This is somewhat of the same old story where different groups of people with a lot of money don’t agree on what boundaries matter.The question is really less: “what is Greater Downtown” and really more “What will Greater Downtown become?”
There have been a slew of recent articles noting the growth and expansion of Detroit’s “heart.” Whatever that means. Bedrock Real Estate and Rock Ventures have pushed the Quicken Loans Downtown plan with Capital Park quickly being renovated, assumedly with the Woodward Corridor being next (M1 streetcar). Dan Gilbert has said that its time to start going vertical Downtown before office space runs out and seems to have firm plans to build skyward on the old Hudson’s site.
Always in the news for the events, cultural attractions, and new happenings, Midtown doesn’t have as much new development left except around the edges. There are a handful of housing pockets getting filled in around Art Center (Cultural Center) and on Palmer Street with plans for a highrise apartment on a Wayne State parking lot. The Midtown edge along Third Street has seen renewed interest as the Illitch’s Olympia builds up the neighboring “Entertainment District.” The Woodward Corridor will also soon see a large housing development at the former Professional Plaza across from Orchestra Hall.
Brush Park/ Brewster
Brush Park has been a highlight in the news following the final demolition of the Brewster Douglass housing complex. The stalled announcement noted that the Rec Center will be renovated, housing built, and restaurants added. Dan Gilbert, Duggan, and Co have bought up all the available land to build new housing, including renovating historic homes like the Ransom Gillis House.
Bert’s Warehouse is up for auction a third time. More new restaurants have opened in the area. Housing plans seem to have faltered after the Bing/Pulte collaboration to raze a large swath of vacant lots. However, plans remain to expand the boundary of the Eastern Market district and include more residential housing.
There’s always some new restaurant opening in Corktown. The latest development news came when Galapagos Art Space decided to put their original warehouse location back on the market (for 12 times what they paid) because they secured three times the space in Highland Park. This year the Old Tiger’s Stadium is also set to be remade with a mixed-use development.
East Riverfront (Rivertown)
An area targeted for increased development since the 1970s, the riverfront and riverwalk are key growth areas for housing and retail. The riverfront is a key connector between Downtown, Lafayette Park, and The Villages (Indian, East, West, Islandview, and Gold Coast).
Woodbridge & New Center & Lafayette Park
On the edges of everything that is happening, these areas will likely see increased interest in housing, rising costs, and more potential in-fill housing developments.
AREAS TO WATCH
Milwaukee Junction & Northend & Medbury Park
Located adjacent to the Woodward Corridor, these two areas have already been targeted for redevelopment and investment. New housing and art space is set to expand in Milwaukee Junction and the Northend has seen an increase in investment for the arts.
Henry Ford & Techtown
In what had been known as Lasalle Gardens, Henry Ford Health System has looked south to invest in warehouse space for a new medical supply venture and opportunity to offer live-work options for employees. Wayne State University just recently opened the iBio Building to further the advancement of medical tech innovations. Other big changes are on the horizon as well with renovation of the viaducts and future placemaking plans.
Core City & Hubbard Richard & West Side Industrial
As Corktown and Southwest continue to see successes and expansions, I can only imagine that these neighborhoods will quickly see more development in housing and retail options.