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  #2421  
Old Posted Mar 6, 2014, 2:10 AM
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What a shame about the Wurlitzer! Such a beautiful, ornate building, in a great location. Hopefully someone else comes along and scoops this one up.
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  #2422  
Old Posted Mar 6, 2014, 8:17 AM
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Kincaid Henry Building Group does good work in Lansing. Though they've never done anything as large as the Wurlitzer, I have to say that if they passed on this, I'm really worried about its future prospects. It must be worse, structurally, than originally thought, because Kincaid Henry wouldn't just give this up over nothing. I wonder if Kraemer Design Group could take a look at this?
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  #2423  
Old Posted Mar 7, 2014, 12:35 AM
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Hopefully it has more to do with red tape than the actual building.
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  #2424  
Old Posted Mar 10, 2014, 7:35 PM
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Quote:
City seeks development ideas for Herman Kiefer Health Complex
By Kirk Pinho. March 10, 2014.

Developers have until 3 p.m. on April 11 to submit development proposals to the city of Detroit for the 526,000-square-foot former Herman Kiefer Health Complex on Taylor Street west of the Lodge Freeway.

Developers can pick up a request-for-proposal packet from the Detroit Planning and Development Department Real Estate Development Division on the 20th floor of 65 Cadillac Square. Proposals can be mailed to the Real Estate Development Division or emailed to rfpresponse@detroitmi.gov.

The city announced in October that the Department of Health and Wellness Promotion, including the Vital Records Division, would move its offices from the complex. The Vital Records Division is now on the second floor of the passenger terminal at the Coleman A. Young International Airport; the health department is now located at 1600 W. Lafayette Blvd.

The complex, which sits on 18 acres of city-owned land, is currently vacant, said John Roach, Mayor Mike Duggan’s communications director. It was constructed between 1909 and 1928, he said.

The buildings were designed by George Mason and Albert Kahn, according to a 2004 report to the Detroit City Council.

There will be a site walk-through on March 25 from 9:30 a.m. to noon starting at the complex’s main entrance, 1151 Taylor St., and a pre-bid meeting will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. that day at the Detroit Economic Growth Corp. office in the Guardian Building at 500 Griswold St., according to a press release.
I'd be surprised if this building finds reuse anytime soon. It's pretty huge and still quite aways away from the major downtown activity.

The RFP also includes the adjacent parking lots and power substations. The city is looking for mixed-use, residential development that's higher in density than the surrounding area, or innovative commercial (which I assume means something more than a strip mall). If the proposed project was significant enough, it'd become a major anchor for the area (which is adjacent to Virgina Park and just under a mile from New Center).


Herman Kiefer Health Complex, Detroit, MI by SEMICH_EL, on Flickr

Last edited by animatedmartian; Mar 10, 2014 at 8:04 PM.
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  #2425  
Old Posted Mar 10, 2014, 10:27 PM
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Quote:
Brewster-Douglass projects' last 4 towers go under wrecking ball; city rejoices
March 10, 2014. By Joe Guillen.



Demolition began on Monday of the remaining four towers at Detroit’s vacant Brewster-Douglass public housing projects, a job city officials said is another step toward eradicating blight and laying a foundation for the city’s rebirth.

Mayor Mike Duggan said his economic development team and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development are working on a yet-to-be-determined plan for future uses of the Brewster-Douglass land just north of downtown, along with the adjoining Brush Park property.

“For many people, these towers have become nothing but a symbol of blight and decay for the city of Detroit,” Duggan said during a press conference at the edge of the vacant projects. “We are not demolishing for the sake of demolishing. We are demolishing for the purpose of rebuilding.”

The 15-story towers are expected to be torn down in two months. An earlier phase of demolition that began in September took out the complex’s two-story rowhouses. HUD gave the city $6.5 million to tear down all 661 housing units on the 18.5-acre site.

...
I was surprised the towers weren't imploded considering the towers at the Jeffries projects were. Duggan says the Brewster Tower are too close to the freeway for an implosion, but I would think only the southernmost tower would pose any danger. Secondly, couldn't the excavator possible knock bricks onto the freeway when it's working on the southern and easternmost towers? And thirdly, it's not like it's a big deal if I-75 would have to be closed for whatever reason, people can easily use the Lodge as a detour.

Oh well, in the end it's bye bye Brewsters.
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  #2426  
Old Posted Mar 10, 2014, 11:45 PM
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Actually the original Brewster towers were imploded IIRC. But they weren't as close to the freeway. Makes sense. Debris falling into I-75 would be a costly cleanup.
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  #2427  
Old Posted Mar 11, 2014, 7:17 AM
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The imploded Jeffries towers were also right up against the Lodge, maybe even closer than the Brewsters were to the Fisher. I guess they just didn't want to risk it.

As a young child, we lived a few blocks down the street from Herman Kiefer. I'm (pleasantly) surprised they are even putting out an RFP. I honestly expected to hear they were going to tear it down. Though, short of local government or non-profits filling part of it, there is no way in hell anything market-rate is going into this thing. Well, I could see a chunk of it being used for laboratory space and/or some light manufacturing, mabye something mixed-use along the lines of the Russell Industrial Center, which it is in way better shape than.

It's sad, really, because it would make so much sense being right off the freeway (you know, easier to "secure" form the surrounding neighborhood). But this is Detroit where there isn't even a normal market for stuff, downtown, let alone for half-a-million square feet just outside the old city core.
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  #2428  
Old Posted Mar 11, 2014, 4:58 PM
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Possibly good news for United Sound (nothing is confirmed yet).

Quote:
Saving United Sound: Legendary Detroit studio set stage for Motown
SUSAN WHITALL. THE DETROIT NEWS.



....

The walls of United Sound ooze with soul and an authenticity that served not only early Motown, but all genres of Detroit music: jazz, rock, R&B and country. This is where John Lee Hooker cut “Boogie, Chillen”; where young turks of jazz including John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie and Kenny Burrell cut sides; where George Clinton practically lived when it was P-Funk’s home studio; and where Detroit’s rock elite, including the Rationals and Bob Seger, put down sweat-soaked tracks (Seger recorded his early singles there).

Detroit postal worker Danielle Scott bought the studio in 2009 and has been working ever since on restoring it to its proper place.

“I’ve always been a fan of the music,” Scott says. “I’m trying to find out as much as I can about the history.” She’s enjoying what she’s discovering. “We go across all the (musical) genres here. The history of United Sound is continuing, and there will be more hits out of here.”

To that end, Scott is working to get a historical designation for United Sound, hoping that it will help convince M-DOT not to demolish or move it for a future I-94 reconstruction project.

M-DOT spokesman Rob Morosi said they met with Scott last summer, and had “a good conversation” about various options on the table. One of those options, he confirms, would be moving the studio from its location on Second at Antoinette.

“We’re waiting to hear back from them,” Morosi said Monday. (Scott says she’s exploring her options, but moving the large house and back studio is not what she favors.)

Dave Usher produced Jackie Wilson’s first record, “Danny Boy,” at United Sound in the early 1950s.

“It’s not the matter of the actual location,” he admitted. “But it’s the significance of that aspect of culture and Detroit’s history. I would hate to see United Sound go, because it meant a lot to the music industry. A freeway could afford to have a little detour.”

....
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  #2429  
Old Posted Mar 11, 2014, 7:40 PM
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Meanwhile, in the other former public housing projects.

Quote:
More affordable housing for Midtown announced

Woodbridge Estates, a neighborhood notable for its Motown-themed street names, will see the construction of 46 apartments spread across 12 buildings this spring. The Slavik Company, a partner in the development team, expects that the apartments will be ready for move-in by July 2014. This marks the sixth phase of construction for Woodbridge Estates, a development that broke ground in 2003 and began accepting its first residents in 2005.

The Woodbridge Estates construction will create more affordable housing in Midtown's southwest corner. The apartments will be reserved for residents who earn up to 60% of the area median income. Developers plan to offer the apartments with a lease-to-own option, says Eric Gold, vice president of the Slavik Company. After 15 years of leasing their apartments, residents will be offered the opportunity to purchase, per U.S. Housing and Urban Development approval.

...
Also something of note I came across on the Model D website.

Quote:
Architecture firm Hamilton Anderson celebrates 20 years with new developments, hires

...

The firm is working on Orleans Landing, the five block development along the east riverfront. Hamilton Anderson is applying more industrial design influences to the previously released illustrations. Townhomes are planned for the blocks facing the Dequindre Cut. The rest of the development will consist of mid-rise lofts featuring mixed-use and residential units.

....

Hamilton Anderson has been selected by New York-based SHoP Architects as the local architects to collaborate with on the Hudson's site building. Hamilton says a concept has been presented to Bedrock Real Estate Services and was well-received.

The firm is the design architect and architect of record for the adaptive re-use of the old Strathmore Hotel in Midtown. Hamilton says that an original light well is going to be preserved and that developers are hoping that a new parking structure will be built nearby.

....

Last edited by animatedmartian; Mar 11, 2014 at 10:45 PM.
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  #2430  
Old Posted Mar 12, 2014, 7:13 AM
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Curbed seems to think that the Woodbridge Estates expansion will occur across the freeway on the playground because of how the press release by Slavik was written, but someone in the comments think the expansion will be occuring west of Woodbridge Estates. I have to admit that it's really not that clear from the Slavik press release. It seems hard to imagine they'd put only 46 units on that huge playground/field across the Lodge, but perhaps they are only using part of the site, which would be even better as it preserve some of the open space for the residents of Woodbridge and Cornerstone.

Anyway, good to see developers doing new construction to help meet the demand. Lofts are nice, but this helps feel the gap between the upper-scale stuff and the straight-out public housing at the lower end of the scale.

BTW, speaking of Slavik, aren't they doing the Harbortown expansion? Has that started construction, yet?
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  #2431  
Old Posted Mar 12, 2014, 1:23 PM
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The city wants to preserve part of the site for public recreational use, but the RFP doesn't say by how much. If 4th street and Brainard were reconnected, I'd imagine you could fit 12 buildings in that block to the alley way and renovate the rec center and fix up the park. But of course, there's nothing to suggest that's what's going to happen.

I just sort of hope the buildings look more like the rentals in Cornerstone rather than the rentals in Woodbridge Estates.
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  #2432  
Old Posted Mar 13, 2014, 12:45 PM
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DDI means business:

Quote:
Chinese firm making plans to renovate its downtown Detroit properties

By JC Reindl | Detroit Free Press

March 13, 2014

The Chinese development firm that snagged three downtown Detroit properties at auction last year said it is moving forward with plans to renovate the 1920s-era buildings as it eyes future purchases in the city.

“We don’t hold buildings. We bought them, and we’re going to develop them,” said Ken Creighton, a local representative for the DDI Group, also known as the Shanghai-based Dongdu International Group, which is making its first foray in the U.S.

DDI paid $16.4 million for the three buildings it won in online auctions last fall:

■ The David Stott building, 1150 Griswold, sold for $9.4 million

■ The old Detroit Free Press building, 321 W. Lafayette, went for $4.2 million

■ Clark Lofts, 35 W. Grand River, fetched nearly $2.8 million

Creighton said his firm is actively looking at buying additional properties in the city, although he can’t yet offer specifics.

“We are still in acquisition mode,” he said. “We intend to invest even more money into Detroit.”

The first building on DDI’s redevelopment itinerary is the former Albert Kahn-designed Free Press headquarters, which opened in 1925 and consists of two six-story wings flanking a 13-story central tower. The building has been vacant since 1998, when the newspaper moved into the Detroit News building three blocks away.

Creighton said his firm anticipates making a $50-million investment to convert the building’s offices and newsroom into as many as 170 rental apartments with commercial space on the ground floor. The company has interviewed architects and construction companies and anticipates the project’s planning fully under way by the start of the summer, with interior demolition as early as September.

...

Detroit Free Press Building


Kathleen Galligan | Detroit Free Press

Clark Lofts


Detroit Free Press file photo

David Stott Building


Detroit Free Press file photo
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  #2433  
Old Posted Mar 13, 2014, 4:25 PM
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That's good. Crain reported that some people had doubts after some elevator problems had occurred in Stott a few months after DDI bought it. A few months later, they haven't fixed it apparently. It's not the best first impression when there isn't a sense of urgency but at the same time, it's still pretty early in the renovation process after they've just only acquired the building. Hopefully nothing major happens before they're able to replace the elevators.
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  #2434  
Old Posted Mar 13, 2014, 6:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by animatedmartian View Post
That's good.
It definitely is.

That elevator anecdote caught my attention too, and not in a good way, I must admit. There's still that kind of scare of China. They don't want to fail anyway, so they'll do their things by complying with local standards.
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  #2435  
Old Posted Mar 13, 2014, 7:27 PM
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The Griswold Building (formerly known as senior citizen housing) will now be known as "the Albert". Here's the extremely yuppie-friendly video from the Albert's website (really the only thing that irks me is how much they're trying to oversell on 'luxury').




http://www.thealbertcapitolpark.com/

Among other renovation updates...

Quote:
On Detroit River waterfront, Globe building transforms into DNR playground

Originally Published: March 11, 2014. Kirk Pinho.







And lastly....

Quote:
Developer says $7 million will turn Detroit's castle-like James Scott Mansion into 25 condos
By David Muller. March 13, 2014.







DETROIT, MI – A Detroit developer said financing is in place and a project to turn the 137-year-old, castle-like James Scott Mansion in Detroit into 25 condos should begin this summer.

Joel Landy, whose Detroit developments include the Burton Theatre, the Addison Building and the Leland Lofts, to name a few, said that financing has been arranged and it is “99 percent sure" that the development will move forward.

Landy said the gorgeous but crumbling Richardsonian-Romanesque building at 81 Peterboro in the Cass Corridor will cost about $7 million to redevelop, and has already been approved for $2.6 million in state historic and brownfield redevelopment tax credits.

The building has been vacant for about 40 years, and Landy has owned it for 15. He said efforts to redevelop it in 2008 were stalled by the global recession.

“It’s got tremendous historic value,” Landy said of the building. Built in 1877, The structure gets its named from James Scott, a wealthy real estate heir who also funded the design and construction of the Scott Fountain on Belle Isle, according to Detroit1701.org. Mortimer L. Smith & Sons were the architects.

Last edited by animatedmartian; Mar 13, 2014 at 7:58 PM.
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  #2436  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2014, 7:11 AM
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I'm loving all this, really I am. This is starting to feel like 2006 all over, again, only better because now even the politics are lined up correctly. Many of these are the kind of projects that even just after 2000 wouldn't have happened, because they would have been demolition.
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  #2437  
Old Posted Mar 19, 2014, 2:44 AM
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Interesting video I just viewed about Detroit, one of those inspirational time lapse sequences. Thought everyone would enjoy it.


http://vimeo.com/88981135
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  #2438  
Old Posted Mar 19, 2014, 7:36 AM
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More of a general development issue, but it seems Metro Detroit's housing market continues to recover, though, in the last few months sales have been down. REMAX says it's because of the harsh weather and low inventory.

Quote:
RE/MAX: Rise in Detroit area home selling prices tops the nation; decline in sales is second

David Muller | MLive.com

March 18, 2014

DETROIT, MI – Metro Detroit home prices are rebounding fast from the housing market collapse but sales are dropping fast as well, as illustrated by another residential real estate report.

The RE/MAX National Housing Report released Tuesday says that median home sales prices rose 36 percent year-over-year in the Detroit area in February. That put Metro Detroit at the top of the 52 largest metropolitan areas tracked by the real estate firm, followed by San Francisco (up 25 percent), Las Vegas (up 24 percent), Atlanta (up 20 percent), Los Angeles (up 19 percent) and Orlando, (up 17 percent).

According to RE/MAX, which uses multiple listing service data, total sales in Metro Detroit fell 18 percent annually in February. That put it behind only Las Vegas (down 22 percent) in terms of the rate of falling sales.

Of the 52 metro areas surveyed by RE/MAX, 42 had a year-over-year decrease in sales last month. The average decline across all markets RE/MAX surveyed was 9 percent.

...
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  #2439  
Old Posted Mar 24, 2014, 9:56 PM
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Downtown Detroit office building vacancy rate drops 7.7 percent from 2012

The vacancy rate in downtown Detroit’s most prized office buildings fell from 19.2 percent in 2012 to 11.5 percent last year, according to a new report issued by the Detroit office of Jones Lang Lasalle.

The second annual Detroit Skyline Review, which keeps tabs on office buildings over 100,000 square feet built or renovated since 1985, also says that 1.5 million square feet has been absorbed in the last three years in the 10 million-square-foot skyline. During that time period, the vacancy rate decreased from 26 percent to 11.5 percent, according to the report.

• Guardian Building: 648,000 square feet, 93.3 percent leased.

• First National Building: 800,000 square feet, 99.1 percent leased.

• Chrysler House (Dime Building): 416,000 square feet, 96.3 percent leased.

• 1001 Woodward: 283,000 square feet, 97.5 percent leased.

• 211 W. Fort St.: 450,000 square feet, 86.7 percent leased.

• 150 W. Jefferson Ave.: 493,000 square feet, 80.2 percent leased.

• One Woodward Ave.: 360,000 square feet, 95.3 percent leased.

• One Detroit Center, 500 Woodward Ave.: 957,000 square feet, 64 percent leased.

• Chase Tower, 611 Woodward Ave.: 505,000 square feet, 100 percent leased.

• One Kennedy Square, 777 Woodward Ave.: 247,000 square feet, 100 percent leased.

• Compuware Corp. headquarters: 1.1 million square feet, 100 percent leased.

• Renaissance Center, Tower 100: 577,000 square feet, 85.3 percent leased.

• Renaissance Center, Tower 200: 582,000 square feet, 92.5 percent leased.

• Renaissance Center, Tower 300: 585,000 square feet, 100 percent leased.

• Renaissance Center, Tower 400: 576,000 square feet, 82.7 percent leased.

• Renaissance Center, Tower 500: 307,000 square feet, 100 percent leased.

• Renaissance Center, Tower 600: 307,000 square feet, 92.2 percent leased.

• Ford Field: 331,000 square feet, 75.5 percent leased.

• Madison Office Building, 1900 St. Antoine St.: 100,000 square feet, 12.7 percent leased.

• Brewery Park, 1155 Gratiot Ave.: 371,000 square feet, 76.3 percent leased.


Notable skyscrapers not included in this list; Buhl Building (117,382 sq ft), Penobscot Building (776,486 sq ft), David Stott Building (210,000 sq ft), and Cadillac Tower (342,000 sq ft) as well as DTE (2,050,525 sq ft), BCBS, and AT&T Michigan's headquarters, and the fully vacant Executive Plaza (612,900 sq ft).

I'm not sure what the significance is of a 1985 cut-off date, but it seems obvious to assume that a more recently renovated or built office building will have more up to date facilities which makes them more desirable to possible tenants.
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  #2440  
Old Posted Mar 25, 2014, 3:00 AM
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11% is starting to get into healthy levels of leasing... much lower and you will start to see new construction. if that level of leasing growth can continue for a few more years you will see demand for newly built space.
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