Discuss Detroit Archives - January 2008 Filling in the Gaps - Southern Midtown/BP Previous Next
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Apbest
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Username: Apbest

Post Number: 660
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Wednesday, December 26, 2007 - 2:14 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

http://www.crainsdetroit.com/a pps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/2007 1224/SUB/712240325/1070/toc/-/ -/filling-in-the-gaps
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E_hemingway
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Username: E_hemingway

Post Number: 1464
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Wednesday, December 26, 2007 - 2:59 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

That Brush Park Village North project is starting to look better than the original drawings depicted. I hope they follow through with some detail that respects what's left of the surrounding historic architecture.
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Mackinaw
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Username: Mackinaw

Post Number: 4213
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Wednesday, December 26, 2007 - 3:27 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I agree, E_Hemingway. Apparently those sorts of buildings will be lining Erskine Street.

John R. is such a promising street: much has been done, a lot is in progress, and there could be a complete streetwall back in place from Mack to the freeway within 5-10 years. That little church by John R. and the Fisher will make bank when they sell their plot to a developer.

That development right on Mack sounds interesting, but I know little about it. Brush Park needs to announce itself better along Mack.

Eastern Brush Park remains one of the weirder areas in the city. There's the senior housing which isn't particularly complementary to the neighborhood, that messy police property, Brewster-Douglas, and a subdivision along the service drive. Brush Street has some potential, but the focus on Brush Park will have to be focused along John R., and hopefully, spilling onto Woodward where both sides will hopefully be built out soon.
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Royce
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Username: Royce

Post Number: 2489
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Wednesday, January 02, 2008 - 3:45 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Brush Park doesn't need any more Crosswinds crap. The remaining vacant parcels should be available for single family homes reminiscent of the Victorian Mansions that dotted Brush Park's streets in the past. Might I dare say "McMansions" would compliment the area, with detached garages and alleys in back.

A $300,000 home in Brush Park is far more appealing to me than a $300,000 condo. Instead of trying to shoe-horn two residences on one lot (which is what Crosswinds is doing with their condos), maybe one residence on one lot will attract the people needed to fill in Brush Park.

(Message edited by royce on January 02, 2008)
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Mackinaw
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Username: Mackinaw

Post Number: 4269
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Wednesday, January 02, 2008 - 10:26 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

What you're asking for is to re-create the neighborhood that used to be there. I think that is a valid frame of mind and it certainly wouldn't be bad, but I am against it on a couple of counts.

First, it would be an aesthetic nightmare. Do you think single-home architects today, in this part of the country, could provide a great product that didn't look standardized and gimmicky? Would they even use bricks?

Second, the old Brush Park had beautiful architecture but low density. Most of that beautiful architecture is gone...we should keep everything we have, but fill it in with higher density housing. I'm not neccesarily talking height here, but I see this as the place to create a Brooklyn-like neighborhood in Detroit. Fill in with some zero-setback rowhouses and townhouses. The forms are very simplistic, and should not be hard for architects to grasp.

Finally, Detroit is getting enough single-family housing development. There already is a subdivision in NE Brush Park. You have McMansions over near the far east riverfront, and nearby in Woodbridge. I'd say we have the "families" that are moving to Detroit covered. Let BP be aimed toward younger people and renters. I think its location, and the direction that it is already going in, seems to suggest this.

(Message edited by mackinaw on January 02, 2008)
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Waymooreland
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Username: Waymooreland

Post Number: 15
Registered: 11-2007
Posted on Wednesday, January 02, 2008 - 11:57 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I agree 100% with Mackinaw. As a proud resident of that "Crosswinds crap," I've often compared my neighborhood to a Brooklyn-like residential zone in-progress. Single-family homes would look much more out of place than the Crosswinds condos allegedly do. The area needs density! I think BP has a lot of potential. I've enjoyed watching the progress continue and look forward to seeing the area fill in within 5-10 yrs.
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Kid_dynamite
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Username: Kid_dynamite

Post Number: 432
Registered: 06-2007
Posted on Wednesday, January 02, 2008 - 12:03 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I kind of like my "Crosswinds crap", too.

So much potential in BP. It could evolve in to THE coolest neighborhood in Detroit if done correctly.
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E_hemingway
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Username: E_hemingway

Post Number: 1484
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Wednesday, January 02, 2008 - 12:08 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I echo Mackinaw's sentiments. Neighborhoods near the city's core need to be denser. SFHs would be a terrible mistake there.
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Mwilbert
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Username: Mwilbert

Post Number: 46
Registered: 11-2007
Posted on Wednesday, January 02, 2008 - 1:56 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"First, it would be an aesthetic nightmare. Do you think single-home architects today, in this part of the country, could provide a great product that didn't look standardized and gimmicky? Would they even use bricks?"

I think it would make sense to put multi-family, higher-density housing in BP, but do you really think there are no architects around who could produce nice, or even great single-families? I'm pretty sure that there are. The problem is that a great building that would fit in with the existing housing stock would probably be too expensive to sell.

If it is possible to do at all, I think it would require a brilliant architect, and I agree that that person may not be available.
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Skulker
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Username: Skulker

Post Number: 3868
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, January 02, 2008 - 2:41 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

Brush Park doesn't need any more Crosswinds crap. The remaining vacant parcels should be available for single family homes reminiscent of the Victorian Mansions that dotted Brush Park's streets in the past. Might I dare say "McMansions" would compliment the area, with detached garages and alleys in back.

A $300,000 home in Brush Park is far more appealing to me than a $300,000 condo. Instead of trying to shoe-horn two residences on one lot (which is what Crosswinds is doing with their condos), maybe one residence on one lot will attract the people needed to fill in Brush Park.



Where to begin?

1. The City is littered with vacant single family mansions available for purchase that the market is NOT snapping up. Why try to duplicate something that already is not being snapped up? There are many vacant Victorian homes proximate to downtown already in Corktown that are not being renovated and snapped up, so the argument that mansions in Boston Edison / Indian Village are not near downtown is moot. Why build more when what we have is sitting vacant?

2. The City is 85% single family detached, one of the highest rates for a major city in the US. That product mix is not sustainable and the young and empty nester buyers in the City DON'T WANT a lawn and the crap that comes with an SFD. If we are to capture a wider and more diverse population we need to provide the product they want.

3. As usual, if it doesn't appeal to Royce, it has no value. Because you don't want a $300,000 condo does not mean that other don't as well. Open your eyes and recognize that that there are many different types of people in this world and the successful City provides room and opportunity for all of them. Historically, there has not been the opportunity for middle income and above emptynesters, singles and DINKS to have high density, condominium dwelling like they do in other cities nationally and regionally. Build to that market and capture it. We are already over saturated on the SFD.
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Mackinaw
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Username: Mackinaw

Post Number: 4270
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Wednesday, January 02, 2008 - 2:54 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Well said, Skulker.

Mwilbert, my wording was strong, but you basically got at what I was suggesting. Given price constraints, it would be awfully hard to create something that fit in.

Generally speaking, I've seen some beautifully executed new homes, but I can count the ones I've seen in the Detroit area on one hand.
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Docmo
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Username: Docmo

Post Number: 320
Registered: 10-2005
Posted on Wednesday, January 02, 2008 - 4:20 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Does anyone know how much free parking will be available for the new Zaccaro's Market?
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Royce
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Username: Royce

Post Number: 2491
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Wednesday, January 02, 2008 - 4:52 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Well, gentleman, look very carefully at Brush Park. There are literally whole blocks with nothing on them. Crosswinds is supposed to build 600+ units in the area. They haven't done that, but that's a good thing because if they're going to build the same crap that they've already built, Brush Park will look hideous. Look, I don't mind density, but how about some brownstones like those in Birmingham? Compare those to what Crosswinds has built and you'll understand my angst. Brush Park deserves better.

Also, what's wrong with building homes in Brush Park? Isn't that what was there before that Crosswinds crap? The argument that there are enough neighborhoods in Detroit that have single family homes and therefore there doesn't need to be any more in Brush Park fails to consider that homes in those neighborhoods are OLD.

Metro Detroiters are moving to Farmington Hills, Canton, and Macomb Township because they can move into a nice new McMansion with all the modern amenities. Where in Detroit is that happening? Right...nowhere. Why not offer those types of homes in Brush Park(with a detached garage and alley of course)?

Also, why would it be so difficult to build McMansions in Brush Park if they are being built elsewhere in Metro Detroit? Some McMansions are very nice looking and constructed very well. What's this talk about you can't find an architect to build homes in Brush Park? I'm not saying that these new McMansion homes would need to have the exact details of Victorian Homes that existed in Brush Park, but they could mimic them in dimensions. What's wrong with that?

I think just building condos in Brush Park is the wrong way to go. Some of the remaining homes that are mothballed are beautiful. Why not have some "new" homes in Brush Park that people like but have to go to the suburbs to get? The argument about upkeep or maintenance of homes in Brush Park is a moot point. If people are willing to take on this responsibility in the suburbs, why can't they do it in Detroit? Hire a lawn care service. Build the homes close to the sidewalk. Pave the backyard with decorative bricks. There are ways that people can reduce doing the maintenance themselves, especially if they can afford a $300,000 - $500,000 house.

Instead of trying to get empty-nesters and young folks into condos in Brush Park, try getting them into all the vacant buildings in the CBD. That's where you get your density, gentleman. Case closed.
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Kslice
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Username: Kslice

Post Number: 252
Registered: 04-2007
Posted on Wednesday, January 02, 2008 - 5:13 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

A "McMansion"! I love it. I have always tried to think of a name for those generic condo developments.
People are moving into these giant clusters of condos that all look the same while great, old houses in the city fall apart (Slumpy). We need these firms to fix up some old places instead of just building new.
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Kjwick
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Username: Kjwick

Post Number: 76
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Wednesday, January 02, 2008 - 5:37 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

has the master plan for brush park changed? hasn't it been (since 80's, 90's) for low to mid density?

i have often wondered why the city wouldn't advertise land for individuals to build single family homes on the vacant land in brush park.

restrictions could be put on architectural style, keeping with the gothic revival, 2nd empire, italian traditions in much of the neighborhood. $300k would build a nice house.

if the city can give land developers at next to nothing, why not give it to individuals (with specific architectural restrictions). this would increase design diversity within the neighborhood - which many people find desirable in historic parts cities...
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Downtown_remix
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Username: Downtown_remix

Post Number: 579
Registered: 03-2007
Posted on Wednesday, January 02, 2008 - 5:52 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

FYI Crosswinds came on the scene long before any other developer even considered building in Detroit. Homeless people still lived in many of the existing Victorian homes. Crackheads crisscrossed BP neighborhoods more then the city rats, so i dont argue the design of the condos built almost 10 years ago is a bit fortrified. Now that the Downtown area has become a bit more livable, walkable. The idea of making BP more dense has been the objective of Crosswinds and all their future housing development, Check out the new Garden lofts off the service drive. Crosswinds purchased nearly the entire Brush Park area, with a goal to restore one victorian house per year.
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Jt1
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Username: Jt1

Post Number: 11121
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, January 02, 2008 - 6:11 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

In response to Royce:

quote:

Look, I don't mind density, but how about some brownstones like those in Birmingham? Compare those to what Crosswinds has built and you'll understand my angst. Brush Park deserves better.



Development is easy if you have the luxury to ignore finances. What are homes going for in Birmingham? What are they going for in BP? It is a silly comparison and ignores real economic factors.

quote:

The argument that there are enough neighborhoods in Detroit that have single family homes and therefore there doesn't need to be any more in Brush Park fails to consider that homes in those neighborhoods are OLD.



The argument is that Detroit has plenty of single family options and the higher density options in other cities aren't readily available in Detroit. What you like, want or expect is not what drives the market since opinions vary.

quote:

Metro Detroiters are moving to Farmington Hills, Canton, and Macomb Township because they can move into a nice new McMansion with all the modern amenities. Where in Detroit is that happening? Right...nowhere. Why not offer those types of homes in Brush Park(with a detached garage and alley of course)?



Offering detached garage and alley will chase away many of the people you think would come running. SE loves their attached garages. Again, you are distorting reality of all opinions with your opinions.

quote:

Also, why would it be so difficult to build McMansions in Brush Park if they are being built elsewhere in Metro Detroit? Some McMansions are very nice looking and constructed very well. What's this talk about you can't find an architect to build homes in Brush Park? I'm not saying that these new McMansion homes would need to have the exact details of Victorian Homes that existed in Brush Park, but they could mimic them in dimensions. What's wrong with that?



Funny that there are tons of beatiful old mansions in many historic neighborhoods but people aren't flocking to purchase those.

quote:

Why not have some "new" homes in Brush Park that people like but have to go to the suburbs to get? The argument about upkeep or maintenance of homes in Brush Park is a moot point. If people are willing to take on this responsibility in the suburbs, why can't they do it in Detroit?



I think you completely missed the point. There are plenty of large home options, even some new ones (Jefferson Village seems right up your alley). The demographic that wants 2.2 kids, a yard, white picket fence, etc are not the ones even considering the city. You mention Macomb Township but the reality is that many (if not most) people in Macomb Township would not live in Detroit if you paid for their home and had it moved to Brush Park on your dime.

quote:

Instead of trying to get empty-nesters and young folks into condos in Brush Park, try getting them into all the vacant buildings in the CBD. That's where you get your density, gentleman. Case closed.



Case nowhere near closed.

In response to Kslice:

quote:

People are moving into these giant clusters of condos that all look the same while great, old houses in the city fall apart (Slumpy). We need these firms to fix up some old places instead of just building new.



From an emotional level we would all like the old fixed but economics and emotion are usually not the best of friends. Everyone wants someone else to fix up the historic gems. I want someone to give me a few million but it isn't happening since economics beats out emotion 99.9% of the time.

To remix - Thanks for bringing some reality to the conversation.
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Detroit313
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Username: Detroit313

Post Number: 586
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 02, 2008 - 6:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

What I don't understand is why is there a "Brush Park" while only 180' away there is no "Cass Corridor"? I mean it's right across the street!

That's Detroit for you!

<313>
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Mackinaw
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Username: Mackinaw

Post Number: 4271
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Wednesday, January 02, 2008 - 6:33 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Royce, I hear you with your first paragraph. Could standards be higher? Yes, definitely. The product is a little standardized and a little bland, but you know what, they are well-occupied, and they aren't as bad as they could be. They follow good basic design principals, and use the land the way that land ought to be used (although there might be a bit too much set-back along Woodward). Perhaps we need more standard apartment blocks rather than condo rows, but I have no problem if Crosswinds builds more of the same IF they differentiate some more. I think what you might be getting at is that these ought to be made more unique and done block-by-block rather than having several blocks look almost the same.

We have, more recently, seen Crosswinds go in a different direction with its latest Loft-apartment building on Windner. Let's let the market gain some momentum and see what else they have in store. Nothing special (if anything at all) will be built with the current housing jitters.

And the people who are moving to Canton aren't the people who would ever dream of moving to even a beautiful new home in Brush Park, as much as I would like to think that this is the case. I echo exactly what Jt1 says about plenty of fine options for SFD throughout the city already, and, once again, add these two words: East Woodbridge. There's a central neighborhood that's already gone that route. Isn't that enough?

Remix is correct...you could almost say that Crosswinds has a bit of license to do what they want considering the way they recussitated that neighborhood.
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Kjwick
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Username: Kjwick

Post Number: 77
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Wednesday, January 02, 2008 - 6:44 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

another option would be for construction of buildings that appear to be single family, but interior units are of a higher denisty.

this option would keep the historic appearance of the original neighborhood, while providing higher density.

i think edmund place has done that well. 1 house, 4 units. same for the lucien moore house.

downtown remix, do you know how much crosswinds paid for all of the land? i agree that they were the first to put a lot of money into the neighborhood, but i wonder why they were given the rights to SO much land (i'm guessing almost 40% of the neighborhood?).

in the end, this conversation is moot. the real estate market will leave most of brush park vacant for many years.
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Royce
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Username: Royce

Post Number: 2492
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Wednesday, January 02, 2008 - 8:14 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Well, I will correct myself by saying that there are homes being built in Detroit that mimic the McMansions in the suburbs. The first set are on Grayhaven island(south of Jefferson at Lenox). Those McMansions go for $500,000+. Then there's Morgan Estates on the eastside, which are on Freud and St. Jean only a few blocks from Jefferson Village. These also are priced above $400,000.

With that in mind, then, Jt1, the fact that these kinds of houses are being built in Detroit goes against your argument. Obviously the builders feel that there is a market for these homes and they have built several of them. So why couldn't these be built in Brush Park?

Also, if you want more density, Jt1, then going with brownstones would be ideal. Why say that comparing Brush Park and Birmingham is silly? If you never offer the same things in the city that exist in the suburbs, then how do you know that people who choose to live in the suburbs would not have lived in the city if the same product was offered. I'm sure that the people who intend on living in the Book Cadillac condos could have easily moved into the Willits in Birmingham. They chose to move to Detroit because the BC condos offered them what the Willits could offer them and a wee bit more, high-rise living downtown in a major U.S. city.

Now, regarding Jefferson Village. These are homes also built by Crosswinds and they are also crap. The homes are right up on the street. There are no trees except for a few that they didn't cut down. There are community backyards(no fences to keep in your two year old or pet dog). This isn't my idea of the kind of single family homes that I would want to live in. Straight up suburbs and I hate it. I guess I'm not a fan of Crosswinds stuff. Sorry, Crosswinds folks.

I know that the real estate market is tight here in Metro Detroit so that not much is going to happen in Brush Park over the next few years. However, if there was more variety in the kind of housing being offered in Brush Park, then you might get more people interested in living there.

(Message edited by royce on January 02, 2008)
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Jt1
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Username: Jt1

Post Number: 11122
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, January 02, 2008 - 8:31 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

With that in mind, then, Jt1, the fact that these kinds of houses are being built in Detroit goes against your argument. Obviously the builders feel that there is a market for these homes and they have built several of them. So why couldn't these be built in Brush Park?



The fact that they are being built does not go against my argument for what makes sense for Brush Park. In and around downtown should be higher density. The places you mention are not in or around downtown.

quote:

Also, if you want more density, Jt1, then going with brownstones would be ideal.



I agree, I would prefer nice brownstones as well but that was not your argument.

quote:

Why say that comparing Brush Park and Birmingham is silly? If you never offer the same things in the city that exist in the suburbs, then how do you know that people who choose to live in the suburbs would not have lived in the city if the same product was offered.



The comparison is silly based upon economics. Land use and construction in Birmingham can offer more options because the market allows much, much higher prcing in Birmingham. I am not saying that I wouldn't like the same quality as some brownstone styles in B-ham but the reality is that projects there are on a completly different economic level than those here.

quote:

I'm sure that the people who intend on living in the Book Cadillac condos could have easily moved into the Willits in Birmingham. They chose to move to Detroit because the BC condos offered them what the Willits could offer them and a wee bit more, high-rise living downtown in a major U.S. city.



That is one situation and the economics of how that project came together are vastly different than most developments.

Sorry if I get pissy but you ignore the basic economic realities that projects in Detroit face. Why don't we just compare what is being done in Manhattan and demand it by WSU if we are going to throw economics out the window.

Making BP single family (difference in opinion of density aside) would not be feasible from an economic standpoint. If you want to contact some developers and give them a bucketfull of money to change the economics of the project I am sure they would be willing to listen.

quote:

Now, regarding Jefferson Village. These are homes also built by Crosswinds and they are also crap. The homes are right up on the street. There are no trees except for a few that they didn't cut down. There are community backyards(no fences to keep in your two year old or pet dog). This isn't my idea of the kind of single family homes that I would want to live in. Straight up suburbs and I hate it. I guess I'm not a fan of Crosswinds stuff. Sorry, Crosswinds folks.



I don't like them either but the city faces realities that dreamers and critiquers (is that a word) here never have to consider.
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Mackinaw
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Username: Mackinaw

Post Number: 4272
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Wednesday, January 02, 2008 - 9:28 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

http://maps.live.com/default.a spx?v=2&cp=r1tf3c82jvzw&style= o&lvl=2&tilt=-90&dir=0&alt=-10 00&scene=5643436&encType=1
^^Jefferson Village...truly an affront to everything that is holy about cities.

I'm assuming the single family housing that Royce is envisioning for BP is something a little better than JV.

Now, if I was a developer looking to create a unique product for BP, I'd turn my team of architects lose in some of the following places to get inspiration:
[Center Square Albany]
http://maps.live.com/default.a spx?v=2&cp=r3823p8vkmfk&style= o&lvl=2&tilt=-90&dir=0&alt=-10 00&scene=22315264&encType=1
[Brooklyn Heights]
http://maps.live.com/default.a spx?v=2&cp=qsfx808v077b&style= o&lvl=1&tilt=-90&dir=0&alt=-10 00&scene=1685300&encType=1
[Jersey City]
http://maps.live.com/default.a spx?v=2&cp=qsqftv8txnp2&style= o&lvl=1&tilt=-90&dir=0&alt=-10 00&scene=1664992&encType=1
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Skulker
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Username: Skulker

Post Number: 3869
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, January 02, 2008 - 10:51 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The "crap" Crosswinds is building is affordable to many young families and is being snapped up here and in the suburbs.

Royce's argument is that luxury SFD could be built ala Birmingham because thats what a small strata of people want in the suburbs...yet Corsswinds should not build the "crap" that a HUGE strata of people want in the suburbs. Yet again, Royce is completely unable to see that other people have different standards and different priorities for their limited funds...and if they don't match his priorities its crap.

Mackinaw - It may not be what you want and it may be an "affront" to your aesthetic taste, but it IS what many many other people are willing and able to pay for. People who are buying and living in their own homes..instead of oh, say their parents basement.

While the first phase of what was built by Crosswinds does leave a lot to be desired from an architectural perspective, the article that kicked off this whole thread is the one that shows how the architectural standards are improving in the area, NOW THAT A MARKET HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED! The first rounds of Crosswinds were built to a price and as such lost out on design quality.

THE golden rule of development: Any development can have combination of two of the following three factors: build quality, design quality and affordability. You can't have all three.

Note that by far the best looking and best built townhomes in Detroit, Centurian Place, are the most expensive and have sold only one unit in the year or so they have been completed.

You can't have all three.
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Mwilbert
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Username: Mwilbert

Post Number: 48
Registered: 11-2007
Posted on Wednesday, January 02, 2008 - 11:09 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I was unaware of Centurion Place. It looks very nice--the exteriors look to be very well done and the prices in their brochure aren't unreasonable--they appear to be about $200/sq ft.

Is that pricing too high? If so, I can't see how some of the condo developments I see are ever going to sell.
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Mackinaw
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Username: Mackinaw

Post Number: 4273
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Thursday, January 03, 2008 - 12:19 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It's not a matter of what I want, Skulker, it's a matter of what city-building demands.

The fact that people having been willing to pay for those does not justify the fact that they were built that way in the first place. The building codes and zoning should have been different.

Your displeasure with my voicing that concern is evident. I ask you to quit making shit up, now.

Centurion is above average, but I don't think they are the best-looking. I'll take another look at them tomorrow but overall I think they kind of outdid themselves and went into gimmickry. The construction quality may be the best, though, I couldn't say. I don't think they are selling because they're in the shadow of the incinerator and kind of on the outer edge of midtown development.

(Message edited by mackinaw on January 03, 2008)
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Royce
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Username: Royce

Post Number: 2493
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Thursday, January 03, 2008 - 3:11 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Skulker, your argument suggests that people should just settle for what's being offered in Brush Park and not complain about it or demand more. So if I want to live downtown in order to be able to walk to cultural events at Campus Martius or Hart Plaza,or attend sporting events at the stadiums, but chose not to live in a renovated high-rise in the CBD, I should be happy with what Crosswinds offers or go some place else and that's that.

Also, because Crosswinds took the risk to bring something "new" to downtown when no one else would, I should be happy with what they're offering or go some place else and that's that. And for all the people who live in Woodward Place, they should be happy with what Crosswinds has to offer or go some place else and that's that.

Skulker, I love Brush Park's location for all the reasons I mentioned above, but for people like me that would rather live in a brownstone, where no on lives above me or below me, or a house with a fenced in backyard, I'm just out of luck in Brush Park. There's just no room for my kind. So in order to find what I'm looking for near downtown, I have to move to another city that has no problem offering me what I'm looking for near their downtown.

Mackinaw, I hate to bring up race, but there are a number of African Americans that I know who have moved into many of the McMansions in Farmington Hills, and Canton. My friends who have no kids but a couple of dogs have a beautiful McMansion in FH. I know that they have a million reasons for choosing to live out there but I keep thinking to myself, "Why couldn't they have moved to Detroit and have that same kind of house here?"

Well, they could have that kind of house if Brush Park offered them one. I think African American couples and some with children would be more inclined to live in Brush Park than live in Farmington Hills, Canton, or Macomb Township if they could get the same kind of house in Brush Park that they already have. Now, it's the white couples and families from Farmington Hills, Canton, and Macomb Township that wouldn't live in Brush Park, regardless of the incentives you gave them.

Also, I've noticed that a number of African American families live in Jefferson Village. I don't see too many whites in that area, and I don't hear many whites on this forum talk about it. Why is that?
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Wordonthestreet
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Username: Wordonthestreet

Post Number: 155
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Thursday, January 03, 2008 - 8:49 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Skulker,

Centurion Place is a very nice development in a bad location. They are $300,000+ condos built across the street from section 8 housing.

If those town homes were built in Brush Park, it would sell.
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Mwilbert
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Username: Mwilbert

Post Number: 49
Registered: 11-2007
Posted on Thursday, January 03, 2008 - 9:06 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

There is no land shortage in Detroit. If there turns out to be demand for new suburban-style houses near downtown, probably someone can find a place to put them.

However, it is hard to support walkable urban densities where there are lots of detached single family houses with yards. And as other people have said, there are many neighborhoods of such homes in Detroit, including some close to downtown, so it isn't a completely unserved market.
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Jt1
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Username: Jt1

Post Number: 11125
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, January 03, 2008 - 9:11 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

Skulker, I love Brush Park's location for all the reasons I mentioned above, but for people like me that would rather live in a brownstone, where no on lives above me or below me, or a house with a fenced in backyard, I'm just out of luck in Brush Park. There's just no room for my kind. So in order to find what I'm looking for near downtown, I have to move to another city that has no problem offering me what I'm looking for near their downtown.



So you are saying that you are only considering one option of housing and only one location. What you describe is readily available throughout the city. Your arguments are getting thinner and thinner as you go.
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Danny
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Username: Danny

Post Number: 6929
Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Thursday, January 03, 2008 - 9:55 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

So far the housing market in the Crosswinds Condos is slowing down due to lack of employment. Housing boom requires an economic boom. Detroit needs some JOBS JOBS JOBS and fast other otherwise now new housing like the proposed Griswold Condos which is now scrapped for good.
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Royce
Member
Username: Royce

Post Number: 2494
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Thursday, January 03, 2008 - 2:38 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Jt1, I'm saying that it would be nice to have some OPTIONS in Brush Park. To take the whole area and build the same kind of condos is being shortsighted because it only caters to one group of people. Liveable neighborhoods should have some variety in housing. Apartments for those on the go or just starting out and houses, brownstones, and condos for those who wish to put down roots is a good mix. A variety of housing invites a variety of people which creates a diverse neighborhood.

You, Jt1, and others want Brush Park to have the same density as many east coast cities like DC, NYC, Baltimore, and Albany. However, Brush Park was NEVER like that. I'm suggesting a return to the past with nice two or three story brownstones or houses. And since Detroit is not busting at the seams with people, I don't think that having what I suggest in Brush Park would be that terrible of an idea, but that's my opinion.

I will say this, if Crosswinds had build more of there three story townhomes then maybe I wouldn't dislike this development so much. However, they've only built maybe four or five of those so far. Also, I dislike immensely the idea of having the townhouses face what use to be an alley and then creating a walkway where the alley used to be. Why not a narrow two-lane one way street so visitors could park in front of your place? I'm not sure where they park now.

When I look at a development, if it doesn't have everything that I think it should have, then I think about the things that can improve it. However, it amazes me that so many of you on this forum are so rigid in your thinking where wanting something better in Detroit or done correctly is frowned upon because the attitude here is, "Be thankful we got something because that's the best that Detroit can expect to have." Well, I'm not one who's comfortable with just settling with whatever development comes along just because it's better having something than nothing at all.
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Gsgeorge
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Username: Gsgeorge

Post Number: 542
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 03, 2008 - 3:10 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

You, Jt1, and others want Brush Park to have the same density as many east coast cities like DC, NYC, Baltimore, and Albany. However, Brush Park was NEVER like that. I'm suggesting a return to the past with nice two or three story brownstones or houses.



Royce, a minute ago you were suggesting McMansions and now you're talking about two- to three-story brownstones. I am not really sure where you stand, it sounds like you just like to disagree.

One of my issues with your argument is that you say we should rebuild Brush Park to match how it was in the past. Who says we have to do that? More than half of the neighborhood is already decimated and long gone. I think it's appropriate to consider the type of existing architecture in the neighborhood and try to complement that with the new developments, but rebuilding the neighborhood to exactly how it was would be foolish. Sure, it was beautiful, but the neighborhood's thriving wealth and fine housing stock are also the reasons this neighborhood failed. Single family homes geared for the rich cannot exist in such close proximity to the center of a major industrial city. People were already moving out of Brush Park in the 1920s, when the city was supposedly at its peak, in favor of more "suburban" developments like those that were coming up around New Center and Oakman Blvd. I am pretty sure you won't convince too many people from Birmingham and Rochester to move to Brush Park regardless of the type of housing that was there -- condos, McMansions, etc.

Now, there is a push back into the city and a desire among younger people to live in more urban areas. Reconstructing Brush Park as an urban, walkable community, would take advantage of this prevailing attitude and introduce a new type of neighborhood that is hard to find in this area. There are plenty of homes around here already. The neighborhood needs to be geared to young professionals, college grads, and current residents looking for an urban experience. If you want houses, move to Jefferson Village or Woodbridge Estates.
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Mackinaw
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Username: Mackinaw

Post Number: 4275
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Thursday, January 03, 2008 - 4:32 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Right...if the homes were still there and intact, then a concerted effort to preserve it and make it look like 1890 would be justified.

Why shouldn't we try to re-create the past at this point? First, it's impossible to build anything that would be a fitting tribute to the past. More importantly, the neighborhood was developed 1870-1900 before the city boomed. By 1920, it was surrounded by much higher density housing, but endured because of its beauty. Soon after this, the houses were largely subdivided into tenements. By the 1950s, its slide was in progress, and the city was nearly 2 million strong. Even after a half century of decline, Detroit is still much bigger than it was in 1890, and its central neighborhoods should be designed with more modern notions of density in mind, given the fact that we now have a nearly blank slate. The same holds for the other side of Woodward over to Cass.

(Message edited by mackinaw on January 03, 2008)
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Kjwick
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Username: Kjwick

Post Number: 78
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Thursday, January 03, 2008 - 5:09 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Royce,

what you're suggesting is actually what is stated for in the City of Detroit Official Zoning Ordinance.

if you want a single family house, get a construction loan and approach PDD with your plans. i wish they would advertise such and option to more people.

gsgeorge, you said,

"I think it's appropriate to consider the type of existing architecture in the neighborhood and try to complement that with the new developments, but rebuilding the neighborhood to exactly how it was would be foolish."

you're right, it's impossible to rebuild house for house what was lost. complementing the existing architecture is what royce is suggesting, i believe. all of brush park is a city historic district and a portion is a national historic district. if you want to complement the existing architecture, that means (primarily) structures appearing to be single familiy, duplexes, and row-houses.

i don't understand why people are advocating for high density in brush park, a national historic district. build it across the street in in the cass corridor (which is layed out in the city official zoning ordinance). why destroy (demolition of 18 buildings in brush park over the last few years) or alter (crosswinds construction - especially the winder structure and the alley facing residences royce refers to) a historic district when you can have the same developments on vacant land immediately across the street?

if crosswinds had built the 'alley' structures on winder and adelaide between johnr and brush (which would have kept with the zoning ordinance plan and more appropriately with the historic street scape), then southern brush park would be mostly filled in by now. instead we're left with continued abandonment throughout most of the neighborhood. which, because of the economic down turn AND crosswinds stranglehold on almost ALL land in southern brush park, will likely remain abandoned for the next decade or more.

crosswinds got a sweet-heart deal. they paid little for the land. the city has poured over 20million into infrastructure improvements, and the city has demolished many abandoned (historic) structures to clear the land.

in return for that, i wish crosswinds would have been held to tighter design standards keeping with the architectural history of the neighborhood.
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Kjwick
Member
Username: Kjwick

Post Number: 79
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Thursday, January 03, 2008 - 5:14 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

mackinaw,
the first developments in "brush park" occurred in 1855.
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Yooper
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Username: Yooper

Post Number: 108
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 03, 2008 - 5:35 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Maybe someone can build some high density housing in the old Salvation Army building.
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Mackinaw
Member
Username: Mackinaw

Post Number: 4276
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Thursday, January 03, 2008 - 6:46 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks, Kjwick, I was just estimating when the bulk of its "glory years" development occurred.
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Royce
Member
Username: Royce

Post Number: 2495
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Thursday, January 03, 2008 - 6:56 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Kjwick, good to see that there's someone else out here who's not crazy about Crosswinds development, and thanks for the info about approaching the PDD.

Gsgeorge, I'm suggesting that I'm fine with both McMansion-type homes (with a detached garage and alley entrance) and true brownstones but not what Crosswinds is cranking out, except the three story townhomes(which are closer to true brownstones) that make up the majority of units that face the alleys. Build some variety: apartments, brownstones, houses, lofts, and condos.

(Message edited by royce on January 03, 2008)
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Kpm
Member
Username: Kpm

Post Number: 79
Registered: 08-2005
Posted on Friday, January 04, 2008 - 10:05 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It looks like Crosswinds has some duplex townhomes planned for their development:

http://www.crosswindsus.com/mi chigan/detroit_avenue/index.ht ml
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E_hemingway
Member
Username: E_hemingway

Post Number: 1489
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Friday, January 04, 2008 - 10:08 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

meh...
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Royce
Member
Username: Royce

Post Number: 2498
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Friday, January 04, 2008 - 10:50 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

These are essentially the townhomes at Lofts at New Center just reduced to two units in a structure as opposed to several in a row. Interesting that these appear to come right up to the side walk. No fencing needed like at New Center. Also, interesting to see where exactly in Brush Park these will be built.
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Mackinaw
Member
Username: Mackinaw

Post Number: 4279
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Friday, January 04, 2008 - 10:56 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

the materials are soooo bad. and where are the side windows?

these have to be going somewhere over towards Brush St.

Let's just hope they order a few different types of brick so that every building doesn't look the same.
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Futurecity
Member
Username: Futurecity

Post Number: 736
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Friday, January 04, 2008 - 11:12 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

That Crosswinds structure is butt-ugly.
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Masterblaster
Member
Username: Masterblaster

Post Number: 107
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Saturday, January 05, 2008 - 3:14 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I just wish these Crosswinds developments were more mixed-use instead of just strictly single use (residential).

Why not continue the mixed-use theme of the downtown area into Brush Park. Wouldn't it be nice to able to walk to businesses/shops on Winder or Brush or John R than to have to cross the i-75 freeway and the Comerica Park parking lots to get to downtown businesses??
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Eric
Member
Username: Eric

Post Number: 1058
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Saturday, January 05, 2008 - 3:42 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Why so we can have a bunch of empty commercial space? It's tough enough filling space along major thoroughfares let alone secondary streets.
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Royce
Member
Username: Royce

Post Number: 2504
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Wednesday, January 09, 2008 - 4:22 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The Avenue at Brush does leave much to be desired. Although better looking than the townhouses facing Woodward IMHO, they seems to lack the aesthetics of Crosswinds three story townhomes, which have been mostly relegated to the alley "walkway" sites.

Also, if built as two units per building, I wonder how much room will be between one building and the next? For those of you who favor more density in Brush Park, this structure doesn't appear to provide it.
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Detroitduo
Member
Username: Detroitduo

Post Number: 898
Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Wednesday, January 09, 2008 - 4:50 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I just love how you people LOVE to blast a neighborhood / Community in which you don't live. What's funny is that we, the people who DO LIVE in Brush Park, don't seem to have ANY problems with the development. You don't like it? Great! Don't live there... there are PLENTY of neighborhoods close to downtown that you could also choose to live in that offer a different product. Go enjoy those places. We're quite happy with our "crap" architecture Condos.

The only thing I DO agree with is that Commercial planning should have been done, better. SOMEwhere within the many blocks, there should have been a plan to put in some commercial development.... I am still waiting for that to happen.

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