Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2007 Excitement for Riverfront: development is progressing, investors say Previous Next
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Thejesus
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Username: Thejesus

Post Number: 923
Registered: 06-2006
Posted on Saturday, April 14, 2007 - 5:08 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

EXCITEMENT FOR RIVERFRONT: Development is progressing, investors say

April 14, 2007

BY MARGARITA BAUZA

FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER

Development along Detroit's riverfront is moving full-speed ahead, two of the city's biggest investors said Friday.

During a presentation at the Detroit Yacht Club, former Detroit Piston Dave Bing showed renderings of his $60-million housing project, the WaterMark, which is slated for completion in 2009.

The project is one of three condo developments chosen last year to fill sites once occupied by cement companies. Bing is the first to reach a development agreement with the city for the area.

"I think the riverfront is the most valuable property that the city of Detroit has, and it's pretty much undeveloped, especially from a housing standpoint," Bing told a packed house of developers and community members.

The buildings will include condos and townhomes, which will range from $400,000 to $1.2 million. There will be 112 units in the project, formerly known as Chene West.

Bing said the construction schedule is being finalized and ground could be broken in the fall.

On May 2, Bing will hold a news conference announcing partnerships with other major athletes and entrepreneurs investing in Detroit projects. After that, he will kick off a presales campaign.

"When you compare the Detroit riverfront to Chicago and Baltimore, we're way behind," Bing said. "But we have an international flavor that they don't have, and the river separates the U.S. from Canada. It's a wonderful resource that's totally underutilized."

Harbortown developer Ron Slavic was also a presenter at Friday's event. He spoke about the importance of rehabbing old buildings.

http://freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070414/BUSINESS06/704140358/1002/BUSINESS



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Lmichigan
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Username: Lmichigan

Post Number: 5361
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Saturday, April 14, 2007 - 7:33 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I wonder why Mr. Slavic stopped talking about his plans to add more towers to Harbortown?

Anyway, I'm glad they are keeping the hype up. Maybe, just maybe, things may finally live up to the grand vision for the Near East Riverfront. We've heard it all before, but this seems like a better time than ever before for this to happen, and I'm glad we have such committed local developers leading the charger. Perhaps, this will lead to leary outside investors taking a chance in the riverfront market. This has always been one of my favorite parts of the city. Dad used to take us to Chene Park often.
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Kathinozarks
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Username: Kathinozarks

Post Number: 364
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Saturday, April 14, 2007 - 8:09 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

In Ocho Rios, Jamaica, the gated, private resorts have taken over the beaches so that the local people can't enjoy it.

I'm hoping that doesn't happen in Detroit. Is it possible that upscale, gated communities will make the riverfront inaccessible to other Detroiters? Just asking.

Oh, and another question: Where are all these upscale 400k house-buying people going to work? Are they just waiting for housing? Again, no attitude or sarcasm or anything. Just interested in what Detroiters think.
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Lmichigan
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Username: Lmichigan

Post Number: 5362
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Saturday, April 14, 2007 - 9:23 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

There is a public riverwalk that is almost completed all the way to Belle Isle, with minimal interruption, so we don't have to worry about the riverfront being gated off besides those parts where it must go around existing private property.

When's the last time you've been down, there? If it's been, awhile, you'll probably be surprised.

Check out this map, it may help you see the public parts of the riverfront:

http://www.detroitriverfront.o rg/img_content/DRC/BK7PID39_la rge.jpg
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Scs100
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Username: Scs100

Post Number: 856
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Saturday, April 14, 2007 - 9:26 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

What are they going to do with the Uniroyal part of the Riverwalk?
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Fishtoes2000
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Username: Fishtoes2000

Post Number: 192
Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Saturday, April 14, 2007 - 9:31 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

From what I've seen, accessibility to the river is improving as a result. All these developments are integrated with the Riverwalk, which is open to the public. And you have a gated community like Harbortown which will now be open to Riverwalk users.
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Thejesus
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Username: Thejesus

Post Number: 926
Registered: 06-2006
Posted on Saturday, April 14, 2007 - 10:47 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"What are they going to do with the Uniroyal part of the Riverwalk?"

Supposedly Jerome Bettis and a developer named C.J. Betters are going to build this...

http://www.downtowndetroit.org /ddp/images/housing/Chene_East _Riverscene.jpg

http://www.downtowndetroit.org /ddp/images/housing/Chene_East .jpg

problem is, the land is very contaminated at the moment and the city and Betters/Bettis are trying to get the parties responsible for the site's contamination to pay for its remediation, which could take years...

Also, GM has had plans to develope "River East" since 2004, but no progress has been made...

http://www.rossetti.com/residential/river_east.html

Out of the 6 or so projects slated for the Riverfront, my guess is one, maybe two, will get built....

(Message edited by thejesus on April 14, 2007)
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Fishtoes2000
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Username: Fishtoes2000

Post Number: 193
Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Saturday, April 14, 2007 - 11:29 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thejesus: I suspect you're confusing Chene East and the Uniroyal site. I have not heard about contamination at the Chene East site. Bettis and Betters are developing both sites.
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Scs100
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Username: Scs100

Post Number: 862
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Saturday, April 14, 2007 - 11:32 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Good to know that project is not dead yet. I knew the sight was contaminated, which is why I asked that question. What I meant to say was, how are they going to extend the Riverwalk through the Uniroyal site? Are they going to bypass it for now, until the toxins are drained, or are they just going to go through it?
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Thejesus
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Username: Thejesus

Post Number: 927
Registered: 06-2006
Posted on Saturday, April 14, 2007 - 11:51 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

ahh my bad...I think I did confuse the two...
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Lmichigan
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Username: Lmichigan

Post Number: 5363
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Saturday, April 14, 2007 - 11:58 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Scs100,

Look at the map I posted. The riverwalk is going to go along the riverfront of the Uniroyal site.
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Scs100
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Username: Scs100

Post Number: 863
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Saturday, April 14, 2007 - 11:58 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

No, it was a very badly worded question on my part. I was wondering about the state of the Bettis project and you answered it, while I was also wondering what the Riverwalk people were going to do about the site.
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Scs100
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Username: Scs100

Post Number: 864
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Sunday, April 15, 2007 - 12:00 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I saw the map, what I meant was what are they going to do in the meantime? I know that in the future it will go in front, I was just wondering what they will do until the site can be worked on.
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Kathinozarks
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Username: Kathinozarks

Post Number: 366
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Sunday, April 15, 2007 - 12:43 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks, LMichigan.

It has been two years since I've been to the Detroit area, and although I was downtown I had no idea that this was being done.

I'm so happy the riverwalk is for everyone.
Thanks again!
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Royce
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Username: Royce

Post Number: 2182
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Sunday, April 15, 2007 - 2:50 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'm not happy with the fact that there doesn't appear to be a comprehensive or detailed plan for the area north of Atwater to Jefferson and west of Jos Campau to Rivard. There is no master plan that says this is going to go on Riopelle Street between Jefferson and Atwater and here are the developers who are going to develop it.

Most of the land is owned by the city so I don't understand what is taking them so long to make this area the "next" big project. The Riverwalk is planned, @water is planned, Tri-centennial Park is planned, but north of Atwater nothing appears to be planned.

Atlanta took an industrial site of a former steel mill and converted all 139 acres of it into a "mini-city" with offices, houses, shops, a movie theater, condos, parks. and underground parking. It's called Atlantic Station and they have a web site that advertises all that is happening there. The master plan called for where everything would go. In addition, this Atlantic Station has a website that markets itself.

Why isn't Detroit doing the same with the riverfront? Everything here is piece-meal, and the only thing that people might know about is the riverwalk because it markets itself.

However, the rest of us have to follow the newspapers or press releases to find out what's going on. Just like "Jefferson Village" advertises itself, signs should be saying "East Riverfront developement going up and new homes, shops, and condos start at..." Now, how will people know if the city wants them to live in this supposedly "new community" if people don't see any visible signs that anything is going on?@Water development does have a banner a long a fence in front of it, but that's all the advertising in this area that is visible.

BTW, what ever happened to all of the infrastructure upgrades the city was supposed to make for the riverfront area? Is the lack of this not being done holding up everything else?

(Message edited by royce on April 15, 2007)
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Lmichigan
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Username: Lmichigan

Post Number: 5366
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Sunday, April 15, 2007 - 4:49 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

What exactly does the city own north of Atwater? BTW, the city can't just make things happen. Someone has to want to buy and develop the land for them, that's how things work. Atlantic Station is working in Atlanta because Atlanta is booming. The city isn't building Atlantic Station.

I'd also challenge you on the idea that Detroit doesn't have a masterplan for the East Riverfront. In fact, they have a very detailed on, but you have to email or call the Planning Commission to find it. They have extensive plans, and all kinds of zoning for the area they call the Near East Riverfront.

I think you think the city owns more land in the area than they really do. Do a little bit more research into this. Things are moving forward. Perhaps, not as fast as you'd personally like, but they are, nonetheless.

(Message edited by lmichigan on April 15, 2007)
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Skulker
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Username: Skulker

Post Number: 3770
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Sunday, April 15, 2007 - 3:10 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

***sigh***

quote:

I'm not happy with the fact that there doesn't appear to be a comprehensive or detailed plan for the area north of Atwater to Jefferson and west of Jos Campau to Rivard. There is no master plan that says this is going to go on Riopelle Street between Jefferson and Atwater and [w]here are the developers who are going to develop it.



There is a comprehensive plan and it was developed by Cooper Robertson Partners, the same folks that did Battery Park and a good chunk of Torontos water front. Its over 200 pages and includes everything from design guidelines to market mix recommendations. As LMich said, call the CPC to get a copy.

quote:

Most of the land is owned by the city so I don't understand what is taking them so long to make this area the "next" big project. The Riverwalk is planned, @water is planned, Tri-centennial Park is planned, but north of Atwater nothing appears to be planned.



The city owns roughly 30% of the land in the area you describe and thats being generous. The @water lofts currently being marketed is the first phase of three. The other two are north of Atwater. The three parcels between Riopelle and Orleans were put out for bid and the City did not receive quality bids. They will be rebid once the Watermark and @water projects are up and running and there is a better understanding of the market demand.

quote:

BTW, what ever happened to all of the infrastructure upgrades the city was supposed to make for the riverfront area? Is the lack of this not being done holding up everything else?



Summer 07 will see the next phase of infrastructure work as contemplated in the master plan for the area. The pace of infrastructure has no bearing on the pace of construction at this point as developers are only now finishing their due diligence and understanding the costs and pricing of their projects.

While there may be some benefit to advertising and big banners and such, the City is a bit cash strapped and spending money to hang big banners is better spent on other things. Look for lots more advertising once the private development projects are fully funded.
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Royce
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Username: Royce

Post Number: 2183
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Sunday, April 15, 2007 - 3:18 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Skulker, I don't have the patience of Job so thanks for the info.

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