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Wayne State moving forward with development plans

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Wayne State moving forward with development plans

Wayne State University took another significant step in the development of its campus and the redevelopment of Midtown Detroit Wednesday with the selection of developers for four properties on the south perimeter of the university's main campus. On Wednesday, the WSU Board of Governors approved proposals from three development teams and authorized the administration to negotiate development and sale agreements.

This action culminates a yearlong process of market analysis, issuance of requests for proposals and due diligence led by Taktix Solutions, a Detroit-based real estate consulting firm, on behalf of the university.

Included in the development plans are three warehouse-type structures purchased by the university in 2003 from the Detroit Public Schools and a six-acre parcel fronting on Woodward between Forest and Canfield.

The Woodward location, currently a parking lot adjacent to WSU's University Tower Apartments, will be the signature complex in an area to be known as South University Village, a mixed-use residential and retail community. The development plan includes conversion of the three existing buildings, located on Canfield and Willis streets in South University Village, for residential/retail use.

The developers with whom negotiations will take place are as follows:

University Tower site: Marquette Property Investment of Chicago in partnership with The Hubbell Group of Detroit.

55 West Canfield, a 41,300 square foot warehouse: Marquette Property Investment and The Hubbell Group.

455 West Canfield and 441 West Willis, a single-story building and a four-story building connected at mid-block: DeMattia Group of Plymouth and Midtown Development Group of Detroit.

Wayne State President Irvin D. Reid said the university was "extremely pleased" at the keen interest of developers in the four properties and in the university's 20-year facility plan. Some 150 potential bidders from around the country attended an informational meeting held by the university last December to brief interested firms on the bidding process.

"It is gratifying to see the depth of interest demonstrated by the business community and the public in the continuing development of Midtown Detroit," Reid said. "The number and quality of bids submitted for these projects was exceptional in view of the very rigorous standards set for the bidding process.

"The new construction and redevelopment projects will generate $70-$75 million in private investment," Reid pointed out. "This is another example of Wayne State's role as a catalyst in the resurgence of Detroit and the Midtown area in particular."

Development of South Village is expected to begin this year with conversion of the three existing warehouse buildings. Overall, the development will include more than 400 housing units with a mix of townhouses, lofts and traditional apartments, with 45,000-50,000 square feet of retail space. Construction at the Woodward location will begin in the spring.

Wayne State University is a premier institution of higher education offering more than 350 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to more than 33,000 students in metropolitan Detroit.

Contact: Cheryl Yurkovich or Tom Sakely

Voice: (313) 577-2150

Fax: (313) 577-8154


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