Community Development Projects in Metro Detroit in 2023

Project: Central Michigan

The entrance to the Book Tower. Photo courtesy of Michigan Central.

What it is: Ford Motor Co. made waves in 2018 when it announced it had acquired Michigan’s long-abandoned and decaying Central Station. Now that vision is about to come to fruition – and it’s not just about the station itself. The station will anchor a 30-acre walkable campus known as the Central Michiganwhich will contain restaurants, commercial and event spaces, a luxury hotel, public art, testing infrastructure, a mobility testing platform, outdoor plazas, innovation labs, and more.

Vishaan Chakrabartithe architect overseeing the project, said Detroit Time in 2022 that “it’s about the buildings, but it’s also about the space between the buildings and how to create an invitation to the station”.

Where: Corktown
When: A building, The Factory, (housing some members of Ford’s commercial and vehicle operations team) is already open. The book deposit (the innovation hub) is scheduled to open this spring. The station (a mixed-use space with a public hall, restaurant, shops and offices) will be open by the end of the year, officials say.
How much: $950 million, with the state contributing at least $126 million in program spending to support the district.

Project: Detroit Riverside

What it is: 20 years ago, the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy was formed for the purpose of develop the Detroit waterfront stretching from the MacArthur Bridge to the Ambassador Bridge. Since its inception, the reserve has worked on several projects along the 5.5-mile stretch, including cleanups, parkland restorations, pedestrian bridges and lighted walkways, to make the riverfront a place where all everyone can visit and enjoy a piece of Detroit’s shoreline.

Divided into two parts, the east and west shores are divided on the former site of Joe Louis Arena. This year, the 3.5-mile eastern stretch will be completed with the completion of the Uniroyal Parkway, which will connect Gabriel Richard Park to Mount Elliott Park, providing a pathway to the bridge to Belle Isle. It will have separate areas for pedestrians and cyclists.

The project, which began in May 2021, is expected to wrap up this summer.

In November 2022, the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy and Michigan Central invited the community and media to a preview of the 0.75-mile Southwest Greenway Trail, which will connect the riverfront to the neighborhoods of Corktown, Hubbard Richard and Southwest Greenway. west of Detroit, including Michigan Central. At the trailhead is Michigan Central’s Bagley Mobility Hub, which will provide parking for the surrounding area, as well as platforms for displaying art. The workers began construction in April 2022. The greenway should be completed this winter and open next spring.

Finally, the former West Riverfront Park will become Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Centennial Park, a 22-acre destination with basketball courts, a Delta Dental Play Garden, a large water garden, and DTE Foundation Hill. The park will be one of the most important projects on the horizon for conservation, officials say, helping it achieve the goal of developing 5.5 miles of revitalized shoreline. The two-year project, launched in May 2022, is expected to end in 2024.

Where: Detroit Riverside

Project: Brush Watson

Photo courtesy of Brush Watson

What it is: This mixed-use housing project, located in Brush Park, will include 308 residential units in three buildings. About half of these units – 160 – will serve
as affordable housing, for rent at a starting rate of $500 per month. Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan has long been an advocate for support for mixed and affordable housing.

“Preserving and creating affordable housing is a cornerstone of our growth strategy,” Duggan said. DBusiness in 2018. “Affordable housing provides stability for low-income residents of the city and provides options for households of various incomes in all neighborhoods. That’s what we mean when we say we’re building a city for all of us.

An outdoor terrace will occupy the roof of the Brush building, while a Sky Lounge is planned on the 10th floor of the Midblock building. In total, the development comprises over 11,000 square feet of retail space.

Where: Brush and Watson Streets
When: Occupancy of the first building is expected to begin in early 2023.
How much: $60 million, with developers receiving about $3.8 million from the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit.

Project: Exchange

Photo courtesy of Exchange Detroit, LLC.

What it is: The 16-story building began to raise eyebrows as soon as construction began. Using a technology called Liftbuild, Swap is built top-down rather than bottom-up, with each story elevated one at a time around two large central columns – the first time the technology has been used in North America. The downtown tower will include residential units comprising 152 apartments for rent and 12 condominiums for sale.

What sets it apart from other residential buildings? How about 24/7 valet parking and a complete smart home ecosystem, including thermostats, locks, lights and appliances throughout the building? Not to mention the views of the city, the sports district, and the Detroit River (the rooftop terrace should also offer some pretty impressive views).

Where: 310, avenue Gratiot.
When: Completion scheduled for March 2023.
How much: $64.6 million

Project: Downtown Synagogue Isaac Agree

The Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue is set to complete its colorful transformation early this year. // Photo courtesy of Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue.

What it is: After its centennial, Detroit’s last free-standing synagogue will undergo a two-phase renovation, swapping brick walls for floor-to-ceiling windows on the facade and adding a dedicated children’s area, as well as a Jewish coworking space to the upper floors of the building. The second phase will include a roof terrace.

Administrators of the synagogue, long known for its welcoming atmosphere, are seeking to expand its mission as a gathering place and hub for Detroit’s Jewish community.

Where: 1457 Griswold Street
When: Completion expected in February 2023.
How much: $6 million

Project: Joe Louis Parking Platform

What it is: When the Detroit Red Wings said goodbye to Joe Louis Arena, Detroit said goodbye to approximately 1 million square feet of parking space. That’s a problem for a growing downtown that’s attracting more and more people to explore what it has to offer. Enter the Joe Louis parking lot.

Downtown’s third-largest parking lot is being updated with structural repairs, new LED lights, public art installations, electric car charging ports, drop-off and dry cleaning pickup and scooter rental.

While the bridge will primarily be used as monthly parking for tenants of 211 W. Fort St. Tower, monthly parking will also be available for other members of the Detroit CBD, starting at $175 per month, and Huntington Place will manage the bridge and provide event parking.

Where: 900 W.Jefferson
When: The first five of eight floors are complete with the remainder expected to be completed by fall 2023.
How much: $15-20 million

Project: Residences at 150 Bagley

Photo courtesy of Bagley Development Group.

What it is: Detroit-based and black-led Bagley Development Group is bringing Ilitch’s historic United Artists Building back to life near Grand Circus Park. The building is being converted into residential units while retaining, according to the developers, the character of the 18-story 1928 landmark, which has stood vacant for around 50 years.

The development will include 148 residential units, 20% of which will be affordable housing, as well as 10,500 square feet of retail on the first floor.

Where: 150 Bagley St.
When: The project is expected to open by the third quarter of 2023.
How much: $75 million, with support from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Michigan Community Revitalization Program, block grants and historic tax credits.

Project: Roost Book Tour

What it is: Part of the larger Book Tower development, Roost Book Tower takes extended stays in Detroit to the next level, seeking to merge the feeling of apartment living and boutique hotels.

In 2015, The Philadelphia Investigator (Philadelphia-based Method Co. operates multiple Roost locations across the country) called Roost’s vision “boutique hotel meets Airbnb.”

The development will offer 118 studios and one- and two-bedroom apartments with contemporary furnishings, antique features and custom lighting. Amenities will include a bike-sharing program, co-working space, on-site housekeeping and maintenance services, as well as a coffee concierge and an in-apartment craft coffee program with La Colombe Coffee Roasters.

Where: 1265 Washington Blvd..
When: Construction is expected to be completed at some point this year, with an exact timetable for development of the Book Tower, including the Roost Book Tower, expected soon.
How much: $313 million for the complete Book Tower project.

This story is from January 2023 Hour Detroit magazine issue. Find out more in our digital edition.

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