July 23, 2014 at 1:00 am

$8M in tax credits approved for Midtown development

The 'Hammer and Nail' once housed the offices of a carpenters' union, thus the neon signs. (Elizabeth Conley / The Detroit News)

Plans advanced Tuesday to raze a Woodward Avenue building in Midtown commonly called the “Hammer and Nail” because of its neon signs showing a hammer striking a nail on top of the 12-story tower.

On Tuesday, the project that would tear down the building at 3800 Woodward and the adjoining building at 3759 Woodward was approved for $8 million in tax credits by the Michigan Strategic Fund, which is part of the state government’s economic development agency.

The project is estimated at $73 million.

The buildings on the west side of Woodward are across the street from the Max M. Fisher Music Center and increasingly surrounded by upscale retail, such as Whole Foods Detroit, and other cultural offerings, including the overhauled Garden Theater block, which is home to a restored historical theater, apartments, retail and offices.

The development plan is to replace the two buildings with a five-story, 195,000-square-foot medical office building, with ground floor retail; a separate four story mixed-use commercial building; and a parking deck with more than 600 parking spaces, according to the Michigan Strategic Fund.

The “Hammer and Nail” once housed the offices of a carpenters’ union, thus the neon signs.

The building has a slight chance of surviving, according to the agenda of the Tuesday meeting of the strategic fund board.

“An investment entity has been looking at the twelve story building for possible renovation, but this possibility is speculative, and it is more likely that it will be subject to demolition and new construction,” the agenda item said.

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