Discuss Detroit DISCUSS DETROIT! Cass Tech For Sale Previous Next
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Detroitred
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Username: Detroitred

Post Number: 3
Registered: 02-2009
Posted on Thursday, February 26, 2009 - 1:31 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Cass Tech is for sale along with 26 other DPS buildings...

http://www.freep.com/article/2 0090226/NEWS01/90226058/Old+Ca ss+Tech+among+schools+for+sale +in+Detroit
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Detroitred
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Posted on Thursday, February 26, 2009 - 1:32 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Old Cass Tech that is, obviously.
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Detroitnerd
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Post Number: 3580
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Posted on Thursday, February 26, 2009 - 1:32 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Naturally, they wouldn't put it up for sale until the scrappers have had their way with it. :-(
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Ndavies
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Post Number: 1653
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Posted on Thursday, February 26, 2009 - 2:26 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hmmm, I waiting for all you arm chair preservationsits to step up to the plate and renovate this building.
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Firstandten
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Post Number: 720
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Posted on Thursday, February 26, 2009 - 2:44 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I believe it would have cost more to renovate the old CT to bring it up to 21st century standards than to build the New CT. At least that was the case the pro New CT supporters were making.
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Detroitnerd
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Posted on Thursday, February 26, 2009 - 2:47 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Why? Won't they be busy preserving those arm chairs? :-)
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Mauser765
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Username: Mauser765

Post Number: 3027
Registered: 01-2004
Posted on Thursday, February 26, 2009 - 2:51 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"Hmmm, I waiting for all you"
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Chow
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Username: Chow

Post Number: 259
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Posted on Thursday, February 26, 2009 - 3:05 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

i hope ilitch buys it, that site is ripe for surface parking.
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E_hemingway
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Posted on Thursday, February 26, 2009 - 3:07 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Only if we pay for it Chow.
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Jb3
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Post Number: 543
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Posted on Thursday, February 26, 2009 - 3:33 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Instead of arguing preservation for preservations sake. I challenge the Detroit Yes forumers to tune into the right side of your brains and come up with uses for the building (Old Cass Tech that is). Any use, for any body. Let's hear how you think it could contribute to the area.

cheers
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English
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Post Number: 466
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Posted on Thursday, February 26, 2009 - 3:42 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Who knows? Maybe something good will come out of this.
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El_jimbo
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Username: El_jimbo

Post Number: 954
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Posted on Thursday, February 26, 2009 - 3:46 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

With all the investment in education the federal government is talking about, perhaps that would be an opportunity for a charter school or private college?

Just thinking out loud.
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Brandon48202
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Username: Brandon48202

Post Number: 220
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Posted on Thursday, February 26, 2009 - 3:48 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The city won't sell to anyone looking to do a charter school.
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Viziondetroit
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Username: Viziondetroit

Post Number: 1680
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Thursday, February 26, 2009 - 3:50 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"Hmmm, I waiting for all you arm chair preservationsits to step up to the plate and renovate this building.'

^Thank you, that's always my first response. SAVE CASS SAVE CASS YOU CAN'T TEAR IT DOWN.... do something about it and stop bitching. Now is your chance.
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Jb3
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Post Number: 544
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Posted on Thursday, February 26, 2009 - 4:03 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

What about educational activities, if not a charter school. Possibly artist studios? maybe forget about heating and cooling and open up a few floors to green areas, gardens...etc.?

who has an idea of the physical structure?
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El_jimbo
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Posted on Thursday, February 26, 2009 - 4:07 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

What about as another industry incubator site similar to Techtown? Perhaps have a partnership with the current Cass Tech to get Detroit students more involved in high tech fields?
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Jb3
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Posted on Thursday, February 26, 2009 - 4:11 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

good thinking.

http://www.detroitmakeithere.c om/article/20090225/DM01/90225 9961/-1
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Lmichigan
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Posted on Thursday, February 26, 2009 - 11:13 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

You know, if someone found a creative reuse for the historic SS Kresge Headquarters (i.e. The Metropolitan Center for High Technology) literally two blocks north of Old Cass Tech, a creative reuse could be found for Old Cass Tech, as well. Albeit, Old Cass Tech is quite a bit larger, but it's not impossible. All that said, I seriously have doubts about its reuse just given the economy and the size of the building (625,000 sq ft). It'd be nice if DPD could move out of the Fisher, and turn Cass Tech into their headquarters and stay there, but DPD is hardly in the position to undertake such a project.
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Smogboy
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Posted on Friday, February 27, 2009 - 12:55 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Please please do NOT let this building go the way of the train station.
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Zimm
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Posted on Friday, February 27, 2009 - 1:07 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

^^too late
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Royce
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Posted on Friday, February 27, 2009 - 1:16 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Tear it down. At 625,000 sq. ft. it's too large to do anything financially feasible. It was built as a school to house 4000 students. What other school would have those type of numbers? Oh, right, the new Cass Tech High School.

She has seen her day and it's time to say good-bye.
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Lmichigan
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Posted on Friday, February 27, 2009 - 3:21 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yeah, no kidding, Zimm. The thing already looks like hell. I can never get over how quickly buildings fall to complete hell in the city. Aren't just about all of the windows on the freeway side of the building gone? And, it's been, what? Only 4 or 5 years, now?
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E_hemingway
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Username: E_hemingway

Post Number: 1545
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Posted on Friday, February 27, 2009 - 7:36 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It's initial reuse does not have to utilize all 625,000 square feet. For instance, the people redoing the Freep building only plan to use the first three floors at first and mothball the rest for future use.

Freep building eyed for film jobs
http://www.detnews.com/apps/pb cs.dll/article?AID=20099022403 65

Another example, the Russell Industrial Complex with something like 2 million square feet of space started out with only a handful of tenants occupying only a few thousand square feet. The owners have steadily filled up that remaining space to the point where it's close to half full now. I think they hope to fill it up within the next decade.

Cass Tech should be tackled in a similar fashion. You're not going to find a buyer who will reuse all of the space right away. But there are probably entities that could reuse say 50,000 square feet off the bat and mothball the rest for future use. The new historic tax credits can help make such a thing possible.
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Danindc
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Post Number: 4458
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Posted on Friday, February 27, 2009 - 8:41 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It's pretty disingenuous to attack preservationists to "do something" with the Old Cass Tech, when absolutely no one in the private sector is able to obtain funding for *any* kind of construction project. It doesn't take a lot of effort to see what the 60 year demolition spree hath wrought for Detroit.

Which leads to the obvious problem of mothballing, or the lack thereof. Is anyone else banging their head on the wall, realizing that Cass Tech has met the same fate as numerous other buildings in Detroit:

*of course plans went forward for a new building, without thinking of what to do with the old building

*of course the building was held and allowed to deteriorate for years before putting it up for sale

*of course the proposed sale of the building is occurring during a time when no investor or developer is able to obtain financing

*of course the building will not be sold, and will be left to deteriorate further

*of course there will come a day when someone says, "It has to be bulldozed, because we can't do anything with it RIGHT NOW."

*of course, the City of Detroit will spend millions of dollars on demolition for yet another empty lot
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Izzyindetroit
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Username: Izzyindetroit

Post Number: 184
Registered: 07-2008
Posted on Friday, February 27, 2009 - 9:17 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Anyone know how much the price tag is on the building?

One thing I would like to see is a centralization of non-profits in the city.
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Ndavies
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Posted on Friday, February 27, 2009 - 11:18 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Sorry Dan, You see the current economic conditions as a short term problem. Detroit has been suffering through these economic conditions for at least the last 8 years. The rest of the country has only now caught up with the issues Detroit has been Dealing with for at least the last 20 years.

It is going to take Detroit a very long time to recover from the collapse of the auto industry. Very few of these buildings will sell. Most will be torn down.
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Danindc
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Posted on Friday, February 27, 2009 - 12:16 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

Very few of these buildings will sell. Most will be torn down.



Using money the City doesn't have, of course.
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Bigb23
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Posted on Friday, February 27, 2009 - 12:32 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"Matty" Moroun will buy them for investment properties, and use the space for crypts, urban art studios, and indoor Hockey Leagues.
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Ndavies
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Posted on Friday, February 27, 2009 - 12:36 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Better that than being sued for having dead people frozen in the basement.

Demo is alway cheaper than preserving a building with no hope of re-use.
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Hornwrecker
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Posted on Friday, February 27, 2009 - 12:38 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)



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Russix
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Post Number: 193
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Posted on Friday, February 27, 2009 - 1:11 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Demo the addition, dig it up, move it up 2nd so it sits on the cornor of 2nd and Temple or Cass and Temple. Great start for lower cass corridor redevelopment.
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Royce
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Posted on Saturday, February 28, 2009 - 1:58 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

This is off topic but I've always wondered why aren't the sidewalks wider in front of both Cass Techs to accommodate the number of students letting out of school. Given the fact that Second Avenue is a huge one way street, it would just seem to make sense that the sidewalk could have been wider by eliminating just one lane of the street.

If you look at old Northern H.S(Woodward and Clairmount) they have a huge sidewalk that allows room for students departing from school. When it was still Northern, I remember passing by and watching the marching band practice. The sidewalk in front of the new Cass Tech actually has some trees and tree planters, making the sidewalks just as narrow as those in front of the old building. Why does stuff like this exist in Detroit?
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Leannam1989
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Posted on Saturday, February 28, 2009 - 3:23 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

That is a lot of space to use.

I have heard of schools in other cities being rehabbed into apartments, but I don't know if that will work for this area.

The biggest building I can think of in St. Louis that was rehabbed was the Merchandise Mart, and it's in a pretty good Downtown location. It's only 340k square feet.
Homer G. Phillips Hospital (first black hospital in St. Louis) is 314k sq. ft. It's now Senior Citizen apartments (Dignity house or something).
The Syndicate Trust is probably closest to Cass' size, at 500k square feet. It recently opened as condos. Of 100 condos I think 60-something are sold.

Cass Tech looks like it's very beautiful and architecturally significant, but I agree it looks like it will be hard to reuse.

With the economy down right now, does it have to be reused/demolished immediately? Can they not mothball it until the economy improves? Or is it not in a good location, thus making rehab unlikely even when the economy improves? You would think being less than 2 miles from Comerica and Ford Field would count for something.
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Zimm
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Posted on Saturday, February 28, 2009 - 3:48 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Leannam-the spheres of influence of Ford Field and Comerica Park extend more like 2 blocks than 2 miles. and there are as many failures as successes withing those 2 block areas.

old Cass Tech would stand a better chance of redevelopment if it were on the moon.
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Viziondetroit
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Posted on Saturday, February 28, 2009 - 3:58 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

You can't compare what other cities are doing with similar buildings. Cass is NEXT DOOR to a school, a freeway on one side, empty fields and all kinds of other nonsense. Would YOU want to move into that great neighborhood?
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Neilr
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Posted on Saturday, February 28, 2009 - 9:00 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


LL

One successful conversion of an old DPS school into lofts is the former Nellie Leland School. One of the factors that made this project work is that the building is in an established downtown residential neighborhood, Lafayette Park. Also it's a relatively small building containing only 32 units. Plus there was room for individual garages and secure parking.
http://www.lelandlofts.com/index.php
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Royce
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Posted on Saturday, February 28, 2009 - 1:40 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Neilr, you hit the nail on the head when you said about the Leland School, "Also it's a relatively small building containing only 32 units." A rehab for Cass Tech would probably cost what it cost to rehab the Book Cadillac. I don't think the powers that be are that interested in rehabbing CT like they did for BC.
Tear it down and use the space for the new Cass Tech staff and students.

(Message edited by royce on February 28, 2009)
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English
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Post Number: 476
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Posted on Saturday, February 28, 2009 - 2:33 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"Tear it down and use the space for the new Cass Tech staff and students."

Usually I am all for preservation of our city's jewels. But we were told that CT couldn't be saved many years ago. On the site plan for the new building, the old was supposed to be converted into athletic fields... but so many of the alumni protested.

I wish we'd been able to save the MCS and Tiger Stadium... maybe even that Motown office building... over CT. Once they made the decision to build the new school next door, it was over with. You can't rehab the building into condos, because even if it were in an excellent neighborhood, who'd want to live next to a high school? Maybe across the street, but not that close.

As for lofts and artists' studios... there are SO many awesome buildings in and around downtown that are more ideally located for that very purpose.

I loved the old CT building. I think it would break my heart to see the state of my old classroom, where I learned how to be an awesome and inspiring English teacher. I grew to love the old building, and especially loved having my own classroom. I always felt as if there was a LOT of space for my students and I to go to another location to work or to have class. It was also awesome to know that I was teaching in the same building that my grandfather walked the halls in the late 1920s and early 1930s! I can't imagine how my colleagues feel about it, and like the majority of the teachers and alumni, I was hoping and praying that they'd just rehab the old building and bring it up to 21st century standards.

However, I think we need to choose our battles. As difficult as it is to say goodbye to the old building, unless we get a millionaire or billionaire CT alum to come to the rescue, I think we shouldn't let the old CT become the next MCS.
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Rjlj
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Post Number: 810
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Posted on Saturday, February 28, 2009 - 2:50 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

English, your arguments for Cass Tech not being able to be re-developed are weak. People live next to high schools, strip clubs, bars, restaurants, dances clubs, etc. all across this country in large cities and elsewhere. As for CT being ideally located for lofts and artists' studios, what exactly is the rule for these to be propely located? I never knew there was one.
The public was lied to when they were told CT could not be renovated. Millions could have been saved if the building was renovated for a lot less than building new. The new CT was a boch job due to an inept school board. With a will, there is a way, we need some visionaries in this city. Check out PS1 on a summer day in New York sometime. http://ps1.org

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P.S._1_Contemporary_Art_Center

(Message edited by rjlj on February 28, 2009)
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Gistok
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Posted on Saturday, February 28, 2009 - 3:11 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I have to agree with Rjlj.... just because some entity says that it's cheaper to build from scratch, doesn't make it so...

I remember GM saying it was cheaper to move to a new HQ than to fix up the old GM HQ... that was a load of crap as well... they spent 1/2 billion on fixing up the Ren Cen...

As for the folks that got the "Cadillac Center" and renovated it to be the State of Michigan office building in Detroit... I doubt they spent 1/5 of what GM spent on the RenCen... and now the State of Michigan has PALATIAL office space in the old GM HQ in New Center.
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English
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Post Number: 477
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Posted on Saturday, February 28, 2009 - 3:32 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Rjlj, perhaps so, but I'm living in reality. Would I like for you to be right, and for there to be office space next door to CT? Of course! That's why I chose to spend the best years of my young adulthood living, working and volunteering in Detroit.

However, I don't see where my argument that we need money and lots of it for a renovation to be possible doesn't hold water. How else can we save the building?

I only wish we had sentiments like yours -- and the others who are set on saving it -- back in the late 1990s when this plan came into fruition -- or better yet, that capital had been raised for us to SAVE the old CT before the new building was built. It's extremely frustrating because people who didn't care for the "new building" idea were absolutely NOT supported back then. If the alumni had raised enough stink about saving the old CT building, we wouldn't have been squeezed into that new place.

Now four years later, here are all these people who think it's just peachy for my former colleagues and their students to exist in the shadow of the next MCS. Since they chose to build in the current location, no, I'm not in favor of residential OR retail space next door. It'd be different if this were a city that didn't have plenty of great spaces for those kinds of projects (like NYC). But we're not, and there are a TON of great empty buildings and schools in neighborhoods that are less marginal and would love to build on the successes they have.

I'm in favor of someone going in and mothballing the place if they're willing to sit on the investment for a while. But I'm not in favor of reuse in the way that I've seen many old DPS buildings be reused -- poorly, without much in the way of upkeep. The old CT building is no different.

When we moved, we were lied to. Each department received a VERY specific list of what we could move into the new school, and we were told to LEAVE THE REST because there was no room in that (tiny) new building. The district said that they and their movers would completely clear everything else out. Of course, that didn't happen. What else could we do? If you took the stuff anywhere else, it was stealing as it was the property of the district. So we packed boxes very neatly, labeled them, and hoped for the best.

Four years later, everything we were told to leave behind is FESTERING... just like with the old Roosevelt warehouse... just like with ALL the shuttered schools. Which means that before the old CT can be properly mothballed, it really ought to be cleaned up of all of the books/paper/supplies/equipment /furniture/other stuff that is still inside. But of course, that won't happen. That NEVER happens in Detroit, which is why when the old Motown building was razed for Super Bowl XL, there was all that paperwork from the late 1960s all over the street.

Yes, we have VISIONARIES aplenty in this city. *laughs* What we (and they) don't have is CAPITAL.

Again, Rjlj, I honestly do hope that you're right and I'm wrong. However, sad to say, I'd put money on my position and not yours... especially after living through the CT building project and move.
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English
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Post Number: 480
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Posted on Saturday, February 28, 2009 - 3:47 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Disclaimer: Yes, I am pretty darn bitter, didn't want to move from the old building, and the move influenced my decision to take a step back from the district and the city for a while.

If the place ever gets renovated and rehabbed, I want it to be CASS TECH again! I think the reason why I'm so emotional about it is because there were so many great memories attached to the place AND we were told that it couldn't be saved. They're already added insult to injury by moving Cass into the McSchool and letting the old building rot where it stands; it would be even more infuriating to see the building resurrected and someone else using the space that WE used so profitably for nearly a century.

So yes, I'm in favor of renovation if we can move back. The new building could become a GREAT community center. :-)
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Royce
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Posted on Saturday, February 28, 2009 - 4:03 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Unfortunately, we will probably be talking about the vacant Old Cass Tech building for decades to come. No developer will buy it after it has been left open to the elements and vandals. DPS does not have the money to tear it down so it won't be bulldozed any time soon.
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Rjlj
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Posted on Saturday, February 28, 2009 - 4:05 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Just to be clear, I wasn't making an attack.
I hate when people say it can't be done when there are plenty of examples that show that it can. Detroit's worst enemy are the people who have been put in charge who pretend to have the people's best interest in mind.
I remember all the people who posted about the Book Cadillac being a lost casue. I remember someone even being adamant that a building with a tree growing on the roof can never be saved.

I once read the following:
"Think for a moment, what makes a city, a city?
Surely the answer must be many things, among them the people, the places, the atmosphere and the buildings.
Buildings play a most important part in the life of a city, not only as a place in which to conduct the business of the city's people, but also, more symbolic, as a representation of a city's growth. .....
Even as new buildings symbolize the future of the city, it is the older, more established buildings which provide us with the roots and foundations for this new growth.
If we can not at least respect and preserve the fine things of our past, there certainly can be no bright future for Detroit." Horst Mann
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Royce
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Post Number: 1669
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Posted on Saturday, February 28, 2009 - 4:17 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Renovating a vacated hotel into a hotel once more makes sense. Renovating a school into something other than a school is difficult. I've seen smaller scale buildings turned into community centers, but Old Cass Tech? I just don't see it and where's the community around there?

Cass Tech has always been an oasis in a desert of homelessness and dilapidation. Very few, if any, of the students come from the neighborhood. A community center, although admirable, would only be something for the homeless. Not the kind of place you want your kids passing every day, especially right next to the new school.

Maybe a police command post or hey maybe even the new police headquarters might work there. However, if you take a look at the Foster elementary school(in Brush Park) where DPD houses its bomb squad, you'll see that the gym ceiling has collapsed and DPD doesn't seem to be too eager to repair it. So, I can only imagine what DPD might do with the Old Cass Tech building.
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English
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Post Number: 481
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Posted on Saturday, February 28, 2009 - 4:28 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Well, I'll just hope for the best, guys.

But now, I have to detach from this thread or else I'll just re-live all the anger, sadness, and frustration that I experienced during the year I decided to throw in the towel when it came to DPS and the city. It makes me so angry to remember how attached I grew to Midtown/Cass Corridor/Brush Park... and the life I'd planned to build there. (Those are the breaks, huh?)

Enjoy the rest of the thread, and best of luck!
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E_hemingway
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Post Number: 1547
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Posted on Saturday, February 28, 2009 - 7:27 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The price the school district sets for historic Cass Tech will determine its future more than anything. The lower the buy-in price the more a developer can do with it.

The school is in a unique location where it's within walking distance of downtown, Motor City Casino, MGM Casino, Masonic Temple, easy freeway access, on Grand River, a few blocks from Woodward and a few minutes south of Wayne State. Its proximity to the new school doesn't impede it the way English is describing. People live next to schools all the time, especially in urban areas. In fact some forumers (and former forumers) live within a block or two of Cass Tech today. These are successful professionals, not your stereotypical Cass Corridor derelicts. Well, at least some of them.

Buildings are reused for different reasons all of the time. For instance, the Russell Industrial Center is stereotypical Rust Belt-oh-please-tear-that-ugly- POS-down factory, but artists, entrepreneurs, architects and all sorts of professionals now work there. It's original use and history is more of a help for redevelopment than a hindrance. Same things goes with old schools. Neilr gave a good local example in the Leland Lofts. Schoolpictures.com is redeveloping the old Ave Maria University campus (a couple of old elementary schools) for its headquarters in Ypsilanti right now. A developer turned the Kennedy School in Portland into a brewpub (www.mcmenamins.com), so just because a building was originally designed as school doesn't put it at some special disadvantage for redevelopment. Just because you can't think of how it can be redeveloped doesn't mean it can't be done.

One of the things working against Cass Tech is its size. However, as I stated before, it doesn't have to be redeveloped all at once. A developer could easily start redeveloping the first floor or two or just part of the first floor and mothball the rest for future development. This is being done with the Free Press building right now. Individual heating systems can be installed for individual spaces. Windows can be replaced. But the sooner this is done for Cass Tech the better.

There are a lot of options of what to put there. Perhaps a business incubator like TechTown. Aren't the creative corridor people looking for a building to house such a space? In TechTown they started with one building and have been slowly but steadily restoring other surrounding blocks of blighted eye sores into space for budding businesses. I think they just turned one old warehouse into a stem-cell lab. CCS is turning the Argonaught Building in New Center (about the same size as Cass Tech if not bigger) into part of its campus. I always thought Cass Tech would be a good spot for some of the state's universities (or maybe even some out-of-state universities) to set up a Detroit office. It's right next to arguably Detroit's most prestigious high school, so it would be a great place to recruit future students.

Redeveloping Cass Tech would probably have to be as a mixed-use development. That would probably mean some sort of combination of office/commercial/residential spaces. Think ground/basement floor as some sort of retail or restaurant, middle floors as office space and top floors as residential. The top of Cass Tech has some great views, the building is beautiful and it's in a good location. Clean up the rest of the old Cass Corridor to the east of it (those are also some beautiful apartment buildings) and it's in a very good location. Michigan's new historic tax credits allow a developer to get almost half of his money back within the first year. That could play a big part in any redevelopment project.

Despite all of this, Cass Tech has two big things going against it. It's in Detroit and its controlled by Detroit Public Schools. These two things are usually more than enough to sentence a building to death. The odds of renovation are definitely not running in its favor right now, but DPS putting it up for sale does give it a little hope. If we can reuse part of Tiger Stadium in this economy, why can't we do the same with Cass Tech?
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Hybridy
Member
Username: Hybridy

Post Number: 270
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Saturday, February 28, 2009 - 7:53 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

i wonder if any developer has thought about how distracting the giant MGM LED billboard will be for any reuse-office or residential? i suppose one would be fully aware because thats city living-lol
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Eastsidedame
Member
Username: Eastsidedame

Post Number: 671
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Tuesday, March 03, 2009 - 5:17 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

If it must be used fpr parking, why couldn't it be re-used, as in the Michigan Theater, keeping the outside original architecture? It would at least generate some revenue.
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Lmichigan
Member
Username: Lmichigan

Post Number: 4212
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, March 03, 2009 - 11:23 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

There is no way, with all of the interior columns, to effectively retrofit the building, in a cost effective way, for a parking structure.

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