HGTV’s Nicole Curtis renovation of Ransom Gillis mansion eligible for Mich. film credits
HGTV will receive more than $200,000 in films incentives for documenting the renovation of the historic Ransom Gillis mansion in Brush Park.
Filming began last month at the mansion built in 1876 and an eight-part series will be broadcast nationally in prime time in November. The Michigan Film Office announced Thursday that the production company behind the project, New York-based Chasing Light Entertainment, would be eligible to receiving a $211,031 incentive.
The production company said it estimates spending $844,125 during production in Detroit while hiring 22 workers, including 12 Michigan residents. That equates to two full-time positions.
Beyond that, the show will bring national attention to the Brush Park residential district just a few blocks north of Ford Field and Comerica Park.
“The show shines a timely spotlight on the exciting residential developments in Detroit,” Jenell Leonard, commissioner of the Michigan Film Office, said in a statement. “We’re looking forward to the positive impact of the show, and especially supporting a project that highlights the revitalization of the state’s largest urban area.”
Earlier this summer, legislation was signed into law eliminating the program for film and digital media incentives. The film office said incentive agreements for the project were approved before this legislation took effect.
Quicken Loans is a partner on the project and is helping to foot part of the bill, although the company is not disclosing how much money it is contributing.
Spokesman Jordan Fylonenko confirmed that the film incentives will be strictly to HGTV’s production company.
A spokeswoman for Chasing Light Entertainment did not immediately return a request for comment Thursday afternoon.
Renovation work is moving full-speed ahead after Quicken and HGTV personality and Michigan native Nicole Curtis announced their plans late last month to completely renovate and restore the Ransom Gillis mansion as part of an ambitious mixed housing development for Brush Park.
During a media open house earlier this month, Curtis, a vocal preservationist and star of HGTV’s “Rehab Addict,” showed off the first and second floors with their exposed brick walls.. The renovations are being done room by room.
The mansion — named after a wholesale dry goods merchant and designed by architect Henry T. Brush in a Venetian Gothic style — has “gone through salvaging, it’s gone through fires,” Curtis said during the media open house. She said she first toured the mansion three years ago but couldn’t afford renovating it by herself.
“This house has really been through the worst of the worst. And anyone who has driven by it, just short of a decade ago, it was completely falling in,” she said at the time. “So the fact that we’re standing in this room is a miracle on its own.”
The project is the first part of a multi-phase mixed use development by the Brush Park Development Co. to rebuild an 8.4-acre tract of land in Brush Park, including restoring three other mansions and building new housing.
The Ransom Gillis mansion will be converted into two residential units — a 2,500-square-foot south unit with three bedrooms and 21/2 baths and a 1,900-square-foot north unit with two bedrooms, a den, and 21/2 baths.
The plan is to keep the house as historically accurate as possible but also include modern amenities, such as air conditioning and a second-floor washer and dryer.
The restoration — filmed for the next season of Curtis’ show, likely to air in November — is her third Detroit project.
Maureen Feighan contributed