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Architecture : Detroit Development News

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Developers dig 27 geothermal wells to heat, cool Midtown's historic Forest Arms building


Forest Arms, a prominent apartment building near Wayne State University, was nearly lost in 2008 after a fire ravaged the building, displacing its residents and leaving the interior a charred mess. Local developers and husband and wife Scott Lowell and Carolyn Howard purchased the building a year later. They are now deep in a major rehab of the building, one that includes heavily investing in sustainable energy.

The pair have hired Strategic Energy Solutions of Berkley to dig 27 geothermal wells. Dug at a rate of two a day, the 375 foot-deep wells will heat and cool the Forest Arms' 70 one- and two-bedroom units. Built in 1905, the building was previously heated by a single pipe-radiator system.

"With the courtyard, it's a great opportunity to put these wells in," says Lowell. "Wells wouldn't make sense for a single-family residence, but with the overall heating costs for a place this big, we might save twenty percent off heating costs."

A 20,000 gallon cistern that will collect rain water from the roof is also planned. The water will then be utilized for non-potable purposes like flushing toilets and watering the lawn.

Workers are making progress within the building's interior, as well. While digging up the basement to work on the plumbing, Lowell and company have decided to keep digging, lowering the basement floor by a couple of feet to give more space to the eventual renters of the five garden units planned. Two commercial spaces will also go in that level.

Five penthouse units will be built on the roof. Tax credits Lowell is using to help fund the redevelopment demand that the penthouses be mostly hidden from streetview so as not to tarnish the building's historic charm. Lowell says that details like windows, doors, and trim will also have to meet historic accuracy standards. Other details, like cabinetry and fixtures, will be more modern.

Lowell is aiming for a Dec. 2015 opening.

Source: Scott Lowell, owner/operator of Forest Arms
Writer: MJ Galbraith

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

Blexting expands to Highland Park and Hamtramck

Save for the border they share with each other, the cities of Highland Park and Hamtramck are completely surrounded by Detroit. Despite that, those two small cities did not receive the benefit of the Motor City Mapping project that occurred earlier this year. That all changed Monday, Oct. 20, when that project, which cataloged every parcel of land in the city of Detroit, kicked off a week of documenting properties in Highland Park and Hamtramck.

Blexting -- a portmanteau of the words 'blight' and 'texting' -- is an app that has allowed people to document the physical shape of their communities, in turn allowing municipalities to better tackle issues of blight in those neighborhoods. Developed by Michael Evans of Loveland Technologies, the app is available on both iOS and Android smart phones.

This week, surveyors will canvas the two cities, taking photographs of parcels of land and then detailing each property with information regarding vacancy, damage, blights, and similar variables. For the project that occurred in Detroit, residents can now update that information through the app. Residents of Highland Park and Hamtramck will soon be able to do the same.

20 surveyors have been hired to document the roughly 6,600 parcels in Highland Park and 6,700 parcels in Hamtramck. Funding has been provided by the Skillman Foundation and Kresge Foundation with support from Loveland Technologies, Data Driven Detroit, and Rock Ventures. It's predicted that the surveying will take about one week to complete.

Blexting was developed by Detroit programmer and technology enthusiast Michael Evans in 2013. Having shared a co-working space with Loveland Technologies at the Department of Alternatives in downtown Detroit, Evans eventually joined Loveland to develop the app. Since its initial use in Detroit in late 2013 and early 2014, a number of cities have showed interest in the app, including New Orleans, Atlanta, and Pittsburgh.

Source: Rock Ventures press release
Writer: MJ Galbraith

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

Detroit City Football Club explores options for a new stadium


Three seasons in and Detroit City Football Club is already outgrowing its home. The team, a member of the National Premier Soccer League, has enjoyed home field advantage at Cass Tech Football Stadium since 2012, but a surge in the team's popularity has driven up attendance and compelled team owners to consider moving to a bigger stadium.

Sean Mann, co-owner of the team, says that the second half of the 2014 season saw an average attendance of nearly 2,900. The high school stadium has a capacity of 3,000.

"We started out in a really grassroots, word-of-mouth kind of way," says Mann. "Now we're getting to a place where we can make some investments."

The team is considering a number of options for its new home, including a potential move to Hamtramck's Keyworth Stadium, a sports venue constructed in 1936 as a part of the Federal Works Progress Administration. Much of that stadium, however, is condemned and would require significant investment from the team. Hamtramck Public Schools, which owns Keyworth, would retain ownership of the stadium were the team to relocate there.

Mann and his team are also considering building a brand new stadium of their own. They are currently surveying a number of empty parcels of land throughout the city of Detroit. Whatever ownership decides, it will most likely be a few years before they relocate. He says that the team will play at Cass Tech for the 2015 season and probably a season or two after that.

While Detroit City FC came up short of making the playoffs this season, interest in the team has only grown. Mann says that it was an A+ season off the field, with the team experiencing tremendous growth, having to turn people away at a number of games.

"Our goal was always to create an organization that was sustainable and last season was a big step in that direction," says Mann.

Source: Sean Mann, co-owner of Detroit City Football Club
Writer: MJ Galbraith

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

Midtown Interior Finishes to open showroom in the Auburn


In the short time since Mike Barry succumbed to his entrepreneurial bug and started his own commercial and residential interiors business, he's landed some pretty high profile Detroit clients, expanded into new markets, and signed the lease on a space for his first showroom, which is set to open later this month in Midtown's Auburn building.

Barry, with over a decade of experience in the commercial interiors industry, left his job as a sales representative for Mohawk Industries to work as an independent sales agent. It didn't take long before he started his own business, Midtown Interior Finishes, in Feb. 2014.

Commercial interiors, as Barry tells it, are in his blood. He's already landed notable Detroit jobs like the Inn on Ferry Street, the G.A.R. building, and the new retail store Frida in the Park Shelton. But it's his expansion into the residential market that has pushed Barry to open his own showroom.

"I've really worked hard to curate the selection," says Barry. "People can come in and see the best of the best. We're not offering everything, just the coolest and most stylish products."

Barry's products include everything from ceramic and porcelain tiles to bamboo flooring, from a small area rug for a home to a big carpet installation at a law firm.

Since February, he's been renting a desk at the TechTown co-working space, Junction 440, but will move operations to the Auburn once his space is ready. The showroom will open by the end of the month -- if not sooner, he says.

Midtown Interior Finishes will be operating out of Suite 111, the old Butcher's Daughter art gallery space. That gallery, which left Ferndale for Midtown in 2013, has left Michigan altogether and is preparing a space in New York City.

Source: Mike Barry, owner of Midtown Interior Finishes
Writer: MJ Galbraith

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

Community block party announced for West RiverWalk grand opening

Morning joggers, lunchtime power walkers, and anyone out for an evening stroll have the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy to thank for an additional 20 acres of the popular RiverWalk park system. The group is celebrating its latest success with a grand opening party Saturday, Oct. 4.

Happening between 1 and 8 p.m. at 1801 W. Jefferson Ave., the community block party is free and open to the public. Live music, food trucks, and a beer tent will fuel the revelry with family-friendly activities planned for those with children.

This is the first portion of the RiverWalk to extend west of Joe Louis Arena. The path is interrupted by the Riverfront Towers Apartments and its marina and picks up after, running between the Detroit River and W. Jefferson Avenue to Rosa Parks Boulevard. It's marked by the familiar features found along the existing RiverWalk, including new lighting, rails, and promenade.

The promenade of the western stretch has been widened to 30 feet, allowing fishers to cast their lines while worrying less about the speeding bikers weaving in and out of their path. Marc Pasco, director of communications for the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, said in an interview conducted earlier this summer, "Fishermen have always loved that location. This will give them some extra room."

Much of the western stretch of the RiverWalk is defined by a large lawn ideal for lounging, sports, or concerts. This year's edition of the annual KEM Live at Mack and Third benefit concert was held at the western RiverWalk on Aug. 24. The concert series, formed by Detroit performer KEM, has raised food, goods, services, and awareness for the city's homeless population since 2009.

The opening of this latest extension brings the conservancy one parcel of land closer to completing its goal of the RiverWalk running from Gabriel Richard Park to the Ambassador Bridge.

Source: Detroit Riverfront Conservancy
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.

Pop-up biergarten to occur in West Village Saturday, September 27


The West Village Biergarten is popping up Saturday, September 27. Hatch Detroit, the Villages of Detroit, West Village Association, Detroit City Distillery, and the Detroit Lions are teaming together to offer a day's worth of food, music, and craft beer, activating an empty lot on Van Dyke Avenue, adjacent to West Village Manor. The party runs from noon to 8 p.m.

The biergarten is a combination of events. Along with being one of West Village's contributions to the Detroit Design Festival, it's also an opportunity for Hatch Detroit to celebrate the recent work they've completed in West Village. Through their neighborhood initiatives program with the Detroit Lions, Hatch helped install new signage for West Village businesses and replace old gas lights with LEDs.

Many Hatch alums will be contributing to the pop-up. Algeria Pops, who made it to the top ten list in this year's Hatch contest, will be selling their Mexican ice pops. Gabriel Hall, a top four finalist in this year's Hatch contest, will be making their New Orleans food and playing their New Orleans music -- Gabriel Hall owner Dameon Gabriel leads the Gabriel Brass Band. Sister Pie, winner of this year's Hatch grand prize, will be hosting a pop-up at their own soon-to-be location at Parker and Kercheval.

"We try and keep track of our alums and see what they're doing on their own," says Hatch's executive director Vittoria Katanski. "We use them for events as much as we can."

Michigan beers including selections from Short's, Founders, Bell's, and New Holland will be on tap and spirits from the recently-opened Detroit City Distillery, located in Eastern Market, will be on hand. Cornhole, a popular tailgating game involving the tossing of bean bags into wooden boxes, will be set up as well.

Around the corner, new West Village coffee shop The Red Hook is planning a soft opening that same weekend.

Source: Vittoria Katanski, executive director of Hatch Detroit
Writer: MJ Galbraith

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

It's happening: The Red Hook coffee shop is set to open in West Village


It's happening this time. It really is. After being forced to push back opening date after opening date, the Red Hook is finally set to open in West Village.

The much-anticipated Detroit location of the popular Ferndale coffee shop will be serving customers Friday and Saturday, September 26-27, during a soft opening that coincides with a number of events happening throughout the city's Villages neighborhoods. The Red Hook will officially be open for business the following week.

The Red Hook's West Village location, 8025 Agnes St. (next door to Craft Work), has been two years in the making. Owner and operator Sandi Heaselgrave, who invested close to $100,000 to build out the space and bring everything up to code, says the longest process was the six months it took for the city's Board of Zoning Appeals to approve the space being re-zoned from retail.

"It's been kind of a roller coaster, though it's been a great experience to learn how to open a business in the city of Detroit," says Heaselgrave. "It's a very lengthy process."

Heaselgrave has put in a lot of work building out the storefront to suit her cafe. She has added a small kitchen, coffee bar, seating, and new hardwood floors. Plumbing, electrical, and HVAC work was required, as well. And then there were the doors, windows, and lighting that had to be replaced and the plaster ceiling and walls that had to be resurfaced.

Even though she thought she'd be open by now, Heaselgrave seems as excited as ever to meet her new neighbors and become a regular part of the West Village community. Expect regular business hours to begin a week after the soft opening.

Source: Sandi Heaselgrave, owner and operator of the Red Hook
Writer: MJ Galbraith

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

More state money for Detroit developments announced

Three Detroit developments are part of the latest round of projects to receive aid from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and its Michigan Strategic Fund. The approved projects are part of a larger group throughout the state. MEDC expects 11 developments to generate over $419 million in new investment and 1,471 new jobs across Michigan.
 
  • The issuance of private activity bonds has been authorized for the construction of an arena district between downtown and Midtown Detroit. With a new Red Wings arena as an anchor, the construction of the entertainment, residential, and commercial district is set to break ground this Thursday, September 25. The $450 million in private activity bonds were originally announced by the MEDC in July 2013. The group estimates that construction and construction-related jobs will total anywhere from 5,300 to 8,300 just for the arena itself. Half of those jobs will be filled by Detroit residents, as required by the initial agreement. Once open, the MEDC estimates 1,100 permanent jobs will be created by the arena.
  • The recently announced residential addition atop the 10-level parking structure adjacent to the Westin Book Cadillac Hotel is receiving $1,841,533 in Michigan Business Tax brownfield credits and $4,798,000 in Michigan Community Revitalization Program performance-based equity investment. 80 one-, two-, and three bedroom units are planned for the development. Three jobs are expected to be created.
  • Automotive supplier American Axle & Manufacturing is receiving a $1 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant to rehab a vacant building next to its headquarters to function as a technical center and showroom. A 12-year property tax abatement from the City of Detroit has also been offered to the company. 75 jobs will be created, says the MEDC.
Source: Michigan Economic Development Corporation press release
Writer: MJ Galbraith

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

Getting Detroit kids to care about historic preservation in their neighborhood


In an effort to foster a stronger sense of place in young people, the Michigan Historic Preservation Network is hosting the second phase of its Preservation Demonstration Project this Saturday, September 13 at 11 a.m. (rain date: Saturday, September 27). The event, 'My Neighborhood, My Heritage,' will teach the importance of the historic Jefferson-Chalmers neighborhood's built and natural environments.

The interactive event is for 12- to 18-year-olds. Young people will be provided disposable cameras and will be encouraged to take photos of the neighborhood while being led on a walking tour. It's an opportunity for the preservation group to teach people the history of their neighborhood and demonstrate how that history affects the community today. It's an opportunity, too, for the group to learn from young people and hear how that built environment affects their lives on a day-to-day basis.

A third event, to be held in late October, will feature the photos taken and will be followed by an awards ceremony. Pop-ups, lectures, and presentations are also planned.

While preservation groups are often associated with opposing the demolition of historic buildings, events like 'My Neighborhood, My Heritage are ways for these groups to reach people before a building, block, or neighborhood is even at risk. It's a long-term plan that can change how people view preservation, demolition, and development in general.

"We hope that this exploration and discussion of shared heritage through the eyes of young people will help inform and influence contemporary community decision-making," MHPN Executive Director Nancy Finegood says in a statement.

The event is free but preregistration is required. Morning refreshments and lunch will be provided.

Register at Hope Community Outreach and Development or email info@mhpn.org.

Update: The 'My Neighborhood, My Heritage' event will begin at 11 a.m. on Saturday, September 13, an hour later than originally scheduled.

Source: Michigan Historic Preservation Network press release
Writer: MJ Galbraith

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

Apartment building in 'Arena District' changes hands, but rent remains the same

Cass Park Apartments, a 37-unit apartment building at 2714 Second Ave., has been sold to 2nd Avenue Property, LLC. Property management company Princeton Management is now running the building. 

Not a lot of changes are planned for the property, says Princeton Management Director of Marketing and Communications Michele Dreer, and current residents can expect a smooth transition of management. The building, made up mostly of studio apartments with a few one-bedroom units, was well taken care of by its previous owners and required few upgrades. Rent will stay the same, says Dreer.

According to the Live Midtown website, studio apartments at 2714 Second Ave. rent for $525, while one bedrooms rent for $625 Both rates include utilities.

Cass Park is located just blocks from the multi-million dollar residential and commercial district planned around a new Detroit Red Wings hockey arena. The building itself is situated across from the actual Cass Park. The Masonic Temple is one block north.

"We liked the property because of the area that it's in," says Dreer. "The arena district is going to be great and there will be a lot of redevelopment opportunities."

Princeton is also the group behind the Ashley, the conversion of a downtown hotel into apartments. The company hopes to begin moving tenants into the 67-unit apartment building by the end of the year. The Milner Hotel closed in 2012.

The uniquely-shaped 'flat iron' building first opened as the Henry Clay Hotel in 1913. While Princeton is maintaining the historic lobby and its mosaic tiles and stained glass, the floors above are being completely gutted. Old hotel room walls have been knocked down, leaving wide open floors that will be rebuilt as one- and two-bedroom apartments.

Two retail spaces in the building have already been reserved, says Dreer, though she wouldn't say who those tenants would be.

Princeton manages a number of apartment buildings in Detroit, including the Palms, Orchestra Place, and the Claridge House.

Source: Michele Dreer, Director of Marketing & Communications at Princeton Management
Writer: MJ Galbraith

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

City still seeks Brush Park development team, allows for higher densities

The city of Detroit has re-issued a slightly modified request for proposals for a Brush Park development first announced at the beginning of 2014. With that RFP long-expired and the city having not selected a plan, a new RFP was recently announced with a November 14 deadline.

The biggest differences between last January's RFP and the new one are a changes in residential density and land use parameters. While the previous RFP capped residential development in Brush Park at 15 to 35 dwelling units per acre, the revised RFP is allowing for larger developments of up to 60 dwelling units per acre.

According to the release, the City of Detroit's Planning and Development Department believes that, "[I]in order to better achieve the neighborhood scale, walkable, mixed-use vision of the future of Brush Park as set forth by P&DD and the Brush Park Citizens District Council, the current Development Plan is undergoing a major modification in order to allow a greater density of residential (up to 60 D.U./Acre) and a greater mix of uses within Brush Park."

The two parcels of land available in this RFP are the same as before. At approximately 7.5 acres, “Parcel A” is made up of four historic structures and 36 vacant lots bounded by Edmund Place (north), Brush Street (east), Adelaide Street (south), and John R (west). At approximately 0.90 acres, “Parcel B” consists of seven vacant properties and is bounded by Alfred (north), Beaubien Street (east), Division Street (south), and Brush (west).

The historic building at 312 Watson, known as “Parcel C” in January's RFP, is not included in this most recent request.

According to the RFP, the P&DD's new goals for the historic Brush Park neighborhood include creating residential density, promoting adaptive re-use, introducing neighborhood scale retail uses, and limiting surface parking lots.

Source: City of Detroit Planning & Development Department
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.

Northern Lights Lounge adds a patio and brunch, continues to transform its street

As Northern Lights Lounge nears closer to its tenth anniversary this October, the New Center bar, restaurant, and venue has recently debuted a large patio. Detroit-based Steven C. Flum is the architect of record on the project.

Matching a facade grant from co-grantors Midtown Detroit, Inc. and Local Initiatives Support Corporation, co-owners Michael Solaka, William Steele, and Greg "Kegger" Visee have opened a patio that they have been working on conceptually for about as long as the lounge has been open. Construction began in October 2013 and the patio is now open to the public.

The patio area, once an old asphalt parking lot, now features brick pavers, outdoor furniture, and three young trees -- an oak, a maple, and a poplar. At night, soft lighting and an outdoor speaker system complement the vibe found inside the lounge itself.

More outdoor furniture is coming, says Solaka, and he hopes to get a fire pit going sometime soon. An outdoor bar is a possibility, too. A few years on and a bordering wall will be covered in the young Boston ivy recently planted at its base.

"We haven't really designed the final product yet," says Solaka. "But we figured we'd get it done, live with it, and kind of see how people used it. And I've already learned a lot working out here while people are using it."

The lounge is debuting a Sunday brunch menu Sunday, August 3 -- another patio-related feature. Solaka reveals, too, that he is planning on constructing ten studio-loft apartments on the floor above the lounge, complete with balconies overhanging the new patio. He's also looking to fill the storefront adjacent to Northern Lights. Another ten years from now and 660 W. Baltimore and its block could look as different as it did ten years ago.

Source: Michael Solaka and Greg Visee, co-owners of Northern Lights Lounge
Writer: MJ Galbraith

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

Historic Corktown hotel to re-open by summer 2015

Since purchasing the Roosevelt Hotel in 2010, Detroit real estate developer Dennis Kefallinos has offered little information on his plans for the historic and long-neglected Corktown hotel. It's now confirmed that the Roosevelt Hotel will once again operate as a hotel, opening somewhere within a year's time.

While details of amenities remain vague, Kefallinos's senior project manager Eric Novack says that construction crews are currently working on the building infrastructure. The hotel will have 76 rooms and feature commercial space on the ground floor.

Kefallinos owns and manages a number of buildings and businesses throughout the city, including the Lafayette Lofts and the Russell Industrial Center. Though the Roosevelt could have been redeveloped as an apartment building, Kefallinos has long-wanted to open a hotel and the Roosevelt's floor plans remain well-suited for that. Larger rooms lend themselves to extended stay customers, a situation the company sees happening often.

"This has been quite a while in the making," says Novack. "We haven't been resting on our laurels. We've been doing the work in the background like with the historic preservation people to get approval for new windows for the building."

Not wanting to suggest an opening date for fear of it being pushed back, Novack says that people will once again book rooms at the Roosevelt sometime in the next six to twelve months. It's infrastructure work in the meantime.

The hotel opened in the early 1920s across from a bustling Michigan Central Station and its fate followed that of the now-vacant and blighted train depot. The Roosevelt sat empty and unsecured on 14th Street for years before Kefallinos purchased it from Wayne County at auction.

This announcement follows recent news of improvements to neighboring Michigan Central Station, though the intentions of that building's owner, billionaire Manuel Moroun, remain mysterious. His camp has yet to offer any details of redevelopment plans for Detroit's most iconic vacant building.

Source: Eric Novack, senior project manager at Boydell Development Company
Image: Corktown History

Writer: MJ Galbraith

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