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Allan

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The Metropolitan is a very unique building but I dont see it being redeveloped any time soon, in fact it will probably be torn down before any realistic plan comes along. Thats the problem when you design a building where 2/3's of the windows are in alleys.

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They could make it so that there are very few units, and the ones that exist would be deep. I wonder if they could get people to pay the prices for the lofts, though, as fewer units mean higher prices? The awkward shape does make for an interesting redevelopment, but that's a building I couldn't imagine losing.

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I don't think it would be that hard to convert into lofts. You could have at least 20 units facing the street, with an additional 10 units in the rear (of which at least 4 or 5 floors have windows that are higher than the surrounding buildings. You could maybe also have a huge multi-million dollar penthouse on the top floor. (I'm not sure what the top floor is used for (besides mechanical), but I'm sure you could create a living space, especially with those two small floors in the "mini-tower". In fact, you could have the first several floors in the rear be "low-rent" office space, with the top floors being cheaper condos. ($150,000-$200,000 vs. $250,000 - $300,000 in the front.)

You could easily get 25 units with views.

metropolitanbldg.jpg

metropolitanbldg2.jpg

metropolitanbldg3.jpg

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The only thing I can think of is to make a hip atrium. Then the nasty alley would be cool and desirable. But that would take a lot of coordination and stuff, and I don't think it would happen.

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...You could easily get 25 units with views....

Hi, Hudkina:

Your photos aren't showing for me. I tried copying and pasting the photo web address from the picture properties, but that doesn't work either.

Edited by BarGal

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They work now. Sorry about that.

Anyway, the Wurlitzer Building is the only one that is as tall as the Metropolitan Building, and interestingly, the elevator shafts of the Metropolitan Building are what is directly facing the Wurlitzer Building, so that's not a problem at all. That means the units in the rear would have an unobstructed view onto Broadway and Woodward (and the rest of downtown) from the 7th floor up, as the rest of buildings adjacent to the Metropolitan Building are 6 stories or less. So assuming that there are three units per floor on the 3rd through 12th floor. with the first and second floors being retail/office/etc., there could be 26 units with a view and 4 units that would have "alley" views. Like I said before, those 4 "units" could be used for low-rent office space, or other non-residential purposes.

That also doesn't take into account that there could very well be more than 3 units per floor. Some floors could have 3 units facing the street and 1 or 2 units in the rear. So depending on how big the units are, you could even have 35 units in the building. Assuming the forward units could sell for between $200,000 and $350,000 and the rear units could sell for $150,000 to $250,000, you could get $7-$9 million for all of the units. Add another million dollars for the penthouse, and you could get $10 million for the units. That doesn't include any income you would get from leasing the first two floors as well as the rear of the 3rd through 6th floors.

In any case, it isn't completely impossible to convert the building into lofts. (Especially when you consider the location. You're only a block from the Opera House and Grand Circus Park and two blocks away from Campus Martius (to the south) and Comerica Park/Ford Field (to the north) You also have the YMCA and a people mover station RIGHT across the street, not to mention Merchant's Row along Woodward.

Granted, if there were floorplans available, I'd love to see them.

Edited by hudkina

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I think COULD is the important word here. Im sure someone could creatively make this building work but the Detroit market is not to that point yet and may not be there for a very very long time. If I was going to purchase and renovate a building downtown I think the Metropolitan would be near the bottom of the list just due to the difficulties of the site.

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I would like to submit some ideas for all these empty buildings. How about networking working with Michigan's numerous colleges and universities and junior colleges to have research and satellite campuses downtown. The buildings would be used as classrooms, research facilities, and dorms. You would have ample parking and people downtown actually living and working there. The city and county could provide major tax incentives to make it feasible to renovate. Provide enough incentives to make it next to impossible for colleges to turn down. Detroit could then be known as a world class education and research city on the cutting edge.

Is this wishful thinking or doable?????

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Hud,

Yeah, they could easily remove the watertank. Like the B.C. I think the water towers were only for the plumbing before water pumps were made effecient enough (I could be wrong). They no longer serve any purpose I'm pretty sure.

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The biggest problem with the Met is the extremely low floor to floors (something like 8' I believe).

The 2nd problem is the shape and the lack of windows on the street.

I also think you may underestimate the size of a floorplate.

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My understanding is that the Met is also one of the most contaminated buildings in downtown due to all the chemical used by jewlers that used to be in the building.

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Nope, it was decontaminated in the summer of 2004, from my understanding, with grant funding from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ). That's not what's holding up redevelopment.

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8ft isn't that small. It's cool building my guess is that in time it will be saved. It's has a different look. Regardless if the windows are faces the alley if the inside is done right it won't matter. Not every urban dweller requires a million dollar view of the downtown skyline.

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I'm guessing that 8ft number is the ceiling height and not the floor to floor number. Otherwise the ceilings would only be about 7' tall, and that is small. If 8' truely is the ceiling height, that certainly won't make for lofty units and wouldn't work if new utilities can't be routed through the floors.

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Nice find LMich. I'd wouldn't mind seeing some lower buildings along the river next to it. Hopefully this building can get a bit more connected to the downtown.

This photo I was going to title "Detroit Must Insist on Sucking Somtimes," but I figured it would confuse people since it is a nice view of Broadway taken last year. Except this year a slightly non-descript building has disappeared. Actually, it's all gone as of today. Bomac's Bar building, the 3 story green structure on the far right was demolished for parking. A shame this building was in decent shape and occupied. Please, what makes a city a CITY is that they have buildings.

226953225_b2f34e7371_b.jpg

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It always seems like the area takes one step foward and two steps back. Even if it was just that small of a building, really, is anymore parking needed downtown for what's currently there? No. And, I wonder how many, or should I say how few, parking spaces were created? That looks like, what? Another 10 spaces at the most?

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