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Two new businesses, a bakery and boutique, slated for fall openings in the historic Fisher Building

The ornate art deco lobby of the Fisher Building, a building celebrated as a major work of art by architects and enthusiasts the world over, stands to attract even more people craning their necks as they take in their surroundings.

This fall, two noteworthy businesses are scheduled to open there: Yama, the third women's retail store from The Peacock Room and Frida's Rachel Lutz, and City Bakery, a popular New York City-based bakery and cafe.

Lutz's first two stores, The Peacock Room and Frida, opened in 2011 and 2014, respectively. Both are located in the Park Shelton building in Midtown.

While The Peacock Room curates a more vintage-inspired collection of women's clothing and accessories, and Frida features casual and bohemian fashion, Lutz says that Yama will focus on edgy, architecturally-inspired clothing. Yama is named in honor of renowned Detroit architect Minoru Yamasaki.

"I'm excited at the thought of joining a strong, veteran retail mix at the Fisher," says Lutz. "I'm joining Gallery of Contemporary Craft, Pure Detroit, the Fashion Place, and Vera Jane. Yama will offer a fresh energy, and we'll bring a lot of destination shoppers to New Center.

"Complementing its dense population, New Center's food and retail scene is poised to blossom within the next few years. I want to jump start that by pushing our existing foot traffic up the Woodward corridor."

With its first location having opened in New York City in 1990, and a second in Japan, the popular City Bakery will open their third location in the Fisher lobby this fall.

Famous for its hot chocolate, City Bakery is also a bakery, coffee shop, cafe, and catering company. Its Annual Hot Chocolate Festival attracts more than 50,000 people each February. 

Detroit-based development company The Platform, which owns the Fisher as well as a number of other notable New Center buildings, recruited the two businesses as their tenants.

"I'm thrilled that the Fisher Building is the crown jewel of The Platform's development," says Lutz. "This architectural gem now has owners that don't see it as just square footage--they envision it as a vibrant public square."

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Motor City Match seeks business and commercial property owners for third round of grants

Detroit entrepreneurs and commercial property owners are once again being encouraged to apply for the city's Motor City Match program. Applications are open for submission March 1-April 1. It's the third round of the program intended to stimulate Detroit's commercial corridors.

There are four major award categories for which business and property owners can apply for a share of $500,000 in grant funding. Each category is designed for business and property owners at different levels of building a business.

The first category is for business plans, which Motor City Match will help entrepreneurs develop. 

The second category seeks to match commercial property owners with business tenants. Buildings must be in good shape and entrepreneurs must have quality business plans or successful track records.

The third category will award architectural design assistance, construction documents, and priority permitting to business and building owners with recently signed leases.

The fourth and final category is for those with signed leases, quality business plans, and bids for building out the space, but who still have to bridge a financial gap. This category awards cash to such applicants.

Motor City Match was launched by Mayor Mike Duggan and the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation in 2015. Roderick Miller, CEO of the DEGC, says in a statement, "After two rounds of Motor City Match awardees, it's clear this program is making an impact in Detroit. From restaurants and retail establishments to service companies and even manufacturing, Motor City Match is growing neighborhood small businesses across the city."

According to officials, the Motor City Mach program has invested $1 million in 20 businesses to date, leveraging an additional $6 million in public and private investment. Motor City Match also points out that 70 percent of the 196 businesses and property owners that have received support are minority owned. Furthermore, two-thirds are from Detroit and half are minority woman-owned businesses.

Visit motorcitymatch.com for details on how to apply.

Disclosure: Model D receives support from Motor City Match to tell stories of small business development in the city's neighborhoods.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

2016 will be a year of big improvements to Detroit's cycling infrastructure

A new report released by the Detroit Greenways Coalition highlights five bike and trail projects that the bicycle and pedestrian advocacy group is most looking forward to in 2016. According to the DGC, Detroit will see a number of improvements to its cycling infrastructure in 2016, including the official completion of the Dequindre Cut, upgraded biking conditions along Cass Avenue, and the introduction of the much-anticipated public bike share program. The report also hints at an indoor velodrome that could be in Detroit's future.

Detroit Greenways Coalition works with both public and private entities, including city and state governments, and an array of foundations, to improve the quality of non-motorized transportation and recreation in Detroit. Todd Scott is the group's executive director.

Highlights from the DGC report include the following:
 
  • The Link Detroit project will officially be completed in 2016. Link Detroit connects a number of communities, from Hamtramck to Midtown to Eastern Market to the Riverfront, through a series of bike lanes and the Dequindre Cut.
  • Biking from Midtown to downtown should prove easier in 2016 as improved biking conditions along Cass Avenue are completed this year. Upgrades are designed, in part, to discourage bikers from using Woodward Avenue and the accompanying safety concerns of the M-1 Rail.
  • Automated counters will be installed along the Dequindre Cut and Cass to provide the DGC with real-time data as they look to better understand and utilize bicycle and pedestrian trends throughout those corridors. 
  • 2016 could also be the year that a public bike share program is introduced in Detroit. Though nothing is definite, the DGC says the Detroit Downtown Partnership is hopeful that the first phase of the program will open this year.
  • Bike lanes along a four-mile stretch of Livernois Avenue are being installed by the city of Detroit and will run from Grand River Avenue to W. Vernor Highway. Pop-up bike lanes, intended for viability tests, will also be installed along Livernois from McNichols to 8 Mile Road.
More information on the Detroit Greenways Coalition and its top projects for 2016 can be found here.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

November development news round-up

It's been another busy month for development news in the city. Let's catch up on some of the biggest stories from the past four weeks.

Two of Detroit's most high profile real estate developments, Orleans Landing along the riverfront and DuCharme Place across from Lafayette Park, are beginning to take shape. Construction at Orleans Landing is revealing the bones of the mixed-use development, while DuCharme Place recently celebrated its ceremonial groundbreaking, though construction there had already begun weeks beforehand. Orleans Landing promises 278 residential units and DuCharme Place is kicking in another 185.

Add 230 more residential units to the combined 463 residential units of the aforementioned developments, so long as Peter Cummings gets his way in the city's New Center district. The Whole Foods developer says he has an agreement with Henry Ford Health System to purchase the parking lot at Third and W. Grand Boulevard and plans on building a brand new apartment building there. A redevelopment of the nearby Hotel St. Regis annex recently celebrated its own ceremonial ribbon cutting, announcing the December arrival of the Regis Houze and its 58 apartments.

In redevelopment news even more surprising than the decision to name an apartment building the Regis Houze is the news that someone is planning to redevelop the old Lee Plaza Hotel. Developer Craig Sasser announced plans for a $200 million redevelopment of the 17-story building. Sasser says he'll be bringing 200 luxury, market-rate apartments to the abandoned and derelict building, stripped to its bones after years of being open to the elements. One infamous incident, at least locally, was the discovery that 50 of the building's original terra cotta lions heads had been stolen, six of them found adorning a new condo development in Chicago. Even the FBI got involved. A rundown of the events can be found on Historic Detroit.

Writer: MJ Galbraith

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

New $30M medical distribution center opens in New Center

After a couple of years of wrangling and another year of construction, Cardinal Health has opened a long-awaited distribution center in Detroit. It is the first part of a larger campus dreamed up by Henry Ford Health System, which hopes to drive over $500 million in development over roughly 300 acres south of Grand Boulevard, west of the Lodge Expressway, and north of Interstate 94. The new campus would be a mix of light industrial, residential, commercial, and green space.

The roughly 140 employees that worked at Cardinal Health's previous facility near Detroit Metro Airport are expected to relocate to the new facility. The company was lured to Detroit by Henry Ford Health System and the Detroit Medical Center as the two agreed to long-term distribution deals with the company in return for its moving to the city. Such a deal represents a long-term strategy for those anchor institutions as they take a broader role in development, looking to improve both their businesses and the neighborhoods in which they operate.

Cardinal Health is a $91 billion health care services company that offers pharmaceuticals and health care products. The distribution center's proximity to HFHS and DMC makes delivering such items to the hospitals that much more efficient, officials say.

"We're excited to have this beautiful building and these jobs in the city of Detroit," says Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan.

The building is a 275,000-square-foot distribution center built by KIRCO, the company that bought the site from HFHS and is the acting project developer. A steel manufacturing facility previously occupied the site, which presented environmental remediation challenges like contaminated soil and petroleum storage tanks buried in the earth.

Writer: MJ Galbraith

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Full disclosure: Henry Ford Health System and the Detroit Medical Center belong to a group of organizations that provide underwriting support to Model D's parent company Issue Media Group for its coverage of anchor institutions in Detroit.

Interactive art labyrinth opens in New Center

A collaboration of local artists, businesses, and volunteers has culminated in the opening of MONOMYTH in the Lincoln Street Art Park and Sculpture Garden in Detroit's New Center area.

Though the celebration reception won't occur until Wednesday, May 20, MONOMYTH opened to the public May 3. The elaborate art installation runs through June 13.

Drawing inspiration from Joseph Campbell's monomyth theory, which maps the typical path of the hero's journey found in mythology both classic and modern, MONOMYTH is an interactive labyrinth, inviting visitors to answer a call to adventure which will result in a prize at the end of the journey. Along the way, visitors will interact with a series of sculptures and structures.

Among the contributing artists include Joe Lapham, DVS, Stephanie May, Sicilily Amaris Raven, Monique Pettway, Linden (formerly exhibiting as Lindsey Harnish), Mike Ross, John Finazzo, Terri Light, JoJo Smedo, and Alana Carlson.

"We experience so many things in our daily lives that feel epic, but we so rarely feel like heroes," says artist and project director Linden. "MONOMYTH is an effort to give anyone the opportunity to experience a heroic journey and encounter challenges in an abstract way that might give new light and meaning to their personal challenges."

According to the artists, visitors will follow a path that leads them through instances of love, temptation, and death.

Detroit businesses Recycle Here Detroit, Anew Life Prosthetics, and New Aeon Painting provided materials for MONOMYTH. Money was raised through a fundraiser at New Center establishment Zenith Restaurant, as well as through a GoFundMe campaign.

Lincoln Street Art Park and Sculpture Garden itself is located adjacent to Recycle Here Detroit. The park has hosted numerous art installations since its 2011 inception.

Writer: MJ Galbraith

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

2015 will be 'banner year' for M-1 Rail construction, work on Campus Martius section to begin soon

Construction will begin on the Campus Martius portion of the 3.3 mile-long M-1 Rail project Monday, April 20, and is expected to end in October. These were among a number of details revealed during an hour-long meeting with M-1 Rail Chief Operating Officer Paul Childs Thursday morning.

Though he characterized it as a world-class park, Campus Martius is going to present a number of challenges to M-1 Rail work crews, says Childs. Tight spaces, nearby underground parking garages, and a "park at a funny angle" all contribute to a methodical four-phase construction process. Still, M-1 has no plans to shut down public access to the park at any point.

The traffic loop around Campus Martius will also remain open. The only complete road shutdowns throughout the process will be due to the track terminus south of the park. Because of the installation of a custom-made track required at the end of the line, M-1 Rail crews will shut down Congress Street for a ten- to twelve-day period.

Moving north past Campus Martius, Childs announced M-DOT's plans for two to three mid-block crossings to be installed in the Midtown area. Pedestrians attempting to cross the nine lanes of Woodward between traffic signals will have a couple of "pedestrian refuges" to stop and wait while oncoming traffic clears. Just how these mid-block crossings will look remains vague.

Utility work and track installation will continue up Woodward throughout the year. The reconstruction of the I-75 and I-94 overpasses should be completed by the end of 2015. Childs described the 2015 construction schedule as aggressive, though exact dates are hard to come by. There's always a tension, he says, between a desire for exact dates and more realistic but general completion times. "There are so many dependables that you can't give dates until the next phase is completed."

The M-1 Rail is still on track to open in late 2016. The Penske Tech Center, where train cars will be serviced and M-1 will be headquartered, could be complete as soon as the end of 2015.

Source: Paul Childs, M-1 Rail Chief Operating Officer
Writer: MJ Galbraith

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Who's going to operate M-1 Rail? Organization seeks bids

The search is on for the third-party operator of the M-1 Rail. The group behind the winning proposal will manage day-to-day operations and maintenance of the light rail line, which is currently under construction. All submissions are due by April 16.

The M-1 Rail will be a 3.3-mile long streetcar line stretching from downtown to New Center. The organization behind the project is a nonprofit, put in place by the private businesses and philanthropic organizations that created and funded the line.

Third-party operators of light rail lines is nothing new in the U.S. Streetcar systems in Tucson and New Orleans utilize third-party operators of their lines. Other cities that are currently building their own streetcar systems, including Kansas City, Oklahoma City, and Washington, D.C., are also searching for third-party operators.

The responsibilities of running the M-1 are many, including the hiring, training, and scheduling of employees. They also include the development of a standards of practice for customer service, safety, and fare collections. Track, switch, signal, and platform maintenance is required. The maintenance and cleaning of the vehicles is also included.

"Passengers want a reliable, safe, and clean experience and the operator of the line will be a catalyst for that," says Paul Childs, chief operating officer of M-1 Rail. "The contractor we select will begin working with us at least 12 months in advance of streetcar operations. They will be instrumental in developing processes and procedures for operations and fulfilling all of the obligations required by Federal, State, and City government agencies."

Details of the contract include an initial five year operating agreement with M-1 retaining the rights to extend that contract another two to five years. M-1 Rail officials expect operating costs at $5 million a year.

Source: M-1 Rail press release
Writer: MJ Galbraith

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Detroit leads pack with 25 finalists for Knight Cities Challenge awards

Finalists have been announced for the first ever Knight Cities Challenge. Of the 26 cities eligible to enter the contest, Detroit is by far the best represented. Knight selected 126 finalists and Detroit claims nearly a fifth of the total finalist pool with 25 proposed projects. 25 other cities, including Duluth, Miami, and Philadelphia, account for the remaining 101 finalists.

The Knight Cities Challenge is a John S. and James L. Knight Foundation contest, one that will split $5 million in grants among winning projects that address how cities can attract and retain residents, how they can boost economic activity for everyone, and how to better connect and involve citizens in their collective future. Applications closed Nov. 14, 2014.

"The challenge has introduced us to a host of new ideas and people who want to take hold of the future of their cities," says Carol Coletta, Knight Foundation vice president for community and national initiatives. "Through these new connections we hope to grow a network of civic innovators to take on community challenges and build solutions together."

The 25 ideas from Detroit were submitted by individuals and organizations alike. Graig Donnelly's Border Talks proposes to create an actual physical space that encourages Detroiters and Grosse Pointe Parkers to engage with one another.

In a proposal submitted by Jan Shimshock on behalf of the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy, Information Supergreenway would install continuous wifi Internet access along the RiverWalk, Dequindre Cut, and Eastern Market.

Bus Riders Need to Be Engaged Too, submitted by Jacob Rayford Jr., would place information agents on public transit to answer questions about the city and city transportation.

The winners of the contest will receive a portion of $5 million and will be announced in March 2015. Over 7,000 proposals were initially submitted to the Knight Cities Challenge.

A full list of finalists with project descriptions can be found here.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Detroit Greenways Coalition leads non-motorized charge into 2015 with bevy of bike-related projects

The nonprofit group Detroit Greenways Coalition has released its Top 5 Detroit bike and trail projects for 2015 and it's looking to be a very good year for Detroiters who enjoy the outdoors. According to the DGC, the city's bicyclists, joggers, and walkers will see miles of new pathways added, current routes improved, and safer road conditions in 2015.

Detroit Greenways Coalition is led by Executive Director Todd Scott. The group works with both public and private entities, including city and state governments and an array of foundations, to improve the quality of non-motorized transportation and recreation in Detroit.

Highlights from the DGC report include the following:
 
  • Bicyclists and pedestrians can expect the Link Detroit project to be finished by summer. Link Detroit extends the Dequindre Cut to Eastern Market and connects Eastern Market to Midtown and Hamtramck with surface street bike lanes.
  • The DGC helped secure $4.5 million in grants which it expects the city of Detroit to use to purchase an 8.3 mile stretch of abandoned railroad this year. That property will then be converted into a bike path and greenway, filling in a significant gap of the Inner Circle Greenway, the DGC's 26 mile-long circular pathway that rolls through Detroit, Hamtramck, Highland Park, and Dearborn.
  • The almost-finished Conner Creek Greenway, which travels northward from the riverfront at Maheras Gentry Park, will see the completion of an extension from Conner Street at E. Outer Drive all the way into Warren, where it merges with Van Dyke Avenue and ends at Stephens Road. The greenway is to be part of Governor Snyder's Showcase Trail, a system of paths, trails, and bike lanes that reaches from Belle Isle to Wisconsin.
  • The first protected bike lanes in the state are set to be installed along six blocks of East Jefferson Avenue between Alter Road and Lakewood Street. Efforts by groups including East Jefferson, Inc. are underway to extend those bike lanes to the Belle Isle entrance.
  • Cass Avenue is to receive bike lanes from W. Grand Boulevard to Lafayette, which will then zig zag to the RiverWalk. Public bike repair stations and air pumps will be installed along the way.
More information on the Detroit Greenways Coalition and its top projects for 2015 can be found here.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

JPMorgan Chase, Invest Detroit, LISC among latest group to give millions of dollars to M-1 Rail

M-1 Rail has fit a big piece into its funding puzzle. The 3.3-mile-long streetcar line has agreed to a second round of funding though the federal New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program. In addition to NMTCs received earlier in 2014, the recent agreement on a second phase of tax credit funding brings M-1 a grand total of $40 million. This is the first time a transit project has received NMTC funding since that program's creation in 2000.

NMTCs were designed to spur development, economic growth, and investment in low-income urban neighborhoods by offering tax credits to organizations contributing to qualifying projects. NMTC investors receive a tax credit equal to 39 percent of their total qualified investment. That tax credit is spread out over seven years; the first three years of the credit returns at five percent and the last four returns at six percent.

JPMorgan Chase, Invest Detroit, The Great Lakes Capital Fund, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), and United Fund Advisors contributed to the NMTC fund. Major contributions include $18.4 million from Invest Detroit and $14 million from JPMorgan Chase.

Tahirih Ziegler, executive director of Detroit LISC, says her organization is investing in M-1 Rail for various reasons. "All of the catalytic affordable housing and other development that will result as part of the project is really important to our 'Building Sustainable Communities' activities in the Grand Woodward neighborhood," she says. "We think this project ties into other opportunities for small businesses to come in and create new jobs available to local residents."

The approximately $40 million in funding through NMTCs covers just a portion of the M-1 Rail construction costs. M-1 Rail projects that it will cost $140 million to acquire the streetcars and build the streetcar line and vehicle maintenance facility. The rest of the money has been obtained from a combination of private and public entities, including a recent $12.2 million TIGER grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation in September 2014.

Source: M-1 Rail press release
Writer: MJ Galbraith

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Twenty new 'Little Free Libraries' sprout up across Detroit

Since Nov. 6, twenty new libraries have opened in Detroit -- though perhaps not the kind that immediately comes to mind. They're called Little Free Libraries and come from a nonprofit organization out of Madison, Wis. that has erected nearly 20,000 "libraries" in places around the U.S. and Canada (and as remote as Antarctica!) since 2009. Detroit received twenty of these Little Free Libraries early this month.

Uniquely designed and attractively built, a Little Free Library is basically a box on a post filled with books. It's a leave-a-book, take-a-book system where everyone is encouraged to take a book or two and replace them with a book or two from their own shelves. According to the organization, Little Free Libraries foster a sense of community, literacy, and a love for reading.

The libraries are scattered throughout the city and can be found in, around, or in front of the following locations:
  • North Rosedale Park Civic Association
  • DetroitLoves You Airbnb
  • Corktown's Murphy Play Lot
  • Westminster Church in Northwest Detroit
  • Highland Park's Ruth Ellis Drop-in Center
  • Write-A-House
  • Residential homes in Palmer Woods, Palmer Park, and Boston-Edison
  • Clark Park
  • Weiss Park
  • Hawthorne Park
  • Bennett Park
  • LaSalle Ford Park
  • Lafayette Central Park
  • Wilson Park
  • Edmore-Marbud Park
  • Butler Park
Todd Bol, founder of the Little Free Libraries organization, donated the first twenty. Kim Kozlowski founded Detroit Little Free Libraries and says that these libraries are the first of 313 planned throughout Detroit, making the city the "Little Free Library Capital of the World."

"The first 20 locations aim to promote a sense of community and engagement, not only within Detroit's diverse neighborhoods, but also among visitors in Detroit who chose to rent while staying here, to literary artists as well as community groups," says Kozlowski.

Sam Constantine and Chris Behm of the End Grain Woodworking Co. helped with the project, using reclaimed wood from the city in building the libraries. 

Source: Detroit Little Free Libraries press release
Writer: MJ Galbraith

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

M-1 Rail reveals streetcar design team

The company responsible for designing and building streetcars in Portland, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. has been selected to design and build the M-1 Rail streetcars in Detroit. The Czech Republic-based company Inekon Group has been awarded the approximately $30 million contract.

According to M-1 Rail officials, even though the design team behind the Detroit streetcars is from the Czech Republic, the project continues to comply with a federal Buy America initiative. The program stipulates that the M-1 Rail must be built with American-made products.

"We want to assure that materials, parts, labor, manufacturing processes, and final assembly will meet the Buy America requirements," says M-1 Rail chief operating officer Paul Childs. "It’s too early to talk about any sourcing or potential manufacturing locations, but we are committed to the principles of Buy America’s support of U.S.-based suppliers and the families who work for them."

While visuals of the vehicles' design are not yet available, M-1 Rail has released some streetcar specs. Future riders can expect streetcars that are 73 feet long, 8.5 feet wide, 13 feet high, and weigh 76,000 pounds. The cars utilize lithium-ion batteries, allowing to them to run "off-wire" 60 percent of the time. This will limit the amount of overhead wires along Woodward Avenue used to power the streetcars.

The double-ended and double-sided streetcars will be driven by operators at the same speed as automobile and bus traffic. They will be Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-compliant, built low to the ground for ease of access for mobility assist devices like wheelchairs. The streetcars will feature WiFi Internet, bike racks, and an HVAC system capable of handling Michigan seasons.

While no dates were given as to when the public will be able to see the final streetcar design, M-1 Rail officials say they are on track to be up and running in 2016.

Source: M-1 Rail press release
Writer: MJ Galbraith

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

September development news round-up


It's been another busy month for development news in the city. Let's catch up on five of the biggest stories from the past four weeks.

A groundbreaking was held for the Arena District last week, beginning the very expensive task of building an 18,000-seat hockey and entertainment arena and 45 blocks of mixed-use development mostly from scratch. A mix of public and private money is funding the development just north of downtown. The arena is scheduled to open in 2017.

In other sports-cum-development news, the city of Detroit is weighing proposals for the redevelopment of the historic former site of Tiger Stadium in the city's Corktown neighborhood. The city issued its latest RFP for the site earlier this year and has reportedly narrowed it down to two proposals. Each proposal calls for mixed-use development for the site, which would run along Michigan Avenue and Trumbull Street. The rest of the site will be reserved for the Police Athletic League and its own development plans, which would include maintaining the historic playing field.

The M-1 Rail construction keeps chugging along, with the first tracks being installed along Woodward this week. Crews began working on the 3.3 mile-long light rail development in July 2014.

Last week, a judge ordered Ralph Sachs to secure and maintain a downtown building of his which has become so dilapidated that the city of Detroit is suing for it to be torn down. Preservationists started a petition in response, asking that Sachs be held responsible for maintaining his building, rather than forcing the historic Albert Kahn-designed high rise be torn down.

In beer news, Dexter-based Jolly Pumpkin announced that it will open its third Michigan location in Detroit's Midtown. The brewery and restaurant will open at 441 W. Canfield St. in 2015. Meanwhile, the Michigan-based HopCat, a craft beer bar and restaurant, has delayed its opening, also in Midtown, to mid-December of this year.  

Writer: MJ Galbraith

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Detroit development news round-up: July and August

It's been another busy month for development news in the city. Let's catch up on five of the biggest stories since our last round-up.

In what Detroit Free Press writer John Gallagher calls, "the city’s boldest and most significant development since the Renaissance Center of the 1970s," the Ilitch family released plans for their enormous sports, entertainment, and housing development. A taxpayer-subsidized arena for billionaire Mike Ilitch's Red Wings hockey team anchors a massive plan of new development and districts, including a potential 2,000 new residential units.

The new arena district will be built with the M1 Rail streetcar line in mind, which officially broke ground Monday, July 28. The lightrail line will run along Woodward Avenue from downtown to New Center and is expected to begin operating in late 2016. The first phase of construction has closed Woodward from Adams Street to Campus Martius park for 120 days.

Officials hope that the M1 Rail will make it easier for people to navigate a city blooming with new bars and restaurants. Eater Detroit has mapped out ten of their most anticipated Detroit restaurant openings. They include eateries from West Fort Street to Hamtramck, from the top of a downtown hotel to everyone's favorite castle building.

Boydell Development Company, the development group behind Corktown's Roosevelt Hotel restoration, announced plans to redevelop an old Wayne State University pharmacy school into a 180 apartment-unit building. The 'micro-apartments' will range from 400 to 500 square feet at the new Shapero Hall.

Winners for the Parallel Projections design contest Reanimate the Ruins were recently announced. Though conceptual in nature, the submitted proposals for redeveloping the iconic blight campus that is the Packard Motor Plant demonstrate the breadth of possibilities for the historic site.

Writer: MJ Galbraith

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.
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