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wolverine

BobLo Docks

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Boblo Docks is located downriver from the Ambassador bridge. It's an overlooked building that I think has some potential. I've never visited the building in person, but I'd like to someday. From what I've seen in pictures, it has large open floors and is somewhat illuminated inside by natural light through windows on at least three sides. I'm not sure how long ago it was abandoned, but it still appears to be in fair condition. It sits in a very industrial location which could be problematic for its future uses. Personally, I find it ridiculous that steel framed warehouses seem to be popping up everywhere while this solid concrete building sits empty. Although I'm aware the age of multi floor warehouses are a thing of the past, I do think that some industries could save a whole lot of money if this building space was shared. I doubt renovations would come with a ridiculous price tag. Probably, some new windows, some working elevators and lights would be necessary. I think there's some holes punched in a few walls, but that wouldn't seem hard to fix. I'm not a renovation expert, but a pricetag in the low 10 digits would seem reasonable enough to get this building at least somewhat operational.

If a loft project were to be done, which I can't really see happening, large light courts would have to be built in the center, since the floors are so large, natural light would not get very far into the center. The units would likely not receive any work until they were bought by a tenant. Parts of the building could always remain abandoned if they had to, and the cost of renovation could be spread over a number of years since the building is so large, and so expensive to renovate at once. It could make an impact on the neighborhood, although it would likely little. That area is not too great, and the question is whether people would want to live there, even with the great view of the river out their back window.

Any thoughts?

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It hasn't been abandoned for all that long. I remember being around it when I went to Boblo when I was little which wasn't all that long ago. I'd say maybe about 15 years ago or less its been vacant.

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Boblo docks closed in September of 1991.

For now I just see the building sitting there & rotting away. There is a huge oversupply of old warehouses like this in Detroit.

I can't say that I'd want to live there, either. If I was going to shell out a whole bunch on money for a loft it would be in downtown or midtown. I guess if you like living amongst factories and other industries....

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I always thought that it would make a good riverfront office building. Even though it is on the river, housing doesn't seem like the best use for it, at all.

This is one building I wouldn't mind seeing gutted and "modernized" recladd with a new modern facade and new windows.

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I think this building is far too large to expect a rennovation anytime soon.

Whatever happened to Boblo Island itself, I've always heard about it but I've never been able to find much info or any pictures.

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The size doesn't have too much to do with whether it will or won't get renovated. It's location, on the other hand, is what is really affecting it.

I mean, the HUGE Argonaut Building in New Center is being renovated into 200+ loft units, but it's location is great.

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I that is was always officially spelled Bois Blanc, and that along with many other regional dialects people simply called it "Boblo." There are quite a few islands with that name, BTW.

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Actually I think the view from the building would be the key selling point. I wouldn't doubt some of the units would have a great view of the Ambassador Bridge and downtown skyline. But then, this is where most of the new factories and warehouses are being built, so I don't see it becoming residential any time soon.

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That's because the master plan for the area calls for everything to become industrial. The city has essentially decided that the area is uninhabitable.

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This area is historically industrial (for the most part), and it makes a lot of sense to concentrate new industrial development in this zone. What would be a better use for the area, and would you guys rather see industry going up on large plots of land in the center city?

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I never really thought about it being turned into an office building, although I guess it could serve a wide variety of commercial purposes. For example, some of the floors could be removed to create a climbing gym like the ones in Pontiac and Ann Arbor. Or it could just serve as overflow warehouse space for some businesses. I'm sick of seeing new ugly 1 story oversized sheds for just a single business, where a whole bunch could share and lease space in a much larger building.

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I would like to see as much of the waterfront returned to the people as possible. Industry can have everything south of Fort Wayne, but I'd like to see nothing but housing and parkland along the rest of the riverfront.

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