December development news round-up

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

Dan Gilbert has added two high-profile buildings to his ever-expanding portfolio of downtown Detroit real estate. In November, Gilbert purchased the Compuware Building for $150 million. The 15-story building helps frame Campus Martius park and is notable for its 2003 construction, having been built at a time when few companies were investing in downtown. Gilbert also purchased the State Savings Building this month. That building was at the heart of a heated preservation fight after it was purchased by out-of-towner Andreas Apostolopolous in 2012, who then tried to demolish the 114-year-old historic building in favor of more downtown parking. Those attempts were successfully blocked.

In other billionaire development news, Little Caesars Pizza magnate Mike Ilitch and company are building a new 205,000-square-foot Global Resource Center next to its world headquarters, which are located in the Fox Theatre offices. The expansion will allow for an additional 600 Little Caesars employees to be brought downtown. The building will also help create the Columbia Street neighborhood, a proposed entertainment destination part of the Arena District.

The David Whitney Building celebrated its nearing re-opening with a facade lighting Monday, Dec. 15. The building first opened in 1915 but has been vacant since 1999 when it closed. A $92 million renovation brings 136 Aloft hotel rooms and 105 apartments to Grand Circus Park. The first hotel tenants are booked for Thursday, Dec. 18. Apartment dwellers may move in as soon as the end of the month.

The Town Apartments are receiving a $5 million renovation and are being rebranded as the Town Residences. Over 200 units will receive improvements. The Town Apartments sign, a long-time staple of Detroit's western skyline, will be removed.

Galapagos, a popular arts, culture, and entertainment destination in Brooklyn, New York, is leaving NYC for Detroit, having purchased a number of buildings in Corktown and Highland Park. The move is seen as an enormous get for Detroit.

Writer: MJ Galbraith

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MJ Galbraith is Model D's development news editor. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.