by Dan Rafter
Detroit’s downtown is seeing an influx of new development, with sports arenas, new retailers and restaurants rising in the city’s urban core.
But Detroit needs more apartments, too. The city still needs to boost its populaion. Affordable rental housing is the key to this.
That’s why the news that 686 apartment units will soon be under construction in mixed-use The District Detroit area of the city is so important.
The District is a 50-block mixed-use development connecting downtown Detroit to the city’s Midtown community. The district, led by the Ilitch organization, will include eight theaters, arenas for each of Detroit’s four major professional sports teams, new restaurants, shops and offices.
And now The District Detroit will be getting a surge of apartment units, something that could help turn the mixed-use district into a true 24/7 destination.
“The Disrict Detroit will be one of the most exciting places in the country to live,” said Christopher Ilitch, president and chief executive officer of Ilitch Holdings, in a statement.
Olympia Development in late May announced that it will build 686 apartment units in six buildings in the District Detroit. Of these, 139 will be designated as affordable, with rents of no more than 80 percent of the Area Median Income.
The new apartment units will be spread across four existing Detroit buildings — the Alhambra, the American, the Eddystone and 150 Bagley — and two new-construction buildings. They will contain a mix of urban lofts and apartments.
American Community Developers will work with Olympia Development on five of the properties, all located near Little Caesars Arena, which, when it opens in September of this year, will serve as the new home of the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings. Bagley Development Team will work with Olympia to redevelop the 18-story structure at 150 Bagley.
“Olympia Development’s plan to preserve several historic buildings and bring hundreds of new residential units into the heart of the city is a clear sign of the demand for housing in Detroit,” said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan.”The fact that they are including nearly 140 units of new affordable housing across these six developments aligns perfectly with our efforts to build a city that includes everyone.”
The Alhambra will offer 46 residential units and first-floor retail. The 11-story American building will be redeveloped to include 163 units and a retail component. The redevelopment of the Eddystone will bring 96 more residential units and first-floor retail to the former Eddystone Hotel. Once its redevelopment is complete, 150 Bagley will offer 148 new residential units and first-floor retail. Redevelopment work on all of these buildings is expected to begin in 2018.
The Arena Lofts is one of the new-construction buildings. This project will include 153 residential units and first-floor retail adjacent to the Little Caesar’s Arena. Construction on this project is expected to start later this year. The second new-construction building — One Eleven West — will provide 80 new residential units and first-floor retail. Construction on this building is also expected to begin in 2017.