Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2006 The whitney building Previous Next
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Andyguard73
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Username: Andyguard73

Post Number: 44
Registered: 03-2006
Posted From: 64.25.200.14
Posted on Tuesday, May 02, 2006 - 12:21 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

With all the new redevelopment plans announced, I just wondered if anyone knew of any plans for the David Whitney Building.
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Kilgore_south
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Username: Kilgore_south

Post Number: 41
Registered: 05-2005
Posted From: 24.176.20.117
Posted on Tuesday, May 02, 2006 - 12:41 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I was wondering that same thing just yesterday at the Tigers game. I remember being in the Whitney not more than 15 years ago. It hasn't been mothballed as long as a lot of other downtown buildings, so you'd think it would be a prime candidate for redevelopment. We can hope anyway... it's got such a beautiful central atrium, from what I recall.
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Andyguard73
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Username: Andyguard73

Post Number: 45
Registered: 03-2006
Posted From: 64.25.200.14
Posted on Tuesday, May 02, 2006 - 1:15 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thats why I was wondering. I was looking at some of the pics of it on detroitblog from his last trip in there and it looks great compared to buildings like the book-caddy and the broderick, which both are showing signs of life. I hope something is in the works, itd be great to have those the whitney and broderick both back and running on GCP. So has anyone heard anything?
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Detroitduo
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Username: Detroitduo

Post Number: 616
Registered: 06-2005
Posted From: 194.138.39.54
Posted on Tuesday, May 02, 2006 - 9:59 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yea, I heard the owner wants to wait until the David Whitney is in the same disrepair as the BC and Statler or until he can get $10mill. for it. Looks like either way, it'll be torn down.
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Itsjeff
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Username: Itsjeff

Post Number: 5847
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 208.27.111.125
Posted on Tuesday, May 02, 2006 - 10:07 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

There were some noises about converting the Whitney into a hotel about 5 or 6 years ago, but then the economy tanked. The building seems to be well-preserved, so if things get better I wouldn't be surprised to hear the hotel plan again.
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Detroitduo
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Username: Detroitduo

Post Number: 623
Registered: 06-2005
Posted From: 194.138.39.54
Posted on Tuesday, May 02, 2006 - 11:38 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

With the 2 new hotels, plus 3 new Casino hotels, unless there is an expansion in business, residents and shopping, I don't think a hotel is doable. That's my opinion. The neighborhood would be better served if the D. Whitney were Residential, with a shopping gallery. A kiosk coffee service in the center, with cafe seating in the courtyard, surrounded by shops. Anyway, I am not convinced it will ever happen.
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Rbdetsport
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Username: Rbdetsport

Post Number: 85
Registered: 11-2005
Posted From: 68.61.11.146
Posted on Tuesday, May 02, 2006 - 11:41 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

If Rock Financial and Quicken Loans moves to the Statler site and the UA Building, a parking garage will be built on the back of the Statler site for Rock, Quicken, and the Whitney Building. The Broderick Tower will get the east portion of the Grand Circus Garage. If there is dedicated parking for the David Whitney Building, it will get redeveloped. That is the plan that the city has for Rock and Quicken. I like how the city is actually thinking about the future now when developments are created.
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Bobj
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Username: Bobj

Post Number: 676
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 65.221.183.220
Posted on Tuesday, May 02, 2006 - 1:57 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Lofts, we need more lofts!
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Dabirch
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Username: Dabirch

Post Number: 1476
Registered: 06-2004
Posted From: 208.44.117.10
Posted on Tuesday, May 02, 2006 - 2:15 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


quote:

Lofts, we need more lofts!




Cops and jobs! We need more cops and jobs. And Garbage men. And teachers.
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E_hemingway
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Username: E_hemingway

Post Number: 598
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 68.42.176.123
Posted on Tuesday, May 02, 2006 - 2:23 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It's a lot easier to hire cops, garbage men and teachers when there is more tax base. Turning D. Whitney into lofts would help bring in more tax base, more home owners with a stake in the city and a few more small businesses.

Lofts, apartments, condos, I don't care. Living space. Downtown needs more living space to help create more foot traffic.
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E_hemingway
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Username: E_hemingway

Post Number: 599
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 68.42.176.123
Posted on Tuesday, May 02, 2006 - 2:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Also, the inside of the D. Whitney is in great shape. Have seen numerous photos and read many descriptions of it from urban explorers. It appears to be an easy conversion on the surface.
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Dabirch
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Username: Dabirch

Post Number: 1478
Registered: 06-2004
Posted From: 208.44.117.10
Posted on Tuesday, May 02, 2006 - 2:31 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Chicken or egg...

we've been working at it from the "chicken" perspective for a while -- and it doesn't seem to be working all that well.

Maybe we should start looking at the egg.
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Mackinaw
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Username: Mackinaw

Post Number: 1456
Registered: 02-2005
Posted From: 71.144.95.162
Posted on Tuesday, May 02, 2006 - 2:43 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'm betting the Whitney will be converted to condos with a couple floors of commercial space. Grand Circus Park seems to be taking on a more residential tone. Give this 5 years max for some action to be taken; seems to me that the apartment/loft demand will lead the way for more rehabs all over.
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Mauser765
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Username: Mauser765

Post Number: 769
Registered: 01-2004
Posted From: 4.229.69.107
Posted on Tuesday, May 02, 2006 - 2:53 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

DW1

DW2
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Tetsua
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Username: Tetsua

Post Number: 589
Registered: 01-2004
Posted From: 68.60.110.67
Posted on Tuesday, May 02, 2006 - 2:57 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Wow, these pictures are an eye opener. I never realized how nice it was on the inside of this place. It's a true shame that this thing isn't being used.
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Bob
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Username: Bob

Post Number: 950
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 152.163.100.8
Posted on Tuesday, May 02, 2006 - 2:59 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The owners of the Whitney Building spent lots of money waterproofing the outside and work on the roof a couple years ago. You would not do that if you were going to let the building rot. I'm guessing they're waiting for the right investor, which is easier said than done in todays state economy.
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Detroitplanner
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Username: Detroitplanner

Post Number: 54
Registered: 04-2006
Posted From: 63.85.13.248
Posted on Tuesday, May 02, 2006 - 3:04 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hemingway:

"It's a lot easier to hire cops, garbage men and teachers when there is more tax base. Turning D. Whitney into lofts would help bring in more tax base, more home owners with a stake in the city and a few more small businesses."

I just wish this was true. In reality, this too would be like the 4,000 square foot loft guys with the $20,000 aquarium that only pays $1,000 a year in taxes. So in terms of property tax, this project would probably expend more tax dollars for services than is taken in.

I would still like to see residential with ownership, this would help stabilize some of the businesses and maybe even help grow a few new ones.

These pics remind me of my dentist as a boy. He was located here and we would take the bus down to see him. : )
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Xd_brklyn
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Username: Xd_brklyn

Post Number: 137
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 66.88.89.94
Posted on Tuesday, May 02, 2006 - 3:18 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Great pix. Didn't realize the Whitney had such work inside.

Isn't there a song that goes:
"How many beautiful downtown buildings must fall,
before they realize there are no buildings at all"
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Wilus1mj
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Username: Wilus1mj

Post Number: 56
Registered: 05-2005
Posted From: 216.111.89.3
Posted on Tuesday, May 02, 2006 - 3:24 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The outside doesn't do the inside justice...Great Picks. Who owns the building?
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Burnsie
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Username: Burnsie

Post Number: 404
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 35.9.90.102
Posted on Tuesday, May 02, 2006 - 3:45 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"So in terms of property tax, this project would probably expend more tax dollars for services than is taken in."

In the short term, yes, but in the long term it would be recouped.
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Gistok
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Username: Gistok

Post Number: 2039
Registered: 08-2004
Posted From: 4.229.3.65
Posted on Tuesday, May 02, 2006 - 3:46 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The reason that the outside doesn't do the building justice is that in the 1930's or 1940's someone remodelled the exterior of the building (just like the Statler, Broderick, and Michigan Mutual Buildings around GCP).

Prior to then, the Whitney Building had a lot of nice classical embellishments on the outside. Daniel Burnham (were he alive today) would be appalled at what they did to the exterior of his building design.

And as for the interior, that 4th story skylight has a 14 story lightwell above it. All the floors in the building have a hollow core. That is why I always fantasized about the lobby skylight being moved to the top of the building, and lobby soaring 18 stories, with each floor looking down onto the lobby.

(Message edited by Gistok on May 02, 2006)
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Bobj
Member
Username: Bobj

Post Number: 679
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 65.221.183.120
Posted on Tuesday, May 02, 2006 - 3:58 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

What a beautiful building!!

I think that the development with tax breaks is the only way to go right now. Hopefully you get some improved city income tax revenue if the people are from outside the city.

Also, more residents should help the local businesses, which in turn will help the city
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E_hemingway
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Username: E_hemingway

Post Number: 600
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 68.42.176.123
Posted on Tuesday, May 02, 2006 - 4:08 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Detroit Planner: The services are going to go to that building one way or another. Police and fire patrols, roadwork downtown and sewer services already exist in that neighborhood and aren't going to change if that building is occupied or not. The only service I can think of that would change off the top of my head is garbage pickup. If Kwame gets his way, the people living there will pay fees not covered under the regular millage taxes.

Places like these will either bring in new middle class or above residents or retain those that are looking at leaving the city. So that will at least help maintain, if not expand, the amount of income taxes the city takes in. If I remember correctly, the city takes in more money through income taxes rather than property taxes.

Downtown needs these old buildings to be lit up and occupied again to help spur more residential and commercial development. If it takes a temporary tax break to accomplish that, then I'm all for it.
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Sknutson
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Username: Sknutson

Post Number: 563
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 67.114.23.202
Posted on Tuesday, May 02, 2006 - 4:33 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Here's my non-expert 2 cents worth: If the David Broderick project successfully goes forward, I can't imagine the David Whitney would be far behind.

If it is secured against the elements, it's a real positive sign that the owners intend to re-use it.

That building has such a great location on GCP, with Woodward on one side and Washington on the other, it could be such a gem.
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Oliverdouglas
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Username: Oliverdouglas

Post Number: 8
Registered: 02-2006
Posted From: 69.209.181.108
Posted on Tuesday, May 02, 2006 - 4:54 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Also a people mover stop right there.
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Bob
Member
Username: Bob

Post Number: 952
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 152.163.100.8
Posted on Tuesday, May 02, 2006 - 4:58 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The People Mover stop being attached is going to change. I'm not sure if the feds or state DOT is paying for it, but they're building a new station not attached to the building that is handicap accessable.
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Rsa
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Username: Rsa

Post Number: 839
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 69.217.228.163
Posted on Tuesday, May 02, 2006 - 5:12 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

i typed out a long recent history of the building, detailing the sale, plans, and future of the building in a thread talking about the aia storefront project for superbowl. i can't seem to please the search funtion < enough for it to find it for me. if anybody wants the scoop, maybe they could help appease the keyword gods...
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Ndavies
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Username: Ndavies

Post Number: 1786
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 129.9.163.105
Posted on Tuesday, May 02, 2006 - 5:21 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I don't think we'll see any movment on the Whitney building for some time. There are a huge bunch of condos that will need to be absorbed over the next 5 years. The Woodward Lofts, Merchant Row and the Kales will all be going condo one right after the other. They've all been rental up to now. The developers will want to cash out and sell all those units. We don't even know if there is enough of a market yet to absorb these soon to be for sale units.
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Dougw
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Username: Dougw

Post Number: 1114
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 136.1.1.33
Posted on Tuesday, May 02, 2006 - 6:18 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

True Ndavies, but wouldn't the Whitney have to start out as rental for 5 years anyway (to get the tax breaks)? As the other nearby buildings go condo, perhaps it could make up for a lost supply of rental units.

Great pics Mauser... never seen the inside of this one. Wow.
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Redetroit
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Username: Redetroit

Post Number: 17
Registered: 04-2005
Posted From: 152.163.100.8
Posted on Tuesday, May 02, 2006 - 7:55 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Detroitplanner, why don't you buy the building and turn away all the people that want to invest $400,000 into a Whitney loft and this city. That way you can let it continue to sit dark and vacant, while providing such wonderful tax revenues to the city that it is now (is it even providing any??), but you can be happy knowing those "people" aren't using up your city services. Just an idea....
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Wash_man
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Username: Wash_man

Post Number: 1
Registered: 05-2006
Posted From: 68.252.8.35
Posted on Tuesday, May 02, 2006 - 9:50 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

My first post! I have been lurking long enough. When I saw the thread about the Whitney Building I felt I had to share some thoughts. The current owner of the building, Becker Ventures, is headed by a man named in the attached link. I used to work for his former company, an automotive supplier. He is a very ambitious man who sold his auto supplier company to Johnson Controls, only to buy a portion of it back a short time later. He then merged/sold that portion to Collins & Aikman, another supplier (currently in bankruptcy). He has since set his sights on real estate development. Since this is my first post, I am not sure how to attach all the links, but if you search, you will also find he is also involved with Hard Rock Hotels in Chicago, NY and Europe. Just speculation on my part, but could he have similar plans for the Whitney Building? Sorry for rambling. I look forward to participating other discussions.

http://www.hotel-online.com/Ne ws/PR2003_4th/Oct03_HardRockCh icago.html
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Commodore64
Member
Username: Commodore64

Post Number: 204
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 71.65.11.254
Posted on Tuesday, May 02, 2006 - 10:23 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

What a jewel! Those pics are awesome!
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Motorcitymayor2026
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Username: Motorcitymayor2026

Post Number: 771
Registered: 10-2005
Posted From: 24.231.189.137
Posted on Tuesday, May 02, 2006 - 11:13 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Welcome to the Forum, Wash_Man....good info.
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Alexei289
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Username: Alexei289

Post Number: 1119
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 68.61.183.223
Posted on Wednesday, May 03, 2006 - 1:05 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

wow... I think that the witney building would be a great spot for residential development... high end apartments/condos... maybe some first floor retail (coffee n shit)... really tho, with the economy what it is, and the downtown market what it is, residential is really going to be the only draw to fill that space, and with such a beautiful atrium to attract people... i can see that being very viable. Just need the right developer to step forward.

I think residential is going to be the big redevelopment driver for downtown. i know many people looking for a decent, affordable place downtown that they get alot for the money. Most of those places are very overpriced and hard to get into... something that many people can live in for an affordable price (between 700-1200 month rent) or 150-250grand for a condo would do well and have alot of people in there.

Once the demand picks up, which a good supply can provide, in time prices will pick up as well. Its a longterm investent for anyone.
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Tomoh
Member
Username: Tomoh

Post Number: 171
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 24.148.60.142
Posted on Wednesday, May 03, 2006 - 1:23 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Detroitplanner, that man with the $20k aquarium who pays only $1000 in taxes doesn't actually exist. Unfortunately, the myth is too strong to keep it from being repeated.
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Deandub11
Member
Username: Deandub11

Post Number: 2
Registered: 05-2006
Posted From: 69.217.204.153
Posted on Wednesday, May 03, 2006 - 2:01 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

This is the email address for becker ventures from the website
info@becker-ventures.com
nag this guy until he gets something going
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Crew
Member
Username: Crew

Post Number: 946
Registered: 02-2004
Posted From: 146.9.52.17
Posted on Wednesday, May 03, 2006 - 10:38 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Becker paid $6 million for the David Whitney building and hasn't been able to put a plan together that makes fiscal sense. He talked about turning it into a Hard Rock Hotel but the numbers didn't work. I'm not sure if he has any immediate plans for the building but he won't let it sit forever.
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Detroitplanner
Member
Username: Detroitplanner

Post Number: 64
Registered: 04-2006
Posted From: 63.85.13.248
Posted on Wednesday, May 03, 2006 - 11:39 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hemingway:
"Places like these will either bring in new middle class or above residents or retain those that are looking at leaving the city. So that will at least help maintain, if not expand, the amount of income taxes the city takes in. If I remember correctly, the city takes in more money through income taxes rather than property taxes."

No disagreement with any thing you said there, but why stoke the income tax fire when that is one of the major hinderences in keeping people and jobs inside the City? I just think its very regressive that here we have all of these high-dollar developments getting property tax breaks while the working class neighborhoods get none. Its not quite right that I'm payinig significantly more in taxes on my little bungalow off of Warren and Southfield than the guy with the Riverview and 4,000 square feet.

I never complained about my property taxes being unfair until I read that in last month's paper.

TOMOH, oh he don't? Sorry it is only 3,300 square feet.
http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060409/METRO/604090310&SearchID=73243438374730


(Message edited by detroitplanner on May 03, 2006)
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Jt1
Member
Username: Jt1

Post Number: 7299
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 198.208.159.19
Posted on Wednesday, May 03, 2006 - 11:46 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

DP - The owner came onto the forum and called out the author for printing incorrect facts.

The taxes as the owner quoted where about 4-5 times higher than one of our resident hacks stated.

Can't believe everything in print.
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Redetroit
Member
Username: Redetroit

Post Number: 20
Registered: 04-2005
Posted From: 205.188.116.137
Posted on Wednesday, May 03, 2006 - 11:58 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

And on top of that, I don't think this is really an issue of your taxes "not being fair." We've been through this before on other threads. Do I think it's fair that your taxes are still so high? No I don't, you've been in this city for a lot longer than I have. But, if the city came up with some new tax abatement program even greater than what NEZers are getting now, and the Whitney and possibly other vacant buildings were redeveloped, would I complain....I can tell you right now, the answer is no. This city has too many vacant buildings to be questioning the abatements that bring these residents. I don't forsee too many people buying a new condo in the Whitney with $10,000 tax bills. It's just not gonna happen. You know what, nevermind, I'm just beating a dead horse.
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E_hemingway
Member
Username: E_hemingway

Post Number: 601
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 68.42.176.123
Posted on Wednesday, May 03, 2006 - 12:09 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

No, you can't believe everything you read in print. However, you should believe even less of what you read on an Internet forum. All I know about what Mr. Curis pays in taxes is what I read in The News, which has not published a correction, and what someone claiming to be Mr. Curis wrote on here. It could be that Mr. Curis' version is accurate. It could also be that what The News printed is accurate. I don't know. I'll never be sure until I see the tax bill.

But in the big picture, who cares? If you're paying less in taxes than me, good for you. I'm glad you're keeping more of your money. If anything it gives me a better argument for lowering my taxes. Property taxes are too high in this city anyway. The established neighborhood NEZ zones that will be implemented soon will help give everyone a break. More importantly they will raise property values and encourage more development that will increase the tax base.

I agree the income tax is a huge disincentive. But it's overall impact on people's pocketbooks is also quite overblown. Those income taxes are deductible from state taxes and not as much as imagined. I say eliminate the income tax and lower the property tax significantly, but do it slowly.
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Detroitplanner
Member
Username: Detroitplanner

Post Number: 65
Registered: 04-2006
Posted From: 63.85.13.248
Posted on Wednesday, May 03, 2006 - 12:22 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hemingway, I agree its overblown, especially since it is slowly shrinking. However, you do have to compete with the 'shift my cost of govt onto the other guy mentality' that is allowing Townships to prosper and is causing strains on sewer, roads, and transit services.

If I had to choose which one to drop first, I'd trop the income tax, as taxes paid on property are deducible. The best you can get on income taxes paid to the city is a tax credit on state taxes only, and its a relatively modest amount, at that.

I never saw that Curis guy's post. However, what about the lady with the riverfront house and the $40,000 break? If I was Curis, I'd be out to do damage control myself, I can't blame him for posting it, however Hemingway is right, you can't believe everything you read here either.
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Jt1
Member
Username: Jt1

Post Number: 7301
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 198.208.159.19
Posted on Wednesday, May 03, 2006 - 1:30 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Given the history and facts that I have known in the past I tend to believe the forum more than the 2 local rags.

The News and Freep are college level at best when it comes to fact checking.
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The_rock
Member
Username: The_rock

Post Number: 1215
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 68.42.251.225
Posted on Thursday, May 04, 2006 - 10:05 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Lots of doctors and dentists were tenants of the David Whitney Building in its great days---Dr. Reid and Horvath, orthopedics, Dr. Plotnick was a dermatologist, Dr. Reid was an opthalmologist,Dr. Reynolds a radiologist, and Dr. Hawthorne was a dentist. Dr. Black, Dr. Ryan, and two Dr. Pendys--the list goes on and on. No need for a"Beaumont doctor" back then.
Many of the DW physicians were staff members at Harper Hospital and Hutzel Hospital.
Ask your parents-I bet they knew or had personal physicians whose offices were located in this once elegant building.

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