Discuss Detroit » Archives - Beginning January 2007 » Lack of mixed-used development in Detroit Midtown « Previous Next »
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Username: Masterblaster

Post Number: 24
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Wednesday, April 04, 2007 - 10:43 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The Ellington at northeast corner of Mack and Woodward is a pretty good example of an urbane, mixed used (residential/office/commericia l)development that many other vibrant urban centers in the U.S. have plenty of.

However, outside of the downtown area (south of I-75), there is a little if any mixed use projects in NEW construction. For instance, the Crosswinds development at the northeast corner of I-75 and Woodward, and the brownstone/townhouse development on Woodward north of Grand Blvd are only residential.

BUT WOODWARD IS PRIMARILY A COMMERCIAL THOROUGHFARE! In addition, is not one of the great conveniences of ideal urban living is that residential and commercial are intertwined, so as to make for a walkable, vibrant environment. But it looks like only residential is being built in Brush Park and other areas of Midtown and hardly any stores attached to them.

Transforming Brush Park into a mixed use area like the Wayne State Dorms on Anthony Wayne Drive would be great for that neighborhood and make it more urban-like

Am I wrong and I am I just being bitchy? Or does anybody feel me.
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Username: Apbest

Post Number: 513
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Thursday, April 05, 2007 - 12:57 am:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

there are some retail establishments opeing Brush Park and the MidMed Lofts included the Midtown Cafe....also the new Wayne State development on Woodward is mixed use including retail portion in their new parking garage.

Additionally the Elmoore condo project at 2nd and Alexandrine includes the construction of a 5 story mixed use building, and the project's website emphasizes that aspect of the project
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Username: Mayor_sekou

Post Number: 667
Registered: 09-2006
Posted on Thursday, April 05, 2007 - 1:07 am:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

There are some developments that are mixed like WSU’s South village project being built right on Woodward. I agree that Brush Park like Corktown is out of place in its position so close to downtown. If the day ever comes that downtown expands outside of the ring of freeways I'm sure it will be a hell of a fight with preservationist who don’t want these oddball neighborhoods demolished, but oh well. I do think that all the neighborhoods within the Grand Blvd. core should be substantially denser than the rest of the city but as you drive around you will see that most of the new developments are of the boring single family home variety. Which is good in places but the core of our city should feel like a core of a major city, real ones not Phoenix, with zero setback and densities over 20,000 + per sq. mi. So I guess I agree with you a lot.

But give the area and the city in general time I am sure they will come around eventually, hopefully.
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Username: Royce

Post Number: 2169
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Thursday, April 05, 2007 - 6:35 am:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Masterblaster, I agree with you that the Ellington is a good example of a mixed-use development. Others that line Woodward or will line Woodward include the following: Addison, Garfield, Park Shelton, Crystal Lofts, South Village, and Vinton. The Carleton on Brush will have a restaurant/bar on its ground floor. I also agree that the Crosswinds' projects facing Woodward are poor choices for development along a commercial strip like Woodward.

Now, having these mixed-use type of developments on a major street like Woodward is fine, but I don't think it's desired every where, especially along side streets. Most of Brush Park should be residential. Woodward should have the bulk of the commericial/retail developments while streets like John R and Brush should have some commerical/retail at some intersections with those side streets.

Also, I don't think every one who wants to live in Brush Park or Midtown want to live above a commercial development. Gone are the days when a family owned a business on the ground floor and lived above it. There are some live/work developments in Birmingham, Canton, and a few other places, but they're multi-unit dwellings with retail on the ground floor, but all in one complex, similar to the Ellington.

Again, mixed-use is fine along major streets like Woodward, but I wouldn't expect it along side streets. I hope that when the City decides what they want to do with the west side of Woodard near I-75 that they decide to either go with all commericial/retail along Woodward or allow developments like the Ellington or South Village to line Woodward.
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Username: Detroitduo

Post Number: 821
Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Thursday, April 05, 2007 - 7:17 am:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It's funny, because all I read is, "Blah, blah, blah, blah..."
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Username: Charlottepaul

Post Number: 737
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Thursday, April 05, 2007 - 7:59 am:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Mixed use doesn't necessarily mean that there has to be several different types of usage in one building. It can also be used to refer to an area that is mixed use, where people can walk from their residence to work and/or to the local store. I do think that Midtown does have that going for it.

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