Downtown Detroit Partnership Fall Forum Outlines Development Projects in the City

Here’s a breakdown of the current, completed, and future development projects in Detroit.
A rendering of the Michigan Central Station platform. Rendering courtesy of Michigan Central, LLC.

With demand for residential and commercial space on the rise, attendees at Downtown Detroit Partnership’s Fall Forum were given an exclusive first look at the 2023 Downtown Detroit Community and Development update, summarizing 47 projects at different stages and additional investments.

The developments, with support from the Downtown Detroit Business Improvement Zone, span mostly across the Central Business District, focusing on residential, hospitality, office, transportation, and institutional construction, breathing new air into long-neglected vicinities.

Here’s a breakdown of these developments.

Completed construction

Of the 10 completed projects, about 50% focused on residential construction, including the stunning Book Tower, which took seven years and about $400,000 million to restore. Along with 229 residential apartments, the century-old Art Deco structure includes commercial space and hosts Root Detroit, a newly developed extended-stay apartment hotel.

The summary update also showcased The Ford Motor Company’s $1 billion investment in Newlab at Michigan Central, a space for fostering tech startups, and Bagley Mobility hub, an innovative mobility center bringing more electric vehicle charging stations, public amenities, and parking and retail space to the city.

Other completed projects include Brush / Watson, Exchange Detroit, Cambria Detroit, The Godfrey Hotel Detroit, Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue, and Lafayette West.

Under construction

Currently, 12 projects are under construction, with a total investment of $2.8 billion. Of the 12 sites, four are projected to be completed later this year, including the David Whitney Building, Autograph Collection, Perennial Corktown,Second Baptist Church of Detroit, and the Michigan Central Station — another destination The Ford Motor Company invested $1 billion to transform a 1913 building into a mixed-use hub space for offices, events, restaurants, and retailers.

Currently, 1133 Griswold — one of the only buildings left to renovate in the Capitol Park neighborhood — seems it will be the last to complete in this category at the end of 2025. However, with an estimated investment of $11.4 million, it will introduce over 6,000 square feet of commercial space to the area and 25 multifamily apartments.

Other projects currently under construction include City Modern, Coda Brush Park, Hudson’s Site, The Park Avenue Building, Pope Francis Center Bridge Housing Campus, The Residences @ 150 Bagley, and The Residences at Water Square.

Pipeline developments

There are 25 development projects in the works, and the transformation of the historic Merchants Building into a 130-room boutique hotel seems to be next on the list, with an expectation of breaking ground sometime in September.

The District Detroit Development is also in the pipeline, which includes 10 new and renovated projects featuring about 1.4 million square feet of commercial office and retail space, 467 hotel rooms, and 865 mixed-income residential units, spanning mostly over Woodward and Cass Avenue. About 20% of the units will be available to rent at more affordable rates for those earning less than half of the Area Median Income, equating to an annual salary of $35,800 or less for a two-person household.

Other projects to be on the lookout for include 1315 Broadway, Development at Cadillac Square, 1550 Woodward, Grand Army of the Republic Building, Harvard Square Centre, University of Michigan Center for Innovation, and more.

Additional Investments

This section highlights projects either completed, under construction, or in the pipeline dedicated to improving public spaces and infrastructure in Detroit.

The long-anticipated completion of Roosevelt Park in late June — funded mainly by President Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act — revealed a relaxing community space featuring luscious greenery, picnic tables, and benches.

As more visitors and major events make their way to Detroit, such as the 2024 NFL Draft and 2027 NCAA Tournament, restoring light poles, sidewalks, and streets are in the works, as well as giving the People Mover a facelift and expanding the amount of MoGo Bike Share Stations.

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