Development Projects to Form Entertainment Hub in Downtown Detroit

The projects will see the opening of new food, retail, and entertainment spaces along with the restoration and reopening of the historic National Theatre.
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Rendering of the development of Cadillac Square, courtesy of Gensler/Bedrock Detroit

From historic performance venues to modern sports stadiums, greenspaces, and restaurants galore, there’s no shortage of exciting places to go in Downtown Detroit — and thanks to a series of revitalization projects, there’s soon to be even more.

Over the last several months, local organizations and businesses have been putting in work on projects across Downtown in an effort to rejuvenate the city’s historic Entertainment District.

At the heart of these efforts is Bedrock’s development of Cadillac Square, which is set to break ground following next year’s NFL draft and will “bring a new range of accessible options to live, work, dine, meet and play to the community, while further connecting the Central Business District to surrounding points of interest, amenities and neighborhoods,” according to Bedrock’s website.

This new range of options includes 250-280 new residential units, which are subject to the company’s affordable housing agreement with the city; 90,000 square feet for a market, grocer, restaurants. and other retail options; 1,500-1,800 parking spaces; and 400,000 square feet of office space.

In addition to the Cadillac Square project, the commercial real estate company will convert Harvard Square Center into 42 residential units with mixed-use amenities on the ground floor, and restore and reopen the historic National Theatre, which opened back in 1911 and served as a music and performance venue before falling into disrepair after closing in 1975, in partnership with tvg Hospitality.

Bedrock also has plans for both the Serman’s Building and the Baltimore/Well Building, which are “slated for selective preservation and new construction,” which may include potential live entertainment and dining venues.

But Bedrock is just one of many area businesses and organizations hosting projects within the Downtown Entertainment District.

The City of Detroit, Greektown Neighborhood Partnership, Paradise Valley Cultural and Entertainment District Conservancy, Detroit entrepreneurs Hiram Jackson and Dennis Archer Jr., and former Sacramento Mayor and NBA All-Start Kevin Johnson are also “committed to this historic entertainment district” with development plans of their own.

Among these projects is a new restaurant on Randolph Street called Fixins Soul Kitchen, which pays homage to African American culture by combining “the traditional soul food experience with a 21st century vibe,” along with the new performance and cocktail lounge, The Vinyl Society.

These plans will also see the construction of a new nine-story residential building on Broadway Street that will offer 80 new apartments and 6,600 square feet of retail space as well as work to Paradise Valley that aims to “highlight the area’s rich culture and African American heritage.”

“It is exciting to see what Bedrock has planned for its Development at Cadillac Square. They have presented a fantastic vision of exceptional living spaces and entertainment venues that harmonize beautifully with other new developments coming to Paradise Valley, Greektown and along Broadway,” Kenyetta Bridges, the chief operating officer and executive vice president of the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC), said in a press release.

“The DEGC is proud to have supported each of these projects, which will build on our city’s rich cultural history and provide enjoyment for Detroiters and visitors to our city for generations to come.”

Funding for these projects is coming from the $20 million recently awarded by Michigan legislature to redesign Monroe Street through the Greektown entertainment district, as well as a $14 million Community Revitalization and Placemaking Grants.

For more information, visit bedrockdetroit.com, and be sure to check out HourDetroit.com for even more community development news.