Oxford board mulls proposal to put long gun safes in schools

$31M apartment complex to fill last ‘void’ in Midtown

Ian Thibodeau

Detroit — Developers will break ground this spring on a five-story, 110-unit apartment building planned for the last large vacant area on Woodward in Midtown.

The mixed-use development will be built on nearly two acres of space at 3439 Woodward, across from the Bonstelle Theatre. It will bring much-needed housing to the area about three blocks north of the new Little Caesars Arena.

Chris Jackson, Queen Lillian, LLC, partner, said the $31-million complex will have roughly 15,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space, two floors of parking and 11 affordable units. The apartment complex will be built on vacant land bounded by Woodward to the east, Stimson to the north, and an alleyway to the south. The site plan shows the building only stretching west halfway down the block, which ends at Cass.

Jackson also said the project, originally named The Mondrian, needed a name change. It might be called The Woodward at Midtown if no one owns the name already, he said.

“We’re filling a void,” Jackson said. “It’s a different demographic in that part of Midtown ... we’re filling the last gap that existed between downtown and all the other Midtown synergies. We’re excited.”

On Tuesday, the Michigan Strategic Fund approved more than $4 million in local and school tax captures to offset brownfield conditions at the site. The board also approved a $3.5-million Michigan Community Revitalization Program award to mitigate some development costs.

The project also received financing from the U.S. Department of Housing and the city of Detroit, Jackson said.

According to Michigan Strategic Fund documents, the development will create about 53 full-time jobs.

Originally, Jackson wanted to build office space at the site. Following prompts from city officials, Jackson and Jenkins changed their plans to bring housing to the neighborhood.

That was about four years ago. In November, Midtown Detroit Inc., Capitol Impact Partners, the Kresge Foundation and the Ford Foundation announced Stay Midtown, a rent subsidy program aimed at helping longtime residents brave the rent bubble in the booming part of the city.

The theory then was that the subsidies would help residents stick around until new housing could be built to meet high demand and effectively lower costs.

But rent for one- and two-bedroom apartments in Jackson’s complex will range from $1,365 per month to $2,310 per month, he said. Affordable units will be rented at 50 and 60 percent of the area’s median income, which is a lower rate than most developers in the city offer for affordable units.

The Woodward will sit diagonally across Woodward from The Scott at Brush Park, a swanky 200-unit apartment complex packed with amenities that recently opened.

Jackson said The Woodward will be finished around summer 2018.


Twitter: @Ian_Thibodeau