Two years ago, the stone walls of the Spaulding Court townhouse complex housed nothing but blight and trouble for the North Corktown neighborhood. As the first completely-renovated townhouse unit comes available for rent in the 99-year-old structure, it represents a victory for neighborhood resident Jon Koller and the work of 9 other residents, most of whom live within 150 yards of Spaulding Court, who worked together to redevelop the building.
Koller worked to establish the Friends of Spaulding Court, a nonprofit corporation who purchased the blighted property in February 2010 through a nuisance abatement judgement. Koller and the Friends of Spaulding Court raised $50,000 through private loans and events like Soup at Spaulding to begin the long process of renovating the townhouse piece by piece.
Now, the townhome, located at 1915 Spruce, offers "a little bit of luxury in North Corktown," Koller says. Renting for $1500 a month, the refurbished unit has hardwood floors and Italian tile throughout. The kitchen features marble countertops and stainless steel trim, while the upstairs offers three modest bedrooms with original wood doorways. The full bath upstairs features a Italian tile shower, custom limestone trim work, and a porcelain sink.
The unit also offers free wireless internet, a partially finished basement and wireless thermostats with internet-enabled zone control. "And the unit is specifically well-insulated," Koller says. "The heating bill should run $50 during a cold Michigan winter."
Koller calls North Corktown an undiscovered haven of "rural Detroit." A second townhouse will be available for rent or sale by the end of the summer. For more information, visit spauldingcourt.com
Source: Jon Koller, President, Friends of Spaulding Court
Writer: Ashley C. Woods