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Walsh College to Start $15 Million Renovation and Expansion Project

16 Apr 2014, 7:59 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

A private college in suburban Detroit will embark on an 18-month renovation and expansion that will enhance campus-life experience. The Walsh College Board of Trustees recently approved the $15 million improvement project at the college’s existing campus building that was built in the 1970s.

Walsh College renovation and expansion

Walsh College renovation and expansion

According to a press release from the college, construction at the site located on Livernois Road in Troy is set to begin late this summer. The project is financed by a combination of investment and capital funds and private donations coming from alumni and other investors who will be offered donor-naming opportunities upon completion.

“This initiative underscores Walsh College’s long-term commitment to the growth and vibrancy that we see in southeast Michigan and Troy,” said President and CEO of Walsh College Stephanie Bergeron. “The improvements represent our high-quality educational programs, meet the needs of today’s students, and put a contemporary face on the Walsh College business brand,” she added.

Chicago-based Valerio Dewalt Train Associates—which also designed Walsh College’s Barry Center—is serving as the architect of the project which is the third and last phase of a complex redesign master plan that started 15 years ago, the Detroit Free Press reports. Under the newly approved redesign plans, Walsh College’s original building will be renovated and expanded into a two-story, 55,000-square foot facility. The stone, metal panel and brick structure will offer a student center focused on business-communication skills development, a student lounge and a student services center. The new facility will also include meeting spaces for private conversations that will allow students to network with each other, simulate workplace environments and connect with potential employers.

The college said it will pursue LEED certification for renovations at the main building, just like the Barry Center which was awarded LEED Gold certification in June 2010.

Walsh College was founded in Troy in 1992 as a private, non-profit business college offering undergraduate and graduate business and technology degrees and certificate programs. There are about 4,200 students enrolled at the college’s locations in Troy, Novi, Clinton Township and Port Huron.

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Rendering courtesy of Walsh College



110-Room Hotel and Retail Project Coming to Downtown Ann Arbor

14 Apr 2014, 1:48 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

A new hotel is set to rise on a 0.48-acre site at the corner of Huron and Ashley streets in downtown Ann Arbor if the development team receives the green light from the Planning Commission and City Council.

Ann Arbor - hotel and retail project by First Martin Corp.

Ann Arbor – hotel and retail project by First Martin Corp.

Plans for the $20 million project were submitted for review with the city last week by Ann Arbor-based First Martin Corp. The developer hopes to get the go-ahead in two or three months and start construction immediately.

First Martin, which owns the property at 116-120 West Huron Street, wants to replace the site with a 110-room extended-stay hotel that would cater to clients looking for short-term accommodation options. According to MLive.com, the property is currently occupied by two buildings—the Greyhound bus depot and Ann Arbor Convention and Visitors bureau—that will be  demolished as soon as the project is approved. One of the features that make this project unique is the fact that it will preserve a part of the bus depot façade while incorporating the sign into the design.

The plans jointly designed by Zivic & Hurdle Architects of Fairfarx, VA, and Hobbs + Black Architects of Ann Arbor include a seven-story structure that will incorporate a mix of hotel rooms ranging from studios to two-bedroom units, along with a hotel lobby on the first floor, meeting rooms and office space, a restaurant with sidewalk café and an exercise room, as well as a pool and patio. The developer hasn’t announced which national hotel chain was selected for the Ann Arbor location, but the new facility could open as a Residence Inn by Marriott—given Zivic & Hurdle’s vast experience designing hotels for this brand.

As for the project’s retail component, Crain’s Detroit Business reports that it will encompass around 6,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space along the Huron Street frontage and will be marketed by the Ann Arbor office of Colliers International Inc.

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Rendering credits to Zivic & Hurdle Architects and Hobbs + Black Architects



Downtown Detroit Goes Residential: City Approves First Apartment Projects in Two Decades

8 Apr 2014, 1:11 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

The Griswold - designed by Kraemer Design Group

The Griswold – designed by Kraemer Design GroupAs predicted in a market report that Multi-Housing News Online published recently, things are looking up for Detroit’s housing market. Two new apartment projects were approved by the city’s Downtown Development Authority (DDA) which is part of the Detroit Economic Growth Corp (DEGC), marking the first residential buildings to be developed in the downtown area in more than two decades.

The Roxbury Group got the green light to revive a long-stalled condominium project that was put on hold in the early planning stages back in 2008 when the recession hit hard Detroit. Called The Griswold, the project now calls for 80 market-rate units that will be built on top of an existing 10-story parking garage and retail building located at 150 Michigan Avenue, next to the historic Westin Book Cadillac Hotel and within walking distance from Campus Martius. The conceptual plans for the $22 million project were designed by local architecture firm Kraemer Design Group, while Walbridge Aldinger Co. will serve as the construction manager, Crain’s Detroit Business reports. The Griswold will comprise one-, two- and three-bedroom units that will be available for rent in 2015.

Statler City Apartments - designed by BKV Group

Statler City Apartments – designed by BKV Group

The second residential project that was authorized by the DDA board is Statler City, residential building with up to 250 apartments that Farmington Hills-based Village Green Cos. will develop at Washington Boulevard and Park Avenue. According to The Detroit News, the $35 million to $40 million rental building will rise on the site of the former Statler Hotel facing Grand Circus Park. The construction site, which is currently owned by the city, will be transferred to the developer for $1.

According to the DDA board, Statler City was designed by BKV Group of Minneapolis to meet the National Association of Home Builders’ National Green Building Standards. The rental project includes a combination of housing ranging from 400-square-foot “micro-units” designed for young professionals to 1,200-aquare-foot apartments, as well as ground floor retail space, underground parking and a large-scale electronic screen facing Grand Circus Park. Developers estimate that Statler City Apartments could welcome its first residents in 2016.

“We have known for some time that people who want to live Downtown have found it very difficult to find apartments,” said in an official statement George W. Jackson, president and CEO of (DEGC), which will manage final development terms on behalf of the DDA. “These projects will go a long way toward meeting that demand.”

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Renderings via DEGC

 

 



Detroit Launches RFP for Housing, Office and Retail Project at Old Tiger Stadium Site

31 Mar 2014, 6:48 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

Detroit officials have big plans for Corktown, one of the oldest residential areas in the city and a symbol of the Irish-American community in the region. The site of Tiger Stadium, the neighborhood’s most famous attraction—or what’s left of it, as the place was demolished in 2008—is about to be converted into a vibrant urban development that will honor the history of the site while also serving as a new tax base for the city.

Detroit Tiger Stadium sign

Detroit Tiger Stadium sign

Located at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Trumbull Avenue, the venue was designed by Osborn Engineering of Cleveland, OH, and had an initial capacity of 23,000 seats that more than doubled in 1937. The sports venue opened in 1912 as Navin Field (it was later called the Briggs Stadium, and became Tiger Stadium in 1961) to house the Detroit Tigers, one of the Major League Baseball teams.

By the 1970s and 1980s the facility had become one of the most loved sport venues despite its aging structure. Some improvements and additions—such as the Tiger Plaza that was built on an old and underutilized parking lot—were made in early 1990s under Mike Ilitch’s ownership. As the stadium continued to deteriorate, the community suggested several renovation plans but none of the ideas were put into practice. In September 1999 the Detroit Tigers played their final game at Tiger Stadium and moved to Comerika Park shortly after. Over the next decade the vacant stadium continued to deteriorate and became an example of Detroit’s decaying landscape. In 2008 the structure was razed.

Last week the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC), which controls the stadium on behalf of the city, issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to redevelop the site of the old Tiger Stadium through a combination of retail, residential and office space that would replace two parcels totaling approximately 9.5 acres along the Michigan and Trumbull avenues. According to the RFP, the mixed-use development should consist of approximately 30,000 to 40,000 square feet of retail space and 90 to 100 residential units representing a total of $20 million in private investment. The RFP also states that the proposed development plan already includes a 10,000-square-foot headquarters building for a nonprofit youth sports organization called Detroit PAL, while much of the historic baseball diamond that currently occupies the stadium site will be maintained for youth baseball.

“This vision for the site represents the best combination of input from all the significant stakeholders—the City of Detroit, the Corktown community, and all those who have fond memories of the great baseball games played at Tiger Stadium,” said in a statement George W. Jackson, Jr., president and CEO of DEGC.

The proposals are due in late May. DEGC is expected to announce the selected developer by the end of August 2014.

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Image of Tiger Stadium in Detroit by josephleenovak on Flickr



Developers Add More Housing Units to Growing Midtown Detroit

16 Mar 2014, 3:29 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

A Bingham Farms-based real estate management and development company will soon add 12 apartment buildings in the southwest corner of Midtown Detroit.

As reported by Model D, The Slavik Company is moving forward with the sixth phase of construction at Woodbridge Estates—a mixed-income residential community that broke ground more than a decade ago and is bounded by Canfield Street to the north, M-10 to the east, Martin Luther King, Jr. Street to the south and Gibson Street to the west. Woodbridge Estates currently consists of 281 rental units and 51 occupied single-family homes and townhouses.

Slavik’s new development project calls for 12 brand new residential buildings totaling 46 rental units that will be occupied by residents who earn up to 60 percent of the area median income. According to Model D, which quoted Slavik’s vice president Eric Gold, the first units are expected to be ready for occupancy by July 2014. The apartments will be offered for rent with a lease-to-own option (after 15 years of leasing, residents will have the opportunity to buy their apartments).

Tushiya United hebrew School - 609 E Kirby Street

Tushiya United hebrew School – 609 E Kirby Street

Another residential development that is about to break ground in Midtown Detroit is 609 E. Kirby Lofts. The $6.9 million renovation project was announced recently by a partnership between the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), two community development finance institutions (Capital Impact Partners and Invest Detroit) and a subsidiary of Midtown Detroit, Inc. called the University Cultural Center Association, a non-profit organization that supports the revitalization of Midtown by encouraging new housing and commercial development in the area.

According to an official statement, the historic Tushiya United Hebrew School located on the 600 block of E. Kirby Street close to Detroit’s Cultural Center will be renovated and converted into 25 market-rate rental apartments by developer Richard Hosey III, who has owned the abandoned property since 2011. The project is expected to welcome its first residents in early 2015.

The two-story Tushiyah United Hebrew School was built in 1922 to serve as the headquarters of the United Hebrew Schoold of Detroit under plans designed by architect Isadore M. Lewis. Seven years later the school closed and the building was sold to the Scott Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church. Over the following decades the building changed hands various times.

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Image via lost Synagogues of Detroit

 







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