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Allan

Detroit's face-lift falls short for '06 Super Bowl

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Thursday, January 29, 2004

Detroit's face-lift falls short for '06 Super Bowl

Casino hotels, Book restoration unlikely; few lofts materialize

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United Artists Theater

Grand Circus Park

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No renovations are planned for the vacant United Artists building, which Super Bowl visitors may pass on their way from Ford Field to entertainment venues.

Merchants Row

Woodward near Grand River

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Merchants Row buildings on Woodward are being converted into lofts. Detroit hopes to have 1,000 lofts by the time the Super Bowl arrives in 2006.

Grand Circus Park

Woodward and Park Ave

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Book-Cadillac

Washington Blvd

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While Detroit's bid for the Super Bowl did not include the Book-Cadillac, right, it's completion would give the city a boost.

By Ronald J. Hansen and R.J. King / The Detroit News

DETROIT

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Downtown Detroit's lack of hotel rooms is a real deterrent to large events in the city. I'm just guessing here, but I assume the rest of the city combined has even less than the 2800 hotel rooms downtown.

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I heard once that there were 4500 hotel rooms in the city. I'm not sure how accurate that is though. The problem is that we cannot fill the hotel rooms we currently have. That is why the hotel plans for the casinos have been scaled back.

Regardless of how many hotel rooms we have, Detroit is making a comeback! It's great to see all these news stores & restaurants opening up downtown. Hopefully the residents will follow. Although there is not as many residential projects as the city had hoped, there's still quite a few, with more to follow. Merchant's Row & the Kales building are currently under construction, and both of these residential projects will be complete by the Super Bowl. There are a few residential projects, such as the renovation of the Metropolitan Building that are apparently on hold. Also, rumor has it that the long-vacant Slater Hotel will be converted into apartments.

A Starbucks and a Banana Republic are supposed to be coming to the ground floor retail space at Merchant's Row, and the Compuware Building will be getting a small grocery store. The Fyfe Building is also supposed to be getting a Starbucks, but I haven't heard about that in a while, so I don't know what the status of that is.

I will be glad when the RenCen retail space is full, so that it can stop sucking the life out of downtown. Detroit would look so much better if all the stores in there were along the main streets downtown instead of the RenCen.

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FA,

where did you hear of a BR in merchants row?

and you better not say in those old renderings

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I've heard people say that over at the fab ruins forums. Apparently they found that out from someone who works in the Compuware Building. Although maybe the person who works in Compuware got their info from the old renderings. A BR would be nice, but I won't believe it until I see the sign out front.

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ahh....the rumor mill

adding to that, GAP Inc. has been working with a major commercial real estate company over the last year to decide if they want to build one of their stores

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About 95% of development news in Detroit is just rumors. What do you expect?

adding to that, GAP Inc. has been working with a major commercial real estate company over the last year to decide if they want to build one of their stores

Given the troubles they've been experiencing, I really doubt they'd build something in Detroit. But you never know.

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That's a interesting development map of downtown. Personally, I don't see a Banana Republic coming to downtown any time soon. As far as the article goes, what ever the city does, it should not tear down vacant buildings for the Super Bowl. There are several ways to tackle that problem without ending up with a lot of vacant spots downtown, due to demolition.

In Jax, they plan to restore the facades of several vacant buildings along Bay Street, between downtown & the Stadium. Then they plan to temporarily rent the vacant spaces out to restuarants, clubs, and retail stores during the week of the super bowl next year. After the super bowl, the area will become an entertainment district, since the buildings will already be restored and the street, streetscaped.

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I agree that the city shouldn't tear down buildings, but this is Detroit. Detroit isn't exactly known for preserving its historic buildings. Detroit leaders would rather see vacant land than vacant buildings. Not to mention that some of the larger vacant buildings are owned by none other than Mike Ilitch. So we all know that he plans to turn them into parking lots. He continues to insist that downtown needs more parking, yet downtown Detroit all ready has more parking than just about every downtown in the country. He needs to stop letting his buildings decay & start renovating them. Unfortunately I don't see that happening.

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^I don't understand his need for more parking, except that his taxes would be cheaper, with a surface parking lot than a building. But, what good are surface parking lots, when there isn't any need to park in them?

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^I don't understand his need for more parking, except that his taxes would be cheaper, with a surface parking lot than a building. But, what good are surface parking lots, when there isn't any need to park in them?

you know it might even be cheaper to have a buiding in a renaissance zone with local state and federal grants in terms of taxes, than a parking lot, which gets far less credits.

I'm just guessing, it makes sense in my mind

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Your guess is as good as mine. He never backs up his facts with numbers. All he does is provide a bunch of BS about "satisfying the parking demand." And he doesn't even think about renovating his buildings. He just puts up a little tiny "for sale" sign & lets the building rot away.

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you know it might even be cheaper to have a buiding in a renaissance zone with local state and federal grants in terms of taxes, than a parking lot, which gets far less credits.

I'm just guessing, it makes sense in my mind

Actually other people have said that before, so it wouldn't surprise me. You'd think he'd renovate some of those buildings. He could make some good money if he satisfied the housing demand instead of the parking demand.

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