DETROIT (WWJ/AP) - Despite the last week's bankruptcy filing, more development is in the works for the Detroit Riverfront.
A developer plans to build five blocks of apartments, town houses and small-scale retail on Detroit's east riverfront.
The $60 million project would fill mostly vacant land east of the Renaissance Center and west of the Dequindre Cut Greenway.
St. Louis-based McCormack Baron Salazar specializes in urban projects and its chairman and CEO, Richard Baron, who was born in Michigan. Baron said he thinks that there's "pent-up demand" for housing, in part because of workers in the city's downtown.
"I'm a Detroit native, and it's good to be home again to participate in the revitalization of a great city," Baron said. "We have a project that takes advantage of one of its most valuable assets, the Detroit River, as well as all the investments in the state park and RiverWalk that are literally a few steps from our door."
McCormack Baron Salazar would develop the first of a two-phase project that could later involve more housing and business space. The five-block development would have about 290 rental units with monthly rates ranging between $850 and $1,700.
MBS plans to spend $55 million building Rivertown, Phase One as a series of low-rise apartment structures along both Atwater and Franklin Sts. between the Dequindre Trail Greenway and Riopelle St. The site is adjacent to the State of Michigan's Outdoor Adventure and Discovery Center, currently under construction at Atwater St. and the Dequindre Trail.
Phase Two of the plan would build an additional 200 housing units on the vacant property extending along Atwater St. west of Riopelle St.
Wayne County has supported the project with assistance preparing the site for redevelopment.
"This project is proof that collaboratively pooling our resources brings in positive outcomes for the people of Detroit and Wayne County as a whole," said Wayne County Executive Bob Ficano, in a media release. "We're glad to have contributed $200,000 to complete the environmental report that helped developers determine the viability of the EDC's land on the east riverfront."
The project requires financing and multiple land-use approvals. Plans call for possible groundbreaking by spring.
Completion is targeted for early 2016.
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