions.
The planned $663 million expansion of Cobo is being stalled by political wrangling between the city and suburbs.
Cobo is the home of the North American International Auto Show, which generates close to $600 million in economic impact for the region.
But other cities, most notably Chicago, are trying to upstage the Detroit auto show by offering larger facilities that are less expensive for exhibitors.
But even without an expanded Cobo, the additional hotel rooms mean Detroit can go after convention business it couldn't get before, said O'Callaghan of the Convention and Visitors Bureau.
"We've conducted a lot of studies; something like 85 percent of conventions can actually fit into that floor space" at Cobo, O'Callaghan said.
Beyond the regional conventions and midsize association shows, analysts say the new downtown rooms can help sell the region for splashier events, such as a national political convention.
Existing hotels step up
Some of the hotels downtown are already stepping up their game. The Hotel Pontchartrain is undergoing a $12 million renovation that should be completed by end of year. It will be renamed the Sheraton Pontchartrain to reflect its partnership with the national hotel chain.
"We could all benefit from this," Pontchartrain general manager Todd Roesler said of the new hotels.
"The Convention and Visitors Bureau is doing a great job in scrubbing up potential business."
While the new casino hotels are not likely to attract many business travelers -- "I can't see (a) corporate executive in town to do business with GM staying there," said Skelton, of Hospitality Advisors -- they will win over out-of-town gamblers and more socially oriented conventions, such as the regional meetings of the Order of Eagles.
"It's all pieces of the puzzle to make downtown better," said Skelton, noting there are still pieces that must fall into place.
"Can we attract enough business who feel safe downtown? Are there enough things to do downtown? It's yet another big test for downtown."
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  #119  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2006, 3:59 AM
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So far I like how MGM and Motor City are turning out. MGM it seems will be pretty tasteful complex. MotorCity's hotel isn't nearly as bland as it was in the renderings and they shouldn't be too far behind MGM in starting work on the exterior
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  #120  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2006, 2:09 AM
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I do think it will be breath of modern fresh air in that part of town (Trumbull/Woodbridge area).
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