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Allan

Developer Doubles size of Harbortown Project

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The rising demand for condos and the revival of Detroit's riverfront has spurred the developer of Harbortown to double the condo project's size. Originally two towers & 300 condos were planned, but now the owners plan four towers ranging in height from 15 to 29 stories.

b012-harborplace-0505n_05-12-2005_625UGLD.jpg

This drawing shows four new proposed condos in orange for the Harbortown project

Read More: http://www.detnews.com/2005/realestate/050.../E01-179190.htm

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Could Detroit be on the verge of creating a whole new skyline spanning up the river? That would be awesome. The GM Center is next to it on the south side, right? I don't like the idea of 29 story buildings just sticking out of the ground like that without anything to anchor it. There are going to be two random buildings just north of the Detroit skyline, but if it is development, its development. If it works, it works. Is Harbortown a gated community? Where is the river walk going to be built since the marina is there and the community is right east? This is a great thing for the city. I just wish they were being built just a tad closer to downtown.

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Yes, Harbortown is a gated community. I believe that the walkway around the marina is for the exclusive use of Harbortown residents. I don't see any way that the developers will allow the public on the property. Therefore, I expect that the "Riverwalk" will be routed several blocks north to Jefferson Ave. and around Harbortown. I hope I'm wrong, there's not much of a view of the river from Jefferson.

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Speaking of towers and such along the riverfront. Has anybody heard anything more on GM's plans for Rivertown? I was wondering if there were any plans for any towers there.

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No, they are redeveloping the area East of the RenCen into retail and residential districts I believe. I just wasn't sure if this called for tower condominiums.

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I'm not sure what GM has planned for the areas they own east of the Ren Cen.

I do know that the DEGC plans to pretty much level Rivertown to put up new condos and townhouses. Goodbye historic structures, hello ugly modern townhouses! The DEGC has not been taking into consideration the community's input...they are just going to bring in the bulldozers.

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Where do you keep hearing about townhouses? Those really should be built further into the city leaving the relatively small Rivertown area for apartment/condo/retail buildings both low, mid, and high-rise.

I can't even imagine them building townhomes on the river THIS close to downtown.

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Sent: Sunday, May 08, 2005 4:52 PM

Subject: [iVA] Your assistance and input is needed: Help save Rivertown

> Friends,

> With all the good that came from the decisions to not locate casinos on

> the waterfront, and with all the great opportunities that the planned

> Riverwalk will bring, Detroit now faces a turning point in terms of the

> private development anticipated along the streets of the district we've

> all known as Rivertown. The Detroit Economic Growth Corp. has been

> unwilling to heed consistent community reaction asking for future

> development to retain the unique historical legacy of this former

> warehouse district. Plans call for modern residential townhouses in

> place of 100-year old structures, many of which are worth saving. REAL

> has a plan that is worth looking at.

>

> *Do you want to ensure that we enhance livable, walkable communities?

> *Do you want to create a most unique waterfront district combining both

> old and new all the while keeping that precious historic feel that we

> all enjoy while traveling to so many other cities' waterfronts?

> *Do you want officials to respect the value and worth of community

> input?

>

> We need all of you to attend the meeting of the East Waterfront

> Reclamation Project Citizens District Council, this Wednesday, May 11 at

> 6:00 p.m. at the YWCA on E. Jefferson just east of downtown.

>

>

> The following column, copied from the "REAL Report" and the upcoming

> "Smoke Signals" newsletters, more fully describes the situation....

>

> Standing in the middle of the Rivertown area's Franklin Street just

> west of Orleans and facing westbound, one is at once filled with the

> almost painful surge of all of Detroit's hopes, failures, opportunities,

> lost causes, resurgencies and conflicts.

>

> Here, a century ago, manufacturers churned out everything from

> elevators to chemicals to fuel Detroit's growth. Here, 20 years ago, the

> most delightfully diverse mix of suburban, urban, young and old

> restaurant and bar patrons made the streets equally lively, celebrating

> and creating life in the midst of surrounding decline. Here, a decade

> ago, death arrived just as life was starting anew, as one of the worst

> planned and ill conceived urban development plans ever undertaken by a

> Detroit mayor in its 300 year history--the proposed placement of

> waterfront casinos--created desolation just as nearby conditions were

> improving.

>

> Here, now, $250 million in public/private investment sits poised like

> the unexpected tsunami to wipe all of this off the face of earth once

> and for all.

>

> Sometimes in Detroit we simply bulldoze or implode history in the wink

> of an eye or the distraction of a Saturday dawn. Here, in Rivertown, we

> tease it, we play with it, we build false hopes and we give good lip

> service. We take our spirits on a ride as bumpy as that of a roller

> coaster with broken wheels. And, all the while we let arsonists,

> thieves, vagrants, insurance defrauders and master planners to reap rot

> and deterioration. A respected friend with an excellent sense of history

> and adaptive reuse told me recently that he couldn't take it

> anymore--just tear it all down. Maybe, generating that kind of reaction

> has been the goal of the planners all along.

>

> But, it's not the goal of REAL. We know that the six modest historic

> buildings that line both sides of this street, present arguably the most

> profound opportunity for Detroit to change its course, to learn from

> countless other river cities in this country and overseas, and to follow

> the themes espoused by its own development and planning personnel--that

> of "preserving the legacy of the district" and "integrating the city and

> the waterfront."

> The street scene here--we've dubbed it "Franklin Street at

> Rivertown"--is lined with City-owned parcels that, adaptively reused,

> can set the tone for both new and redeveloped parcels throughout

> Rivertown. They are small enough in scale that, marketed to experienced

> developers, would not hit the kinds of financing obstacles we frequently

> read about with regards to major building restorations. They are sealed

> and in surprisingly above-average condition for this area. They sit no

> more than a block's distance from the entrances to both the exciting and

> expanded Tricentennial State Park and the soon to be constructed

> Dequinder Cut. They also sit right in the middle of the first targeted

> zone for development in this area.

>

> This block of Franklin Street, added to the already hopeful activity on

> the block west, could present Franklin Street--the longest continuous

> path through Rivertown, with the signature character, tight urban fit,

> pedestrian friendly environment that would make Detroit's newest phase

> of riverfront life its most successful and sustained yet.

>

> Or, we can lose this opportunity for good.

> Steve Wasko

> Riverfront East Alliance President

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/book-cadillac/message/1593

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I could have sworn from recent (well, as recent as we can get) massings and renderings most of the new construction in Rivertown would be multi-family residential buildings with ground floor retail.

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My hope is that Rivertown can become a thriving district with retail, residential, and office but preserve as much history as possible. Instead of destroying more of its history Detroit needs to incorporate it into its rebirth.

Allan from what Ive read it seems that you have a good grasp of whats going on downtown. The other day I was wondering near Hart Plaza and the river walk and i noticed that the riverwalk came to an abrupt stop. Detroit police vehicles were parked in a makeshift parking lot. The river walk started back up about 100 ft further closer to the Ren Cen. Is there a reason the riverwalk has not been developed in this stretch? I believe they are putting in a new coast guard station behind the Ford Auditoriam and this space is directly behind it. Perhaps this area has not been developed because the construction of the station.

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I belive that's the spot for the new Port Terminal. They had the groundbreaking months or years ago or something like that, and then construction was supposed to start this spring or summer. Who knows when that will happen.;)

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Thanks for the rendering. That explains why there is a void there. Im assuming that they will be incorporating the river walk into the dock.

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