In a heartening turn of events, the long-abandoned Mammoth building on Detroit’s west side is on the brink of a remarkable transformation. After languishing in neglect for more than two decades, a glimmer of hope has emerged for this historic structure, thanks to the ambitious efforts of Mammoth Building Investors (MBI). With a vision to reinvigorate the area and bring back its former glory, MBI has proposed the name “GrandRiverTown” for the project and its surrounding locality.
Dating back to 1949, the Mammoth building once proudly housed the Federal Department Store, serving as a cornerstone of the community. The subsequent decades saw transitions in ownership and usage, with the Kingsway Department Stores and the Mammoth Department Store each leaving their mark on the building’s history. Unfortunately, by the turn of the millennium, the building had fallen into disrepair, symbolizing the decline that had plagued parts of Detroit for years.
As the Mammoth building deteriorated further, concerns over public safety and city code violations led to a lawsuit by the city of Detroit against the building’s owners in May. The lawsuit highlighted the deteriorating state of the building and its failure to adhere to codes, making it a blight on the city’s landscape. Park High Apartments, the owner since 2002, was implicated in allowing the building’s condition to worsen. The city’s insistence on demolition as a remedy reflected the dire state of affairs.
However, hope was on the horizon. The entry of the development group Mammoth Building Investors breathed new life into the narrative. MBI’s plans for revitalizing the Mammoth building and its surroundings at the intersection of Grand River Avenue and Greenfield Road have garnered attention and anticipation. A proposal that goes beyond mere restoration, MBI envisions an all-encompassing mixed-use development that honors the past while embracing the future.
Dubbed “The Experience!”, MBI’s flagship development within the Mammoth building sets the tone for the entire project. The plans include the creation of 100 contemporary apartment units, bringing residential vitality to the area. Furthermore, the ambitious design allocates 80,000 square feet of space for retail establishments, fostering a vibrant economic hub that caters to both residents and visitors.
In a nod to the communal aspect of urban living, the rejuvenated Mammoth building will boast two restaurants that promise to tantalize the taste buds of locals and tourists alike. But the vision goes beyond commerce – a core tenet of this development is education and entertainment. The proposed inclusion of a Family Entertainment Center and a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) center underscores MBI’s commitment to nurturing the holistic development of the community.
Recognizing that community input is an integral part of any transformative project, MBI has announced a press conference on August 10 at 10 a.m. The conference, which will take place at the Tower Center, 2nd floor, 15400 Grand River Ave, opposite the Mammoth building, is an open invitation to Detroiters to share their ideas, aspirations, and concerns about the project. MBI’s willingness to engage with the community is a testament to their dedication to crafting a development that resonates with the people it will serve.
The story of the Mammoth building’s impending revival is a story of redemption – for a historic structure that once symbolized vitality, for a community that has weathered challenges, and for a city that continues to evolve. With “GrandRiverTown,” Detroit’s west side stands on the precipice of a new era, one that harmoniously blends its storied past with an invigorated present, and a promising future.