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August 24, 2011

Detroit No Longer a Ghost City

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

Motown’s most noticeable real estate developments and transactions were highlighted by Crain’s Detroit Business in an article published this week that shows the city’s steady economic development progress.

Detroit’s revitalization plan has been focusing on a series of redevelopment projects such as the historic 30,000-square-foot Elevator Building that was recently rehabbed by SRI Energy and now serves as headquarters for small businesses. Crain’s also notes the 200,000-square-foot retail space that is still in the works—according to government and real estate sources, the site’s anchor tenant will be Meijer, a regional American hypermarket chain based in Grand Rapids. Other major redevelopments include Gateway Park, a 370,000-square-foot shopping center located on the site of the former Michigan State Fairground and the Innovation Institute at Henry Ford, a 38,000-square-foot world-class medical innovation center that used to be an 87-year-old education building.

The city also takes pride in its business incubator spots such as the Green Garage located at 4444 Second, a property that was built from recycled materials and by using sustainable technology. The 71 Garfield building that was recently renovated as well offers live&work spaces for artists and art-related businesses such Trent Design and 71 Pop.

New housing developments are vital for a city striving to attract residents and repopulate its ghost neighborhoods. The Auburn apartment community developed by Detroit-based Roxbury Group and Invest Detroit is located at Cass and Canfield in Midtown. The building that was named after the car company that once had a dealership on the site includes 50 one-bedroom apartments with rents ranging from $600 to $700, four studios and nine retail spaces. Other housing developments include the redeveloped Broderick Tower that is set to open in spring 2012 and will offer 127 market rate units; the 75 apartment units that will replace the residential complex at Second and Forest which was destroyed in a fire in 2008 and a new student and mixed-income housing complex, scheduled to open by the end of this month next to the Wayne State University campus, at Woodward and Forest.

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