What does 2018 hold for Detroit ?
2017 was a phenomenal year for the city of Detroit, investment and development surged to a new level and real estate prices really gained pace.
Some exciting developments in 2017 included the completion of the Little Caesars Arena and the QLINE rail system. The exterior work on the $313 million Book Tower restoration started along with the $35 million Ashton Detroit Development of luxury condos in Downtown.
Work is also underway to restore the eight-story Farwell Building, the $39 million project will have 82 apartments and over 25,000 square feet of retail space and construction has officially started on the Metropolitan Building, which will become the Element Hotel. We also seen construction started on the biggest redevelopment in North America—the Packard Plant, led by Arte Express, the first phase will renovated the Administration Building and the bridge over East Grand Boulevard.
We also seen many new retailers and restaurants opening in 2017, Macy’s Backstage part of Macy’s New York opened three new stores in Michigan. H&M continued their expansion opening in the Tanger Outlet Center, Shinola also opened some new stores and have just announced the opening of a new hotel in Downtown Detroit in 2018. Aldi grocery also continued its expansion and remodelling, continuing to open stores in Michigan. Wixom, Redford.
Detroit Vegan Soul the nationally acclaimed veggie-friendly comfort food restaurant opens its doors in Grandmont Rosedale, River Bistro Detroit owned by chef Maxcel Hardy opened in Rosedale Park, Takoi which specialises in Southeast Asian cuisine opened in Corktown. Chef Kate Williams opened Lady of the House eatery also based on Corktown. Eatóri Market (a favourite with the Global staff) opened at 1215 Griswold Street in Downtown. The Apparatus Room by Michelin-star collector Thomas Lents opened his flagship restaurant at the base of downtown’s new Detroit Foundation Hotel.
Apart from large investments in commercial properties we have also seen an increase in neighbourhood rejuvenation projects. Fitzgerald Redevelopment Ground recently broke on this transformative neighborhood redevelopment, it will include renovating 115 currently vacant homes into a mixture of rental and for sale properties; landscaping and maintenance of 192 vacant lots; and creating a 2-acre central park anchoring a new linked greenway.
Mayor Duggan released plans of a 125 million neighborhood revitalization scheme, in July came the announcement that the city had been awarded a $2 million Wilson Foundation grant for the design and pre-construction of the Inner Circle Greenway, a 26-mile recreational pathway running through a number of Detroit’s neighborhoods. And then in September came Detroit Design 139, an exhibit featured at 1001 Woodward through the end of that month highlighting 38 development projects either planned or already underway around the city of Detroit – not just downtown. In addition to the $125 million in projects funded by the bond funds, the city also plans to spend another $193 million of budgeted city, state and federal dollars (for a total investment of $317 million over the next five years) to improve a total of 300 miles or major roads and residential streets across the city.
As we can see 2017 was a packed year for Detroit and these are just some of the new developments but things dont seem like slowing down either in 2018.
The David Stott Building, an Art Deco skyscraper, will open again in 2018, we will see the start of the much-anticipated Hudson’s site, the development will include the tallest building in Detroit (and Michigan), plus a podium building activated for community engagement. A new $60M development was just announced on East Jefferson and Lafayette Park. The new mixed-use development will bring 213 residential units, plus retail space including a small-format Meijer grocery store. This development is expected to open in 2019. The first redevelopment in the massive East Riverfront plan is going to be the Stone Soap Building, which will see renovation of an old structure and new construction on top of it. Banyan Investments is leading the $27 million development, which should break ground in the spring.
Google is to open offices by Detroit’s Little Caesars Arena in spring 2018, businessman Dan Gilbert, the founder of mortgage company Quicken Loans and a major Detroit property owner, has been developing a tech area in downtown Detroit, dubbed the Madison Block. Google’s move to Detroit from the suburbs will add to that cluster of tech companies. Overall there has been a 50% increase in Detroit-based startups in the last three years.
Travel media company Lonely Planet called Detroit the “American comeback city” in a list of best travel destinations for 2018, it is now ranked No. 2 in list of world’s top travel destination for 2018. We will see the Detroit Grandprix been held at Belle Isle Park in the summer of 2018 as well as many other great out door events including the Movement dance festival.
Detroit really is a true come back story and one that looks set to continue in 2018 and beyond, Dan Gilbert one of the main figures in Detroit’s rejuvenation summed it all up perfectly:
“If someone would have said five years ago that we’re going to be out of office space and residential units, 100 percent occupancy downtown and Midtown it would be unfathomable and you would have said, “You’re crazy, that’s impossible.” But since that is the case here, the only way to grow is vertically. I think when you say five or 10 years from now you’re going to see big projects completely done, the whole skyline is going to be completely different. That will be the main thing people notice. I’m hoping that in 10 years Detroit is one of the handful of technology, entertainment and marketing centers of the United States or maybe the world. People like you for instance, who have their own business, 30 years old, they’re a creative class, this is the place to be. This is where the action is. What the manifestation of that will look like I don’t know exactly but those are the themes. And we are growing. That is the key thing. The population is growing, things are happening”
If you would like more information on any of our great Detroit properties, please contact Mike or any of the Global Team.