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Redevelopment : Detroit Development News

413 Redevelopment Articles | Page: | Show All

Top development news of 2012 spread across Motor City

There was no no shortage of big announcements in Detroit's built environment in 2012, so Model D has expanded its Top 5 Development News Stories to its Top 5 Development News Subjects. This year's list includes:

The Gilbert Effect
Quicken Loans Chairman Dan Gilbert became the biggest power player in downtown Detroit this year. His team's accomplishments include acquiring buildings left and right, filling them with tech businesses, pushing for a retail rebirth in the Central Business District and spearheading the M-1 Rail plans for light rail up Woodward which now seems quite likely with the passage of a regional transit authority bill in the state legislature.

Palmer Park Rebirth
The Palmer Park area - ahem, Uptown - is enjoying a large amount investment these days as the quality of life improves with more community involvement. Shelborne Development is spearheading the renovation of a number of Palmer Park's Art Deco apartment buildings, including La Vogue and Palmer Lodge, and working to establish mounted security patrols. Local residents are improving the area by planting sunflowers along Woodward Avenue, planting orchards in Palmer Park, building trails through the park and rebranding the area Uptown.

Downtown/Midtown Apt Blitz
Developers can't build new living options in Detroit's downtown or Midtown neighborhoods fast enough these days to keep up with skyrocketing demand. Some big projects came online in 2012, including the Broderick Tower, The Auburn and Newberry Hall. More are coming. Construction is in progress for the Sherbrooke Apts and Woodward Garden Block Apts and work is set to begin on the Whitney Building in a few weeks.

Momentum in The Villages
The people working to improve the The Villages scored some big wins in 2012. Those wins include developing plans for more greenways, sparking the pop-up retial store boom, Tashmoo Beirgarten's return, and landing a number of new businesses to take those spots in West Village. Look for The Villages to keep the momentum going in 2013.

Wayne County Tax Foreclosure Auction
This year set the record for the Wayne County Tax Foreclosure Auction. This fall's auction featured more than 20,000 properties and sold more than 12,000. Local officials are working to turn these empty houses into new homes. What happens next to the thousands of unsold properties is becoming a bigger question that needs to be dealt with. Oh, and next year's auction is set to break all of those records again.

Honorable-mention projects include, Avalon's expansion plans, Buffalo Wild Wings moving downtown, the groundbreaking of WholeFoods, Reclaim Detroit's deconstruction efforts and the GAR Building rehab.

Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

Two James Spirits to bring a distillery to Corktown in 2013

David Landrum and Peter Bailey see history repeating itself in micro-brewing and micro-distilling worlds. Where craft brewing beer has exploded as a slow-food-style business in recent decades the co-owners of Detroit's first distillery see the same thing happening with craft distilling of liquor.

"That's what's happening with spirits right now," says Landrum, co-founder & president of Two James Spirits, which is an homage to the names of the co-founders' fathers who were also entrepreneurs. "There is going to be a boom with small spirits makers because the product is superior."

Two James Spirits plans to open at 2445 Michigan Ave. in Corktown, a small commercial building adjacent to Roosevelt Park and within a stones throw of Slows. The micro distillery will have a tasting room and will serve vodka, gin and whiskey. The co-founders plan to serve vodka and gin first because it can be made in a matter of days while they let their whiskey age. Landrum plans to age the whiskey in barrels and expects the process to take between 16-24 months. David Pickerell, one of the foremost experts on whiskey distilling, is also working with Landrum and Bailey on Two James Spirits' brand of whiskey.

Two James Spirits is set to open in the first quarter of next year. In the meantime, the company's co-founders are recruiting for its Corktown 500 club, an exclusive club that will be able to make its own whiskey and have other unique privileges at the distillery.

Source: David Landrum, president & co-founder of Two James Spirits
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

U of D Mercy Law School turns old fire station into law clinic

The University of Detroit Mercy has finished work on the new home for its law school clinics, turning a century-old fire dept building into a top-of-the-line office space.

The university's School of Law purchased the two-story building at the corner of Larned and St. Antoine streets in 2011 and has spent most of this year renovating the 7,000-square-foot structure.

"It's incredible," says Michael Bryce, director of programs for University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. "It's beyond my expectations. It's really a great mix of old and the new. We were able to save the glazed brick and the red spiral staircases. We weren't able to save the polls. Everybody asks about that."

The new space will house the law school's law clinics, which juris doctorate students are required to take at least one of before they graduate. Those clinics will be attended by 30 students on average and administered by seven faculty members and another five staffers.

Among the 10 law clinics in the new building are the university's Mortgage Foreclosure Defense Clinic. It is working to help prevent 70 foreclosures on homeowners in Wayne County, saving their houses from eviction.

Source: Michael Bryce, director of programs for University of Detroit-Mercy School of Law
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

DTE acquires, begins prelim work on old Salvation Army building

DTE Energy has acquired 601 Bagley in downtown Detroit, formerly the Salvation Army Bagley Service Center.

Work crews are currently cleaning out the art deco structure next to DTE Energy's downtown campus. The work includes some asbestos abatement and other preservation work to make sure the building can be utilized at a later date. DTE Energy hasn't decided what's next for the architectural gem but it will have a future.

"Once we decide what we're going to do with it it will be ready for whatever that is," says John Austerberry, spokesman for DTE Energy.

The former Salvation Army Bagley Service Center was built in 1938. It stands at three stories tall on the west side of downtown, not far from the Lodge Freeway. It has been vacant for several years.

Source: John Austerberry, spokesman for DTE Energy
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

Hamtramck partners with Reclaim Detroit on home deconstruction

Hamtramck is taking a lead role on Metro Detroit's fledgling home deconstruction industry. The inner-city suburb commissioned one of the first deconstructions last year from Reclaim Detroit and now has six more in the offing. The city is also applying to have another 40 homes deconstructed through the Michigan Land Bank.

Home deconstruction is an alternative to demolition for buildings beyond repair and renovation. When a building is razed, it only takes the efforts of a handful of unskilled workers and all of the byproducts goes to a landfill. Deconstructing a building creates more jobs (about 10-12 for a single-family home) and ensures that a vast majority of the building's materials are recycled.

"That's something we have been pursuing for a while," says Jason Friedmann, community & economic development director for the city of Hamtramck. "It helps keep the valuable materials out of a landfill. Some of these materials can't be found anymore, no matter what the price, like the old-growth lumber."

A house on Carpenter Street was one of the first to be deconstructed by Reclaim Detroit. That project created 18 jobs and the materials from it generated $40,000. Some of those materials ended up in places like the Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Co cafe in Midtown.

The 40 homes in line for deconstruction next year are a combination of leftovers from last fall's Wayne County Tax Foreclosure Auction, city-owned houses beyond repair and privately owned homes that are either condemned or fire-damaged and have no insurance. Friedmann hopes to leverage the current six deconstructions set to happen this winter and 40 next year to help create more jobs in the city.

"A lot of skills that can be used to take apart a building can be used to put one back together," Friedmann says.

Source: Jason Friedmann, community & economic development director for the city of Hamtramck
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

Upscale-bar Rodin set to open in Park Shelton

Rodin, an upscale bar overlooking the Detroit Institute of Arts, is set to open Wednesday.

Rodin is a reference to famed-artist Augeste Rodin's The Thinker, the statue that sits vigil at the entrance of the DIA a stones throw away. The night spot features high-end drinks, gourmet food and dancing in a casual atmosphere in the Park Shelton's ground-floor commercial space at Woodward Avenue and Kirby Street. The business' tagline: "Eat, Drink, Dance."

"People will be very impressed with the food," says Torya Blanchard, describing the food as the French-version of small plates fare. "Chef Kate (Williams) is amazing. It's fun. It's different. It's whimsical. It's fresh. It's something people in Detroit haven't seen."

Blanchard also owns Good Girls Go To Paris Crepes a few doors down in the Park Shelton's Woodward frontage. She has been working to bring Rodin to life for two years and does so with a staff of 25 people. Blanchard plans to host a New Year's Eve Party as Rodin's first big event.

Blanchard describes Rodin as a fun and sexy place that will take its cues from French culture, art and jazz/Motown/northern soul music. It will have both DJs and live bands.

Source: Torya Blanchard, owner of Rodin
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

City leaps to help in auction-house-demo disaster

Kristine Diven got the shock of her life last week when she went to check on the house of her dreams and found a pile of rubble.

Diven is a 36-year-old photographer who co-owns an art gallery called District VII in Detroit's rivertown district with her partner, Micho Detronik. She moved to Detroit from New York City four years ago and she and her partner planned to put down roots in the Motor City this fall. (Full disclosure, Diven contacted this writer for advice about buying a tax foreclosure house last summer because of this writer's experience buying and rehabbing such buildings.)

The couple bought a vacant duplex and the lot next to it on Beaconsfield Street near Mack Avenue in East English Village at the Wayne County Tax Foreclosure Auction for the auction's minimum bid of $500. Coincidentally, Detronik had done work on the house in recent years for a previous owner.

"We were blown away that we could get a home like that," Diven says. "It had a new roof. The basement had no cracks in the foundation. There was no water damage. All it needed was new electric and two new tubs. We estimated it would be take $8,000 to get it up in working order."

The house was open to the elements. Diven and Detronik were afraid the sale would be canceled if they did any work on the house before they had the deed, so they periodically drove past it and waited, but held off closing it up. When Diven went by on Thursday she found a pile of rubble where her house once stood. She still has yet to receive the deeds to the house or the vacant lot.

Later that day she posted a "Thanks Detroit" missive about what happened on her Facebook page (a similar note on WhyDontWeOwnThis can be found here) and the news spread quickly across social media. Within a few hours, she had dozens of comments on her original post and a helping hand extended by Karla Henderson, group executive for planning & facilities for the city of Detroit and one of Mayor Dave Bing's top lieutenants.

"Of course Kristine and her family are the kind of citizens we want to live in the city," Henderson posted on Facebook on Friday. "After speaking with her this morning and hearing all the wonderful things she is involved in, it would be our loss if she left. Please know that the City will work with her to find a comparable house. Although the City was not responsible for the demo, we feel it is the right thing to do."

Henderson explained that the demolition was executed by the Michigan Land Bank after getting the green light from the Wayne County Treasurer's Office. The demolition is part of Gov. Rick Snyder's initiative to demolish abandoned and dangerous homes within a half mile of specifically targeted schools in Southwest Detroit, the Bagley neighborhood on the city's West Side and in the Morningside/East English Village neighborhoods on the city's East Side. Diven's house was within a half mile of J.E. Clark Preparatory Academy, one of the schools used as a radius for the half-mile-dangerous-building demolition circle.

Kim Homan, executive director of the Michigan Land Bank, explains that her agency received the green light from the Wayne County Treasurer's Office last summer to demolish Diven's house on Beaconsfield, along with several others in the area. The house and several others were also on the auction list for this fall's Wayne County Tax Foreclosure Auction. Homan says Detroit firefighters had identified it as open, dangerous and irredeemable, and that her office executed the demolition as a way to help protect students walking to school.

"Our primary concern was the safety of the kids," Homan says.

Eric Sabree, deputy treasurer for land management at the Wayne County Treasurer's Office, confirmed those details, adding his office gave the Michigan Land Bank the greenlight to raze any dangerous buildings within a half-mile radius that were left over from the 2011 auction.

When those were done and the Michigan Land Bank requested more demolition candidates the treasurer's office gave the go ahead to begin the demolition process for properties that were coming up in this year's auction. Sabree says his records show the deed was recorded for Diven's property on Nov. 28 and the demolition was finished Nov 27.

"The decision to do this with the state land bank was made late in the process," Sabree says. "We knew it was risky."

He adds the sales for properties where buildings were demolished will be canceled; and next year if an auction property is on the demolition list it will be listed on the bidding website. In the meantime, Diven and her partner will not be held responsible for demolition costs and will be reimbursed their purchase price.

"They will get a refund, no doubt about it," Sabree says. "If there is property that no one bought (at the last auction) we will offer that to them."

Henderson's office at the City of Detroit is allowing Diven to go through its backlog of available homes in hopes of finding something at a comparable quality and price. Homan says the Michigan Land Bank is prepared to do the same and says the entire episode is regrettable.

"A thing like this is really unfortunate," Homan says. She adds her office routinely works to cross check her lists with those at the city, county and other local agencies. "We have a lot of trouble reconciling data with other agencies," Homan says.

Both Henderson and Homan say they are working to not only find a house-replacement solution that works for Diven but also to help prevent this sort of thing from happening again.

"We want residents with that spirit here," Henderson says. "Anything we can do to soften that blow we stand ready to do."

Source: Kristin Diven; Kim Homan, executive director of the Michigan Land Bank; Karla Henderson, group executive for planning & facilities for the city of Detroit; Eric Sabree, deputy treasurer for land management at the Wayne County Treasurer's Office
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

Detroit Yacht Club Foundation aims to preserve DYC building

The Detroit Yacht Club has created a namesake foundation to help preserve its historic structure on Belle Isle.

The Detroit Yacht Club is a private sailing club founded in 1868 and its current Mediterranean-villa-style clubhouse was designed by George Mason (who also designed Mackinac Island's Grand Hotel and Detroit's Masonic Temple) and opened in 1923. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places last year.

The Detroit Yacht Club Foundation is a nonprofit that will focus on fundraising and coordinating the preservation of the yacht club's nearly 100-year-old clubhouse. Although the building itself is still sound, the foundation will focus on securing and preserving its envelope features, such as its roof, walls, doors and windows.

"All of these areas are 89 years old," says Mark Lifter, president of the Detroit Yacht Club Foundation. "With Michigan's freeze-and-thaw cycles, water always finds a way."

The Detroit Yacht Cub Foundation's first order of business is to conduct an engineering study of the building before moving forward with any improvements. In the meantime the foundation is working on raising money and resources from members and people with a connection to the yacht club.

"Over time, there are probably millions of people with a connection or an affinity for the Detroit Yacht Club," Lifter says.

Source: Mark Lifter, president of the Detroit Yacht Club Foundation
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

Locals work to open Detroit Dog Park in shadow of MCS

A group of Detroiters are working to create a dog park next to the iconic Michigan Central Station in Corktown.

The Detroit Dog Park is a off-leash dog park that would be built on the Macomb Playlot at the corner of 16th and Rose streets, adjacent to the Roosevelt Park. The organizers have reached an agreement with the city of Detroit to build the lot and are currently fundraising for the effort. It hopes to open next summer.

"There are a lot of people who live in an urban setting with dogs and don't have backyards," says Carly Mys, chair of the Detroit Dog Park. "There is a need for a place to let them run off leash, a place for them to socialize with other dogs and people."

The Detroit Dog Park is currently in the midst of a Kickstarter campaign to raise $15,000 for the dog park's construction. It has raised nearly $12,000 as of Monday. The money will go toward buying construction materials and services. Mys says the project will have a heavy emphasis on green construction, employing things like rain barrels.

"We want to be sustainable, using things like recycled materials is high on our list," Mys says.

Source: Carly Mys, chair of the Detroit Dog Park
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

Gilbert buys 10th building downtown, One Woodward

Rock Ventures purchased it's 10th building in downtown Detroit yesterday, picking up the iconic One Woodward at the corner Woodward and Jefferson avenues.

World famous architect Minoru Yamasaki designed the 26-story office building, which was built in 1962. Yamasaki's work includes the former World Trade Center towers in New York City. One Woodward is considered an early version of the World Trade Center, which was built in the early 1970s.

Rock Ventures is the real-estate arm of the Quicken Loans family of companies, which are controlled by Quicken Loans Founder and Chairman Dan Gilbert. The billionaire-owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers has bought and refurbished nine other buildings in downtown Detroit over the last few years, moving thousands of his employees into these office towers and helping spearhead the Central Business District's rebirth.

"The office space downtown is not abundant anymore," says Jim Ketai, managing partner of Bedrock Real Estate Services, the real-estate management company of the Quicken Loans family of companies that is overseeing the renovation of One Woodward. "We need more space."

One Woodward is 60 percent occupied with existing tenants. Ketai expects that number to hit the 90 percentile within the coming months as Bedrock Real Estate Services renovates the building and recruits new companies to fill it. Work began earlier this week and the first new tenants are expected to begin moving in within four weeks.

One Woodward is also an expansion of the footprint of Gilbert's cluster of downtown office towers. Gilbert has purchased buildings in the Lower Woodward corridor between Grand Circus Park and Campus Martius as part of an effort to turn that area into a hotbed for tech firms being branded as WebWard. That footprint now stretches south of Campus Martius to Jefferson, and more acquisitions are possible in the near future if the right opportunity presents itself.

Ketai says his team is looking for ways to better connect Gilbert's cluster of buildings with the nearby Riverwalk and Renaissance Center. "We would love to figure out how to bring everything together," Ketai says.

Source: Jim Ketai, managing partner of Bedrock Real Estate Services
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

Woodward Garden Apts sprints toward opening next fall

Construction is moving forward in earnest to complete the rest of the Woodward Garden Block between West Alexandrine and Selden streets in Midtown.

Workers are working on rehabbing the long-shuttered Woodward Garden Theater in the middle of the block and building the Woodward Garden Apartments at the corner of Woodward and Selden. The theater is set to open in May 2013 and the apartment building the following September.

"It is basically on schedule," says George Stewart, managing member of the development team for Woodward Garden Block. "We hope to have it all enclosed before the bad weather comes."

The Woodward Garden Block project has been a long time coming. A large section of office space in the middle of the block was renovated two years ago, along with the construction of a parking garage behind it. The old Blue Moon building at the corner of Woodward and West Alexandrine was gutted and opened as the new home for the Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Co's signature cafe.

The Woodward Garden Theater will reopen as a 32,000-square-foot entertainment venue that can seat as many as 1,300 people. It was originally designed by C. Howard Crane (architect that designed the Fox Theatre) and has been derelict for many years.

A small one-story commercial building at the corner of Selden and Woodward was recently razed to make room for the 5-story Woodward Garden Apartments. The mixed-use building will feature room for ground floor commercial space and 61 apartments on the upper floors. The apartments will be a combination of market-rate one- and two-bedroom spaces. Workers have poured the concrete for the basement of the new building and are currently working on erecting its steel skeleton.

Source: George Stewart, managing member of the development team for Woodward Garden Block
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

Shipping-container apts set to break ground in Woodbridge, Corktown

Detroit's first shipping container building is about to break ground in Corktown.

Three Squared (formerly Exceptional Green Living) plans to begin building a couple model units of the larger multi-family project destined for Woodbridge in early 2013. The two live-work units will be made of old shipping containers. The units will go up on Michigan Avenue next to the Grinnell Place Lofts.

"We will have this entire model center framed in four hours," says Leslie Horn, CEO of Three Squared.

Three Squared, and the six people working to make it happen, plans to build out two areas of multi-family shipping container developments in Corktown and Woodbridge. The Woodbridge development will go up on the southeast corner of Warren Avenue and Rosa Parks Boulevard. It will consist of 20 units ranging in size between 853 and 1,920 square feet.

The second development will consist of 6-12 units at Michigan Avenue in Corktown. The units will first be marketed as for-sale condos that Horn describes as "extremely competitive with market-rate sales." If condo sales don't work, Horn is ready to go forward with construction of the projects and marketing the developments as rentals.

Shipping container construction is considered one of the greenest forms of construction because it reuses so much material. Such construction has been proven not only viable across the U.S. and around the world but popular.

"We know they will be LEED certifiable, gold or maybe platinum," Horn says. "But we won't go for certification until we have our first units up. We want to prove our concept as soon as possible."

Source: Leslie Horn, CEO of Three Squared
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

Woodward rapid transit pushes forward with RTA, community meetings

The options for traveling up and down Woodward Avenue are about to grow significantly.

The Michigan State Senate recently passed a series of bills that would establish a regional transit authority that would oversee the construction and operation of a light rail line on Woodward between Jefferson Avenue and Grand Boulevard. It would also oversee the construction and operation of a bus rapid transit systems along the rest of Woodward and across the region. The State House of Representatives is reportedly expected to take up the bills within the coming days.

Working in parallel in those efforts are series of community meetings envisioning what rapid transit along Woodward Avenue could look like and what local residents want to see happen. The meetings are being hosted by the Michigan Suburbs Alliance, Woodward Avenue Action Association and SEMCOG, which is creating a Woodward rapid transit alternatives analysis that will work in parallel with the proposed regional transit authority.

"This is an attempt to create a rapid transit system on Woodward Avenue," says Richard Murphy, programs director of the Michigan Suburbs Alliance. "We're looking at the entire length from Jefferson Avenue to Pontiac."

Among the issues that will be discussed are which mode of transit works best for the Woodward corridor (light rail or bus rapid transit), how such a system should be funded and whether it should have dedicated lanes or mixed in with traffic.

The meetings will be be held along the Woodward corridor. The Detroit meetings will be held today (Tuesday, Dec. 4) at SEMCOG offices in downtown Detroit (535 Griswold St, Suite 300) from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and at the Detroit Police Dept's Central District (7310 Woodward) from 4-6 p.m. Another one will be held on Dec. 11 at the Detroit Police Dept's Palmer Park Station (12th Precinct, 1441 W. 7 Mile Road).

Source: Richard Murphy, programs director of the Michigan Suburbs Alliance
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

Avalon expands into East Side, Midtown and New Center

Avalon International Breads has long been a staple of the Cass Corridor but it's now becoming a staple in other Detroit neighborhoods.

The artisanal bakery launched in 1997 and steadily built itself into the anchor business near the corner of Cass Avenue and West Willis Street in Midtown. It has since garnered national attention for its breads and goodies made of organic and sometimes vegan-friendly ingredients. Its small storefront at 422 W. Willis is routinely packed with customers and employees making food 24 hours a day to meet demand.

That success prompted Avalon to begin searching for a new space to facilitate its expansion a few years ago. It has now opened a retail outlet at Henry Ford Hospital in New Center, is looking to expand its Midtown presence and is in the process of opening a much bigger production facility on the Near East Side not far from the Packard Plant.

"We have been over capacity for quite some time, at least since 2008," says Ann Perrault, co-owner & CEO of Avalon.

The new production facility is Avalon City Ovens, a $2.2 million project turning a dilapidated industrial building into a state-of-the-art bakery. Avalon bought the old warehouse at 6555 E. Forrest Ave. (near Bellevue Street) at the 2010 Wayne County Tax Foreclosure Auction. The 50,000-square-foot building is a major upgrade from its 3,000 square-foot-storefront in Midtown. Perrault expects to open the new facility in January.

That project comes not long after Avalon opened its second retail location last summer in the West Grand Boulevard building of Henry Ford Hospital. That space offers all of the foods Avalon is known for and employs six workers. Avalon now employs 55 people after hiring 14 since February.

Avalon is also looking at expanding its Midtown presence in 2013. Perrault says her firm is looking at moving its storefront from its existing space on Willis to a newer space on West Canfield Street next to Traffic Jam & Snug. That move is set to move forward next spring after the Avalon City Ovens project is complete. The new space will be consistent with Avalon's longstanding pledge to remaining a part of the Cass Corridor/Midtown community.

"This is definitely important to us," Perrault says.

Source: Ann Perrault, co-owner & CEO of Avalon International Breads
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

Rehab moves forward at 1444 Michigan Ave. in Corktown

The renovation of 1444 Michigan Ave. is moving forward in earnest, helping activate another storefront in Corktown.

The century-old storefront near the corner of Michigan and Trumbull avenues has been undergoing a slow renovation in recent years as its owner, Anthony O'Donnell, used his own resources to put on a new roof and make other structural improvements. He has now secured a six-figure loan from the Detroit Development Fund along with some other state and national tax credits, allowing him to completely rehab the structure.

O'Donnell lives on the second floor and small set-back third floor of the building. He plans to turn the ground floor into a eatery and is in talks with a local microbrewer, Batch Brewing Co, to open up a nano-brewery in the ground floor.

"We have been talking about that for a few months now," O'Donnell says.

The plan is to complete the facade restoration of the building before the end of the year and white-box the first-floor commercial space by mid-2013. O'Donnell plans to renovate the entire building and the garage behind it, which comes to about 14,000 square feet of space.

Source:Anthony O'Donnell, owner of 1444 Michigan Avenue
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.
413 Redevelopment Articles | Page: | Show All
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