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  #2001  
Old Posted Sep 17, 2013, 6:22 AM
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Dan Gilbert's Empire Looks Ready For Capitol Park Expansion

Monday, September 16, 2013, by Paul Beshouri



Evidence suggests Dan Gilbert is now a player in the downtown Detroit district of Capitol Park, where sources tell us Gilbert recently took control of the Bamlet Building (often called the Capitol Plaza Building). Built in 1897, the Bamlet's broken windows and crumbling facade earned it a spot on a 2012 list of Downtown's most dangerous buildings. You wouldn't know it today. Workers have been spotted installing security cameras, removing debris from the building's interior, clearing the windows of advertisements and graffiti. Also gone: the "For Sale" signs.

Several sources, including Ryan Snoek, a downtown Detroit broker affiliated with the recent sale of the David Stott and Free Press buildings, as well as Josh Greenwood--co-owner of Urban Bean Coffee just across the street from the Bamlet, told Curbed that Gilbert's purchase is relatively well-known. A representative of Exclusive Realty, the building's last-known listing agency, confirmed it was no longer on the market.

...

http://detroit.curbed.com/archives/2...t-building.php
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  #2002  
Old Posted Sep 17, 2013, 7:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by animatedmartian View Post
Well, if this ain't some stuff! I'm cautiously optimistic. So long as they can keep the big (1,000) parking garage directly off the square (early reports seem to imply something different), this will be great. If they decide to put anything but the entrance of the building on the square, though, I will raise hell. lol There is more than enough room on this site to put the entrance/exists for the parking garage - or even just a wall of the garage - on Farmer, Monroe, or Bates.

As to the height, the undeveloped blocks immediately on the square were always conceived to be more human-scaled the skyscrapers around it, and I like that set-up. I wouldn't want anything much over 20-stories on any of the undeveloped blocks. Things are supposed to "step up" from the square, visually. The square wasn't meant for skyscrapers beyond what was already there. It's supposed to feel more intimate. Legit light/sight-blocking skyscrapers can be built eslewhere in the financial district and beyond.

This is so exciting. The only Campus Martius block left - even though it's not on the square - is the Hudson's Block.
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  #2003  
Old Posted Sep 17, 2013, 7:58 AM
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BTW, to give some background on the Monroe Block, here are some concepts and proposals (actually only the Cadillac Centre was a proposal) from the past:

Cadillac Centre


Northern Group, Inc.


Model D Media

Concept


AtDetroit.com

What used to be there (1968)


AtDetroit.net

What is there, today, as seen from the same spot, above.


Andrew Jameson

Never a really tall block (and didn't need to be), so whatever goes here will be taller than what was there before. This could really be huge in terms of filling in the streetwall, again.
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  #2004  
Old Posted Sep 17, 2013, 9:14 PM
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Kresge adding support for development along Woodward.

Quote:
$30.25 million Kresge, NCB Capital fund will support Woodward Avenue real estate investments
September 17, 2013

By Amy Haimerl

The Kresge Foundation and Arlington, Va.-based NCB Capital Impact announced a new $30.25 million fund to support Detroit real estate projects along Woodward Avenue between downtown and New Center.

With the support of MetLife Inc., PNC Bank, Prudential, Calvert Foundation, Living Cities, and the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation, it will be funding mixed-use, mixed income, transit-oriented developments.

"By engaging major foundations and commercial lenders, our work will break the traditional mold of community development financing," said Terry Simonette, president and CEO of NCB Capital Impact, about the Woodward Corridor Investment Fund.

Loans will range from $500,000 to $5 million, with priority for those projects that can be started in 2014. The fund will begin accepting applications on Oct. 1 and will make initial approvals by the end of the year.

...
http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article...oodward-avenue

Also, in relation to the Monroe Block, building plans are expected to be released this Thursday.
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  #2005  
Old Posted Sep 17, 2013, 11:51 PM
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It's really exciting to see the real seeds of regrowth in Detroit. People look at me funny when I tell them that Detroit's long-term outlook is better today than it has been at any point in the last 40 years.
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  #2006  
Old Posted Sep 18, 2013, 7:24 AM
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I like the fund that they are building for Woodward TOD projects. That will be absolutely necessary to unleash the pent-up demand along the corridor. Because the market is so out of whack with the demand, only certain kind of projects and developers have been able to cobble together the financing for large-scale projects. This will make sure more developers are introduced to the market, and it will also mean a more diverse range in the type of products that can be offered. It seems that because of the market, the only thing you can get done in Detroit is either literal government housing or really high-end stuff. We need more stuff in between if we're serious about repopulation and increasing density.

In more mixed news, the Metropolitan Building's day of reckoning is near. I hope they can save it, but if even Gilbert's people are walking away, I'm not so hopeful.

Quote:

Max Ortiz | The Detroit News

City weighs whether to restore or demolish Metropolitan Building

By Louis Aguilar | The Detroit News

September 17, 2013

Detroit — The city is taking steps to decide whether another big empty downtown building can be restored or should be demolished.

Bids are being accepted for removal of asbestos and hazardous materials in the city-owned Metropolitan Building, a 16-story site that has been tenantless for 36 years. It is at 33 John R between Broadway Street, near the Boll YMCA, and Woodward Avenue. The Gothic Revival building opened in 1925 and became offices for jewelers and watchmakers, according to the website HistoricDetroit.org.

The city has spent tens of thousands to keep it from being a public hazard. Three years ago, the city spent $60,000 to install scaffolding and netting to keep parts of the facade from falling off. About eight years ago, it spent about $25,000 to put plywood in the lower floor windows. Graffiti covers most of the lower exterior.

While the request for proposals that became available this week says “demolition project” in its title, Detroit Economic Growth Corp. officials said it is the first step in determining the building’s fate.

...

The building has been offered to Dan Gilbert’s Rock Ventures, one of the biggest landowners of downtown properties, but Gilbert’s people have turned down the offer.

“We’ve been in there several times and it is just not — it is in disrepair. Inside, it is so bad,” said Bruce Schwartz, Detroit relocation ambassador for Bedrock Real Estate Services, in an earlier interview with The Detroit News.

But Schwartz said Bedrock would be open to figuring out a way to save the building.
It's a very real possibility that downtown could lose both the Metropolitan and the adjacent Wurlitzer in the near-future, and this woud leave quite a hole in the streetscape, even though this aren't the most prominent locations in downtown.
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  #2007  
Old Posted Sep 18, 2013, 6:05 PM
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Hopefully they are spared. They add really great scale and interest to the downtown landscape. Personally I think both buildings are salvageable. They may not be in the best shape, but they have good bones to be superb residential buildings. Me personally, I'd love to have an apartment in the Metropolitan.
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  #2008  
Old Posted Sep 18, 2013, 6:14 PM
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Rendering for the new office tower.


http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article...troit-building
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  #2009  
Old Posted Sep 18, 2013, 6:16 PM
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From the same article as the rendering.

Quote:
Meridian Health Plan expected to move into 16-story Detroit building in 2017
September 18, 2013

By Kirk Pinho

Detroit-based Meridian Health Plan is expected to be the sole office tenant in the 320,000-square-foot new Detroit office tower being proposed by Livonia-based Schostak Bros. & Co.

Sean Cotton, Meridian's general counsel, said the company has signed a letter of intent for a lease of about 300,000 square feet of space in the $111-million, 16-story building under review for $27 million in tax incentives by the Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority board.

....
http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article...troit-building
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  #2010  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2013, 2:06 AM
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Not quite. It only has 41 floors of offices and over the last two to three years it has filled up pretty well. It's occupancy is probably at least 75%. As I understand Quicken Loan folks are on the lower floors, Law firms take up a couple of floors each, and PriceWaterhouseCoopers has taken all of the old Comerica space, plus a ad agency moved in.

As for the new building, hopefully this will finally be the impetus to renovate the vaudeville theater on Monroe.
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  #2011  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2013, 3:07 AM
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New office tower can be summed up in three words: better than nothing. The design is painfully 2003.
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  #2012  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2013, 7:20 AM
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I'd never even heard of Meridian Health. This really came out of nowhere.

As for the building, yeah, nothing groundbreaking, architecturally, but it's also better than what could have gone on the block. Schostak isn't exactly known for spending a lot of money on architects. I like the water element at the entrance, the balconies, and even the general massing of the whole thing. It's at least as tall as Compuware, which is a good scale for the square, below.

Lastly, it avoided my only real fear, and that's that the garage would find someway to intrude on the narrow frontage on the square (Detroit often finds a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory), so I don't really have much bad to say about it. And, symbolically, I think this will real provide a shot in the arm for new construction Class A office space, downtown. Everbody's kind of been waiting on the sidelines to see who'd take the first crack at it since the recession, and it looks like that company was Meridian Health. Hopefully, this gets Gilbert a bit more fired up to come up with something better for the Hudson's Block, which will be the next domino to fall.
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Last edited by LMich; Sep 19, 2013 at 7:30 AM.
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  #2013  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2013, 7:56 AM
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The only thing that irks me is that it doesn't seem to line up with Cadillac Tower. It's kinda hard to tell from the rendering, but it looks like there's an odd open triangular space there. I hope they put out some more renderings from other angles.
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  #2014  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2013, 7:59 AM
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Yeah, the building is oriented to Monroe as opposed to Cadillac Square. It really doesn't bother me personally, though. It'll hide the blank face of the Cadillac Tower well enough.
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  #2015  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2013, 12:31 PM
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I don't mind the rendering. Not spectacular, but not terrible IMO. I kind of like the terrace overlooking the park and what appears to be restaurant/cafeteria seating below. It'd be nice to be an employee there and have the opportunity to come out on lunch and people watch.
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  #2016  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2013, 7:26 PM
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And now we see the parking garage which actually isn't half bad. The greenery and open plaza is a nice touch and I guess it probably goes all the way through to that open area in the first rendering. Overall, this building has kind of exceeded my expectations and isn't as butt-ugly as I thought it might be (I don't even really remember my initial fears, tbh).



Via Curbed: http://detroit.curbed.com/archives/2...oating-ivy.php

Last edited by animatedmartian; Sep 19, 2013 at 7:45 PM.
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  #2017  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2013, 7:44 AM
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I'm glad to see the parking not just tucked away, but with ground floor retail. Really, this is coming out better than I thought.

Some more renderings courtesy of Schostak Bros. & Company:

Entrance:



Looking east-northeast from the other side of the square:



Still not sure about the ivy screen that spans the complex. It'd be happy just to see the ivy growing out of the garage, but maybe this will be well executed.
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  #2018  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2013, 9:40 AM
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I can genuinely say I'm excited for this building. The more I see of it, the more I come like it. It's good for what it is without being over the top.
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  #2019  
Old Posted Sep 22, 2013, 9:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LMich View Post
Yeah, the building is oriented to Monroe as opposed to Cadillac Square. It really doesn't bother me personally, though. It'll hide the blank face of the Cadillac Tower well enough.
I don't get it either. Why wouldn't the new building make an angle to stick to the Cadillac tower, contiguously so that nothing would bother the streetwall? It seems only a little space to fill in. Unless they plan some kind of alley or something there.
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  #2020  
Old Posted Sep 22, 2013, 11:50 PM
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Aerial views of WSU Multidisciplinary Biomedical Research Building aka the former Dalgleish Cadillac Building courtesy of iTVDetroit. Expected to be occupied by Janurary 2015.

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