This post originally appeared in Model D.
Conventional wisdom in Detroit dictates that The Villages is one of the ripest areas for retail success in the Motor City. A small group of local stakeholders has come up with a plan to help make that happen through a pop-up retail pilot program.
The Villages is a conglomeration of high-end neighborhoods (Indian, Islandview and West Village) on Detroit's East Side near Belle Isle. The new program seeks proposals to create retail and restaurant/bar businesses along Agnes Street between Van Dyke and Parker streets in West Village.
"The Villages are very dense neighborhoods," says Brian Hurttienne, executive director of The Villages Community Development Corp. "We are just lacking a commercial component to make it a very vibrant neighborhood, like bars, coffee shops, ice cream parlors. It's those sorts of things that raise the quality of life."
To make that happen, The Villages Community Development Corp is teaming up with the Detroit Economic Growth Corp, West Village Manor Apartments and Parkstone Apartments to solicit proposals to create full-time and temporary (commonly known as pop-up retail) businesses this fall and winter. The businesses would utilize vacant ground floor retail space in the apartment buildings.
"The pop-ups are expected to be a bit of an infill," Hurttienne says. "They could turn into a long-term tenant or be something quick, like an art gallery."
This pilot project is the first phase of a larger retail initiative for The Villages. The goal is to attract stable, long-term businesses to The Villages and other similar neighborhoods in the city. Participants in the program will have access to help to create innovative marketing and engagement strategies, real estate matchmaking services, and the suite of implementation resources that will be made available.
The DEGC is heading up the pilot program and is working to spread it to other local neighborhoods. For information, email Michael Forsyth here. The deadline for proposals is 10 a.m. on Sept. 10.
Source: Brian Hurttienne, executive director of The Villages Community Development Corp
Writer: Jon Zemke
Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.
Flickr photo by gab482.
Also on HuffPost:
Detroit Meijer Stores/Gateway Shopping Center
The Meijer grocery chain is set to open a store in 2013 that will will be part of the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/17/gateway-marketplace-detroit-breaks-ground-meijer-marshalls-_n_1524258.html" target="_blank">Gateway shopping center</a> near 8 Mile Rd. and Woodward in Detroit<a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20130513/BUSINESS06/305130133/Meijer-jobs-Detroit-retail-Gallagher" target="_blank">summer 2013</a>. Other tenants will include Marshalls, K&G Fashion, Dots, McDonald’s and PNC Bank. Another Meijer store is also in the works on the grounds of a former city school at <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/16/detroit-meijer_n_1097409.html" target="_blank">Grand River and McNichols</a>.
A plan developed for Wayne State's TechTown neighborhood by <a href="http://www.sasaki.com/" target="_blank">Sasaki Associates</a> with <a href="http://midtowndetroitinc.org/" target="_blank">Midtown Detroit Inc.</a> is proposing some rather fantastic changes to the area: movable workstations called collaboration cubes, fire pits, a projection screen, an exercise circuit and a climbing wall. The plan is being supported by a variety of local organizations, including Wayne State, Henry Ford Health System, Next Energy, and the College of Creative Studies. While some of these projects are definitely long-term, right now, a reconstruction of TechTown's offices is underway that will reengineer their building's ground floor to provide more gathering spaces for entrepreneurs and others. An overview of this futuristic plan for the neighborhood can be viewed on <a href="http://www.sasaki.com/project/279/midtown-detroit-techtown-district/" target="_blank">Sasaki's website</a>.
Formerly known as the Garden Theater, this Midtown Detroit landmark is currently getting an overhaul and a new name, the Woodward Theater. It's being transformed into a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/11/garden-theater-detroit_n_1874380.html" target="_blank">performance, retail and conference center</a>. The theater is expected to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/11/garden-theater-detroit_n_1874380.html?utm_hp_ref=detroit-development" target="_blank">open</a> in fall of 2013.
Senior Housing Development In Rivertown
Two nonprofits building a housing development for senior citizens received a $6.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in 2012. According to <em>Crain's Detroit Business</em>, Presbyterian Villages of Michigan and United Methodist Retirement Communities Inc. will <a href="http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20120629/FREE/120629898" target="_hplink">begin construction on the building planned to hold 50 independent-living apartments</a> for low-income seniors in Rivertown in 2013. The nonprofits were expected to complete their first stage of development, a $27.5 million, 80-unit assisted living building, in late 2012.
Whole Foods Market
Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, left, and <a href="http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/detroit" target="_blank">Whole Foods Market</a> Co-CEO Walter Robb shake hands as Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., watches during a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/14/whole-foods-detroit-groundbreaking-meijer_n_1514704.html?utm_hp_ref=detroit-real-estate" target="_hplink">ground breaking ceremony for the retailer in Detroit</a>, Monday, May 14, 2012. The Austin, Texas-based retailer plans to open a 20,000-square-foot supermarket with about 75 employees in June 2013.
David Whitney Building
An $82 million renovation of the historic<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/28/david-whitney-building-renovation-hotel-detroit_n_2970968.html" target="_blank"> David Whitney building</a> is expected to be completed in July 2014. The redeveloped structure will feature a hotel, eating establishments, a bar, apartments and a link to public transportation.
New International Trade Crossing
U.S. and Canadian officials have reached an <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/15/officials-agree-on-new-de_n_1599512.html" target="_hplink"> agreement to create a New International Trade Crossing between Detroit, Mich., and Windsor, Canada</a>. Backers say the bridge could create thousands of jobs and increase international trade. The U.S. State Department issued a permit for the bridge in April 2013, but at the time other steps such as <a href="Manuel "Matty" Moroun" target="_blank">U.S. Coast Guard approval</a> were needed to proceed with the project. Ambassador Bridge owner Manuel "Matty" Moroun, a competitor, has attempted to halt the new bridge with legal challenges. Image: An artist's rendering of the NITC.
Midtown Professional Building
A firm called Queen Lillian Development plans to build a $30 million, 5-story, medical office building on a now vacant lot at the corner of Woodward and Stimson. Located in the city's Midtown neighborhood it will appropriately be named the <a href="http://midtownbldg.com/build.html" target="_blank">Midtown Professional Building</a>. Construction is expected to begin in August 2013
Michigan State Fairgrounds
A group of investors led by former NBA star Earvin "Magic" Johnson <a href="http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20130502/NEWS/130509978/fire-sale-state-returning-memorial-bricks-from-giant-stove-at" target="_blank">is finalizing negotiations</a> with the state to redevelop the site of the old Michigan State Fairgrounds, which <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/09/michigan-state-fairgrounds-detroit_n_1412418.html" target="_blank">hasn't been used since 2009</a>. Their plans call for a combination of retail, residential and mixed-use development on the land and would include a movie theater, parks and restaurants. The transfer of the land to the investors has been opposed by a group called the <a href="http://growtown.org/files/METAEXPO-fullPresentation.pdf" target="_blank">State Fairgrounds Development Coalition</a> that had pitched a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/10/michigan-regional-transit-authority-board-southeast_n_3057121.html" target="_blank">more transit-oriented alternative proposal</a> for the property.
New Detroit Stadium District
In May 2012, the Detroit Red Wings selected architect firms HKS and Chan Krieger NBBJ to <a href="http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Journal/Issues/2012/05/21/Facilities/Red-Wings.aspx" target="_hplink">build a new stadium</a> to replace Joe Louis arena, according to SportsBusiness Journal. Officials from Olympia Development, owned by Mike Ilitch, want to create a whole district around the multi-purpose events center project with residential, retail and office facilities. The project is expected to be located in an <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/04/mike-ilitch-detroit-downtown-district-center_n_2239352.html" target="_blank">"underutilized" part of Detroit’s downtown</a> core.
DNR Creating Discovery Center At Globe Building On Detroit River
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources will build a discovery and recreation center at the historic Globe Building on Atwater Street on the Detroit River. The Roxbury Group will <a href="http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=9&sqi=2&ved=0CGQQFjAI&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.crainsdetroit.com%2Farticle%2F20120523%2FFREE%2F120529956%2Fglobe-building-along-detroit-river-to-become-recreation-center-for-state-department-of-natural-resources&ei=DyHzT4WeM4bs2gWUucHOCw&usg=AFQjCNGgaDJQSDR2LdoOH_hh8hrpJt03mw" target="_hplink">complete the $12.8 million project</a> set to open in fall 2013, according to <em>Crain's Detroit Business</em>.
Claridge House, located on Washington Boulevard in downtown Detroit, is currently undergoing an interior overhaul. Recently it offered some of of its revamped apartment units for rent, which feature <a href="http://detroit.curbed.com/archives/2013/03/claridge-house-shows-off-some-refurbished-apartments.php#514b50f2f92ea17c8701cafc" target="_blank">granite surfaces and hardwood floors</a>, online to prospective tenants.
Crowne Plaza Hotel
The former Hotel Pontchartrain/Hotel Riverside is reopening this summer as the Crowne Plaza Hotel. It's returning as 271-room lodging with colorful green-tinted glass windows. Inside, it will feature a restaurant called the <a href="http://www.modeldmedia.com/devnews/crowneplazapontchartraindesign.aspx" target="_blank">Jefferson House</a> with an upscale fine dining menu and an extensive bar.
M-1 Rail Streetcar Project
Plans for a 3.3 mile streetcar system along Woodward Ave are progressing. M-1 Rail backers say the streetcars will <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/22/m-1-rail-clearance-cfo-detroit_n_3133955.html?utm_hp_ref=detroit-development" target="_blank">stretch from the city's downtown</a> to the New Center district, north of Grand Blvd. The public-private venture is being partially funded by a $ $25 million federal TIGER grant. Construction will begin this summer and the line is expected to be operational by 2015. Image: This artist rendering from the M-1 Rail shows a section of the proposed line along Woodward Ave. (AP Photo/M-1 Rail)
North End/New Center Development
The North End neighborhood and the nearby New Center district are experiencing new stirrings of development. Detroit SOUP, an organization that offers grants for projects in the city, recently relocated into the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/17/detroit-soup-jam-handy-indiegogo_n_1974474.html" target="_blank">Jam Handy building</a>, a former film studio. The group is interested in sprucing the place up and is installing new lighting and heating systems. In New Center, a firm called Shelborne Development is overseeing the renovation of the Birchmont Apartments and 628 Delaware, a four-story building near New Center Commons Park. The developer is also planning to <a href="http://www.modeldmedia.com/devnews/newcenterapartmentrehab011513.aspx" target="_blank">rehab several other buildings</a> in the neighborhood, according to Model D. Photo: The Jam Handy Building
Detroit could eventually be home to a bike share program that would help pedestrians and tourists navigate the city without a car. Wayne State is partnering with a number of different local businesses and institutions to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/23/detroit-bike-share-study-wayne-state_n_2534946.html" target="_blank">study the feasibility</a> of such a program. The neighborhoods of Corktown, Downtown, Eastern Market, Lafayette Park, Mexicantown, Midtown, New Center, North End and Woodbridge are all under consideration for possible bike rental sites. Photo: Bikes are parked at a bike sharing station on September 16, 2011 in the French northern city of Lille.
Detroit's Griswold building located in Capitol Park, a plaza that once served as a downtown transit hub, is now under new ownership. The new management plans to <a href="http://www.deadlinedetroit.com/articles/4721/meet_the_downtown_residents_who_say_they_are_being_pushed_aside_for_the_new_detroit#.UZUNOys6VqY" target="_blank">evict the mostly elderly population</a> who reside in the 127-room complex, so they can begin converting the apartments into higher-end living quarters in Spring of 2014.
Shipping Crate Hotel And Condo
Shel Kimen, a New York transplant to Detroit, has declared her intention to create a boutique hotel made out of shipping containers in the city's Eastern Market district by early 2014. She's already set up a prototype for the project, which is called <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/16/shipping-container-hotel-detroit-shel-kimen_n_3093286.html" target="_blank">Collision Works</a>, in the market with the help of crowdfunders. Surprisingly, it's not the only shipping crate-inspired development going on in the city. A <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/16/detroit-shipping-container-condos-homes_n_2145121.html" target="_blank">condo complex</a> made of the repurposed material is now in the works at Rosa Parks Boulevard and Warren Ave. It's expected to open in spring 2013.
Refuge Gateway On Detroit River In Trenton
Canadian rail operator CN announced a $200,000 donation to the $2.8 million Refuge Gateway project in Trenton, Mich. in July 2012. The Gateway on the Detroit River will include a fishing pier and dock for a school ship that will host educational field trips for local classes. As of July 2, organizers were still looking to raise $1 million and expected to begin construction sometime in 2013.
RecoveryPark is a multi-million dollar community redevelopment project planned for Detroit's east side. They want to help people recovering from addictions, returning prisoners and others through farming operations and related developments. They're in negotiations with the City of Detroit to set up a farm and food services center spread out over three square-miles near the city's Eastern Market district and are also working <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/28/recoverypark-detroit-fish-farm_n_2567328.html?utm_hp_ref=detroit-development" target="_blank">to secure a site for indoor fish farming</a>.
Downtown Detroit's historic Milner Hotel is currently being converted into high end apartments. When it's finished, it will renamed "<a href="http://detroit.curbed.com/archives/2012/12/milner-hotel-wants-to-be-called-ashley-after-apartment-conversion.php" target="_blank">The Ashley</a>" and offer 50 upscale units.
Midtown Detroit's <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/03/auburn-building-detroit-midtown_n_1935603.html" target="_blank">Auburn building</a> is one of the district's flagship development projects. The structure boasts 58 rental units and a number of first-floor retail spaces. As of May 16, 2013, four of eight retail spots were occupied with four more expected to be filled in late spring of 2013, according to Sue Mosey of Midtown Detroit Inc.
Dan Gilbert's Downtown Development Ventures
Perhaps referring to Detroit's downtown as Gilbertville would be going a little too far, but Quicken loans founder and chairman Dan Gilbert has been acquiring an awful lot of property in the district lately, including <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/26/dan-gilbert-vinton-building-detroit_n_2957620.html" target="_blank">1001 Woodward and the Vinton building</a>. The real estate arm of his company is also in the process of building a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/01/dan-gilbert-detroit-z-development_n_2059562.html" target="_blank">Z-shaped 535,000-square-foot retail and parking development</a> that will stretch from Broadway and East Grand River to Library and Gratiot. The businessman is also working to promote commerce in the district by backing initiatives like the M-1 Rail streetcar line, tech startups in the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/04/twitter-opens-detroit-office-madison-building_n_1402644.html" target="_blank">M@dison building</a> and investment by companies like the upscale <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/28/papa-joes-detroit_n_2973682.html?utm_hp_ref=detroit-development" target="_blank">Papa Joe's Market</a>.
Cass Corridor Apartments
One side effect of development in the Midtown/Cass Corridor area of Detroit appears to be the displacement of long-time residents. In April, Peter Mercier the owner of three apartment structures in the neighborhood gave tenants a 30-days notice that they would be evicted. He later <a href="http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130501/BIZ/305010427/Cass-Corridor-apartment-dwellers-get-more-time-move?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE" target="_blank">extended</a> this period through June. The area has been a hot spot for real estate investment in recent years. It's located in a part of the city that could possibly house sports team owner Mike Ilitch's <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/04/mike-ilitch-detroit-downtown-district-center_n_2239352.html" target="_blank">new arena and entertainment district</a>, though details are unclear as to the future project's exact site.
In June of 2012, The U.S. Department of Transportation announced it had awarded a $10 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant to the <a href="http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120621/METRO/206210481/1361/Detroit-to-get-$10M-federal-grant-to-link-city-landmarks#nogo" target="_hplink">$25 million Link Detroit project</a>, which aims to better connect the riverfront, downtown, midtown, Eastern Market and Hamtramck for pedestrians and bikers through connecting existing greenways and other improvements.
Willys Overland Lofts Retail Ventures
Willys Overland Lofts might more commonly be known as a place to live, but the complex is now also home to series of burgeoning series of retail developments. The bicycle and watch maker Shinola is setting up shop there and Avalon International Breads and an athletic apparel outlet called <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/21/willys-overland-lofts-midtown-detroit_n_2346161.html?utm_hp_ref=detroit-development" target="_blank">RunDetroit</a> are also moving into the complex. The DeMattia Group, the developer that owns Willys, has also been in talks with a number of restaurants interested in possibly opening up establishments in their Midtown digs.
Stone Pool And Park Development
Kids used to swim and play there, but in the future the former Louis Stone Pool and Playground in Detroit's Cass Corridor will be known as a place where people live. The property is being converted into a six-story apartment complex with 103 rooms. The developer Liberty Stone plans to build <a href="http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2013/04/detroit_park_being_sold_to_dev.html" target="_blank">another play area</a> on the site, according to MLive.
Henry Ford Health System
Henry Ford Health Systems announced plans in May 2012 for a $500 million, 300-acre mixed-use development that would be located on the edge of Detroit's Midtown and New Center districts. The project would begin with the construction of a distribution center for Cardinal Health, a medical supply company headquartered in Ohio. Construction is expected to begin in 2013.
The Forest Arms apartments were ravaged by a fire in 2008, but plans are now underway to see the complex restored to its former grandeur. A deal to begin reconstruction on the structure, which includes retail and residential spaces, is expected to be completed in 2013.