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Detroit: Developments and News

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Cool news for those of us espousing multimodal transportation investments tied into real estate development. Michigan DOT is nearing an RFP for a key property in Detroit's TechTown area - the Amtrak station at Woodward Avenue and Baltimore Street. The end result would be a new intermodal transportation facility.

 

Real Estate Insider: MDOT gearing up for Amtrak property RFP in Detroit

https://www.crainsdetroit.com/voices-kirk-pinho/real-estate-insider-mdot-gearing-amtrak-property-rfp-detroit?platform=hootsuite

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"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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Motorama Motel At 8 Mile And Woodward To Become Apartments, Coffee Shop

 

The old Motorama Motel at 8 Mile and Woodward in Ferndale is going to see redevelopment.

The 21,000 square foot building will become an Urbane apartment building, with a coffee shop planned on the first floor. The deal closed Tuesday. 

The development will have 33 one bedroom/one bathroom units for rent, two 2 bedroom/one bathroom units. It’ll be named “Urbane Ferndale.”

Rents right now are planned to range from $875-$950 per month.

 

More below:

http://www.dailydetroit.com/2019/06/25/motorama-hotel-at-8-mile-and-woodward-to-become-apartments-coffee-shop/

 

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First tenants to move into The Corner at former Tiger Stadium site

 

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The first group of tenants are expected to move in next week into The Corner, a nearly completed $37 million mixed-use development on the former site of Tiger Stadium in Corktown.

 

The development at Trumbull and Michigan Avenue features 111 residential units and 27,000-square-feet of commercial space. Preleasing is at 40% for a mix of affordable housing and market-rate residential units, developers said.

 

“There’s tremendous activity and excitement happening in Corktown, and we have a really tasteful, well-positioned product,” said Eric Larson, president and CEO of Larson Realty Group, on Monday during a tour of the project.

 

More below:

https://www.detroitnews.com/story/business/2019/07/15/first-tenants-move-into-corner-former-tiger-stadium-site/1714440001/

 

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Boutique condo development to soon break ground in Woodbridge

 

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Woodbridge is mostly known for its tree-lined streets and historic single-family homes built in the early 20th century. A new development will be a rare break from that mold.

Levels Commonwealth will bring three boutique condominiums covering one story each to 4530 Commonwealth Street near Forest Avenue. It’s set to break ground in August and slated for a spring 2020 completion.

Each 1,087 square feet unit will come with two bedrooms and two bathrooms, and share the same features and floor plan. There will be a combination of wood and concrete flooring, quartz countertops, low-e glass windows, a private terrace, and a detached garage, to name a few.

They units will start $349,000 and go up with successive floors.

 

More below:

https://detroit.curbed.com/2019/7/18/20699784/levels-commonwealth-woodbridge-condos-for-sale


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I must say I am impress by what Detroit is doin downtown.  Woodward seems to have much more activity and retail than Euclid Ave.  

 

 

 

 

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^^^First of all, I still haven’t figured out how the impressive development along Woodward Av has anything to do with Euclid Av. Secondly, anyone who thinks that Woodward Av has more activity than Euclid Av than Euclid Av obviously hasn’t been to either city!!  Euclid Av, from downtown to midtown to UC is way way more active than Woodward Av. It’s not even close at this point!!

Edited by pontiac51

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Most would draw the comparisons by Woodward and Euclid being main streets in their respective city.  I lived in Detroit for several years and what I am most impressed with is that there is more retail (not just restaurants), the QLine, the apartments and most importantly pedestrian foot traffic.  Detroit has H&M, Nike Store, Under Armour Store, John Varvato Store, Lululemon and Bonobos driving foot traffic (all downtown).  Given all the apartments Cleveland has built along Euclid, I still don't see the foot traffic one would expect.  Many have commented on dead space along the PNC building and Wyse Advertising that does not help.  Also, with the exception of Giegers, where would you buy clothes on Euclid?  That ridicilous equivalent to Mr. Alberts next to Giegers where one can buy a purple, pink or any other outlandish color suit?  Heinen's is a major plus for Euclid Ave, but my point is Woodward seems more active.  If you think midtown Cleveland is active, you must live in Pepper Pike.  This is not a  Detroit is better than Cleveland debate but an observation that I am impressed with the development along one of Detroit's s main streets downtown.  

Edited by newyorker
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Just an FYI, Woodward from New Center to/through Downtown Detroit is far more active than Euclid from University Circle to Public Square.  That is perhaps due to the empty zones between UC and Downtown Cleveland that need to be filled in, which it will in time.  But for now, Woodward is a far more active street than Euclid is currently.

 

And I work in both cities every-other weekly.

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^^^  Exactly, whenever I'm on woodward and driving out of downtown, I think that this is what Euclid Ave can become.  Detroit had done a great job developing their main artery.  

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And except for a few spots on Woodward near Jefferson, the Fox Theater, and Wayne State, isn't nearly all of that activity on Woodward of the last four or five years? I've been visiting Detroit regularly since 2007 (live in Toledo), and the change on that street is remarkable. The last few times I've visited, in the last year, I have noticed much more activity in the neighborhoods too, many fewer empty commercial spaces, but not yet a lot of residential rehabbing outside the hot areas. 

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Yeah, the pedestrian activity + new stores/restaurants along Woodward in the past 5 years is incredible.


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State awards over $6M in funding for five low-income housing projects in Detroit

 

At a press conference today, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Mayor Mike Duggan announced that the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) has awarded six Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) awards to five affordable housing developments in Detroit. The credits total more than $6 million and will go towards financing more than $100 million worth of housing investment.

 

In total, 553 units will be created or preserved, 92 percent of which will be affordable to those making between 30 to 80 percent of the area median income (AMI) or about $16,050 to $42,800 annually.

 

The projects are in Midtown, East Riverfront, Brush Park, and Milwaukee Junction—parts of the city where rents have risen sharply in recent years. Here are the five projects and details for each.

 

More below:

https://detroit.curbed.com/2019/7/22/20706424/affordable-housing-detroit-lihtc-mshda-ami

 

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Local developer wants to buy Joe Louis Arena site

 

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Even as the vacant Joe Louis Arena is dismantled, the plan to figure out what happens next at the riverfront site has taken another unexpected turn. 

The bond insurer that gained the property as compensation for losing $1.1 billion in Detroit's bankruptcy no longer wants the property. Bond insurer Financial Guaranty Insurance Co., or FGIC, is in talks with an unnamed local development group that wants to buy the arena site and an adjacent parking garage and find a new use for the site. 

FGIC "would like to remove themselves from the city of Detroit and sell their interests," said Matthew Walters, the city's deputy group executive for jobs and the economy.

...

The arena site along with an adjacent parking garage was the final pawn in Detroit's plan to get out of Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy in 2014. New York-based FGIC was a major creditor that lost $1.1 billion in the bankruptcy. The city agreed to give the arena site and parking garage to FGIC as part of the settlement deal. The city must tear down the arena as part of that deal.

But the relationship between FGIC and the city has been marked by legal battles and years-long delays. According to the bankruptcy agreement, the city was to have started demolition of the venue within 90 days of the late 2014 deal. The original deadline to come up with a development proposal was late 2017. 

This week, city council approved delaying the deadline for the project plan from Jan. 15, 2020, to January 2021.

 

More below:

https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/detroit-city/2019/07/25/local-developer-wants-buy-joe-louis-arena-site/1825263001/


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Oakland Housing shifts middle-class affordability focus to North Corktown in Detroit

 

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A nonprofit developer founded in the wake of the Great Depression to create housing affordable for autoworkers, has been quietly developing and financing affordable housing for the middle class in Oakland County for decades and, more recently, in Detroit.

Now it's shifting its focus to Detroit's North Corktown neighborhood.

Oakland Housing Inc. is constructing a $3 million, 14-unit condominium complex to enable middle-income earners to make a permanent home in the neighborhood as property values rise with Ford Motor Co.'s development of the nearby historic Michigan Central Station.

...

The two-bedroom units in North Pine Street Townhomes average 1,500 square feet with three-story elevations, exterior and interior urban design elements, attached garages, outdoor art installations and tree farms.

Detroit-based Steven C. Flum Inc. is project architect and Pontiac-based West Construction Services is general contractor.

The property sits on about a quarter of the 4 acres Oakland Housing has acquired in North Corktown along Pine Street, between Vermont and Wabash, over the past dozen years, she said. The nonprofit developer is working with neighbors in the area as it makes plans for the other property.

 

More below:

https://www.crainsdetroit.com/nonprofit/oakland-housing-shifts-middle-class-affordability-focus-north-corktown-detroit


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First look at 64 Watson, new luxury condos in Brush Park

 

A unique development in Brush Park is nearly complete.

The Devon Building on Watson Street, built in 1905, was torn down and a new one rebuilt in its place that faithfully recreated the original’s facade. Now, construction has wrapped up on 64 Watson, which contains six luxury condos, and the first tenants are set to move in soon.

The three-story building has an attractive brick and stone cream exterior with an arched front entrance.

 

More below:

https://detroit.curbed.com/2019/8/15/20807627/64-watson-brush-park-detroit-construction-complete
 

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Slow with my updates...

 

Major improvements in store for Spirit Plaza in Detroit

 

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Spirit Plaza is about to become even more spirited.

Look for $800,00 worth of improvements including a playscape with playground equipment for children, added green space, creation of a dedicated performance stage for entertainers, and new tables, chairs, charging stations and drinking fountains.

And yes, food trucks will be a mainstay.

The upgrades, which are expected to begin after Labor Day and conclude by the end of September, were announced during a Wednesday press conference in Spirit Plaza.

 

More below:

https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/detroit-city/2019/08/28/major-improvements-store-spirit-plaza-detroit/2134259001/

 

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Detroit neighborhood full of tiny homes could change lives for residents

 

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No one in Amanda Funk’s family had ever owned a home.

 

Nobody.

 

Funk, 25, a former intern at Cass Community Social Services and a student at Wayne State University, carries $78,000 in student loans. She never saw herself owning one, either.

 

"Not having that seed planted in me that someday you buy a house and you own it and you take care of it. My whole life, you rent and you pay someone else to take care of it or someone else to fix it and you don't learn those things,“ Funk said.

 

In October, Funk will join a handful of new residents moving into Cass Community Social Services’ Tiny Homes Detroit community.  

 

Renters pay a dollar per square foot for homes ranging from 226 to 400 square feet on 30-foot by 100-foot lots. After seven years, the home will legally become their home. 

 

Each one of the current 19 homes looks and feels completely different. Soon there will be 25 and all of them are already spoken for.  

 

More below:

https://www.freep.com/story/news/2019/08/30/tiny-homes-tour-detroit/2148829001/

 

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An update on St. Charles Residences in Islandview on the East Side. It's a historic renovation and new construction next to and on top of the historic building.

 

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Book Tower restoration to feature hotel, retail, office space

 

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Bedrock plans to bring the iconic Book Tower back to life with a mix of residential, hotel, retail and office space.

New York-based architect ODA was chosen from among 10 firms to lead the design effort in restoring the nearly 500,000-square-foot Washington Boulevard structure originally built in 1916.

“We selected them because they have quite a few projects around the country and around the world where they take a grand, historic icon and restore that building both back to its original moment in time, but then take it forward into the next century,” said Melissa Dittmer, chief design officer for Bedrock.

ODA’s design work includes the historic post office, POSTKantoor in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and a warehouse converted into a coworking space, 10 Jay, in New York City.

 

More below:

https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/detroit-city/2019/09/04/book-tower-restoration-feature-hotel-retail-office-space/2200749001/

 

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$21 million development with apartments, parking garage, retail planned on polluted site on Jefferson

 

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The owner of the former Leland hotel in downtown Detroit is leading development of an apartment building, parking deck and renovation project on the edge of the east-side West Village neighborhood.

The $21 million commercial and residential project is seeking public financing through the city's Brownfield Redevelopment Authority to assist with environmental cleanup, according to public documents and the Leland owner, Michael Higgins.

Pending city approvals, Higgins and investors he would not name plan to renovate four vacant buildings on Jefferson Avenue between Van Dyke and Seyburn streets near the bridge to Belle Isle. They would demolish an unused, approximately 80-year-old parking deck. In its place they would build a 136-space parking structure and a four-story, 36-unit apartment building on top. About 15,000 square feet of commercial space is also planned, including a restaurant and a center for a nonprofit.

 

More below:

https://www.crainsdetroit.com/economic-development/21-million-development-apartments-parking-garage-retail-planned-polluted-site?utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&utm_term=crainsdetroit&utm_content=442ba7b3-a3c5-4fa8-b9ab-ba3bde9bd8ed

 

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WeWork to more than double Detroit footprint with new TechTown space

 

Co-working space giant WeWork LLC expects to double its Detroit footprint by opening its largest location to date, in the TechTown area of Midtown.

The New York City-based company, whose parent is We Co., has signed a lease for more than 91,000 square feet at 6001 Cass Ave. at York Street, Dan Austin, a spokesman for Detroit-based developer and landlord The Platform LLC said Wednesday evening.

That adds to the more than 85,000 square feet WeWork has spread across 11 floors in a pair of Dan Gilbert-owned buildings downtown: 1001 Woodward Ave. (four floors) and 1449 Woodward Ave. (seven floors).

It's not known precisely when WeWork will have space available for users on Cass, but it will take part of the first floor, along with all of the second through fifth floors, Austin said. Tata Technologies, the Novi-based division of Tata Group, is leasing the sixth floor for its new headquarters that's expected to open this fall. The building, which is about 130,000 square feet, is also slated to house a Wayne State University art gallery.

 

More below:

https://www.crainsdetroit.com/real-estate/wework-more-double-detroit-footprint-new-techtown-space

 

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Detroit outlines key recommendations for updating city’s zoning ordinance

 

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Detroit is building more than it has in quite some time. That’s why revising the city’s outdated zoning ordinance, to make sure those buildings truly suit the city, is more important than ever.

 

Last year, the city’s Planning Commission, with support from the Legislative Policy Division (LPD), officially embarking on that major update. The nearly 900 page document is outdated in numerous ways and unwieldy for most people, even city officials.

 

The team, along with consultants Code Studio based out of Austin, have been meeting with stakeholders and getting resident feedback since August 2018. Earlier this week, the LPD released the first significant report of the work to date, Zone Analytic, which provides an overview of the process and outlines key recommendations. The document makes sure to note that it’s a “starting point for discussion” prior to drafting the new ordinance.

 

We wrote about the process the LPD is taking to receive feedback in a previous article, so we’ll just cover the recommendations in this document, which are divided into four major buckets:

 

*Making zoning simpler for everyone

*Neighborhood revival

*Corridor growth

*Job creation

 

Let’s expand a little bit on each. You can also read the full document for yourself here.

 

More below:

https://detroit.curbed.com/2019/9/12/20863248/detroit-planning-commission-rezoning-ordinance-code


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Historic Eastern Market church completes restoration of steeple and bell tower

 

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A new chapter is about to begin for an old Detroit church.

In October 2017, St. Joseph Oratory began a $2.5 million Historic Renewal campaign—the first significant restoration in the history of the nearly 150-year-old German Gothic church on Jay Street in Eastern Market.

According to the Catholic church, the bell tower was constructed in 1873, which made it the tallest building in Detroit at the time. The steeple was added in 1892.

For the restoration, the church replaced the wood underlayment, then added real slate and copper with a patina treatment. The work was done by Detroit Cornice and Slate.

 

More below:

https://detroit.curbed.com/2019/9/16/20868673/st-joseph-oratory-eastern-market-restoration-detroit

 

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$6.6M mixed-use building with artistic theme planned for Woodbridge

 

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Two Detroiters—one a gallery owner and another who cut his teeth in New York City finance—are planning a $6.6 million mixed-use development on Grand River Avenue at the edge of Woodbridge. Called the Osi Art Apartments @ West End, plans for the development were revealed in public records submitted to the city’s Brownfield Redevelopment Authority earlier this month.

Plans for the over 26,000-square-foot Osi Art Apartments currently call for around 30 apartment units and ground floor retail, as well as parking behind the building. The site, which was purchased in May this year, is currently vacant and sits next to the Patterson Dog and Cat Hospital between Avery and Commonwealth streets.

 

More below:

https://detroit.curbed.com/2019/9/25/20883679/woodbridge-development-osi-art-apartments-grand-river

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Ross, Gilbert teaming on $300 million UM innovation center at former jail site in Detroit

 

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New York City real estate mogul Stephen Ross and Detroit entrepreneur Dan Gilbert are teaming to build a $300 million University of Michigan graduate school campus at the one-time site of Wayne County's failed jail project in a development billed as transformative for the east side of downtown.

The planned Detroit Center for Innovation will feature a 190,000-square-foot research and graduate education building for UM students in automotive mobility, artificial intelligence, sustainability, cybersecurity, financial technology and other tech fields.

"The whole idea of that is using (the innovation center) to get companies to relocate to Detroit and take advantage of the talent coming there," Ross said in an exclusive interview with Crain's.

Gilbert's Bedrock LLC and Ross' Related Cos. will co-develop the rest of the 15-acre former jail site to include mid-rise residential buildings for UM graduate students, incubator space for new tech businesses and a boutique hotel and conference center inside the former Detroit Police Department headquarters, a project pegged at $120 million that recently surfaced before City Council in a tax abatement request.

 

More below:

https://www.crainsdetroit.com/real-estate/ross-gilbert-teaming-300-million-um-innovation-center-former-jail-site-detroit

 

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I find it interesting how both UM & MSU are pushing into the bigger Michigan cities. MSU practically has an entire medical research campus in GR now, and UM is going to have this in Detroit. 

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^ are these separate, but related campuses, like bgsu/firelands?

 

or are they off-site extensions of the main colleges?

 

sounds like the latter?

 

seems like an effort from the state to de-centralize those campuses.

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MSU is an extension of main campus, from my understanding. I know theres UM Dearborn/Flint so not sure how this may work into that system. 

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Bankruptcy creditor seeks 2 more years to acquire properties for east Detroit riverfront development

 

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A key creditor at the center of Detroit's historic 2013-14 municipal bankruptcy is asking for two more years to acquire an east Detroit riverfront property it received development rights to in the case.

Pike Pointe Holdings LLC, a subsidiary of Syncora Guarantee Inc., currently has until Dec. 10 to exercise an option to acquire properties at 2290 E. Jefferson Ave., 2310 E. Jefferson Ave. and 301 Chene St. totaling 2.11 acres; it is asking for an extension until Dec. 10, 2021, to exercise its option on the property, according to a bankruptcy court filing filed late Wednesday.

 

More below:

https://www.crainsdetroit.com/real-estate/bankruptcy-creditor-seeks-2-more-years-acquire-properties-east-detroit-riverfront

 

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Detroit's Midtown district spreads west with new project farther from Woodward

 

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Detroit's Midtown district is stretching its boundaries.

Originally focused mostly on Woodward and Cass, the area known as Midtown has seen new development projects popping up lately in streets farther out. The most recent came Friday, when Mayor Mike Duggan and developer Mario Procida broke ground on Midtown West, a multi-part project near the Lodge Freeway.

The first phase of Midtown West is called Fourth & Selden and will feature 26 condominium units and 4,200 square feet of retail space. A second phase to follow will include 175 rental apartments; a 1-acre park; and more retail space. Ultimately, as many as 300 apartments could be built in the project.

 

More below:

https://www.freep.com/story/money/business/john-gallagher/2019/11/15/detroit-midtown-district-new-project/4201443002/


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Long-vacant downtown Detroit building gets new owner, cafe planned

 

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After sitting vacant for more than 20 years, 511 Woodward Avenue has a new owner.

Birmingham-based Elia Group has closed on a $4.65 million purchase from the Wayne County Land Bank.

The first tenant will be Capital One Financial Corp. with plans to open a Capital One Café in the third quarter of 2020, officials announced Thursday.

 

More below:

https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/detroit-city/2019/11/21/long-vacant-downtown-detroit-building-gets-new-owner-cafe-planned/4262425002/


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WPP to create downtown Detroit campus in vacant Marquette Building

 

WPP_Detroit_campus.0.jpg

 

The world's largest advertising agency holding company whose main client is Ford Motor Co. plans to move to downtown Detroit in a move that could bring more than 1,000 jobs to the city.

WPP — which includes GTB, VMLY&R, Burrows, Hudson Rouge, Iconmobile, Xaxis and Zubi — said Tuesday morning that it anticipates to move into the vacant Marquette Building at 243 W. Congress St.

GTB, which stands for Go Team Blue, works heavily with Ford, which is renovating the Michigan Central Station in Corktown as an anchor to its $740 million autonomous and electric vehicle campus in the neighborhood west of downtown.

 

More below:

https://www.crainsdetroit.com/real-estate/wpp-move-1000-jobs-detroit-vacant-marquette-building

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On 11/22/2019 at 11:43 AM, ColDayMan said:

Long-vacant downtown Detroit building gets new owner, cafe planned

 

b00f0171-7266-47ee-a4de-72c5c77e5800-511

 

 

 

 

that is a very funky looking almost modern goth rehab. i like. i bet the crow would approve as well.

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$36.6M Midtown apartment building secures funding, ready for 2020 construction

 

A mixed-use apartment building in the Sugar Hill Arts District of Midtown is now ready for construction after a delay caused by financing challenges.

A joint venture by nonprofit developers Develop Detroit and Preservation of Affordable Housing Inc., the new building at John R and Garfield streets will bring 68 apartment units, 11,800 feet of ground-floor retail, and a 160-space parking structure.

About 20 percent of the apartments, 14 in total, will be reserved as affordable for those making between 50 to 60 percent of the area median income. The Sugar Hill development is across from the John D. Dingell VA Medical Center, and many of those units will be targeted to homeless veterans through the HUD-VASH voucher program.

The total development cost is estimated at $36.6 million. Construction is expected to begin in early 2020 and take around 18 months.

 

More below:

https://detroit.curbed.com/2019/12/18/21028106/sugar-hill-midtown-dmc-develop-detroit-apartment-building

 

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^ very nice for that area. a built from scratch new apt building and 20% affordable apts, whats not to like here? 

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New express bus will run from Detroit to Ann Arbor

 

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Southeast Michigan transportation might be getting a little bit easier. 

A proposed nonstop bus service from Detroit to Ann Arbor would mean riders could travel between the two cities in as little as one hour.  The Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan (RTA) in partnership with the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority (TheRide) is proposing the pilot express bus service.  The service will be operated by Michigan Flyer and run from Grand Circus Park in Detroit to Fourth Avenue at William Street in Ann Arbor. 

The proposed service will run hourly for 16 hours a day during the week — from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. They are also proposing limited service on Saturday and Sunday. Customers will be able to make advance reservations or walk on at bus stops. 

 

Proposed one-way fares for the service are: 

  • $12 base fare
  • $10 advanced booking discount 
  • $6 senior/disability fare

More below:

https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2020/01/07/express-bus-detroit-ann-arbor/2832212001/

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Baker College's new campus building in Royal Oak could rise nearly 100 feet, cost $27.6 million

 

Baker College is moving forward with plans to build a new building in downtown Royal Oak. Documents show it would be $27.6 million, rise nearly 100 feet on the site of a funeral home that would be razed.

 

More below:

https://www.crainsdetroit.com/real-estate/baker-colleges-new-campus-building-royal-oak-could-rise-nearly-100-feet-cost-276

 

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Elmwood Park Plaza tower to be renamed, renovated in $25 million effort

 

A nearly 50-year-old apartment tower in Detroit is getting a $25 million renovation.

Construction on City Club Apartments Lafayette Park, formerly Elmwood Park Plaza at 750 Chene St. between Larned and Lafayette streets, is expected to begin this month with residents moving into renovated units starting in the spring.

The plans were formally announced during an event Thursday morning on the first floor of the building, which opened in 1974.

Among the renovations are an 18th-floor lounge, greenery added to the building's facade, new landscaping, extensively renovated and redesigned apartment interiors, a fitness center, heated pool and hot tub, a beach volleyball court and a outdoor grill.

 

More below:

https://www.crainsdetroit.com/real-estate/elmwood-park-plaza-tower-be-renamed-renovated-25-million-effort

 

ElmwoodParkPlazaRendering_i.png


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Renderings for the pedestrian bridges around the Gordie Howe International Bridge were released:

 

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Before & after view of the progress of City Modern at Brush Park:

 

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Eco Homes, Midtown - back in December:

 

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