For years, the building on Second Avenue just north of the Fisher
Theatre and former General Motors headquarters was home to a
CBS-affiliated radio and television station. When the commercial
station left, Detroit's public television station moved in. Now, thanks
to some help from brownfield tax incentives, redevelopment opportunities are presenting themselves.
The Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (DBRA) has been a
national model for rehabilitating abandoned or underused properties,
including dozens of vintage buildings in the city of Detroit.
DEGC provides staff for the DBRA, which recently approved brownfield
tax incentive plans for six projects, representing a potential
redevelopment of $71.6 million. The projects include a youth theatre
center and a mixture of residential, commercial and retail
developments. The brownfield plans for the projects include proposed
Michigan Business Tax credits of $8.17 million and the capture of
property tax increments of approximately $345,000.
Brownfield tax incentives are tools to redevelop blighted, functionally
obsolete or contaminated properties. Eligible brownfield properties can
earn Michigan Business Tax credits, and may be reimbursed for costs
such as remediation activities and infrastructure improvements from
Norstar Development USA, L.P. is the developer for three phases of the
overall Gardenview Estates, a 139-acre site on the city's northwest
side at 18401 Woodmont. The approved brownfield plan is for the next
two phases of development, which includes148 units of residential
rental housing. The overall Gardenview Estates neighborhood has been
planned to include a total of 496 residential rental units, 424
homeownership units along with retail and commercial development.
Total project investment is estimated at approximately $32 million with an expected MBT credit of approximately $3.2 million.
Mosaic Youth Arts Center
Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit, a non-profit organization is the
developer that will rehabilitate the building located at 7441 Second
Ave. The vacant building will be converted into a 30,000 sq. ft.
educational and assembly facility for youth. It will have space
dedicated to rehearsal rooms, design rooms, a library, performance
space and other arts related areas. Approximately 10,000 sq. ft. will
be renovated into modern, quality office space.
Total investment for the project is estimated at $9 million with an expected MBT credit of $1.1 million.
St. Aubin Square
Shelborne Development is the developer that will rehabilitate seven
buildings near Detroit's Eastern Market, in the block bounded by E.
Canfield St., Dubois St., E. Willis St., and St. Aubin into 28
town-homes and 21 apartments. Shelborne will be partnering with Detroit
Central City (DCC), Serenity Services, and Coalition on Temporary
Shelter (COTS) to provide social services to future residents of St.
Total investment for the project is estimated at $8.1 million with an anticipated MBT credit of $662,500.
Shelborne Development is the developer that will renovate and
rehabilitate three buildings on Detroit's east side to create a mixture
of low-income and market-rate units, for a total of 49 loft-style
apartments along with 18,000 sq. ft. of retail space on E. Jefferson.
The buildings are located at 14401 and 14436 E. Jefferson and 1025
Total investment for the project is estimated at $9.3 million for an expected MBT credit of $1.4 million.
Forest Arms Apartments
4625 Second, LLC is the developer that will rehabilitate the historic
Forest Arms Apartments building at 4625 Second Ave. Prior to a fire
that severely damaged the third and fourth floors, the building's 74
apartments and 2 commercial units were fully occupied. The developer
intends to restore the building to its original configuration.
Total project investment is estimated at $9 million with an anticipated
MBT credit of $1.1 million, and the capture of incremental property
taxes estimated at $344,803.
Landy Cass Avenue Development will rehabilitate an historic structure
located at 3136 Park Avenue and 81 Peterboro Street into 23, one- and
two-bedroom apartments. These units will initially be rental apartments
to be sold later as condominiums.
Total investment for the project is estimated at $4.2 million with an expected MBT credit of $695,358.
"We are very encouraged by the interest in these developers to invest
in Detroit and to rehabilitate or adaptively reuse vintage structures,"
said George W. Jackson, president and CEO of Detroit Economic Growth
Corporation. "When older buildings are revitalized they often help
define the character of neighborhoods and encourage other investments.
In short, everybody wins."
Detroit Economic Growth Corporation is a nonprofit organization that
works with businesses, government and other organizations throughout
Detroit to encourage and manage economic development projects. Its
professionals act as staff for several public authorities, including
the Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, the Economic
Development Corporation and the Downtown Development Authority.
George W. Jackson is president and
CEO of Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, a non-profit organization
that works with businesses, government and other organizations