A new redevelopment project in Eastern Market plans to bring a variety of uses together, including restaurant/retail, office space and fish farm.
Urban Life Development
, the Eastern Market-based development firm behind the FD Lofts at Eastern Market
, plans to transform the vacant Detroit Waterboard Building into a mixed-use development features space for a restaurant/retail businesses, creative office space and a fish farm focused on raising tilapia.
"Eastern Market is a food district," says Robert Heide, president of Urban Life Development. "This just seems like an interesting mix of uses to bring under one roof. We will continue to be a leader in showing how old buildings can be reused so they are an assett to the neighborhood."
The 104,000-square-foot building at 1565 Erksine is "very unoccupied" in Heide's words. His firm hopes to spend about $7 million to completely renovate the structure. The first order of business will focus on bringing 45,000 square feet of commercial space online for the fish farm, which will feature a closed-loop water system so the tilapia can be raised in a controlled environment.
Heide also plans to turn 30,000 square feet of the building into a creative office space that stresses loft-like features and flexibility. Another 20,000 square feet will be focused on space for restaurant and retail businesses. Heide also hopes to make the structure as green as possible.
"We hope to incorporate some renewable energy aspects, like wind turbines," Heide says.
Construction is set to begin in the second quarter of this year. It will take 12-24 months to complete the project.
Source: Robert Heide, president of Urban Life Development
Writer: Jon Zemke
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