Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, Detroit City Council Approve Four Development Projects

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Not only are businesses investing in Detroit, they’re rebuilding. The Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (DBRA) and Detroit City Council have approved brownfield tax increment finance incentive plans for four development projects set to bring in some serious investment and jobs for the Motor City.

  • Wurlitzer Hotel, Grand Circus
  • Mack Athletic Complex, Mack Avenue
  • Casamira Apartments, New Center
  • Erskine Mixed Use Development, Woodward Avenue

Upon completion, the projects are estimated to bring approximately $94 million in investment, over 100 new jobs and 243 residential units to Detroit.

Tax Increment Financing (TIF) reimbursement, in accordance with an approved brownfield plan, is a tool that can assist in redeveloping blighted, functionally obsolete or contaminated properties. Developers of eligible brownfield properties can be reimbursed for costs such as remediation, demolition, infrastructure and site preparation activities from tax-increment revenues generated by the project.

“These four projects are the latest demonstrations of just how powerful brownfield plans are as urban redevelopment tools,” said Art Papapanos, chief board administration officer, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation.

Wurlitzer Hotel
1509 and 1501 Broadway, Grand Circus

An extensive rehabilitation of the vacant Wurlitzer Building, built in 1926, into a 100-room hotel which will also contain a street-level café and bar, a second-floor restaurant and meeting space, and a roof-level lounge with direct access from the street.
Project developer: HM Ventures Group 6, LLC

Mack Athletic Complex
4290 and 4300 Marseilles

The abandoned Hanstein School on Mack Avenue was razed in order to build a 40,000 sq. ft. indoor, domed multi-sport field house as well as training facilities for multiple youth sports. The former school administrative building will be renovated as offices and meeting space. Construction is scheduled to be complete by fall of 2015.
Project developer: PDRM Properties    

Casamira Apartments
680 Delaware, New Center

An extensive rehabilitation of a vacant apartment building into 44 one- and two-bedroom rental units ranging in size from 643 to 1,057 sq. ft. is planned. One-fourth of the units will be affordable units for tenants at 50% to 60% AMI (area median income). Construction is set to be completed by late 2016.
Project developer: Central Detroit Christian Community Development Corporation

Erskine Block Mixed Use Development
3100 Woodward Block

Construction of a mixed use development including 199 units of market rate housing, 14,000 sq. ft. of ground floor retail and a 301-space parking structure is currently underway. Apartments will consist of studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom units ranging from 393 to 1,183 sq. ft. in size.   A swimming pool and outdoor recreation center are planned for the second floor. Construction is set to be completed in 2018.
Project developer: Woodward & Erskine, LLC.

Jennifer Kanalos
Director of Brownfield Redevelopment

DEGC Board selects Rodrick Miller as its new CEO

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We are pleased to welcome Rodrick T. Miller to DEGC and Detroit — as our newly selected president and CEO. Rod Gillum, Chairman of the Board of Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC), announced the Board action Friday. Miller is the founding President and CEO of New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA), a public-private partnership organization that creates an enabling environment for business, grows jobs, and grows investment in New Orleans.

Before he launched NOLABA in 2011 Miller led successful economic development initiatives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Phoenix and Glendale, Arizona. He also has experience in private industry as a consultant to governments involved in large-scale infrastructure projects.

“Rodrick Miller has an outstanding record in leading new initiatives to attract business, jobs and investment to the cities where he has worked. He has also overseen infrastructure improvements that retain existing businesses and drive further development” said Gillum. “DEGC has earned a reputation for innovation in economic development and project management, and we are confident that Miller’s experience and expertise will build on the positive momentum in Detroit and the region and accelerate that progress going forward.”

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said, “Rod Miller is very impressive and very well qualified. I’m extremely pleased that he has accepted the leadership position at DEGC and I know he’ll do a great job helping to bring new businesses and jobs to Detroit.”

Miller said, “Detroit has iconic status among cities around the world, based on its long history as a center for business and culture. It offers a unique value proposition to the businesses that invest here, and my goal is to leverage its assets and work with its people and the City administration to create more jobs and spur more investments that will make an even better Detroit.”

Miller is expected to start at DEGC September 15. He succeeds George W. Jackson, Jr., who has served as President and CEO of DEGC since February 2002. Jackson is leaving DEGC to form a Detroit-based private consulting and development firm. He has been elected by the board as Member Emeritus of DEGC’s Board of Directors and Executive Committee.

Tiffini Smith
Director of Corporate Communications