500 more Detroit apartments under way as state approves redevelopment credits
Detroit Free Press (MI), 2014-08-27
Aug. 27 --Nearly 500 more market-rate apartments near Detroit's downtown moved closer to construction today as developers gamble that the area's growth in rental housing will continue.
State development officials approved $12 million in Brownfield redevelopment financing today for three projects: the 290-unit Orleans Landing on the near-east riverfront; the 185-unit DuCharme Place in Lafayette Park and the 23-unit El Moore redevelopment in Midtown.
Two of the projects are scheduled to break ground later this year. All three could be ready for their first tenants by late next year or early 2016.
But some developers predict that this coming wave of apartments won't satisfy the demand for downtown residential rental space.
"You have probably tens of thousands of people that ultimately want to live in downtown and Midtown. I think we're a long way from a saturation of the market," said developer Christopher Jackson . He plans to break ground next spring on The Mondrian @ Midtown, a $26.6-million building at 3435 Woodward.
The biggest project approved today is the $61-million Orleans Landing -- 19 apartment buildings on the waterfront ranging from one to four stories. The development would rise on five blocks on Atwater Street east of the Renaissance Center.
Of the 290 apartments, 210 would be one-bedroom units, 46 would be two-bedroom units and there would be 34 two-bedroom townhouses, according to a news release.
The developer of Orleans Landing , McCormack Baron Salazar Development of St. Louis , anticipates that cleanup site work would begin next month. The price range of the apartments was not available Tuesday, although 56 units are reserved for people making below the Detroit average income.
DuCharme Place in Lafayette Park will be built across from the Mies van der Rohe-designed high-rises.
The DuCharme would consist of four, four-story buildings with the ground floor devoted to parking. There would be 185 apartments, many of them two-bedroom units.
The lead developer is David Z. Cohen of Birmingham and the architect is Michael Poris .
DuCharme will feature its own fitness center and outdoor swimming pool.
"This will be one of the only urban apartment buildings in Detroit that offers many of the same amenities that you get in suburbia," Cohen said.
DuCharme was initially proposed a decade ago as 66 townhouse condos, but those plans lost momentum in the economic downturn. The new DuCharme Place will instead be all rentals.
"The market is not there yet for condos," Poris said. "People still have a hard time getting loans."
Anticipated rents at DuCharme would range from about $1,000 for a one-bedroom unit up to $1,600 for a two-bedroom unit.
The third project, redevelopment of the 116-year-old El Moore Apartments at 624 W. Alexandrine in Midtown, is already under way. It will create 13 apartments and 10 by-the-night hostel rooms. Four of those hostel units will be "urban cabins" situated on the El Moore's roof.
Developer Tom Brennan said he has yet to determine the rates for his apartments, which could be ready by next spring.
"The Midtown market is changing rapidly," Brennan said today. "I don't want to lock in anything 10 months before we open."
Contact JC Reindl: 313-222-6631 or firstname.lastname@example.org . Follow him on Twitter @JCReindl.
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