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  #201  
Old Posted Nov 2, 2006, 10:37 AM
Exodus Exodus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by illmatic774
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.
Those are other buildings in Troy, not Southfield.
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  #202  
Old Posted Nov 2, 2006, 4:00 PM
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Numbers due on Nov. 8 for Ann Arbor-Detroit transit

Sunday, October 29, 2006

BY JOHN MULCAHY

While Ann Arbor Mayor John Hieftje tries to jump-start a commuter rail line between the city and points north, a second commuter rail initiative continues for the Ann Arbor to Detroit corridor.

After delays due to technical problems with a computer model, the steering committee for the Ann Arbor-Detroit Rapid Transit Study will get data Nov. 8 on likely capital and operating costs and ridership for five possible ways to provide the service.

Those ways include:

# Two using rapid transit buses traveling on Michigan Avenue, I-94 and possibly Washtenaw Avenue.

# One using a light rail line to be built along Michigan Avenue, Washtenaw Avenue, Huron Street and Jackson Road.

# Two using heavier commuter trains, either on existing tracks used by Amtrak or on existing tracks between Detroit and Metro Airport, with bus connections to Ann Arbor and light rail or bus connections in Detroit.

Carmine Palombo, director of transportation programs for the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, said that once they have viewed the ridership and cost data, the steering committee members can begin work on choosing a preferred option. "We'll have enough information to start to see if everybody can rally behind one (option),'' he said.

There is no definite timetable for choosing that option, Palombo said. He said that would be up to the steering committee members.

Ultimately, SEMCOG will have to approach the Federal Transit Administration with the chosen option for approval to begin preliminary engineering. Only after that, when the project is ready for design and construction, would backers be able to begin drawing on $100 million approved in 2005 federal transportation legislation for the project, Palombo said.

The proposal for rapid transit between Ann Arbor and Detroit began in the late 1990s as a proposal for a Lansing to Detroit commuter service that would have passed through Ann Arbor. The Lansing to Ann Arbor portion was dropped after studies of potential ridership showed it would not attract enough customers.

John Mulcahy can be reached at jmulcahy@annarbornews.com or 734-994-6858.

*****

(rubs hands eagerly together)
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  #203  
Old Posted Nov 5, 2006, 12:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exodus
Another floor added ?
Yes.

Tim, I can't understand why Ann Arbor is even considering commuter rail north of the city. I realize the commuter patterns, but in effort to prioritize, it would seem like Ann Arbor would have its eyes set on the east first and foremost.

Supposedly, there is extensive study being done by a San Francisco area firm on which type of transit system, and on which route would be the first to be built. So far, the tone is very positive for light rail, as well as a recognition that Detroit's transportation corridors play a vital role in what many believe can be a very successful system if planned and built correctly.
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  #204  
Old Posted Nov 5, 2006, 8:04 AM
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Chene West has changed its name to the Watermark.
http://watermarkdetroit.com/
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  #205  
Old Posted Nov 5, 2006, 9:31 PM
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lots of lights on inside the detroit life building. this one snuck up on me. what a pleasant suprise.

(i see other rehabs going on in the vicinity also)
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  #206  
Old Posted Nov 5, 2006, 11:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skyfan
Chene West has changed its name to the Watermark.
http://watermarkdetroit.com/
Too bad it wasn't @Water Lofts. I frickin hate that name!
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  #207  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2006, 12:50 AM
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You read my mind. @water is a disgrace of a name. It's not "cool" or "hip," it's stupid. But, that's my only complaint about the entire project. lol
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  #208  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2006, 3:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cabasse
lots of lights on inside the detroit life building. this one snuck up on me. what a pleasant suprise.

(i see other rehabs going on in the vicinity also)
This is really a surprise given who owns the building and their recent track record. I had very little expectation that this would ever get done, let alone in less than a year.
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  #209  
Old Posted Nov 12, 2006, 1:15 PM
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http://www.chicagotribune.com/classi...realestate-hed

THE MIDWEST
Cadillac of hotels in Detroit on road back to grandeur

By Sarah Karush
Associated Press
Published November 12, 2006

DETROIT -- The Book-Cadillac Hotel was the epitome of glamor when it opened in 1924. The world's tallest hotel, it boasted an opulent, Italian Renaissance-inspired design, and over the years hosted presidents, Hollywood stars and famous gangsters.

But after a 60-year run, the declining metropolis could no longer sustain the Book-Cadillac, and it became yet another empty landmark in Detroit's once-bustling downtown.

After standing vacant for more than two decades--the gilded interior stripped by scavengers, the once-impeccable ballrooms exposed to the elements--the Book-Cadillac is poised to again become Detroit's ultimate luxury destination. Following several hiccups, the building is at last on its way to a new incarnation: a 455-room Westin hotel, set to open in 2008 and topped by eight floors of pricey condos, most of which already have sold.



Downtown reviving slowly

The long-awaited project is the latest piece of good news for downtown Detroit, which has been undergoing a slow revival, with new baseball and football stadiums, more restaurants and converted lofts. It's also a victory for preservationists, who mourned the famous hotel's decline.

Around Detroit, the Book-Cadillac is an icon.

"Everybody's got a story about the Book," said John Ferchill, the Cleveland-based developer behind the renovation. "I think that's probably our No. 1 marketing tool."

These days, the inside of the hotel is little more than a dusty construction site. The empty, second-floor space that was once the Grand Ballroom still has its dramatically arched windows, but it takes some imagination to picture the gold-leaf ceiling, the crystal chandeliers and the Juliet balconies.

The Grand Ballroom is one of two public spaces whose original look is to be recreated. The other is the Italian Garden, which was "designed to be, as its name suggests, a garden transported from some villa of sunny Italy," according to a 1925 issue of the industry magazine Hotel Bulletin devoted to the Book-Cadillac.

Aside from replicating those rooms and restoring the facade, the current developers are essentially using the building as an empty shell to install a brand new hotel.

Still, says Francis Grunow, who heads the group Preservation Wayne and was among the activists who lobbied for the hotel's restoration, "the psychic space is intact."

During a visit in the spring of 2004, when workers were just preparing to gut the place, signs of lost grandeur were everywhere. Intricate plaster work bordered the ceilings, which in some places were beginning to crumble, revealing rusted pipes. Pigeons roosted in the corners, and a mattress lay in the center of one of the ballrooms, apparently left by a squatter.

On one floor that had been used for offices, the carpeting was still soft underfoot and nameplates on doors advertised "Joe Maas Auctioneer" and other long-defunct businesses. Inside what was once a gym, the sauna smelled of pine and looked ready to welcome loungers.



Host to history

The Book-Cadillac was one of several Washington Boulevard projects of James, Herbert and Frank Book. The brothers purchased the old Cadillac Hotel, tore it down and hired their favorite architect, the German-born Louis Kamper, to build a new one.

The 33-floor hotel had more than 1,000 rooms and cost about $14 million to build.

It prided itself on its superior service. At one point, in a marketing scheme deemed original enough to be noted in a 1925 issue of Time magazine, the hotel announced it was giving a free 48-hour life insurance policy to all guests at checkout.

The Book-Cadillac frequently played host to history. Presidents John F. Kennedy and Harry S. Truman stayed there, as did the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Scenes from the Frank Capra movie "State of the Union," starring Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, were filmed at the hotel.

In 1927, leaders of Detroit's infamous Purple Gang met with Chicago mobster Al Capone at the Book-Cadillac, warning him to stay off their turf, writes Richard Bak in "Detroit Across Three Centuries."

One of the biggest stories in sports came to a dramatic climax at the Book-Cadillac. In 1939, when the New York Yankees were staying there, Lou Gehrig sought out Yankee manager Joe McCarthy for an urgent talk, according to Gehrig biographer Jonathan Eig. The player known as the Iron Horse had been struggling to hit the ball. Though he didn't know it at the time, he was losing coordination because of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the disease that would later kill him and become known by his name.

Sitting in McCarthy's room at the Book-Cadillac, Gehrig said he wanted to bench himself that day, thus ending his consecutive-game streak at 2,130. McCarthy solemnly announced the decision to reporters in the hotel lobby. After the Yankees left Detroit, a rumor spread throughout the league that Gehrig had fallen on the Book-Cadillac's lobby staircase.

The hotel changed hands several times over its life, and its interior evolved too. The staircase rumored to have tripped up Gehrig was replaced with an escalator in the 1950s. In the 1970s, the Italian Garden was divided into two floors in an attempt to gain more convention space.

The Book-Cadillac closed in 1984 for renovations, but the project soon fell apart and the hotel was liquidated in 1986.

By that time, much of Detroit was in decline after decades of middle-class flight, fueled by racial tensions and the rise of suburbia. By the time the Book-Cadillac closed, the nearby Statler Hotel, the J.L. Hudson department store and several theaters had already been shuttered.

Saved by the Super Bowl

In recent years, efforts to revive downtown Detroit have picked up steam, particularly ahead of the Super Bowl played this year at Ford Field.

In the 1990s, city officials began legal procedures to wrest control of the Book-Cadillac from absentee landlords and began shopping the site to developers. In 2003, the city reached a deal with a subsidiary of the Kimberly-Clark Corp. to restore the grand hotel, hoping it would be ready for the Super Bowl.

Kimberly-Clark soon dropped out of the project, saying the costs were higher than initially expected. The Ferchill Group was ready to step in, but officials soon ran into problems with the financing, which relies on a variety of tax credits, one of which had been thrown into question and was awaiting a ruling from the Internal Revenue Service. The deal wasn't finalized until June.

As of the end of October, 50 of the 67 condos had been sold.



Then

- Year completed: 1924

- Cost to build: $14 million (about $166 million in today's dollars)

- Guest rooms: 1,136, including 1,035 bedrooms

- Past names: Book-Cadillac, Sheraton-Cadillac, Radisson-Cadillac



Now

- Estimated completion date: Fall 2008

- Estimated cost of restoration: $180 million

- Guest rooms: 455, plus 67 condos

- Current name: Westin Book-Cadillac Detroit

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Copyright © 2006, Chicago Tribune
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  #210  
Old Posted Nov 17, 2006, 5:16 PM
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Some news from modeldmedia.com:

Crews start work on Detroit Life Building rehab


Work has begun on the rehabilitation of the Detroit Life Building.

Crews are currently removing asbestos from the building. A timeline for the restoration of the 10-story office building on Park Avenue behind the Fox Theatre has not been set, but a spokeswoman from Ilitch Holdings expects that to be announced later this month.

Ilitch Holdings is restoring the 82-year-old office tower at 2210 Park Ave. into a mixed-use facility. Ilitch Holdings will use some office space for its growing business units but is also looking for other potential tenants. Retail is planned for the ground floor.

J.C. Beal Construction of Ann Arbor and Kraemer Design Group have been retained to develop renovation plans.

Source: Karen Cullen, Vice President of Corporate Communications for Ilitch Holdings
Writer: Jon Zemke


Bidding begins on 34-story Broderick Tower project; work to start soon


The Broderick Tower rehabilitation project has been put out to bid and construction is expected to begin in three to six months, according to Fred J. Beal of J.C. Beal Construction.

Design work on the project is finished. Management is still working out final loan approvals and nailing down an agreement to use the Grand Circus Park underground parking garage, similar to the one for the Kales Building. The project is expected to take about 18 months to complete.

Once finished, the 34-story building will be transformed into 127 apartments, ranging in size from 560-square-foot studios to 2,700-square-foot penthouses. The first floor will be converted into as much as 7,500 to 10,000 square feet of restaurant space. The second, third and fourth floors will be designated as 12,000 square feet of office space. All of the floors above that will be apartments.

The apartments will be rentals initially, but management expects to eventually convert them to for-sale condos.

The Broderick Tower was built in 1928 as the Eaton Tower under the direction Louis and Paul Kamper of Detroit. David Broderick acquired the building in 1945, renaming and managing it until his death in 1957. The building sold numerous times over the next 20 years. It lost most of its tenants in the collapse of the Detroit office market in the mid 1980s. It has been mostly vacant since.

For information, visit www.brodericktower.com.


Source: Fred J. Beal, President of J.C. Beal Construction and Motown Construction Partners LT.
Writer: Jon Zemke


Park Bar to open near Cliff Bells on Park Avenue


The Park Bar is set to open by the end of the month at the corner of Park Avenue and West Elizabeth Street, adjacent to Cliff Bells.

The bar decor features 17-foot-high ceilings and exposed concrete columns. A central circular bar will feature Motor City Brewery beers on tap.

All of the work is being done by Detroit craftsmen. Owner Jerry Belanger observes that many of the bars in the Grand Circus Park area have a suburban feel, which will help his new watering hole stand out. "I want them to really feel like they’re in Detroit," he says.

The 1,800-square foot bar has a kitchen. It currently has a capacity of 70 people, but Belanger hopes to eventually expand into the building’s basement and second floor.

The building, built in 1924, has been vacant for more than 20 years. It originally had five storefronts but has now been consolidated into two.

Source: Jerry Belanger, The Park Bar
Writer: Jon Zemke
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  #211  
Old Posted Nov 25, 2006, 10:04 PM
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I imagine this will look like Woodbridge Estates this style of deveopment should fit in better in Northwest Detroit.

Hope springs from Herman Gardens

Rebirth of the housing complex includes small retail stores, low-income and market-rate homes.

Christine MacDonald / The Detroit News

DETROIT -- After nearly a decade of missed deadlines, work could start as early as next month on replacing Herman Gardens, once one of the city's largest and most notorious public housing sites.

Today, the 139 acres along the Southfield Freeway on the city's west side resemble a tree-lined cemetery, with little trace of the complex that at its height was home to more than 2,100 families.

The federal government approved the teardown in 1996 as part of an effort called Hope VI to raze the country's worst public housing. The complex was plagued by drug dealers and asbestos contamination, and more than half the World War II-era buildings were boarded up by the mid-1990s. Nearly 500 residents were relocated and many have died waiting for it to be rebuilt.

But, since the federal government took over the troubled Detroit Housing Commission in August 2005, initial work has begun on the $230 million project of low-income and market-rate homes, making it potentially one of the city's largest housing developments. Infrastructure work is expected to begin this winter and building construction is to start in the summer.

Former residents, who miss the family atmosphere of their old Herman Gardens, are eager to see construction. But they're also skeptical.

"This is the seventh or eighth time we've been given dates of groundbreakings," said 66-year-old Ruth Williams, a former resident who organizes the annual Herman Gardens summer reunion. "I'll believe it when I see a shovel in the ground."

Lindsey Reames, the recovery administrator in Detroit for the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department, understands that doubt. But she says the project is closer than ever to becoming a reality.

The plan starts with a name change: Gardenview Estates. Close to 920 units total will be built: 496 rentals and 424 for-purchase homes, including single-family detached houses, lofts and condos. About half of the rentals and homes will be offered at market rate and the other half will be for low-income families. Prices have not yet been set. Small retail stores also are part of the plan.

While officials are promising quick work, total construction is expected to take up to five years. And HUD is still trying to finalize deals with private developers, who will bear the largest share of the cost at an estimated $126 million. They have a developer for the rentals and will put out bids in January for the home-ownership developer, Reames said. She wouldn't name the rental developer.

Reames said they will build the market rate and low-income units at the same time but said if there's more of a decline in the housing market, they may review whether to complete final phases.

Some work on the site has already started. The new NFL Youth Education Town Boys and Girls Club is about half done.

Reames said they've identified at least 400 people who could move back to the new development, if they still meet certain qualifications.

Evelyn Bradshaw, who lived in Herman Gardens for 30 years, said she's considering moving back. She remembers the good times at the complex, known for its vocal leaders and community activities, including landscaping contests and summer trips for kids to Cedar Point for 50 cents.

"There were a lot of wonderful times we had in Herman Gardens," she said. "A lot of people miss each other."

The road to the new Herman Gardens has been rocky. The project was never able to get traction under the Detroit Housing Commission, which repeatedly was accused of mismanagement.

Throughout the years, the federal government has threatened to take back millions from all three of Detroit's Hope VI projects, including Jeffries Homes and the Villages at Parkside, for lack of progress.

Ted Phillips, who was part of the Detroit Housing Commission team that put together the first proposal to redo Herman Gardens, worries that only about 230 units will be traditional public housing.

That doesn't go far to replace the more than 6,000 public housing units the city has lost since the mid-1990s, he said. The city has close to 4,000 units now, but an estimated third of those are vacant, many because they are so rundown.

"It's not replenishing (but) it's better than nothing," said Phillips, who is now the executive director of United Community Housing Coalition in Detroit.

Reames said there is a plan for an additional 2,000 to 2,500 additional public housing units in the next three to five years.

You can reach Christine MacDonald at (313) 222-2396 or cmacdonald@detnews.com.
http://detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/art...ETRO/611250372
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  #212  
Old Posted Nov 29, 2006, 1:46 AM
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From this weeks model D. I especially like news about DFI and Mezzanine it's very good sing that retails are slowly starting to take a chance on Detroit

November 28, 2006

Detroit Fashion Incubator to hold grand opening Dec. 1
Detroit Fashion Incubator has opened its doors at 4737 Grand River in Woodbridge. DFI is intended to serve as a retail outlet for local designers and a home-base where they can interact to learn about the business side of fashion.

DFI will celebrate its grand opening on Dec. 1 with a charity fashion event. 25 pieces of clothing and accessories—signifying 25 years since the first reported case of HIV—will be auctioned off to benefit local HIV and AIDS charities. DJ Minx will perform and the auction will be hosted by Charles Pugh.

DFI is currently working with 15 local designers, but has plans to include emerging designers from around North America as well as overseas.

Source: Michael Wislon, DFI


Neighborhoods: Woodbridge
(permanent link)


November 28, 2006

Odd Fellows Hall ready for occupancy
The $5.6 million renovation of the Odd Fellows building and the 50th anniversary of its developer, the Southwest Detroit Business Association, are being celebrated on Nov. 30. The event will take place in the building’s two-story Great Room from 4:30-7:30 pm with local music and a brief program at 6:00 pm.

Of the Great Room, Nancy Sizer, SDBA’s fund development director, says, "The room shines once again with its signature necklace of lights, wood floors rebuilt in their original pattern and large windows letting in light and views of the community."

The Odd Fellows development was financed through the purchase of $2.7 million in New Market tax credits by National City, a $1.8 million loan and a $600,000 grant from the City of Detroit and a $100,000 Cool Cities grant from the State of Michigan. The project was also supported by Detroit LISC as well as small business and brownfield tax credits. The building will provide 15,000 square feet of office space for non-profits and businesses, and the Great Room will continue to be a site for cultural and social events.

For more information about the project, check out Model D's previous coverage.

Source: Nancy Sizer, SDBA


Neighborhoods: Southwest Detroit
(permanent link)


November 28, 2006

First phase of Livernois boulevarding project wrapping up

Phase One of the Livernois Boulevard project is expected to wrap up by the end of the month, according to Sunny Jacob, traffic engineer with the Detroit Department of Public Works. Jacob has observed traffic in the area flowing smoothly and hopes the project will promote more pedestrian traffic along the corridor.

Phase One stretched between Eight Mile and McNichols, Phase Two will extend the boulevard south to Davison and Phase Three to Grand River. Both future phases will begin construction in 2008; reconstruction of the Lodge Freeway will prevent any work to occur during the 2007 construction season.

Source: Sunny Jacob, DPW


Neighborhoods: University Commons - Palmer Park
(permanent link)


November 28, 2006

Mezzanine to join downtown retail mix
Mezzanine, a high-end modern furniture, lighting and home accessories store has just finalized a lease arrangement downtown. The shop will be located at Broadway and Grand River, on the second floor above Rags.

Mezzanine originally opened in Ann Arbor in 1998 but has existed only in its online incarnation (www.mezzanine-online.com) since 2005 in anticipation of a move downtown. Proprietor Joe Posch plans to be open by the first of the year and looks forward his store becoming an "attraction for downtown dwellers as well as people in the suburbs.”

Mezzanine focuses on classic to contemporary modern, much of it European and most of it high-end. Posch hopes to add a tabletop section by spring including flatware, bar accessories and dinnerware.

He believes Mezzanine will be a healthy addition to the downtown retail mix. “Right now I’m working to make downtown Detroit the kind of place I want to be, and I’d like to see more stuff downtown.”

Source: Joe Posch, Mezzanine
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  #213  
Old Posted Nov 29, 2006, 4:03 AM
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re: Mezzanine, I wonder why they chose the location they did? Better rents maybe? I would have thought Merchants Row would have been more their desire. Anway, I wish the retail portion of the Opera House Garage would see retail. It's such a nice space...(for a parking garage).

Livernois Boulevarding earlier this summer.
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  #214  
Old Posted Nov 29, 2006, 10:08 PM
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I love that Detroit is getting cleaned up. City has so much rich industrial history and some amazing buildings. My only question is, are there any plans for any new towers to add to the skyline, and when is that whole deal with the lighting of detroit going to be complete. I heard they were trying to light up downtown, somewhat like vegas, so it would reflect off of the river.
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  #215  
Old Posted Nov 30, 2006, 1:22 AM
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It depends on what you define as a "tower," because in many regardless three are going up right now with the casino hotels, and there are quite a few mid and low-rises planned for the east riverfront.

The lighting of downtown was for the Superbowl.
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  #216  
Old Posted Nov 30, 2006, 3:00 AM
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Also, it is interesting to validate redevelopment into "building of new highrises". By that I mean, consider the David Broderick Tower. In essence, you can say that that is Detroit's tallest building to be constructed right now. It will be renovated/redeveloped into highrise apartments/condos. As or right now, and the past years, the building doesn't really exist other than something to look at and take up space. Putting it back together as a functioning structure is like constructing 30-some levels of new housing on the skyline.

Other than that, the only other high rise in Detroit's near future downtown would probably most likely be Rock Financial/Quicken Loans if they move downtown. Even then, I can't imagine them building a signiture tower. But who knows.

Hopefully, some Portofini-esque buildings will be constructed sometime soon along the riverfront, particularly GMs end of the deal at River East.
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  #217  
Old Posted Nov 30, 2006, 5:58 AM
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Well as least if Rock Financial does build downtown they will build something in the consideration of their ever growing company, and if they pick the Statler site, we might see something in the 30-story range since the site is not all that large. We will have to see. But for now our next highrise will be the Greektown hotel at around 30 stories.
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  #218  
Old Posted Nov 30, 2006, 6:03 AM
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^ True, but nothing has stopped Detroit from being demolition-happy recently. Though I like to remain optimistic, the United Artists footprint could add a lot of square footage to a squat corporate headquarters.
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  #219  
Old Posted Dec 1, 2006, 2:51 PM
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huzah for livernois! you can even see my parents house. (well okay, maybe not)
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  #220  
Old Posted Dec 1, 2006, 9:44 PM
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I didn't realize Rock Financial/Quicken Loans was interested in moving downtown. I'm highly considering moving back to Detroit following college. My family is all from there and we all moved to Connecticut, and while Hartford is a decent little city, it never could compare to Detroit. I love going out to visit, and like I said, depending on how much some of those condos are going for like in the Broderick Tower I'd definitely be interested. Anyone have any renderings of any of the main 3 casino's? I've seen the construction but no final drafts.
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