MEDC Helps Attract Visitors to Detroit

Several recent high-profile openings in downtown and Midtown Detroit demonstrate the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s prominent role as an ongoing catalyst and deal maker promoting the city’s economic and cultural renewal.
The long-anticipated opening of Punch Bowl Social took place last Wednesday in downtown, several blocks from Comerica Park and Ford Field, while HopCat Detroit opened Saturday in Midtown along Woodward Avenue, south of the Detroit Institute of Arts.
The $4.75-million Punch Bowl Social includes $2 million in financing provided by Invest Detroit along with participation by Detroit Development Fund and Urban Partnership Bank. Michigan Strategic Fund, which approves grants and loans administered by the MEDC, provided 80-percent guaranty for the loan. The expansive 24,000-square-foot restaurant and entertainment complex is expected to draw large crowds. The Detroit location joins Punch Bowl Socials in Portland, Denver and Austin.
Meanwhile, the $3.6-million HopCat Detroit development includes $1 million from MEDC’s investment fund, Grow Michigan, with the balance financed through Mercantile Bank.
While the two popular projects will appeal to visitors throughout the region to Detroit’s burgeoning nightlife scene, Monday’s official opening of the city’s historic David Whitney Building aims to attract residents, shoppers and tourists. The $82-million renovation, which includes a boutique hotel, restaurants, bars, retail and apartments, received a $1 million grant from the MEDC’s Community Revitalization Program, and a $7.5 million performance-based loan.
“Supporting economic growth requires an understanding of the strategic combination of development projects that collectively create a sense of place while attracting private investment and job growth,” said MEDC President and CEO Michael Finney. “These latest openings are among a growing list of completed projects expanding the entertainment opportunities in Detroit.”
With the recent conclusion of the city’s bankruptcy – the largest municipal restructuring of debt in U.S. history – Detroit is becoming highly attractive to investors around the world, said Finney.
“The economic and physical landscape of Detroit is being transformed,” he said. “Few other times in recent history has the prospects for the city looked so promising.”
Recent high-profile MEDC-supported projects focusing on attracting visitors and residents to Detroit include:
— $450 million multi-purpose venue that will be the new home for the Detroit Red Wings on Woodward Avenue, approximately four blocks north of the Fox Theatre and Comerica Park. The district surrounding the proposed 18,000-seat, 650,000 square-foot ice arena is expected to generate another $200 million of investment in new bars, restaurants, housing and a potential hotel.
— Two residential developments, the $61 million Orleans Landing and the $38.5 million Du Charme Place, will create 463 low-rise units in what has been a downtrodden area along the Detroit riverfront.
— 23 hotels comprising 2,160 rooms are in the development pipeline in Detroit, including the 100-room independent boutique hotel in the former Detroit Fire Department headquarters.
In addition, MSF provided funds for the construction of the M-1 rail, a 3.3-mile passenger rail system along Woodward Avenue.

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