Whitney Building Redevelopment Plan Backed by $8.5 Million State Financing
By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor
The plan to transform Detroit’s historic David Whitney Building into retail, apartments and a boutique hotel is moving forward with $8.5 million in state financing in addition to the $82.5 million investment secured by developer David Di Rita at the end of 2012.
Located at 1553 Woodward Avenue – now a hot spot in Detroit – the 19-story office building was designed in a Neo-Renaissance style and opened in 1915. After staying vacant for more than a decade, in March 2011 the property was acquired for $3.3 million by local real estate development company The Roxbury Group.
According to MLive.com, shortly after closing on the transaction the developer revealed plans to convert the landmark building into 108 rental apartments, 7,000 square feet of ground-level retail space and a 135-room Aloft Hotel, part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide.
The newly approved financing is part of a larger set of incentives approved last week by the Michigan Strategic Fund. It consists of a $7.5 million performance loan and a $1 million Community Revitalization Program performance-based grant. The $8.5 grant comes after a $9.8 state brownfield redevelopment tax credit and another $12.4 million in state historic tax credit, as reported by The Detroit News.
The state incentives are earmarked for 14 companies that are expected to expand and generate more than $1.1 billion in investments and add nearly 5,000 jobs in Michigan.