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URBAN RETOOL: Mixed-income housing rises

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URBAN RETOOL: Mixed-income housing rises at old Jeffries site

From the Detroit Free Press - June 26, 2005

When most of the Jeffries Homes towers were imploded in 2001, it was difficult to imagine that a vibrant, economically diverse community would replace that decaying public housing complex just north of downtown Detroit.

A screened in porch in a townhouse affords a pretty view of the refurbished apartment towers, low-rise homes and neat landscaping. The townhouse is on the corner of Miracles and Four Tops streets.

Today, it's called Woodbridge Estates and the 47-acre area is bustling with single-family homes and townhouses and duplex and triplex rental properties. The houses are a well-designed mix of new construction that has a historic architectural feel. There are fountains and play areas for children.


The single-family homes measure 1,774 square feet to 2,442 square feet and range from $250,000 to $330,000. The luxury townhouses measure from 1,782 square feet to 1,947 square feet and cost $245,000 to $265,000. The smaller townhouses measure from 1,232 square feet to 1,487 square feet and will start at $180,000 and go to $205,000.

All that remains of the 13 towers built in 1955 -- then a total of 2,170 apartments -- are three towers that were converted for senior citizen living. In a $33-million makeover, the graffiti was removed, utilities were upgraded and new windows and appliances were installed.


"I think $180,000 being the lowest price cuts a lot of working-class city people out," said the 50-year-old performing arts studio owner. "It's grand to see the new development around the city, but if we can afford to stay here is another question."


So a homebuyer who purchased a $329,900 house in Woodbridge Estates, would pay $2,756 in taxes annually for 12 years, compared to a $10,651 tax bill outside the zone.

Read the rest of the article here

I couldn't agree more with the person about the pricing being too high! How is this place supposed to be a mixed income community with pricing like that. I have a college degree and am a working class stiff, who makes a good income (not trying to brag, just prove a point), but this would be pushing it for my family. I live in the suburbs and would love to move to the city, but why should I pay more to get so much less?

Also, I sure hope the property tax situation starts to fix itself sometime soon, otherwise that will force a lot of these new people out of their homes. An almost $8,000 tax increase when the NEZ runs out?!?! I guess I never realized it was that bad. I know 12 years seams like a long time, but some of the places at brush part are already 5-6 years into this.

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To me they look like they'll last about 20 years. They don't see to be built well. Certainly another design might have been a good idea, and let's hope some of these will attract people from outside the city rather than reshuffling residents.

Peace from DetroitBazaar

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