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Developers plan to open a brand new 11-story luxury condominium complex in downtown Detroit by 2018. Known as The Ashton Detroit, the 83-unit facility will be the first freestanding condo complex built downtown in 20 years.

Once finished, the project on the west end of downtown will stand in what’s currently a parking lot behind the former WWJ building at 600 W. Lafayette, which now houses the Michigan American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 25. Construction on the building will start next year, and is expected to be ready for occupancy by 2018.

Eric Means, CEO of Detroit-based Means Group, is heading up the $35 million project.

Greg Bowens, spokesman for the project, said the existing building on the property will be turned into office space. The AFSCME council, which currently occupies part of the building, currently has a one-year lease on the building. Bowens did not say if the lease would be renewed.

“We are pleased to have the opportunity to bring more living space to downtown Detroit,” Means said in a news release. “This historic project will build upon the legacy of the former home of WWJ and Michigan AFSCME Council 25 by retaining the historic architecture. Our goal is to create exciting living spaces adjacent to the existing structure that will offer spectacular views of downtown, the Ambassador Bridge and the Detroit River.”

Means is partnering with The Resendes Design Group and the Holdwick Development Group on the project. Means is also involved in the historic renovation and adaptive reuse of the Metropolitan Building downtown. The developers have several decades’ experience between the three groups.

Ashton units will have floor-to-ceiling windows. Three floors of the condo building will be used for parking for the office space and condos.

Five of the units will be penthouses. The complex will have a pool, fitness center and ground-floor retail space. Bowens said units will range from 1,500 square feet to 2,200 square feet; multiple units can be combined into one condo.

There will be views of the Detroit River from every condo, he said.

“It will be luxury living in Detroit,” Bowens said. He was not able to give a price point. Once the building is finished in 2018, the developers will let the market and demand dictate how much they sell each unit for.

The development site is next to the WDIV studios, and across Lafayette from the former home of The Detroit News.

The Ashton has to go through the permitting process with the City of Detroit. Means and the development partners bought the building in early August.

ithibodeau@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @Ian_Thibodeau

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