HomeDiagramsDatabaseMapsForumSkyscraper Posters
     

Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Global Projects & Construction > City Compilations

Reply

 
Thread Tools Display Modes
     
     
  #261  
Old Posted Jan 26, 2007, 2:53 AM
Michi's Avatar
Michi Michi is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Downtown Houston
Posts: 8,515
Quote:
Originally Posted by ManageMich View Post
What about the city government there?
My inside information tells me that it is very unfortunate in that the city can't get Wayne County to even acknowledge it. That's a shame, because the way the city's restructuring procedure goes (getting out of receivership), Wayne County plays an important roll in that process. A shame also because Hamtramck is one of Wayne County's greatest assets. We'll see what happens and who become who's bitch in the future.

Also, I will be doing some work in Hamtramck in the near future, so I may be alble to get some good leads on information coming out of that city.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #262  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2007, 7:52 PM
cabasse's Avatar
cabasse cabasse is online now
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: buckhead for now
Posts: 3,038
Quote:
Originally Posted by cabasse View Post
i absolutely despise that massive parking garage. it's like detroit's getting it up the butt from a big, wide, fat... parking garage. i mean that's seriously enough parking for the entire fucking cbd's daytime work population. almost.
to revise upon my original comment, they've installed what looks to be a curtain wall around the largest portion of the parking "city" - i'm thinking it might be surrounded by glass. i certainly hope...
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #263  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2007, 9:12 PM
Michi's Avatar
Michi Michi is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Downtown Houston
Posts: 8,515
^ I saw that too. It could either be some glass (highly doubtful) or screening (like on 1001 Woodward Garage). It looks like one part of the structure is done and only had some screening. True, it looks better than just wide open gaping holes of concrete, but alas it is still a parking city.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #264  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2007, 11:25 PM
toog05 toog05 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Detroit
Posts: 58
Can anyone snap a picture of this, or just post a picture of another garage that has something similar?
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #265  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2007, 11:04 PM
Michi's Avatar
Michi Michi is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Downtown Houston
Posts: 8,515
Thumbs up

Here's the garage. Sorry, for the quality. I battled the -8 jillion degree temperatures today and won. February 4, 2007



And the big, nasty box on top of the hotel.


I didn't realize the Workers' Rowhouse was under renovation in Corktown already.


Different angles of the Greektown Casino crane




You can see the big Valentine heart on the BCBC Building. Might have to attempt an evening photo.


I think the presence of a tower here will really make for a cosy, yet exciting urban environment.


Looking in.




Motor City Casino










Willy's Overland




Mid-Med






55 W. Canfield


And the Fifth Royal Oak





AAAAAAAAAAAand putting out the big fire that might set back the redevelopment of the old building directly behind the Garfield Lofts in the Medical Center (about 2 weeks ago).




Reply With Quote
     
     
  #266  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2007, 11:12 PM
Michi's Avatar
Michi Michi is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Downtown Houston
Posts: 8,515
Thumbs up

Heh? Double post.

Last edited by Michi; Feb 5, 2007 at 2:05 AM.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #267  
Old Posted Feb 5, 2007, 1:15 AM
DANTHEDISCOMAN's Avatar
DANTHEDISCOMAN DANTHEDISCOMAN is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Downtown
Posts: 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michi View Post
Here's the garage. Sorry, for the quality. I battled the -8 jillion degree temperatures today and won. February 4, 2007



And the big, nasty box on top of the hotel.



And the Fifth Royal Oak
Are you kidding me!...They are seriously going to leave that top mechanical penthouse exposed like that! Cmon! I HATE IT WHAT A DISGRACE.

As Far as The Fifth Royal Oak...I LOVE IT. It looks amazing. Modern pure and simple, this is the tallest structure in Royal Oak correct?
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #268  
Old Posted Feb 5, 2007, 2:07 AM
Michi's Avatar
Michi Michi is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Downtown Houston
Posts: 8,515
I can't imagine the casino spending money to dress up the top just to cover the elevator shaft, but I don't know for sure. It seems like it would be difficult and would look stupid if they did, considering how high the box is.

I think the Fifth is the tallest in R.O.

Another update: I drove past The Woodward, Ferndale's condo development along Woodward north of 9 Mile and there is still no activity there. Hmmm...
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #269  
Old Posted Feb 5, 2007, 2:54 PM
toog05 toog05 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Detroit
Posts: 58
Thanks for the update Michi! You are appreciated.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #270  
Old Posted Feb 5, 2007, 5:11 PM
the pope's Avatar
the pope the pope is offline
not cleavefied
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: A City Without Nelson
Posts: 3,986
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michi View Post

Another update: I drove past The Woodward, Ferndale's condo development along Woodward north of 9 Mile and there is still no activity there. Hmmm...
just call the sales center, I'm sure they know why.
__________________
--SSP's 10th Kewlest Forumer of 2004
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #271  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2007, 8:04 PM
skyfan's Avatar
skyfan skyfan is offline
Detroit Love
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Detroit
Posts: 585
Sale of air rights in Detroit is a new development opportunity
Space above skyline attracts buyers
February 7, 2007

BY JOHN GALLAGHER

FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER

Sometimes, the only way to go is up.

The recent announcement that Detroit-based Roxbury Group would build upscale condominiums atop a planned city-owned garage near the Book-Cadillac Hotel has sparked interest in the novel idea of air rights.

Widely sold and traded in New York and other leading cities, air rights have been virtually unknown in Detroit up to now. Air rights can allow developers to build taller buildings than zoning codes normally allow, or, in some cases, allow development to take place above railroad yards, freeways or parking garages.

The use of air rights in Detroit development is in its infancy, but more examples may be on the way, now that Roxbury's project, known as the Griswold, is in the works.

"It is an extremely positive statement about the market," George Jackson, president of the quasi-public Detroit Economic Growth Corp., said Tuesday. "It would not have been financially feasible five to 10 years ago, so to have it happening really is a good sign that the market can bear these types of projects."

Air rights have come into play in three deals downtown in the past year. In two of the cases, developers of the Book-Cadillac and Pick-Ft. Shelby hotel renovation projects donated their air rights -- essentially promising never to build on top of their buildings -- in exchange for tax credits.

In the third, the Roxbury Group is paying the city's Downtown Development Authority for the right to build its condo project on top of DDA's planned garage that will rise next to the Book-Cadillac.

To obtain the DDA's approval, Roxbury agreed to pay the extra cost of reinforcing the garage so it could support the condos on top -- a figure still to be determined but something under $1 million. The Griswold project in total costs about $26 million, so the air rights added less than 5% to the overall cost.

Like any property owner, the DDA had the right to sell its air space as long as it doesn't interfere with air traffic and conforms to normal zoning and building codes.

The deal is being cited as another step toward reviving Detroit's once-moribund central business district. "At least some part of downtown now is starting to function like other major cities do," David Di Rita, a partner in Roxbury, said Tuesday. "It says that the market is maturing and evolving to a potentially high-end value market."

As a sign of how quickly the concept of air rights has taken hold here, even relatively new parking garages built downtown, like the 1001 Woodward and Detroit Opera House garages, both of which opened in the past two years, were built without the reinforcing that would allow future development on top of them.

"We're going to encourage garages to be more than just a garage," Jackson said. "We're asking already for ground floor retail, and I think it makes sense for us now to also have garages that have foundations that allow you to build on top."

In crowded cities like New York and Chicago, air rights have long played an important role in development. In Chicago, the city's new Millennium Park was built using air rights over downtown rail yards.

In New York, height limits on new development have created a brisk market in air rights. Frequently, air rights are sold or traded to preserve historic churches and other landmarks.

In one common scenario in Manhattan, developers buy the air rights to build in the space over, say, a historic church, then transfer those rights to another site nearby, and there build a building higher than normally would be allowed.

In a record-setting deal, in November 2005 the Christ Church on Park Avenue in Manhattan sold the air rights over the church to developers for more than $30 million so a high-rise residential tower could be built not far away.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #272  
Old Posted Feb 12, 2007, 2:59 AM
Michi's Avatar
Michi Michi is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Downtown Houston
Posts: 8,515
Sunday, February 11, 2007

The back door of the Westin Book Cadillac gets some attention like the front. Here, heavy machinery are preparing the land parcel for the large addition (conference space, and I think pool, etc) that will soon be build along State Street.


The front of the Book Cadillac is difficult to photograph on occassion, as angles of other buildings get in the way.


The David Stott Tower appears to be chomping on the Detroit Commerce Building.


It's a yummy facade.




Insert parking garage here.


Ok, ok...so there will be condos on top. And designers are getting more sophisticated.


Had enough?


okdone.


Hiiiiigh!


Greektown Casino Construction (garage first) Gotta get our priorities straight!






Should be a great view when project's complete!




Oh yes, and the Michigan Welcome Center Mexicantown Supermercado!
Don't you love the Spanish iron artwork found in Southwest Detroit!


Until the next photo update...

Last edited by Michi; Feb 12, 2007 at 3:25 AM.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #273  
Old Posted Feb 13, 2007, 12:05 AM
the pope's Avatar
the pope the pope is offline
not cleavefied
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: A City Without Nelson
Posts: 3,986
chomping, giggle.
__________________
--SSP's 10th Kewlest Forumer of 2004
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #274  
Old Posted Feb 14, 2007, 10:45 PM
skyfan's Avatar
skyfan skyfan is offline
Detroit Love
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Detroit
Posts: 585
Thumbs up

West end of river plan gets key piece

February 14, 2007

BY TOM WALSH

FREE PRESS COLUMNIST

The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy will acquire a prime 22-acre parcel of waterfront land, snapping into place another key piece of the 5-mile bridge-to-bridge redevelopment vision being driven by Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, General Motors Corp., the Kresge Foundation and others.

The land, owned by Gannett Co. Inc., is midway between Cobo Center and the Ambassador Bridge, with 2,160 feet of Detroit River frontage. Development plans for the site include an extension of the RiverWalk for jogging, walking and cycling. The RiverWalk's east riverfront stretch, between GM's Renaissance Center headquarters and Belle Isle, is about 75% complete.

The property contains a dormant printing plant that was built by the Free Press in 1979, expanded in 1986 but shut down for good in 2005 as printing operations were consolidated in Sterling Heights by the Detroit Newspaper Partnership, which runs business operations for the Free Press and the Detroit News. The conservancy intends to demolish the existing buildings and use the land mostly for green space and public access.

Newspaper and conservancy officials confirmed that a purchase agreement was signed by both parties Jan. 24. The sale is expected to close after a 120-day period to review legal, environmental and other details. Neither party would discuss the sale price.

Levin, D-Mich., who has complained about the city's run-down riverfront ever since he was a Detroit city councilman in the 1970s, has championed the effort to expand the ambitious $500-million east riverfront plan unveiled in 2002 as far west as the Ambassador Bridge or beyond.

Levin secured $29 million in federal money for land acquisition, RiverWalk construction and other spending on the west riverfront, by attaching an add-on to a transportation bill in 2005.

"This is a fabulous development for the city," Levin said Tuesday of the newspaper land sale. "Our riverfront, which has been underdeveloped for 50 or 100 years, is now blossoming. Soon people and families are going to be able to walk it and fish it and have a place to congregate."

David Hunke, publisher of the Free Press and chief executive officer of the Detroit Newspaper Partnership, said, "We're thrilled to be a partner, to help add one more piece to the strategic plan for this fabulous riverfront." Gannett owns the Free Press and is the controlling partner in the DNP.

The Free Press purchased its riverfront land in 1974 from the Penn Central railroad.

The move to reclaim Detroit's riverfront for public enjoyment after decades of industrial use and decay took shape in mid-2002 when Kilpatrick formed a study group headed by GM executive Matt Cullen and Derrick Miller, one of the mayor's top aides.

A few months later, a plan followed to build a 3.1-mile RiverWalk east of the RenCen, paid for largely by a $50-million series of grants from the Kresge Foundation. The State of Michigan pledged to build a state park on the river, and proposals were sought to develop other spots, including the long-vacant site of the Uniroyal tire plant near the MacArthur Bridge to Belle Isle.

The Riverfront Conservancy was formed to oversee development and continue fund-raising, with Cullen and Miller as cochairmen and Faye Nelson as CEO.

Nelson said 2007 will be the year the public really starts to notice the changes along the east riverfront. A 5-day celebration in late June called "River Days," led by GM and the Parade Co., will be the first big signature event.

Cullen said it makes sense now to focus on the west riverfront.

"Sen. Levin challenged us to go west, from bridge to bridge, and we couldn't miss out on this opportunity," Cullen said.

Other key landowners along the west riverfront include Riverfront Associates, which owns three residential towers just west of Joe Louis Arena, and CSX Transportation Inc., a railroad firm whose property includes about three-quarters of a mile of shoreline between the printing plant and the Ambassador Bridge. The city owns a 7-acre slice next to the apartments.

If the conservancy eventually strikes a deal to acquire the CSX property -- Cullen expects that will take awhile -- the RiverWalk could hug the water along the western stretch except at the Riverfront residential towers, which are built at the water's edge. There, the RiverWalk would presumably be routed behind the towers.

Other question marks along the west riverfront include the futures of the Cobo Center convention complex and Joe Louis Arena, home of the Detroit Red Wings. Cobo is constantly the subject of expansion schemes, and Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch is considering whether to renovate the arena or build a new one for his hockey team.

So as one more piece of the riverfront puzzle snaps into place, some big pieces are still missing.

http://freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/artic...plate=printart
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #275  
Old Posted Feb 15, 2007, 1:10 AM
Michi's Avatar
Michi Michi is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Downtown Houston
Posts: 8,515
Thanks for posting that. I'm excited about the west riverfront (and the west end of downtown too!)
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #276  
Old Posted Mar 8, 2007, 8:12 AM
hudkina hudkina is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 7,445
Come on Michi. It's almost spring! We need another update!
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #277  
Old Posted Mar 13, 2007, 5:39 AM
skyfan's Avatar
skyfan skyfan is offline
Detroit Love
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Detroit
Posts: 585
This weeks and last weeks Model D development news. It's very encouraging that people are now willing to take on the risk of opening new retail downtown

March 13, 2007

New retailer, Loft of Fashions, opens in Capitol Park
A new retailer specializing in women's clothing for both the boardroom and the bedroom has opened downtown.

The Loft of Fashions, 25 W. Grand River Ave., sells professional suits, business casual clothing and lingerie for women. Brands include Cartise, Lima Collection, Linda Lundstrom, Nada, Donnatella, Maxxsell, Abdul Designs and Soprano.

The shop is in a formerly vacant storefront called Clark Lofts on the block between Woodward Avenue and Capitol Park. The store is open 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday.

For information, visit loftoffashions.com or call (313) 964-5966.

Source: The Loft of Fashions
Writer: Jon Zemke


Neighborhoods: Downtown
(permanent link)


March 13, 2007

Construction on West Vernor/Livernois retail center near completion

Work on a new 23,000-square-foot retail center near the West Vernor and Livernois intersection is expected to finish by the end of March.

The retail center’s anchor tenant will be a National City Bank branch, with space available for up to 12 additional units. Belal Mheisen, the owner of the retail center, said his team is also working on signing leases with other national firms for the rest of the space.

Since 1997, Mheisen’s MBD Group has developed other properties in Southwest Detroit, including a Murray’s Discount Auto and a Citgo gas station. Plans for another shopping center for the western corner of the busy triangular intersection are also being discussed with potential developers.

Source: Belal Mheisen, MBD Group
Writer: Jon Zemke


Neighborhoods: Southwest Detroit
(permanent link)


March 13, 2007

Shield's Pizza opening downtown location in Kales Building
Shield’s Pizza will open its eighth Detroit-area location in the Kales Building this summer. The 7,000-square foot first floor space will feature separate bar/lounge and restaurant spaces connected only via the basement, which is also where the restrooms will be located.

Paul Andoni, who co-owns the chain with his brother, describes the look of the restaurant, which is currently being designed, as “a comfortable setting with a chic and trendy urban feeling—as opposed to our suburban locations.”

The restaurant will be operated by franchisee Tony DiGirolamo, who had to convince the Andoni brothers that downtown was a good location for a Shield’s Pizza. DiGirolamo says when he brought the owners downtown "and they looked at the location — where it’s situated near the ballpark, the Fox Theatre, the Opera House and State Theatre, and with 118 apartments above us and there really isn’t a pizza location downtown — we put two and two together, and it made sense.”

Andoni admits that he and his brother had not envisioned opening a Shield’s in the city but now knows that they made the right decision. He says, “There is a lot of synergy, a lot of night spots that have opened in the last few years. The more eateries and bars that locate to this immediate area, we view that as a positive: more interest, more awareness.”

Besides pizza, the restaurant will serve pasta, chicken and salads. Catering service, that can include delivery to downtown office buildings, will start at $5 per person.

DiGirolamo hopes to begin build-out on the space in approximately two weeks.

Sources: Paul Andoni and Tony DiGirolamo, Shield’s Pizza


Neighborhoods: Downtown
(permanent link)


March 13, 2007

1 new tenant, 1 relocation and 2 lease renewals for downtown office towers

211 West Fort Street has gained two new tenants after recent lease negotiations. Black & Veatch Corporation, a global engineering, consulting and construction company, has returned to the building after a five-year absence. The company is occupying approximately 2,000 square feet.

U.S. Customs and Border Control have also relocated to the building, and are leasing 22,000 square feet—about 1-¼ floors of the building, according to Fred Klugman of Klugman Commercial, who represented both tenants in their negotiations.

As for renewals, Walton & Donnelly, P.C. will remain on the 15th floor of the Buhl Building and Carls Foundation at 333 W. Fort.

Source: Fred Klugman, Klugman Commercial


Neighborhoods: Downtown
(permanent link)

March 13, 2007

Work begins on first, 30-unit phase of Silvercup Condominiums on East Side
Construction has begun on the first six units of the Silvercup Condominiums located at the former site of the Silvercup Bakery at Chene and Hendricks. The initial phase of the development, which consists of 30 units, is being financed by the Detroit Investment Fund (DIF) and LaSalle Bank.

More units will be built as units are sold. The DIF’s Dave Blaskiewicz estimates absorption at a rate of approximately two a month, meaning phase one completion in just over a year.

The development includes four-unit ranch-style stacked and 2-unit duplex condominiums ranging in size from 1,170 to 2,016 square feet. Blaskiewicz characterizes the units as “affordable market-rate,” priced at $150,000 to $240,000 each.

As for the relatively unique stacked model of housing, Blaskiewicz says, “I think developers are adapting to the marketplace. They are getting more creative with some of the products, making sure that it pairs up with the marketplace. And, with the style of housing, they are customizing it to specific lot pieces.” Stacked units are also being planned for the far east side.

Silvercup JV is a partnership between St. Paul CDC, Ferrari Investments and DPG Silvercup. The St. Paul arm of the team offers credit enhancement and homeownership classes to potential buyers.

The entire project will eventually consist of 86 units on the six-acre site. Blaskiewicz anticipates that, once the first phase is near completion, his organization will help the developer, Silvercup JV, LLC “get financing in place for the second phase. We really like the product and the project.”

Source: Dave Blaskiewicz, DIF


Neighborhoods: East Side
(permanent link)


March 13, 2007

Eph McNally's Deli opens second location on Woodward Ave.
Downtowners can now save themselves the long trek to Corktown for Eph McNally’s infamous sandwiches: the deli’s second location has opened downtown at 608 Woodward.

The menu is exactly the same as the original’s, with corned beef, chicken and tuna salads and bread pudding as specialties. As the restaurant's capacity is twice that of the original's, there are small nods to a higher volume business: fountain soda, paper napkins and available tap water, but the heart and soul of what makes McNally’s a perennial favorite remain intact.

The long and narrow space is richly colored and decorated with original art from local talents like Chris Turner as well as unique historic Detroit artifacts. In addition to tabletop seating, there is a counter that seats six. The front facade of the building is lit with an unusual neon sign that dates back to the 1930’s, according to co-owner Tom Arndt.

Hours are Monday – Friday 11 a.m.-8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday noon – 6 p.m. The Corktown location is open Monday – Tuesday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Wednesday - Friday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Saturday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Source: Tom Arndt, Eph McNally's


Neighborhoods: Downtown
(permanent link)


March 6, 2007

Rice Bowl to open in Millender Center this summer
Rice Bowl Asian Kitchen plans to open a second Detroit location in the Millender Center late this summer.

The Detroit-based Chinese restaurant will open in the former location of the old Fu Wah Chinese restaurant on the second level of Millender Center near the elevated pedestrian tunnel to the Ren Cen. The owners plan to redo and update the 1,800 square feet of space into a completely new restaurant.

"We feel there is a great demand for this type of restaurant," said Paul Kado, who co-owns the Rice Bowl with Freddy Liu. "There is no other place to get a General Tso’s chicken or chicken teriyaki in the central business district."

Rice Bowl operates a restaurant out of the Fisher Building complex in New Center. It serves primarily Chinese food along with Thai, Japanese and Korean dishes.

Source: Alex Bieri, leasing representative for Bieri Co., and Paul Kado, co-owner of the Rice Bowl.
Neighborhoods: Downtown
(permanent link)


March 6, 2007

New clothing retailer, Exclusive Customs Clothier, opens on Woodward downtown

Downtown has attracted another retailer with the opening of Exclusive Customs Clothier just south of Grand Circus Park.

The men and women’s clothier opened its doors this winter at 1529 Woodward, occupying 2,300 square feet of previously vacant retail space. The shop specializes in high-end clothing. It features brand names, such as Tayion Collection suits, Gionfriddo sweaters and Casilda.

The owners decided to open up a location downtown because the “area is returning to the way it used to be,” said Charles Betts, the store’s manager.

Source: Charles Betts, manager of Exclusive Customs Clothier


Neighborhoods: Downtown
(permanent link)


March 6, 2007

Opera House undergoing $350,000 exterior renovations
The Detroit Opera House is undergoing extensive exterior renovations as part of the ongoing renovations of the historic downtown building.

Workers will focus on cleaning and repairing the brick and terra cotta on the ornate side of the opera house facing Madison Street. The $350,000 project is set to finish by the end of March.

The Opera House, located at Broadway and Madison streets overlooking Grand Circus Park, originally opened as the Capitol Theater in 1922 as the fifth-largest theater in the world, with 4,250 seats.

Source: Rebekah Johnson, communications coordinator for the Detroit Opera House.

Neighborhoods: Downtown
(permanent link)

Last edited by skyfan; Mar 13, 2007 at 6:28 AM.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #278  
Old Posted Mar 16, 2007, 2:09 AM
toog05 toog05 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Detroit
Posts: 58
Nice to see retail moving into the downtown area, now lets try to get practical retail downtown such as drug stores, grocery stores, and department stores.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #279  
Old Posted Mar 18, 2007, 5:34 PM
skyfan's Avatar
skyfan skyfan is offline
Detroit Love
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Detroit
Posts: 585
Faith in urban living is building


March 18, 2007

BY JOHN GALLAGHER

FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER

During Michigan's current real estate downturn, the long-beleaguered city of Detroit has provided a rare and unexpected bright spot.

Julie Fielek, who founded her family-owned construction business 22 years ago building custom homes in far-suburban Livingston County, has been working in the city for the last few years. That work has kept her company afloat.

"I wake up every morning and say, 'Thank God for Detroit,' " she said last week on the site of Woodbridge Estates, a development of single-family houses and townhomes near Wayne State University.

For decades, Detroit was known more for population flight and abandoned homes than for new construction. Today, the Detroit market is keeping some home builders and real-estate agents in business.

Sales of existing houses were up 6% in Detroit last year, compared with a drop of 14% for all of Michigan and declines of 20% or more in Oakland, Monroe and Livingston counties
.
New residential construction in the city, meanwhile, is at its highest point in more than 30 years. New permits for single-family construction are more than 10 times higher than a decade ago, while the total for southeast Michigan as a whole is down more than 60% over the same period. The city of Detroit led the seven-county metro region in new residential construction in 2006, the regional planning group SEMCOG reported Friday.

Detroit issued 739 permits for new single-family houses, townhouses and multifamily units, the most of any community in the region.

The reasons for Detroit's emergence are complex. Builders like Fielek mostly attribute the upbeat market to a desire for urban living. That trend remade downtowns from Seattle to Baltimore during the last 25 years and has finally arrived in Detroit and suburbs like Royal Oak and Birmingham.

Builders say their typical customers are empty nesters and young professionals and other people who want to live, work, shop and be entertained in a pedestrian-friendly area.

"Everybody wants walkability," said Herb Strather, a Detroit-based developer and partner in Woodbridge Estates.

Stephen Taglione, a partner in Abbey Homes, a Bingham Farms company that is building residential units in Detroit's St. Anne's Gate project in Mexicantown, agrees.

"There's a growing segment of the market that wants that in-town lifestyle," he said.

Believing in urban living

Urban living certainly attracted C. Morgan Houston and her husband, Lorenzo, who paid about $300,000 for a home in Woodbridge Estates more than a year ago.

"We are two minutes from everything that's happening in Detroit," she said. "We just came from the DSO the other night. We go to the different theaters, hot restaurants all up and down. It is great. My feet don't even have time to hurt."

Michael Dunne, a Seattle-based investor, said Detroit's somewhat belated entry into the urban-living trend enticed him to bankroll several projects in the city done by Detroit developer Dwight Belyue, including the @water Lofts condominium project expected to break ground on the east riverfront in the spring.

"I saw it in Seattle in the '80s, and I thought the developers were crazy," Belyue said last week. "Detroit may be the last big city to go through that, but it's just following the country. Having seen it, I'm a believer."

To meet this demand, builders have provided new niche products, such as high-end condos at the Book-Cadillac Hotel. Moreover, the houses Fielek is building in Woodbridge Estates offer more high-end finishes and amenities than the lower-priced product previously offered in the city. Her units range from about $180,000 to almost $400,000.

Trend changes in big way

Tax abatements and other subsidies that support developments in the city make them more affordable. About 80% of all certifications for Neighborhood Enterprise Zone tax abatements in Michigan are for projects in Detroit.

Then there is the pent-up demand. Having built out Detroit to its borders in the 1950s and 1960s, homebuilders left the city for 30 years to concentrate on the suburbs. From 1985 to 1990, fewer than 10 permits for new single-family houses were issued in the city.

That's changing in a big way. Homebuilders pulled 461 permits for new single-family houses in Detroit last year, the highest total since 1971. Most projects sell out at a brisk pace.

"Demand is twice the supply right now," said Strather, the Detroit-based developer.

Of course, building in the city comes with challenges not found in suburban cornfields.

The Woodbridge Estates project, with streets named for Motown music stars, replaced the old Jeffries housing project, which already had been built atop previous construction. Digging basements for the new houses required clearing out generations of debris, including brick water mains from the 19th Century.

"The first basement we dug," Fielek said, "I was out of town, and my son Matt called and said, 'Well, we're not in Kansas anymore.' "

Contact JOHN GALLAGHER at 313-222-5173 or gallagher@freepress.com.
http://freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/artic...SS04/703180650

Last edited by skyfan; Mar 21, 2007 at 4:05 AM.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #280  
Old Posted Mar 19, 2007, 1:33 AM
LMich's Avatar
LMich LMich is offline
Midwest Moderator - Editor
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Big Mitten
Posts: 30,592
It really is an interesting dynamic, what is happening right now.

I have to comment on Strather's comment, though. If things are so great, than he should have had no problem bringing his stalled Grand River Place project, off the ground.
__________________
Where the trees are the right height
Reply With Quote
     
     
This discussion thread continues

Use the page links to the lower-right to go to the next page for additional posts
 
 
Reply

Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Global Projects & Construction > City Compilations
Forum Jump


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 10:20 PM.

     

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.