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detroit development

The former Hudson's site, prime real estate along Woodward in the heart of downtown Detroit, has been a city-owned underground parking garage since the Hudson's building was demolished in 1998.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Detroit has a city ordinance that requires most big project developers to negotiate benefits packages with neighborhood groups.

But some members of those groups say the process has been a sham so far. They’re calling on the Detroit City Council to give the ordinance more teeth.

Detroit voters approved one of two competing community benefits agreement last year.

An early sketch of the proposed $32M development in Midtown Detroit's Sugar Hill historic district.
City of Detroit

Detroit’s already-booming Midtown area is getting another development boost.

This time, it’s in the form of a projected $32 million mixed-commercial residential development, designed by renowned architect Philip Freelon.

Freelon has designed several prominent buildings, including the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Freelon says this design is still very much in development stages. He wants input from the community before it’s finalized.

The Lee Plaza aprtment building in Detroit
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Detroit officials want to convert nearly 400 vacant public housing units to either low-income housing or development opportunities.

 

The $1.7 million deal would sell properties that are currently owned by the Detroit Housing Commission to the Detroit Building Authority and Detroit Land Bank Authority.

 

This deal includes the Lee Plaza and Woodland Apartments and over 125 single-family homes.

 

Arthur Jemison, director of the city’s Housing and Revitalization Department, says many of these properties are a drain on their neighborhoods.

 

Mural painted on a wall
wilansky / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

 

In Detroit, there are all kinds of artists and art projects happening organically. But, the City of Detroit doesn’t really have a vehicle to encourage or develop an arts culture.

Mayor Mike Duggan announcing plans for Midtown west development project at Delta Prep Academy in Detroit
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

A new development project is coming to Detroit's Cass Corridor.

Midtown West will be a $77 million development project that will be located at what was once the Wigle Recreation Center near Midtown.

It will include a total of 335 residential units, 175 rental units and 160 units for sale. About 20% of those rental units will be affordable housing.

Councilwoman Raquel Castaneda Lopez represents the district where the project will be.

She says it’s important that development be done with and for the people.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s largest skilled trades union has agreed to train more Detroit residents in construction work.

The Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights says three of its local units will commit to new targets.

Those include making sure that Detroiters make up at least 25% of new apprentices, and tripling their Detroit membership in the next 10 years.

Rich Evenhouse / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1rFrzRK

Picture a tree. It has two branches. One bears green leaves. The other struggles to remain viable.

That tree is Detroit and those two branches represent the two very different narratives that we've seen play out this week.

Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes joined Stateside to talk about these two approaches to rebuilding the city of Detroit.

Detroit's new Red Wings arena under construction.
Rick Briggs / Flickr / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Detroiters may get to choose between two, competing ballot proposals in November.

Both lay out a process for negotiating community benefits agreements with developers of large, publicly-subsidized projects.

Community benefits can range from job opportunities to health and safety protections. Such agreements are sometimes touted as a way to make sure neighborhood residents see gains from big development in their midst.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A proposed Detroit city ordinance is facing a well-organized, but so far anonymous, challenge.

A coalition gathered more than 5,000 signatures in favor a community benefits ordinance.

The ordinance would require large-scale developments that receive public money or use public land to return some benefits to surrounding communities.

Detroit officials announce Paradise Valley redevelopment plans.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

More upscale development is coming to downtown Detroit.

These new plans are part of what’s being dubbed the Paradise Valley Cultural and Entertainment District.

It aims to revive the area’s past as a vibrant center of African American culture. The original Paradise Valley left a huge imprint as a hub of blues, jazz and vibrant entertainment culture on early 20th-century Detroit.

Detroit’s Downtown Development Authority bought five buildings in the current Harmonie Park area in 2006.

A building moral in Detroit's North End.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Detroit is changing.

Record-setting demolitions, new development and new transit projects are transforming the landscape in some parts of the city.

There’s excitement and unease as many Detroiters see change coming their way.

Michigan Radio visited one Detroit neighborhood right on the edge, and found a community on the way up – and hoping to control its own destiny.

If real estate is about location, location, location, North End has a lot going for it.

user dig downtown detroit / Flickr

Future strip malls may not have a place in much of Detroit's Midtown district.

The Detroit News reports proposed new zoning rules aim to discourage new development of "single-story shops with a parking lot."

The News reports that the rezoning would also restrict developments including domestic abuse shelters, tattoo parlors, and soup kitchens in the area.