Jump to content

Sign in to follow this  
Allan

Detroit General Development

Recommended Posts


I am hopeful that they can pull it off. It would be a huge blow to the city if they tore it down. Detroit is loosing its urban density far too quickly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know it's something with the IRS, but what in God's name could it be?? There HAVE to be enough parties involved, enough diversity in interest to all pull together to get this thing done. Too many people are invested to just let it fall though the cracks! FOR THE LOVE OF DETROIT!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought the IRS ruled against them, so now they are searching for other sources of funding the gap.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hearing Mr. Hagood and Mr. Kilpatrick speak leads one to believe that the Book Cadillac will be back on board with us in a very short time. This notion was brought up month ago, though. Well, we're still waiting.

I also had a representative from the DEGC come to talk to my class last semester about the BC. He said that with two LARGE hotels downtown that are candidates for rehab, only one was "feasable". We had to let the Statler go if we wented to bring back the BC...being that the BC was the more unique of the two. If this is true then they BETTER deliver.

Edited by Michi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The title of this article had me scared for a second when I first saw it:

DETROIT'S DOWNTOWN REDEVELOPMENT: An ill-kept secret rises

10-story office tower at Kennedy Square poses questions we answer

June 10, 2005

BY JOHN GALLAGHER

FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER

In a city that trumpets every sign of economic revival, large or small, the silence surrounding the office tower going up in the heart of Detroit is little short of astonishing.

Construction for the One Kennedy Square project got under way this spring. There was no groundbreaking ceremony. No news release heralded the project, nor has Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's office, which could use something to crow about, said anything about it.

The reason behind the silence seems to be the reluctance of the developers, a Southfield-based real estate firm known as Redico, to get too far ahead of its own progress. Some observers have also suggested that Visteon Corp., which will occupy several floors in the tower, is sensitive just now to any publicity as the auto-parts supplier struggles to right itself financially.

Whatever the reason, it hard to ignore a tower going up just steps away from Woodward Avenue and Campus Martius Park. So here are some questions and answers on this new addition to Detroit's skyline:

What is it? Known as the One Kennedy Square building, the tower will be a multi-tenant office building rising 10 stories. Occupancy should begin in spring 2006.

Does downtown need another office tower? That's a hard question. Office vacancy rates downtown run at least 20%, and managers of rival office towers complain that the inducements granted Redico allow it to steal tenants.

Chuck Watters, vice president of Hines, the Houston-based partnership that owns the nearby One Detroit Center tower, is seeing one of his tenants, Ernst & Young, jump to One Kennedy Square.

"I don't think it's appropriate to apply renaissance zone entitlements to basically induce a tenant to move from one building downtown to another," Watters said. "Unless the owner owns both properties, it's not good development policy, because all it does is weaken the existing buildings downtown."

But Dale Watchowski, president and CEO of Redico, noted that all of Visteon's 600 staffers and about 100 of Ernst & Young's 450 people are transferring in from the suburbs.

"The renaissance zone did exactly what it was designed to do," he said.

Who owns the tower? The tower is 50% owned by the Build Fund, a Troy-based consortium of union pension funds. The fund bankrolls projects deemed to promote the union movement. The other half of the project is owned by Redico, which put the deal together.

What's it cost? Approximately $54 million.

Where's the money coming from? The Build Fund put up $15 million in equity. There's a $30-million construction loan from Charter One Bank; a $6-million loan from the Detroit Investment Fund, which is a corporate-backed fund, and a $3.2-million loan from the city's Downtown Development Authority.

Who will occupy it? About 600 of Visteon's information technology workers will be the lead tenants. The workers are on IBM's payroll but leased to Visteon on contract. Also, the Ernst & Young accounting firm will consolidate about 450 staffers from its Troy and Detroit offices in the new tower.

Is the project subsidized by the city? You bet. Like virtually all new projects in the city, the tower benefits from a range of inducements. Among them: The city gave the land to Redico for $1 and leased the city's underground Kennedy Square parking garage to the developer on favorable terms for use by the tower's tenants.

Redico also benefits from property tax breaks because the Campus Martius district was designated a renaissance zone years ago. Lower taxes allow Redico to offer reduced lease rates to lure tenants.

Who designed the tower? Southfield firm Neumann Smith & Associates. Ken Neumann, the founder and lead partner, gave One Kennedy Square an angular silhouette with a green-glass fa

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good article with some new information for me.

The city gave the land to Redico for $1

this is exactly what the city needs to for all of it's property to help in redevelopment becaue an empty lot does the city no good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was suprised when I read about the land selling for 1 dollar. You would think that the city would make that known to show their willingness to work with developers. They really need to do that with all of their properties until it gets to the point where the city can demand market value for their properties.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was suprised when I read about the land selling for 1 dollar.  You would think that the city would make that known to show their willingness to work with developers.  They really need to do that with all of their properties until it gets to the point where the city can demand market value for their properties.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The problem is the city does not own some of the most valuable land. Those parking lots on the way from Greektown to the stadiums need to be zoned out or something.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone know exactly how eminent domain works? I know in the past the city has used it to get land and force projects. I was wondering if this could be used to take away neglected property from owners and give it to the city?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You would think so, Zissou. But what would pose the biggest challenge would be proving how much of the public good the aquisition of the property in question would be. In other words, eminent domain is the taking of private property in order acquire it for the public good. If I understand the law correctly, there is also just compensation that would have to be paid for the private property owner's loss. I don't think the city would have that kind of money...but like you, I have to wonder if there is some other way around this strict legislation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That clears up my misunderstanding on it a little bit. I think if the city ever gets itself out of financial hell that eminent domain could be a tool used in revitalizing the city.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In other words, eminent domain is the taking of private property in order acquire it for the public good. If I understand the law correctly, there is also just compensation that would have to be paid for the private property owner's loss. I don't think the city would have that kind of money...but like you, I have to wonder if there is some other way around this strict legislation.

So the city should be able to take a lot of the property away from Illitch then! After all, it is for the public good ;) His compensation, getting away with being a slumload for all these years! BTW, weren't many of his properties given to him by the city? I'd like to know what the agreements were behind this.

Seriously, though, this should apply for any propery some one other than the owner has to pay to have it torn down. I believe this applies for residential, so why not commercial? Their compensation was the cost of demolition.

Take the M-L for example. Ileetch should be forced to pay for the demolition costs, plus interest, since he let the property get like that. If he doesn't (I say give him as much notice as they gave us on tearing it down), the city should aquire the property. There are a lot of people that wanted to develop on that site, let's give development a chance.... and all we are saying, is give devel a chance ..

Edited by ebaldy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Didn't the developers of the New Center plan on making it a "second downtown"? Whatever happened to that?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The Great Depression

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's a great summary of lofts in midtown from Crain's

One of the ones they talk about is ....

Willy's Overland Lofts

18891250_9f14849328.jpg

Located in Midtown on Willis St, just west of Cass, this building was built in 1912 as home for Willy's Overland Company, best known for production of the WWII Jeeps. Willy's was second only to Ford Motor Comp in sales from 1912 to 1918. This facility was the showroom for the popular vehicles and was later expanded to include a regional repair center. Around the time when Kaiser Corp purchased Willy's Overland in 1953, this building was sold to the Davidson Brothers Wholesale Dry Good Store, and has since been a Federal Dept Store and a warehouse for the Detroit Public Schools.

18891251_08a334a23b.jpg

The building is now being converted into 60 different lofts and is scheduled to open in 2006. For more information, visit

WillysOverlandLofts.com

By the way, here's the view from the 4th floor. Sorry for hazy picture, this is really what it looked like because Saturday was such a hazy day.

18891252_cee39f4342.jpg

Edited by ebaldy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I seen the pictures on Flickr, thanks for sharing. It appears they are going to repair the old signage on the building judging from their website which is pretty neat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep, it will look very nice with the sign repainted again! The girlfriend of a guy we give tours with is involved in this project, so we got a little inside scoop on this project ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's too bad it was so hazy on Saturday. I was on the roof of a building downtown about 9:30 or so and you could barely see the Fisher Building 3 miles away. Not to mention that it was at least 100 degrees inside the building. I need to remember to bring water next time...I'm not used to exploring in the summertime.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for this info. I'm always missing something when it is off the beaten path. For instance, I just found Avalon for the first time not too long ago. Schnikies!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't feel bad Michi, the first time we went looking for Avalon, we must have drove around midtown for about a half hour before we gave up and decided to find an address. It is definitely not an is place to find and is one of those places you have to know where it is to find it. The Willy's Overland lofts in the building right next to Avalon (you can see the corner of it in the first picture).

There is going to indoor parking on the first and second floors of the building. For the first floor you enter through the alley between Alavon and Willy's, to park on the second floor you drive up a ramp on Canfield which is adjacent to the alley way. The entrance, however is currently guarded by a large metal door and barbed wire running all along! The ironic thing is the Canfield side of that block really are where a lot is going on. The Canfield lofts are right there, the Motor City brewing company, The Traffic Jam restaurant and brewery. I never realized all of the hidden treasures in this area until this weekend. Very cool area undergoing a lot of renovations! In fact, we even met Bob Slattery this weekend, who is the man behind a lot of this, in one of his current project and the one he was building a residence in (Springfield lofts). Very nice guy.

Edited by ebaldy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I drove down Gratiot from downtown today and noticed that the new median is taking shape. Well, actually it's done and just needs to be polished now. The thing extends way longer than I had expected. I turned in on Russell and could still notice it going further. Perhaps to the intersection with the freeway connecter?

The median will to WONDERS to that old, beautiful strip of gorgeous buildings in the Eastern Market area. I hope that someday soon that business strip will light up with life again...as well as the Eastern Market makeover! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cool, thanks for posting that.

The Melrose Hotel was once scheduled for demolition. It's nice to hear that it's getting a second life as lofts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.