The proposal to build a boutique hotel, a high-rise residential building and a parking garage in Grand Circus Park downtown has been rejected by the city because another proposal for the empty land is being considered.
The Detroit Economic Growth Corp. turned down the first offer — which was announced Thursday — to build a hotel as part of the “Joie de Vivre” brand of San Francisco-based Commune Hotels and Resorts, along with residential and a parking garage. The empty land is the site of former Statler Hotel, which was demolished in 2005, on Washington Boulevard across from Grand Circus Park.
“The DEGC evaluated the proposal on behalf of the city of Detroit and the Downtown Development Authority and rejected it,” said Bob Rossbach, a spokesman for the DEGC, the quasi-public agency that handles economic development for the city. The Downtown Development Authority is a unit of the development agency. The agency cited a lack of “cohesive business plan,” Rossbach said.
He added the investors behind the spurned development plan were encouraged to look at other sites. The investors behind the proposal also have approached City Council and Mayor Mike Duggan. On Thursday, the group publicly revealed their idea after years of discussions with city officials.
“The DEGC has moved on to deal with another proposal for the site,” Rossbach said, who added it was too early to provide details for the alternate proposal.
The vacant site is part of the 45-block entertainment district that will be anchored by the new home arena for the Detroit Red Wings.
Downtown is experiencing a hotel boom with at least two new hotels already planned downtown, including the boutique hotel Aloft in Grand Circus Park.
The planned 45-block entertainment district generally reaches from Grand Circus Park to Charlotte in the Cass Corridor neighborhood, and between Woodward and Grand River avenues. In addition to the $450 million new home ice for the Wings on Woodward, the district is expected to bring another $200 million of new housing, bars, restaurants, parking garages and maybe a hotel. The locations and details of who will build all that new development hasn’t been announced.
One result has been a a rush on properties in the area, particularly in the Cass Corridor, where buyers have been scarce for decades. Garages, former flop houses and crumbling buildings have recently netted seven-figure offers from unidentified buyers, according to developers. Few of the prices are publicly recorded.
The 650,000-square-foot, 18,000-seat multipurpose arena is slated to be built on a patch of Woodward about four blocks north of the Fox Theatre and Comerica Park.