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Developers Selected for Tiger Stadium Site Redevelopment

17 Dec 2014, 3:28 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

The long-vacant site of the iconic Tiger Stadium is one step closer to being brought back to life now that the Detroit Economic Development Corporation (DEDC), which is part of the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC), has announced the development team for the 9.5-acre property.

The Corner - Tiger Stadium Redevelopment - Detroit

The Corner – Tiger Stadium Redevelopment – Detroit

Located at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Trumbull Avenue in Corktown, one of the oldest residential areas in the city, Tiger Stadium was demolished in 2008. After nearly six years, in March 2014 City officials issued a Request for Proposals to redevelop the site through a mix of residential, office and retail space on two parcels along Michigan and Trumbull Avenues.

Following DEDC’s recent announcement, Bloomfield Hills-based Larson Realty Group will redevelop the historic property under the name Tiger Stadium Partners, LLC—a partnership that also includes Jenkins Construction, Heritage Development, Rossetti Architects, Stokas Bieri Real Estate and University of Michigan Sports Management, as well as The Pauls Corporation and real estate crowdfunding and investment platforms Fundrise and Popularize.

The $33 million development project is called The Corner and will consist of a four-story building with 102 apartments—with 20 percent of the residences designed as affordable housing units—and roughly 30,000 square feet of retail space along Michigan Avenue. Additionally, the redeveloped Tiger Stadium site will include 24 for-sale townhomes along Trumbull Avenue. The development team expects to break ground on The Corner in early 2016, after the project receives all necessary approvals from City officials.

“The decisions made today preserve the history of Tiger Stadium while at the same time providing for the future of the Corktown neighborhood, two historical sites important not only to our city but the region as well,” said in a statement for the press Rodrick Miller, president and chief executive officer, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation.

Apart from this mixed-use building, the City also approved a project advanced by the Detroit Police Athletic League (PAL) and the Old Tiger Stadium Conservancy (OTSC) that aims to create a new headquarters for the athletic league along Cochrane Street, while keeping and upgrading the original playing field where the Detroit Tigers played for almost nine decades. Designed by Pendulum Studios of Kansas City, Mo., the project will cost approximately $11 million.

As reported by MLive.com, Detroit PAL’s new headquarters building will have 9,300 square feet and will include a banquet facility overlooking the field. The rehabbed baseball field will feature a gated entryway, a ticket booth, historic memorabilia, seating for 2,500 spectators, a covered pavilion and locker rooms.

“The new stadium will serve as a beacon for old Tiger Stadium enthusiasts and bring back wonderful memories for all of us who enjoyed ballgames at this historic corner. This will provide us the ability to build Detroit PAL’s new headquarters/conference and historical interactive center while creating a new Field of Dreams for Detroit kids at the old Tiger Stadium location,” said Tim Richey, CEO of Detroit PAL, in a statement.


Renderings via DEDC

$17 Million Transformation of Shuttered Public Works Facility Envisions Retail, Community Space

10 Dec 2014, 6:55 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

A former Department of Public Works building sitting vacant at the corner of West Vernor and Livernois in Southwest Detroit could see new life as a retail center and community space. The $17 million redevelopment project is a joint effort of the Southwest Detroit Business Association (SDBA) and the Michigan Municipal League (MML) and is part of a larger transformative plan that tackles eight Michigan communities.

Vernor Crossing - Southwest Detroit

Vernor Crossing – Southwest Detroit

Called PlacePlans, the master project has shaped up as a partnership between the MML and Michigan State University’s School of Planning, Design and Construction, and is led at the state agency level by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA). According to an official statement from the MML, PlacePlans aims to help communities design and implement transformative projects to spur economic growth around walkable downtown districts.

“MSHDA is truly impressed with the innovative and creative work generated by the leaders and citizens in these eight communities—Cadillac, Detroit, Flint, Holland, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Marquette, and Midland,” said Gary Heidel, chief placemaking officer for MSHDA. “We now hope that these plans can become reality and help continue the positive placemaking work already under way in these cities,” he added.

Marketplace at Vernor Crossing - Southwest Detroit

Marketplace at Vernor Crossing – Southwest Detroit

The SDBA/MML Vernor Crossing revitalization project will transform the 7-acre, city-owned brownfield to create better connections between the adjacent neighborhoods and business districts. Vernor Crossing will be developed in phases and will feature 60,000 square feet to include retail soft goods, a shared market space for entrepreneurs across the neighborhood, as well as a flexible public plaza. According to conceptual plans created by Archive Design Studio, Vernor Crossing will include the adaptive reuse of the existing industrial structure, as well as other nearby structures.

According to The Detroit News, the key element at the future Vernor Crossing project will be preserving and respecting Southwest Detroit’s rich cultural heritage, as the neighborhood has a history of more than 100 years of immigrant entrepreneurs. The site has already been cleaned up and the next step is to secure funding for the project.

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Renderings via the MML and Archive Design Studio



820 Monroe Avenue Joins 616 Lofts’ Wave of Adaptive Reuse Projects in Grand Rapids

8 Dec 2014, 2:22 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

The plan to reconvert the former industrial site located at 820 Monroe Avenue in Grand Rapids into apartments and commercial space is just months away from becoming reality.

Lofts on Monroe - rendering - Grand Rapids MI

Lofts on Monroe – rendering – Grand Rapids MI

First mentioned here January 2014, the adaptive reuse project tackles the Sackner Products factory—a four-story brick industrial structure that was originally built in the 1920s to serve as a manufacturing plant, with further additions completed in the 1950s. Sackner left the property during the 1980s and the building has been leased to art galleries and small businesses since then. In October 2013 the 156,600-square-foot building was purchased by 616 Lofts, a real estate development company that transforms underutilized spaces in and around Grand Rapids into live/work/play communities.

Called Lofts on Monroe, the nearly $22 million adaptive reuse project was designed by Integrated Architecture, with Grand Rapids-based A.J. Veneklassen Inc. serving as general contractor. When fully completed in early 2016, the Lofts on Monroe will feature 85 market-rate apartments—51 one-bedroom units, 28 two-bedrooms and six studio units—as well as 40,000 square feet of ground floor office, retail and restaurant space.

According to the Grand Rapids Business Journal, Phase I of the project is already under way with the construction of the street-level commercial spaces and the fourth floor housing units, which are scheduled to be delivered in November 2015. Work on the rest of the units will continue during Phase II and will wrap up in early 2016.

820 Monroe Avenue - Grand Rapids - Google Street View

820 Monroe Avenue – Grand Rapids – Google Street View

616 Lofts’ adaptive reuse project at 820 Monroe Avenue is financed by a $1.3 million loan approved by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation through the Michigan Community Revitalization Program, MLive reported in September.

The Sackner Products factory reconversion is part of 616 Lofts’ plan to preserve and enhance some of Grand Rapids’ historic but forgotten buildings and create new economic opportunities in the area. Lofts on Monroe is the company’s largest redevelopment project to date and will be followed by a $6 million mixed-use development in the central section of the Creston neighborhood. Another $15 million project is under way at the intersection of Eastern Avenue and Michigan Street and will include more than 50 apartment units and 11,500 square feet of ground floor retail space. Additionally, 616 Lofts has already completed the reconversion of the 80-year-old Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Heritage Hill into a $3 million apartment building, while the former Kendall Building in Grand Rapids was transformed from offices into apartments, according to MLive.


Rendering courtesy of 616 Lofts

Shinola Expands Operations in Detroit with 2,000 Sq. Ft. Watch Dial Factory

29 Nov 2014, 5:23 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

As Detroit struggles to emerge from bankruptcy, locally based manufacturers and retailers are joining deep-pocketed investors in the city’s revitalization efforts.

Shinola City Clock - Detroit

Shinola City Clock – Detroit

Shinola/Detroit LLC is in itself an example of how growth-motivated business decisions helped a century-old brand reinvent itself. What started in the early 1900s as a shoe polish factory based in Illinois is now one of the small but thriving makers of luxury goods such as watches, bicycles, journals and leather products. The name Shinola was acquired in 2001 by Bedrock Manufacturing, a venture capital firm based in Dallas, TX. Located on the fifth floor of the former Argonaut Building in Midtown Detroit, Shinola/Detroit LLC was founded ten years later by Tom Kartsotis, former chairman and chief executive of Fossil. The newly founded company opened its first store in Detroit in 2013. The motto “Where American is made” pretty much sums up Shinola’s commitment to make every product in the United States.

Less than one year after the grand opening of its flagship store at 441 W. Canfield Street, the company unveiled four city clocks across the city—by the Shinola store in Midtown, at the company’s headquarters, at Cobo Center in Downtown Detroit and at Shed 3 in the city’s Eatern Market—as an homage to Motown’s rich industrial history. Now, according to The Michigan Chronicle, Shinola has teamed up with its long-time partner BAT Ltd of Taiwan and wants to open a new watch dial production facility in Detroit.

Shinola Watch Dial Factory - Detroit

Shinola Watch Dial Factory – Detroit

The factory will open in two phases and will occupy 2,000 square feet of space inside Shinola’s retail store at 441 W. Canfield Street. During Phase One, which launched at the end of November, ten employees will learn from BAT experts the printing process for dials for Shinola’s flagship model, The Runwell watch. As reported by the news source, the training facility will occupy 700 square feet of space, while the store will be expanded to accommodate the factory’s remaining 1,300 square feet of space. The new Shinola factory is scheduled to launch in January 2015.

Click here for more market data on Detroit.

Images via Shinola


Emagine Entertainment Brings New Cinema Theater to Macomb Township

21 Nov 2014, 7:32 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

Emagine Entertainment Theater - Macomb Township

Emagine Entertainment Theater – Macomb Township

A Michigan-based entertainment company is set to open a new movie theater in Macomb Township by the end of the year.

Tower Construction crews are already working on redeveloping the former Kroger grocery store located at 15251 23 Mile Road on the northeast corner of Hayes Road. The Macomb Daily reports that Emagine Entertainment of Troy plans to open a nine-screen, high-end theater at the site as part of the company’s goal of expanding its presence in Michigan. According to the news source, Emagine closed on the property this past summer after having ruled out several potential locations in Grosse Pointe, St. Clair Shores and Roseville.

“From the moment you enter the venue, you will see and feel the difference. We are confident that we are building the movie theater of the future where guests can reconnect with movies in an environment that is as comfortable as their own living room but with one major improvement: we’ll clean up after them. The movie-goers of Macomb County are in for a real treat,” said Paul Glantz, co-founder and chairman of Emagine Entertainment, Inc., in a prepared statement. This will be Emagine’s eighth location in southeast Michigan.

The 1,070-seat Emagine Macomb was designed to reinvent the movie-going experience though an array of upscale amenities such as:

• An Emagine “E-Max” auditorium equipped with a floor-to-ceiling screen and the latest Dolby Atmos immersive sound system;

• Reclining seats;

• A full-service cocktail bar and display kitchen;

• Nine stadium-style auditoriums with 48-ft. screens;

• In-lobby video boards displaying trailers of upcoming films.

Scheduled to open on December 19, Emagine Macomb will create around 50 new construction jobs.

Click here for more market data on Detroit.


Rendering courtesy of Emagine Entertainment

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