BY BTL STAFF
DETROIT – Midtown Detroit is undergoing some changes with major construction to revitalize the downtown area. There has been a push to bring new life into the Midtown neighborhood known for its loft and apartment communities, restaurants and nightlife. Some of the projects are expected to break ground as early as 2017.
Detroit’s New Center Residential Complex
A $52 million Third and Grand development is expected to open in spring 2018 at the northwest corner of Third and West Grand Boulevard. The development will be a six-story, mixed-use building with 231 units and a 21,000-square-foot commercial space on the ground floor. In addition, the development will feature a 330-space parking garage.
Trendy Hotel Set for Midtown
Brooklyn-based West Elm, an international retailer of modern furniture and home decor, declared it was going into the hotel business and that Midtown Detroit was one of the five U.S. locations that would be part of the new venture. West Elm announced plans for a 120-room boutique hotel and a new West Elm store to be built in Midtown with an expected opening in 2018. The hotel will be situated on the northeast corner of Cass and Canfield to be part of a larger development that will include housing and more retail space.
Boutique hotels — small, stylish lodgings that tend to locate in trendy neighborhoods — are part of a global trend. Detroit is part of the wave as the hotel occupancy rate has been steadily rising for years — currently at 67 percent — even as the number of hotel rooms grows in the downtown area, according to Michael O’Callaghan, executive vice president at the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Mexican-Inspired Restaurant to Open
Bakersfield, a Mexican-themed restaurant, will fill the remaining ground level commercial space in the Crystal Lofts development located at the corner of Woodward and Watson between Midtown and Brush Park neighborhoods. The restaurant, in the former Ye Olde Butcher Shoppe space, is anticipated to open in early 2017. Bakersfield will serve up authentic, Mexican street fare and a selection of more than 100 tequilas and American whiskeys.
Bakersfield will join existing tenants Grey Ghost Detroit and New Order Coffee Roasters. Grey Ghost opened in late July and New Order Coffee Roasters is set to open in December. For more information, visit the Bakersfield website.
Neighborhood On the Rise
More details of one of the most sweeping development plans in greater downtown in recent memory were unceremoniously made public in September on the city of Detroit’s website.
In all, the effort to redevelop the property — best known for being the home of the Brewster-Douglass housing projects — and three sites in Eastern Market and Brush Park has increased from $267 million to $416.6 million, a 56 percent spike.
As part of the plan to bring 1,037 residential units to the approximately 25 acres the four sites encompass, the city also plans things like enhanced health, education, workforce development and youth services; a new one-acre public park called Douglass Park at the Brewster-Douglass site; and improvements to and restoration of the street grid and pedestrian access from Brewster-Douglass/Brush Park into Eastern Market over I-75.
The city is awaiting word on whether it has received up to $30 million in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Choice Neighborhoods Program.
If the HUD grant funding is received, 340 units are expected to be built within the first two and a half years.
To explore Midtown further, visit the Midtown Detroit Inc. website.