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  #4841  
Old Posted Jun 13, 2018, 12:22 AM
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Originally Posted by LMich View Post
BTW, MDOT stopped leasing the cars that had been sitting in Owosso after the legislature through a fit about the lease payments and were essentially threatening to defund MDOT's rail office. The commuter rail is contingent on the RTA getting off the ground, and after the narrow defeat of the millage in 2016, it looks like we won't even get the board to put a millage on the ballot, this year.

It's going to take a change of government in Lansing, this year, before I think advocates voices will be prominently featured in improving all kinds of non-automobile transit projects, again.
I wasn’t aware this had happened with the MiTrain project. Hopefully commuter rail will be an option again. It would be amazing to have commuter lines out to Ann Arbor, Pontiac and Chesterfield Township or possibly even Port Huron using MCS as the central Detroit station. A bus station could be built adjacent to the station as well serving SMART and DDOT. Could add a Mega Bus stop as well. I’m definitely getting ahead of myself here, but it’d truly be amazing to see MCS as a modern intermodal station.

Something interesting to note, MCS was one of Detroit's very last unused high rises/skyscrapers that had no plans for redevelopment. The only other ones I can think of off the top of my head are the Lee Plaza, which has an RFP out, Executive Plaza on the downtown/Corktown border, and Whittier Towers in Indian Village. Both Executive Plaza and the Whittier would be easy renovations as they've both been kept vacant with electricity and the demand for office space and residential, respectively, is both there at present.
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  #4842  
Old Posted Jun 13, 2018, 4:16 PM
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It would be nice to have the lower level of the train station open to the public, such a large space...The Return of the Ford Rotunda?

Has Ford put up any signage yet? guard shack?
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  #4843  
Old Posted Jun 13, 2018, 5:36 PM
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Ford said yesterday that they are making a goal of keeping the old waiting room accessible to the public. It'd be hard for me to imagine them not doing this; I'm sure they'll want to be showing it off. You'd expect some kind of exhibition space/showroom at the very least to show off the autos they will be developing there.

Looking through some recent city council agenda items:

1. The owners of the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Downtown Detroit looks to have started filing for incentives and such for the redo of the property at Washintgon and Michigan. A June 7 communication has them seeking a Commercial Redevelopment District designation, which freezes the taxable value of a property usually for the max of 12 years while improvements are being made to the property.

2. There has been a formal request for the rezoning of 74 Garfield (currently a parking lot) for the development of a building of 35 apartments, a few commercial units and 4,000 square feet of ground floor retail. The building would only contain 27 parking spaces, which is well below what is required, which is why the developer is requesting a rezoning to the more flexible PU district (Planned Unit) instead of a more conventional mixed-use district. The infill building would be 49'-7" to its parapet and of modern design.

3. The city planning commission last night one again recommended for approval the Special District Review for the 28-story second tower for the Crowne Plaza Hotel at the foot of Washington. This had originally been recommended for approval by the planning commission in early March, but someone raised to the city council some code violations and issues with the existing hotel, which caused the city council to send this back to the city planning commission for further review. After extracting a plan to deal with the issues, the planning commission once again recommend the city council approve the special district review. A reminder about this project: It includes a new 28-story tower, which includes 9 store parking base with ground floor retail on top of which will be 29 floors of guestrooms totally 494 rooms. Aside from the retail in the base of the new parking garage will be 18,000 square feet of additional hotel amenities (meeting space, office space, and additional retail space) on the second floor of the expansion. The new hotel will be of a different franchise than the existing Crowne Plaza.

4. A Bedrock subsidiary is requesting the approval of a Commercial Rehabilitation Exemption Certificate for the renovation of the lower floors of the David Stott Building. The developer wants to redevelop the lower six floors into ground floor retail and commercial space on the five floors above that. The developer has already filed seperately for a Neighborhood Enterprise Zone for the residential usage above that in floors 7-35. So the residential renovation and exterior work started first (Spring 2017), and now it looks like Bedrock has nailed down or is close to nailing down tenants for the commercial space, which they expect to be open for occupancy by October. The commercial space is 34,482 square feet while the residential usage takes up 183,113 square feet.
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  #4844  
Old Posted Jun 13, 2018, 5:53 PM
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3. The city planning commission last night one again recommended for approval the Special District Review for the 28-story second tower for the Crowne Plaza Hotel at the foot of Washington. This had originally been recommended for approval by the planning commission in early March, but someone raised to the city council some code violations and issues with the existing hotel, which caused the city council to send this back to the city planning commission for further review. After extracting a plan to deal with the issues, the planning commission once again recommend the city council approve the special district review. A reminder about this project: It includes a new 28-story tower, which includes 9 store parking base with ground floor retail on top of which will be 29 floors of guestrooms totally 494 rooms. Aside from the retail in the base of the new parking garage will be 18,000 square feet of additional hotel amenities (meeting space, office space, and additional retail space) on the second floor of the expansion. The new hotel will be of a different franchise than the existing Crowne Plaza.

That's pretty substantial. Potentially a new ~300' tower viewable from the standard Windsor skyline perspective. Hopefully they change up the design because I personally find the Crowne Plaza to be abhorrent.
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  #4845  
Old Posted Jun 13, 2018, 6:02 PM
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It's proposed at a height of 327 feet. Unfortunately, preliminary renderings show it being done in the same design as the existing tower.
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  #4846  
Old Posted Jun 13, 2018, 6:03 PM
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Speaking of the Cobo area, is anyone else incredibly disappointed with the way Cobo turned out? I remember when the renderings came out how excited I was that Detroit would be getting this sleak, new-looking exhibition space. And don't get me wrong, I think the interior turned out fantastic. But I feel like I got duped by the pretty renderings of the exterior but honestly I think it was just super poorly executed.
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  #4847  
Old Posted Jun 13, 2018, 6:51 PM
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It turned out pretty much exactly like the renders, I think you're forgetting how bad it was before.
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  #4848  
Old Posted Jun 13, 2018, 6:56 PM
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It turned out pretty much exactly like the renders, I think you're forgetting how bad it was before.
Yeah, if anything, it turned out way better than I expected.

In other news, this is crazy and expected.

Quote:

Cameron Pollack, Detroit Free Press

Lot near Detroit train station for sale, listed at $2M

By Allie Gross and Randy Essex, Detroit Free Press

June 13, 2018

That was fast.

Everyone knew that Ford's purchase of the Michigan Central Station on the western edge of Corktown would dramatically boost property values in the area, the question being how much and how soon.

Just a day after the sale to Ford from the Moroun family was announced, Dominick Procopio with Re/Max listed an 8,712-square-foot vacant lot across the street from the train station for sale for $2 million.
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  #4849  
Old Posted Jun 13, 2018, 7:04 PM
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It turned out pretty much exactly like the renders, I think you're forgetting how bad it was before.
Definitely not forgetting since you can still see most of it as it was. From the side view I thought they’d be covering up the front, too, but alas they did not.
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  #4850  
Old Posted Jun 13, 2018, 7:51 PM
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I was actually thinking the same think last week the cut-out areas that were replaced by glass & the digital projection screens seemed like they would have a bigger effect on changing Cobo into something new & shiny looking.

It looks much better in & out but it's still Cobo the end result was a bit more underwhelming than I expected but when the Joe gets redeveloped they have a chance to open up the back side and add some interesting new aspects to Cobo Hall if they go with the hotel - convention space option. Unfortunately the only renderings available are from 2016 and the quality is pretty crappy.
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  #4851  
Old Posted Jun 14, 2018, 6:47 AM
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It's proposed at a height of 327 feet. Unfortunately, preliminary renderings show it being done in the same design as the existing tower.
Could you post the preliminary renderings? I can't find them though a Google search for some reason.
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  #4852  
Old Posted Jun 14, 2018, 11:38 AM
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Could you post the preliminary renderings? I can't find them though a Google search for some reason.
Because for whatever reason on god's green earth the city still badly scans its agenda packets...everything starts on page 25, and the prelim renderings start on page 33:

http://www.detroitmi.gov/Portals/0/d...-12-163423-763

The design may end up looking entirely different, though. In any case, it looks like Stephen Berry Architectural Design will be the project architects. They did the renovation of the existing hotel a few years back.

EDIT: Actually wrote the planning commission this morning, and to my surprise they got right back to me with the preliminary renderings. I asked them why they can't just look like that in the city council packets. Still awaiting a response. lol





At the very least it fills the corner and adds some density and will have retail on the ground and second floors.
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  #4853  
Old Posted Jun 14, 2018, 6:49 PM
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I've had some worries about the project doing a modern version of a planned 60s twinning because I'm still of two minds on whether or not I like the renovation. At the time of its closing The Pontchartrain was looking a bit tired I like that it was freshened up & replacing the black glass with black may not have had the same effect but too much black and green doesn't look good.

I'm pleasantly surprised that the planning commission was so forth coming and so prompt seems like a good sign for the direction the organization is headed.

Anyone remember when Redico bought 150 W Jefferson with the eye to develop something on top of the parking garage? I looked it up and found the article but not much there after. Perhaps they are holding off with all the planned and current high-rise construction downtown right now.


Quote:
Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority to get $500,000 for brownfield cleanup

By Associated Press
Crain's Detroit Business
June 10, 2018

The EPA said the funding is part of a program that helps communities reuse vacant and abandoned properties by making them available for housing, recreation, open space, health facilities, social services and other opportunities.

About $16 million is planned for 33 successful entities in the revolving loan fund.

The "funds will ensure more cleanups are completed and more land can be returned to beneficial reuse," EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said in a news release.

The port authority is based in Detroit. It works to advance maritime and related industries in Southeast Michigan for economic benefit to residents and business.

It was awarded $720,000 by the EPA in 2016 and received a couple of redevelopment proposals that did not pan out, said Kyle Burleson, executive director of the port authority. He said the agency's plan is to place the money by the end of the year for redevelopment projects.

"One of the issues we are finding is that there are so many giant projects going on downtown — $100 million projects for example — that the long process for $720,000 almost isn't worth it for them," Burleson said, adding that he is confident the money will find its way to the right development project.

A recent national study shows that cleaning up brownfields leads to residential property value increases of 5 percent to 15.2 percent within a 1.24-mile radius of the site. Another study analyzing data near 48 brownfields found that an estimated $29 million to $97 million in additional tax revenue is generated for local governments in a single year after cleanup. This is two to seven times more than the $12.4 million EPA contributed to the cleanup of those brownfields.
http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article...for-brownfield


Quote:
JPMorgan Chase grants $1.55 million to TechTown, financial assistance groups

By ANNALISE FRANK
Crain's Detroit Business
June 12, 2018

-Two-year investments to be discussed at Detroit Startup Week
-Funds will support funding assistance, training for small businesses
-New York-based bank has committed $150 million to Detroit development, stabilization

The investments, each two years in term, are part of the $150 million JPMorgan Chase has committed to Detroit economic development and neighborhood stabilization, starting about three years ago.

Technology startup incubator TechTown in Detroit's Midtown will get $780,000 to support growing its Retail Boot Camp development program to twice yearly, according to a JPMorgan news release. TechTown also expects to use the funding to help businesses it serves increase their revenue and prepare to take advantage of monetary resources such as grants and loans.

Detroit-based capital access assistance organization the Accounting Aid Society is to receive $410,000, which it'll use to network and share resources with other nonprofits, create a fee-for-service mode and offer tax preparation services and access to credits for residents of the city's North End, the release said.

With its $360,000, the nonprofit Great Lakes Women's Business Council plans to help 20 additional women-owned small businesses in Detroit with advice and training on sales growth, hiring, meeting goals and financial options, according to the release. JPMorgan Chase has invested $1 million in the nonprofit council over the last 12 years.

"Local entrepreneurs are one of the most important drivers of Detroit's economy. They are creating jobs and economic opportunity and attracting talent and investment," Janis Bowdler, head of the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, said in an emailed statement.
http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article...ial-assistance


Quote:
Avalon to open grab-and-go cafe in new Mike Ilitch School of Business

By ANNALISE FRANK
Crain's Detroit Business
June 11, 2018

-700-square-foot cafe with small seating area, serving breakfast and lunch
-To open for public and Wayne State students by end of August
-Detroit bakery recently opened cafe and biscuit bar in New Center


Quote:
Avalon International Breads is growing its Detroit presence yet again with a cafe and grab-and-go station in the new Wayne State University Mike Ilitch School of Business.

The university plans to move its 200 business school faculty and staff into the newly constructed building on Woodward Avenue next to Little Caesars Arena in Midtown by Friday and start offering classes there this fall.

The Detroit-based bakery expects to open its latest cafe sometime before Aug. 29 — the date the fall semester starts, according to a Monday news release from Wayne State.
http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article...ol-of-business


Not new news but a better rendering of the broader plan.

Quote:
City clusters commercial corridor plans around Kercheval in Villages, Islandview

By ANNALISE FRANK
Crain's Detroit Business
June 12, 2018

-East-side area already has strong housing market, city says
-Framework centers on road and park improvements, adding affordable housing
-Plans include new mixed-use construction, Butzel Playfield revamp




Quote:
The city of Detroit expects $5 million in public projects and more than 230 residential units to take shape over the next several years in a concentrated section of the city's east side.

The city recently expanded its Strategic Neighborhood Fund to improve areas outside downtown, and has drawn up a framework for the Villages and Islandview neighborhoods north of Belle Isle Park. The planning department revealed several projects at a community meeting Thursday.

Like in other neighborhoods, city planners want to create an inviting area to shop and live by making streets more walkable and lining them with businesses. They are pairing commercial plans with nearby housing, calling for developers to join in millions of dollars worth of mixed-use projects and home renovations.

Investments orbit around a section of Kercheval Avenue that runs through Islandview and West Village that's recently drawn more commercial tenants and real estate investment.

"We think that Kercheval will emerge over time as their own neighborhood downtown," Detroit Planning Director Maurice Cox said.
http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article...al-in-villages
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  #4854  
Old Posted Jun 14, 2018, 7:56 PM
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I used to split my time between Lansing and a house on Van Dyke in 14/15 when I was working between the two cities. At the time, I knew the area was ripe for infill and redevelopment, but it seemed like quite a ways out besides the small pocket of businesses on Agnes. I knew several people in the neighborhoods who were buying huge houses on land contract from a woman in the neighborhood who owned dozens of houses. I know they all got them for a song, and if they were ever to sell them in this era, would make piles of cash. Anyway, I really loved that area immensely and considered buying a place there myself had an opportunity not come up in Portland. However, I am a bit surprised that it is moving along this quickly. Happy to see it, though.
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  #4855  
Old Posted Jun 14, 2018, 8:40 PM
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I know what you mean I've been doing research in the city land bank what steps are required to purchase certain lots. I'm hoping to make something happen this over the next month or two before the area gets designated as part of the neighborhood improvement plan but I know it's not going to be easy and I don't want to bite off more than I can chew at once.
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  #4856  
Old Posted Jun 14, 2018, 10:42 PM
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Because for whatever reason on god's green earth the city still badly scans its agenda packets...everything starts on page 25, and the prelim renderings start on page 33:

http://www.detroitmi.gov/Portals/0/d...-12-163423-763

The design may end up looking entirely different, though. In any case, it looks like Stephen Berry Architectural Design will be the project architects. They did the renovation of the existing hotel a few years back.

EDIT: Actually wrote the planning commission this morning, and to my surprise they got right back to me with the preliminary renderings. I asked them why they can't just look like that in the city council packets. Still awaiting a response. lol





At the very least it fills the corner and adds some density and will have retail on the ground and second floors.
Love the photos, but my favorite is one from the commission report with the view of both The Crown Plaza And Downtown. Can you post the photos sent to you into the Crown Plaza proposal thread?
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  #4857  
Old Posted Jun 15, 2018, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by LMich View Post
Because for whatever reason on god's green earth the city still badly scans its agenda packets...everything starts on page 25, and the prelim renderings start on page 33:

http://www.detroitmi.gov/Portals/0/d...-12-163423-763

The design may end up looking entirely different, though. In any case, it looks like Stephen Berry Architectural Design will be the project architects. They did the renovation of the existing hotel a few years back.

At the very least it fills the corner and adds some density and will have retail on the ground and second floors.
The troubling thing I found in the planning doc was with the sections of the proposed building. Per the plans half of the new tower (up to floor 9 by my count) will be a parking garage. Yet the renderings show glass curtain wall the whole height of the tower as if it were all hotel rooms. In the final product the parking will not be enclosed in the same curtain wall system as the building. This vision is likely to change and for the worse I'm afraid.

Sorry for the potato quality. I grabbed it from the pdf so blame the city.

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  #4858  
Old Posted Jun 15, 2018, 1:30 PM
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  #4859  
Old Posted Jun 15, 2018, 1:39 PM
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Originally Posted by detroit_alive View Post
The troubling thing I found in the planning doc was with the sections of the proposed building. Per the plans half of the new tower (up to floor 9 by my count) will be a parking garage. Yet the renderings show glass curtain wall the whole height of the tower as if it were all hotel rooms. In the final product the parking will not be enclosed in the same curtain wall system as the building. This vision is likely to change and for the worse I'm afraid.

Sorry for the potato quality. I grabbed it from the pdf so blame the city.

The clearer versions show that they cut out a few floors with "ditto" marks so they don't have to render the whole thing; you can tell if you count visually that they aren't rendering every floor in the elevation drawings. Again, parking it only on floors three through 9. Another interesting thing is that for the to two or three floors of the garage they'll face it in the same glass as for the hotel floors so as not to make the base look too "thick."

I got a comment back from the planning commission basically saying that the city council still bizarrely doesn't do online packets, that they are still physically scanning the documents they receive, which is just crazy to me. It's so much more work with such terrible visual results.

BTW, just so you guys know, feel free if I don't to repost anything I post here on the existing project pages in the other forums.
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  #4860  
Old Posted Jun 16, 2018, 11:18 PM
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Glad to see another highrise development for Detroit. Im not a big fan of this style of parking cause usually the parking levels have lights on all night and it can really ruin the pedestrian experience on adjacent streets. For example the parking levels in Chicago's Trump tower really take away from the experience of the Chicago river at night.
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