$77M Midtown project to create 335 residential units, retail
The vacant site of a former recreation center in Detroit will be transformed into a $77-million mixed-use development dubbed Midtown West that will bring 335 housing units and 8,000 square feet of retail space to the city, Mayor Mike Duggan announced Thursday.
PDH Development Group, a partnership between Detroit developer Roderick Hardamon and New York-based developer Mario Procida, was selected by the city for the project and will buy the 7 acres for $1.8 million. The project is at the former Wigle Recreation Center site, 901 Selden St., just three blocks west of Woodward Avenue.
“We’ve got a 7-acre parcel that’s been abandoned for a decade, been run down and a nuisance to the area,” Duggan said at a news conference. “That team is bringing a first-class development here. At the heart of it is going to be a 1.2-acre public (green) space. The value of green space as we rebuild the city is something that’s going to be extremely important. It’s going to be a huge boost to the business community. … It’s amazing the way this neighborhood has come back in a short period of time and now to be pushing over another block is remarkable.”
The project is expected to break ground by fall 2018 and will be completed in two phases. The first phase will include 167 of the 335 proposed residential units, the construction of 8,000 square feet of new retail space, the public open space and a new street grid.
Procida said the new grid will reopen 4th Street from Selden to Brainard and rebuild Tuscola from 3rd Street to the Lodge access road.
The second phase will complete the remaining residential units and some commercial space.
“We’re going to reintroduce the old grid of the city and start to get our houses and apartment buildings to align along the roads,” Procida said. “It’s an ambitious development and we’re undertaking it. … We are humbled to have been selected by the city.”
The project will be required to conform to Executive Order 2016-1, which requires that 51% of the hours worked on the project must be done by Detroit residents. According to the city, 200 temporary construction-related jobs will be created, with more than 100 jobs expected to go to Detroiters.
Eleven permanent jobs are expected be created at the site.
The city originally called for proposals last year, requiring interested developers to craft a plan that included leasing 20% of the units at “affordable” rents to households making 80% of area median income or lower.
The city chose the PDH Development Group as the developer, partially because of the group’s expertise in market rate and affordable housing.
Hardamon, who was raised in Detroit, said the project fulfills a lifelong dream to redevelop part of the city.
“I remember being a kid at the top of the Renaissance Center with my cousin Richard looking out and imagining maybe one day we could build one house, maybe two houses, to add to the rich tapestry of Detroit,” Hardamon said. “Thirty years later, Midtown West brings that dream one more step closer to reality.”
The development will also be subject to the city’s Community Benefits Agreement, which requires a community engagement process as it moves forward.
According to officials, the project is the first residential development to go through the community benefits process and the first in the District 6 area. Duggan said the benefits agreement was adopted in November.
“What that ordinance says is if there is a development of more than $75 million that has significant city support, the development first goes to a community benefits process,” he said.
Council member Raquel Castaneda-Lopez said she will keep a watchful eye over the development, which will be in her district, if approved. She said a community meeting will be held May 23 at the Delta Prep Academy, which is adjacent to the site.
“Every neighborhood has an identity and that’s integral of any development that comes to the city of Detroit,” Castaneda-Lopez said. “We know that this process is somewhat new and there will be some mistakes along the way. … I think this is a tremendous opportunity for the neighborhood. I’m excited to see this come forward. I will be a staunch watchdog to make sure that community voices are involved in this process to again really celebrate the rich history of Cass Corridor and the identity that so many people feel when they come to this community.”
Contact Katrease Stafford: email@example.com