The District Detroit is expanding with a multi-million development with a proposed mixed-income, mixed-use development in the city of Detroit.
With just 50 blocks, six theaters, five neighborhoods, and four sports teams, District Detroit, nestled between downtown and Midtown, is an ever-evolving and expanding landscape that stakeholders can’t’ help but get behind to benefit impacted residents and businesses alike in a new multimillion development on tap. This two-part series unfolds the project and what’s in it for Detroit. Here is Part 1.
Bordered by Martin Luther King Boulevard, Brush Street, E. Jefferson, and Trumbull — to the south of Cass Corridor – in the city, The District is at it again as the entertainment and sports district is looking to expand its offerings through a $1.5 billion multi-building development through Related Companies and Olympia Development of Michigan (ODM) and the City of Detroit.
Related Companies is a global real estate and lifestyle company.
The entities recently announced plans underway starting with a Community Benefits Ordinance (CBO) process for the proposed mixed-use development entailing plans to build new spaces housing retail, affordable residential housing, an office, and more public spaces across 10 properties in The District, according to a press release. The housing would entail
695 mixed-income residential units – 20 percent of which are reserved as affordable housing at 50 percent of the area median income (AMI) and below, according to The District’s website, districtdetroit.com.
“Detroit’s future is incredibly promising and Related is committed to harnessing the potential of the DCI to drive inclusive economic growth,” said Andrew Cantor, president of Related Michigan in a press release. “These projects are important pieces of the puzzle that will help create world-class spaces for the people of this city and we look forward to continuing to work hand in hand with members of the community to realize this shared vision.”
Detroit is the only major city to have a community benefits ordinance that gives residents living in the area impacted by a development a say in the project and the ability to negotiate certain benefits. To date, 12 completed CBO processes have resulted in tens of millions of dollars in benefits to neighborhoods beyond the initial development investment.
The City of Detroit has mailed invitations to a series of community meetings with Related and Olympia Development to 6500 households in the four-census tract impact area. The City intentionally expanded the size of the impact zone for this project to maximize the opportunities for community participation.
The CBO process marks the next phase of plans geared to attract and retain talent and inclusive economic development in Detroit and throughout the state.
The first meeting for residents in the areas surrounding the development will take place at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, November 29 at Cass Technical High School, 2501 2nd Ave.
“These projects will build on the successful progress such as Little Caesars world headquarters, 2715 Woodward, the Eddystone residences, and the multiple historic residential developments open or underway,” said Keith Bradford, President of Olympia Development of Michigan and The District Detroit. “The construction and operations of each project will help our state and region attract the world’s leading companies and top talent to Detroit while maximizing economic opportunity for those who are already here. We look forward to working with the City and community partners to garner input while creating places and spaces all Detroiters can enjoy.”
The proposed development includes the construction of six new buildings and the renovation and adaptive reuse of four historic buildings. The mix and type of proposed projects reflect significant initial feedback from the developers’ continued community engagement, including more than 250 community engagement meetings to date, which will continue through the city-led community benefits process.
Building upon Related Companies’ and ODM’s previously announced shared vision for The District Detroit and the Detroit Center for Innovation (DCI), a world-class research, education, and entrepreneurship center.
Several parts of this phase of the proposed mixed-use projects in The District Detroit include:
Two new construction residential buildings:
- 2250 Woodward Avenue. A proposed mixed-use development that includes residential space with ground-floor retail.
- 2205 Cass Avenue. A proposed residential building will be part of the mixed-use campus of the DCI.
Two historic preservation residential buildings:
- 408 Temple Street. Proposed renovation into a mixed-use building with first-floor retail and residential space.
- 2210 Park Avenue. Proposed renovation into a mixed-use facility with first-floor retail and residential space.
Four commercial office buildings:
- 2200 Woodward Avenue. A proposed mixed-use development that includes first-floor retail and office space.
- 2305 Woodward Avenue or 2300 Cass Avenue. A proposed mixed-use development that includes first-floor retail with office space above.
Two different locations are under consideration for this structure depending on prospective tenant feedback – either: (a) 2305 Woodward Avenue, west of Woodward Avenue, East of Park Avenue, south of I-75 and north of Montcalm Street, or (b) 2300 Cass, east of Cass Avenue, west of Clifford Street, south of I-75 and north of Montcalm Street.
“We are excited about this next phase of development for The District Detroit and the benefits it will bring to the city. Our conversations with community members and leaders through our ongoing community engagement have been critical in helping to inform our plans, and we are looking forward to building on those conversations through the CBO process,” said Rian English Barnhill, vice president of Government & Community Affairs at Olympia Development of Michigan.
This proposal for a package of transformative real estate development projects in The District Detroit is in addition to retail, entertainment, office, and residential development underway or recently completed by Olympia Development. The list includes Cass & Henry, a proposal to restore six residential buildings and community space on a single historically designated block in The District Detroit, the recent restoration of the historic Eddystone residences, and the Residences@150 Bagley led by Bagley Development Group. These projects together represent 410 new homes in Detroit, 131 of which are reserved as affordable housing for residents earning 30-80 percent of the area median income rate.
The first two meetings will be held on November 29 and December 6. These initial meetings will allow members of the surrounding community to learn more about the proposed development plans and share their feedback and to select community representatives on the Neighborhood Advisory Council (NAC) that will negotiate the community benefits agreement.
The City’s community benefits ordinance requires a minimum of seven meetings. Members of the NAC, who must live in the impacted area and be at least 18 years of age, negotiate various community benefits specific to the projects to address anticipated impacts, such as programs to help residents participate in the economic opportunities created by the development. Once the NAC and developers agree on a series of benefits and timelines, the NAC votes to endorse the community benefits agreement. That agreement is then forwarded to City Council for final approval.
“Developments of this quality and scale provide an incredible opportunity for Detroiters to directly benefit from them, whether that means job training in the construction trades, employment in the developments, affordable housing, or being part of the process to negotiate a community benefits package,” said Nicole Sherard Freeman, who serves as the City’s Group Executive for Jobs, Economy & Detroit at Work. “Residents who engage in this process will have the ability to help shape the transformational possibilities this development will have on this district for years to come.”
“This is an exciting announcement for Detroit and an incredible opportunity for District 6 residents in the impact area to be at the table for discussions about the future of their neighborhood. I encourage local residents to be actively engaged in the upcoming CBO process and to share their vision and hopes with the developers,” said Gabriela Santiago-Romero, Detroit City Council Member for District 6. “Residents are also welcome to contact my office if they have any questions.”
Learn more at OlympiaDevelopmentMi.com and districtdetroit.com.