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  #1001  
Old Posted Jun 25, 2010, 9:06 PM
illbred illbred is offline
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Anyone know how the demolition of abandoned houses is going in Detroit?
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  #1002  
Old Posted Aug 30, 2010, 5:24 AM
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August 2010 updates

Detroit's rebirth continues!

The big news:

http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article...FREE/100829903

Quote:
A critical piece of financing has been approved for a mixed-use development in Detroit's Midtown neighborhood.

The Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority approved a $1.7 million tax credit for a residential and retail project at the southeast corner of Cass Avenue and Canfield Street called the Auburn.

....


The Auburn will be built on a site that is vacant and blighted. It will include 54 market-rate, one-bedroom apartments units and four studio apartments. There will also be 11 retail units comprising 9,100 square feet.


=====

Also from the Crain's article:

Quote:
Also approved by the brownfield board was a $300,000 tax credit for the restoration of the former home of James A. Burgess Book, Jr. at 8469 E. Jefferson Ave.

The house will be the new home of the Ars Poetica Chamber Orchestra. The $1.5 million mixed-use development will also include other offices, a conservatory, an apartment and a retail music store.

The building was designed for J.B. Book by one of Detroit's well-known architects, Louis Kamper, and completed in 1911.


=====

Work has started at 23rd Street and Michigan Avenue, a former business district, converting the historic Grosfield Building into market-rate apartments/lofts. This is the first signs of life in this depressed district since the early 1990s, when the last bars & businesses closed. Nearby businesses include in the venerable Hygrade Deli, and just down the street is the sprawling 23rd Street Studios, a film studio which has seen an increase in business since the Film Tax Incentives started here in Michigan.



Plans viewable here:

http://www.eccodesigngroup.com/portf...ield-building/

The owners also quietly purchased a beautiful bank building & bar w/liquor license directly across the street, and put up signs on the building in an attempt to attract a new restaurant or business.
http://oconnordetroit.com/properties...415_mich/1.htm



=====

Up at the Detroit Medical Center, Vanguard has announced plans for an $895 million to $1 billion investment in the sprawling complex, adding new buildings and major upgrades to existing facilities. 5000 workers will be hired for construction, which will start in October. The largest addition will be this new wing of the Children's hospital:



For more details, read up at the DMC's website here:

http://www.dmc.org/?id=693&sid=1

Just down the street, crews are working hard to restore the historic Helen Newberry Nurses Home into apartments. This is an old photo. The building was totally gutted, roof included, and its interior is being completely rebuilt.


http://detroit1701.org/Helen%20Newbe...es%20Home.html
http://www.flickr.com/photos/71288712@N00/678436858

This is another 'supergreen' development in the vein of the recently-completed 71 E. Garfield.
http://www.modeldmedia.com/devnews/7...eld020210.aspx

This is all part of the recently-named "Sugar Hill Arts District" around Woodward & Garfield.



http://www.sugarhilldetroit.com/

=====

Detroit's Riverfront is seeing major work completed this year.

- The Dequindre Cut extension is finally complete, now connecting the Cut with the Riverwalk. The beautiful pathway runs right alongside the Globe Trading Company Building. Rumors have recently flown that the 1896 building, a former shipbuilding warehouse and one of Detroit's oldest industrial buildings (Henry Ford worked there as a teen), will be converted into a recreation center & rock climbing facility. Former plans called for its conversion into condos or lofts.





More on the Globe Trading Bldg plans here:
http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20100825/METRO/8250441/1361/Milliken-State-Park-gets-$25K-for-planned-playground#ixzz0xgIr94TA

- The Elevator Building is finally nearing completion. This landmark project is converting a 100-year old warehouse into retail, office, and studio spaces. Fronting a State Park and with direct access to the Dequindre Cut greenway, this project promises to be a success. Tenants have already put down deposits. The building is providing large work spaces, a common kitchen & bathroom area, and amenities like high-speed internet and 220V power.
http://elevatorbuilding.com/

- The former Franklin Furniture Building, an Albert Kahn-design warehouse building, has been beautifully converted into a new middle school, called the University Prep Science & Math Middle School, part of the much-lauded University Prep charter schools. Couldn't find a recent photo (the building is 90% finished and looks better than the render, but a render is below.
http://www.modeldmedia.com/developme...ts/mshigh.aspx

Render:


=====

Other projects:

- At The Lodge & Martin Luther King Boulevard, on a gigantic parcel of empty land (once the home of the Jeffries East projects) workers are putting in a sewer system & streets for a future condo/housing development, along the lines of the Woodbridge Estates development to the northeast of it. Plans call for 180 units of mixed-income housing.

- In Midtown, work is completed in the 'green alley' on 2nd between Prentis & Canfield; the "Green Garage" just had its new windows installed; and Motor City Brewing Works has a new rear entrance. Read about the 'green' projects here:
http://www.greengaragedetroit.com/in...itle=Main_Page

- 3 historic Detroit Public schools have been targeted for $60 million in upgrades & renovations.
http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/24391062/detail.html
http://dpsschoolconstruction.org/

=====
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  #1003  
Old Posted Sep 5, 2010, 7:57 PM
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Thanks for the great update. I'm inspired to take some pics of these different projects when I get the chance.
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  #1004  
Old Posted Oct 5, 2010, 10:37 PM
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Lots of very good news for Detroit over the last couple of weeks.


Quicken shops around for space in downtown Detroit
By JOHN GALLAGHER
FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER


Quicken Loans founder and chairman Dan Gilbert is shopping around for distressed skyscrapers in downtown Detroit.

Two real estate professionals told the Free Press today that Gilbert is looking seriously at the 1920s-era First National Building on Woodward Avenue near Campus Martius Park and is looking at several other buildings as well. One of the professionals said Gilbert has taken an option on the First National Building, which is in foreclosure.


http://www.freep.com/article/2010100...downtown-space



Fallon, Cadillac's new ad agency, to open RenCen office
By Chrissie Thompson
FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER



Fallon, Cadillac’s new advertising agency, has opened an office on the 15th floor of the Renaissance Center’s 400 tower, adding up to 50 new Detroit jobs.


http://www.freep.com/article/2010100...nCen-ad-office


Unity Studios Moving to Detroit’s Creative Corridor

Film productions, training program to continue in City of Detroit
Contact:
Eric Cedo
313-492-9090
eric@unitystudiosmichigan.com

Unity Studios is relocating to the City of Detroit, studio officials announced today. Initial plans to build sound stages and production offices in the City of Allen Park will move forward in Detroit. “We’re very excited to be moving to the City of Detroit and to be a part of Detroit’s emerging Creative Corridor,” said Jimmy Lifton, President of Unity Studios. “Having trained over 200 people, filmed 3 feature films, and put over 150 people to work on various projects, we are doing all we can to play a part in Detroit’s developing film industry.”

http://unitystudiosmichigan.com/2010...ng-to-detroit/

September 30, 2010 3:06 PM
Wonderstruck Studios leases space at Ford Field, source says
By Bill Shea

A delayed deal is expected to be announced soon that Wonderstruck Studios L.L.C., a digital animation company, has leased space at Ford Field, a source familiar with the situation told Crain’s.

Studio owner Michele Richards declined to comment today.

Wonderstruck originally was going to buy the old MGM Casino site and turn it into an animation studio, but that deal broke down in mid-2009 and the backers turned to a lease option at Ford Field

http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article...ld-source-says


And last but certainly not least:


Last Updated: October 05. 2010 5:42PM .
Davidson, Ilitch negotiating sale of Detroit Pistons
Vincent Goodwill and Darren Nichols / The Detroit News

Mike Ilitch is making a pitch to become the only owner to hold three major professional sports franchises in North America.

Sources familiar with the situation have told The Detroit News the Pistons are negotiating exclusively with Ilitch Holdings within a 30-day window with an eye toward a new downtown arena for the Pistons and Red Wings.
http://www.detnews.com/article/20101...etroit-Pistons
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  #1005  
Old Posted Oct 6, 2010, 12:04 PM
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Great things are afoot in the Motor City.
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  #1006  
Old Posted Oct 9, 2010, 3:58 AM
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Mysterious movements continue around Cass Park...

Quote:



Midtown land deals multiply

Louis Aguilar / The Detroit News

October 07, 2010

Detroit — Four more properties have been sold in a blighted area of lower Midtown where 18 parcels already have been bought or optioned in the past two years, furthering speculation that land is being gathered for a major development like a new arena or light-rail line.

Longtime city developer Dennis Kefallinos confirmed Wednesday he has sold four parcels to an unknown buyer, including two large empty buildings on the corner of Temple Street and Cass Avenue.

...

Sports consultants have said it might be easier for Ilitch to get financing to build a new arena if it housed both the Red Wings and another team like the Pistons because it would generate two separate streams of revenue.

Plans for light-rail transit along Woodward from Hart Plaza to Eight Mile also could be fueling the land speculation.

Kefallinos said he worked through a broker who wouldn’t reveal the client’s identity.

...
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  #1007  
Old Posted Oct 20, 2010, 7:57 AM
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Depending on where you fall this is either good or bad news. To me, this was probably one of the hardest reuses in the city, and the DPD totally let the place go to hell when it didn't have to. A school that's been closed for only 5 or so years looks like one of those ruins left to rot for decades. What a d@mned shame.

Quote:

Old Cass Tech to be razed

Shawn D. Lewis / The Detroit News

October 19, 2010

Detroit — Preliminary razing of the old Cass Technical High School, which closed in 2005, will begin Nov 1.

Extensive demolition will begin in June 2011, after school is out for summer vacation, and completion is slated for August 2011.

Since closing, the building has been subject to vandalism and fires, including one in 2007 in which two firefighters and two police officers were injured.

Demolition work will include the leveling the building and capping off utilities, sidewalks, curbs and gutters. The work will make way for use of the site by the existing adjacent school for athletics and additional parking. The project will include targeted salvage of historical artifacts and markers.

"This demolition allows us to remove a structure that has, unfortunately, blighted the neighborhood since closure and has been a danger to the community," said Robert Bobb, Detroit Public Schools' emergency financial manager. "But we are pleased that we can preserve various artifacts and bricks from the original Cass Technical High School building to honor the rich legacy of this school."

Two entry arches, plaques, a relief sculpture and other artifacts from the old Cass Tech will be preserved at the current school. Also to be preserved are bricks from the demolished school.

...

DPS, with the Detroit Public Schools Foundation, has launched a program to preserve and restore bricks from selected schools being demolished, allowing the artifacts to be sold to raise funds for schools.

Bricks from Cass Technical, Finney, Mumford and Chadsey high schools will be saved. Contractors will be responsible for removing the bricks from the sites, and the DPS Foundation has committed to securing a private firm that will package the bricks for fundraising.


...
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  #1008  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2010, 2:43 PM
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Land near Temple Bar mysteriously bought up

Two derelict properties went for $670,000

Louis Aguilar The Detroit News / The Detroit News

The Temple Bar opened in Detroit's Cass Corridor during the Depression, and nearly 70 years later the surrounding neighborhood has collapsed.

The olive-colored bar front blends into an area of boarded-up structures, but its interior is clean and well-maintained. The bar still manages to attract an eclectic clientele. Across the street, though, the former American Hotel closed more than a decade ago. The former drugstore next door went out of business maybe two decades ago.

The neighborhood is so sketchy the front door of the bar is always locked — patrons have to be electronically buzzed in by the bartender.

The Temple Bar appears to be one of the last holdouts in a mysterious real estate buying frenzy, surrounded by 22 mostly empty or blighted parcels that have been bought or optioned since September 2008 by various entities.

While scant public information is available, the investors have paid as much as $670,000 for two derelict properties in an area where the median annual household income is $8,317.

Owner George Boukas seems willing to sell the property that his family has owned off and on since the 1930s and relocate if he gets the right offer. He was courted with a secretive offer, too, but now he's not sure where it stands.

"Of course, everyone assumes this is where the new arena will be built, but now I'm hearing (developer Al Taubman) wants to build a mall next to the arena. And last week, I heard someone got $2 million" for a nearby property, Boukas said. "I know all that sounds crazy, but look at all that unbelievable stuff that's gone on already. Someone is thinking big."

Metro Detroit real estate experts agree, saying the amount of land being accumulated in the area and the high sales prices mean someone is trying to get enough property to build something big — like a sports venue or even a light-rail line.

That includes the most recent sale of the former American Hotel, along with the weedy lot next to it, and the former drugstore. The blighted properties were bought by the same entity that paid $650,000 for another empty building in January 2009 on Temple Street, just around the corner from the bar, and made the seller sign a confidentiality agreement about the deal.

The hot spot is several blocks north of the Fox Theatre, headquarters of Ilitch Holdings Inc., and the Comerica Park and Ford Field stadiums. Next to the area being purchased or optioned is four empty blocks of Woodward owned by the city.

Mike Ilitch, billionaire founder of a pizza, sports and entertainment empire, has indicated he wants to build a new arena downtown for his Detroit Red Wings. And now Ilitch is the leading bidder to buy the Detroit Pistons, which could share a new arena with the Wings if Ilitch succeeds in buying the team.

The Ilitches control the Masonic Temple, which is a half-block away from the Temple Bar. The MotorCity Casino, owned by Marian Ilitch, is farther west of the bar on Grand River.

City of Detroit and Ilitch Holdings officials say they are bound by confidentiality agreements not to talk about the details of a possible new arena. There are no public plans for the swath of land around the Temple Bar.

Boukas' experience with negotiating with a real estate broker adds to the mystery of the surrounding property purchases. The offer was unsolicited and "aggressive," he said.

Earlier this year, a broker named George Mellish walked into the bar and asked Boukas what it would take for him to sell. Boukas had bought the bar back from a non-family member in 1988. The broker wouldn't say who he represented, Boukas said.

The offer was not just to buy the bar, but included finding a Midtown site for the bar to relocate and payment for the move, he said. The two sides were at odds about the relocation costs, and Boukas said he initially refused the offer, thinking he would get a counter offer.

Then Mellish died.

Since Boukas never knew whom Mellish represented, he doesn't know whom to contact. Now he is left wondering where he stands.

"I'm ecstatic of what's happening," said Boukas, referring to the acquisitions in the neighborhood. "I'm nervous as hell about what it means for me. But you can't be a world-class city if you can't attract new people or business."

Boukas has reason to sell. Many customers have moved away from the area, he said.

"There's not that much of an immediate neighborhood now" to draw from, Boukas said.

There aren't many details about the most recent sales near the bar. The former American Hotel and the former drugstore were sold by local developer Dennis Kefallinos, who said he worked through a broker. Kefallinos said he felt uncomfortable publicly identifying the broker.

The official buyer is listed as a Coldwater firm called Temple Commons LLC, according to Wayne County records. A purchase price wasn't disclosed. That LLC is traced back to CSC-Lawyers Incorporated Services Co., which has an East Lansing address.
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  #1009  
Old Posted Nov 17, 2010, 2:02 PM
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Amphitheater to replace an eyesore
Detroit to raze old Ford Auditorium

http://www.freep.com/article/2010111...ace-an-eyesore

Quote:

By STEVE NEAVLING
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER

Ford Auditorium, once home to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and a destination for pop music concerts, famous speeches and theatrical productions, is expected to be demolished as early as May.

City officials hope the demolition of the vacant downtown waterfront venue on Hart Plaza will make way for a 5,000-seat amphitheater with a sprawling lawn.

"This is a symbol, in many ways, of blight in the city," Dan Lijana, spokesman for Mayor Dave Bing, said of the auditorium. "The mayor has been very clear that he is committed to having people see and feel the progress in the city."

Built in 1955, the auditorium was revered for its state-of-the-art recording system, but bad acoustics dogged it from its opening.

Finally, in 1989, the DSO returned to its former home, Orchestra Hall, because musicians couldn't hear one another on stage at the Ford Auditorium.

The venue closed in 1990.

Retired DSO bassoonist Paul Ganson, the orchestra's historian, said the auditorium deserves its reputation for poor acoustics.

It was simply too big and the wrong shape for an orchestra, he said.

"It was built as a multipurpose auditorium with a wide-band shape, which is opposite the traditional shoe-box setting that's considered ideal," said Ganson, who noted that the building functioned well for many other civic purposes.

Among the most famous speeches delivered there was one by Malcolm X in 1965. It was his last public address outside New York before his death.

Questions remain about what treasures are inside. An Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ installed in 1957 for $100,000 is believed to be collecting dust, according to the Detroit chapter of the American Guild of Organists.

"They need to save that," said Carolyn Thibideau, a member of the guild who says she was the last person to play the organ.

Recognizing the auditorium's historic significance, Lijana said that the city plans to salvage as many of the auditorium's interior gems as possible.

By the end of the month, the city expects to begin accepting bids for demolition. The cost is unknown, but the city plans to use existing federal funds to pay for demolition.
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  #1010  
Old Posted Nov 17, 2010, 3:21 PM
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Why couldn't the old Cass Tech be reused? What a gorgeous building! Lack of imagination? No market demand? Damn shame indeed!
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  #1011  
Old Posted Nov 19, 2010, 5:17 AM
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.....................

Last edited by 213; Nov 19, 2010 at 5:35 AM.
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  #1012  
Old Posted Nov 19, 2010, 5:34 AM
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Cass Tech's best qualities -- its scale, its age, its wondrous design -- are its fatal liabilities. To adaptively rehabilitate it would be a difficult business case in just about any scenario.

Like MCS, CT's best rehabilitative option would be as a facility of government. But given the general state o' things these days...

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  #1013  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2010, 8:34 AM
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Slows BBQ owner Phil Cooley aims to revitalize Roosevelt Park, in the shadow of Detroit's hulking Michigan Central Station.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/1..._n_784906.html



Quote:
For many, Detroit, known for its high unemployment rates and arguably dysfunctional local government, is the face of American urban decay. For Phillip Cooley, the young proprietor of Slows Bar BQ, a popular eatery there, Detroit is a city of opportunity.

Cooley, a former model who worked in places like Barcelona, Paris, Tokyo, and New York City, before moving back to Michigan to open his restaurant, bemoans the dearth of commercial options in his city: "Detroit is starved for commercial and small businesses," he says. "There's no Starbucks, and mostly mom and pop shops." But where Detroit lacks, he says, there is room for massive revitalization, for building businesses, seeding ideas, and, giving back on a very local level.

As the owner of his own small businesses, Cooley himself only works an actual 10-15 hours a week, which allows him more than enough time to volunteer. His current big project: transforming Detroit's Roosevelt Park. "We need more green space, more interacting with each other out of our homes," says Cooley of his focus on changing public spaces.

So far, $300,000 has been invested in landscaping, and another $200,000 went into creating a parking lot for the park. Another $50,000 has been raised so far for the next addition: a skate park that will consist of massive, skateable letters spelling out "Roosevelt Park." Slows has been a major financial donor (along with many others) for these projects.

Cooley also points to Detroit's Heidelberg Project, which promotes social change by transforming a previously crime-ridden neighborhood into what is now an art-covered tourist attraction (one house is draped with smiling stuffed animals, another painted with bright, multi-colored dots), as a prime example of urban renewal.
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"The crackheads you once worried about when your children were walking to school are out of there because there's so much traffic," says Cooley. He helps out by organizing events and fundraisers to introduce new people to the project, making fliers, providing generators, and collecting purveyors for the annual street festival.

But, there are challenges. "Detroit is a huge city segregated by abandoned structures and abandoned lands, so connecting our city is very difficult," he notes.

Cooley currently sits on seven advisory boards, including the ACLU of Southeastern Michigan, The Architectural Salvage Warehouse of Detroit, and The Center for Community Based Enterprise. This is all in addition to co-owning Slows BBQ restaurant, and real estate and development firm, O'Connor (he founded both with his brother).

"I can't imagine leaving anytime soon," he says. "In a sense, this is utopia."
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  #1014  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2010, 8:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Busy Bee View Post
Why couldn't the old Cass Tech be reused? What a gorgeous building! Lack of imagination? No market demand? Damn shame indeed!
No, just no. It needed to be torn down it was ridiculously out of shape and blocking the gorgeous new building behind it.
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  #1015  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2011, 1:44 AM
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This is actually the Cass Tech building being torn down?



I'm actually glad I didn't spend any time in Detroit when I passed through it two weeks ago... I'd rather not be aware of the extent to which nice architecture is bulldozed there. What a shame... Do people really believe new parking lots will help the downtown core in the long term? Wow.

Although I couldn't help but notice Michigan Central station was still standing (it's very visible from the bridge) for now...
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  #1016  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2011, 9:10 PM
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Years of effort lands $50M for redevelopment of Broderick Tower
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Source: Fred Beal, JC Beal Construction
Writer: Kelli B. Kavanaugh


Construction is really and truly underway at the 34-story Broderick Tower, long one of Downtown's most visible mostly-vacant skyscrapers. While other redevelopment schemes have been announced in the past, this time the project is a sure thing, says Fred Beal of JC Beal Construction, a member of the development team. "We did not announce the project this time until 100% of the financing was arranged," he says. "This is the real deal."


http://www.modeldmedia.com/devnews/broderick011111.aspx

This is probably downtown's most iconic vacant building, towering over Woodward, the stadia and foxtown for all to see. I think it's redevelopment will send a strong message that downtowns renaissance is moving forward.
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  #1017  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2011, 7:26 AM
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I agree. Symbolically, this is one of the better projects to get done given the location. It's hard to miss. And, from and urban planning perspective, it's impossible to see how this won't spur development along Lower Woodward and help to continue to reconnect the financial district and Foxtown.
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  #1018  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2011, 2:06 PM
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wow, really great friggin news..... for once
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  #1019  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2011, 6:26 AM
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Well, here's some more...

Quote:


File photo of the David Whitney Building in 2003. (David P. Gilkey/Detroit Free Press)

Detroit's David Whitney Building in line for renovation

By John Gallagher
Free Press Business Writer

January 12, 2011

Detroit's dormant David Whitney Building is in line for renovation as a mixed-use project under a plan approved today by the city's Downtown Development Authority.

The elegant 18-story tower at Woodward and Grand Circus Park was designed by famed Chicago architect Daniel Burnham. It opened in 1915 and originally was home to downtown doctors and dentists. But it has stood empty for many years amid several previous renovation attempts that went nowhere.

The DDA approved a plan to provide a $1-million loan to help Whitney Partners LLC buy the tower as part of the building's $3.3 million purchase price.

Whitney Partners LLC includes the Roxbury Group, a Detroit real estate investment group, and Trans Inn Management Inc., a Farmington Hills-based real estate company with investments in more than a dozen states.

David Di Rita, a partner in the Roxbury Group, told the DDA that plans include restoring the Whitney's original classical architectural ornament that was stripped away a half-century ago.

Combined with work on the nearby David Broderick Tower, a project that closed on its construction financing recently, the Whitney project will help restore a gateway to downtown at Grand Circus Park.
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  #1020  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2011, 5:02 PM
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Here's a small rundown of Midtown:

71 Garfield in the Sugar Hill block renovation:

Website: www.sugarhilldetroit.com

Studio One apartments on Woodward:

Website: www.studio1apartments.com

Midmed Lofts and adjacent retail:

Website: www.midmedlofts.com

55 West Canfield:

Website: www.55westcanfield.com

The Green Alley demonstration project with the Green Garage still under renovation:

Website: www.greengaragedetroit.com

The 1898 Helen Newberry Nurses Home being renovated into apartments:

Website: N/A

4160 Cass being renovated into retail units:

Website: N/A

Detroit's famous Slow's BBQ added a new "Slows to Go" location:

Website: ww.slowstogo.com

Curl Up & Dye opened a little over a year ago:

Website: www.curlupanddyedetroit.com

In the grand scheme of things, Avalon hasn't been around for very long, but it's already a midtown institution:

Website: www.avalonbreads.net

The Burton Theatre is an independent art house theater in an old school building:

Website: www.burtontheatre.com

Canine to Five is a daycare for pets that opened not too long ago:

Website: www.caninetofivedetroit.com
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