First tenants to move into The Corner at former Tiger Stadium site

Candice Williams
The Detroit News

The first group of tenants are expected to move in next week into The Corner, a nearly completed $37 million mixed-use development on the former site of Tiger Stadium in Corktown.

The development at Trumbull and Michigan Avenue features 111 residential units and 27,000-square-feet of commercial space. Preleasing is at 40% for a mix of affordable housing and market-rate residential units, developers said.

“There’s tremendous activity and excitement happening in Corktown, and we have a really tasteful, well-positioned product,” said Eric Larson, president and CEO of Larson Realty Group, on Monday during a tour of the project.

Larson’s Bloomfield Hills-based company is developing the site, which is expected to have its final building inspection this week.

This is the interior of a one bedroom unit, with The Corner Ballpark reflected in the sliding glass doors.

Officials broke ground on the site in May 2018, when it began constructing the bottom retail floor that would support the three residential floors of modular units above. Those residential units were constructed off site and set into place last fall, Larson said.

The modular units have complete interiors equipped with kitchen appliances and stackable washer and dryers. Each unit has a balcony; some of the units have larger walkout balconies.

Use of modular units has been used a lot in European cities and allows for components of all floors to be built simultaneously, shortening the construction timeline, Larson said.

Troy-based Champion Homes manufactures the units, ranging from studio to two-bedroom apartments. There is affordable housing for 20% of the units as well as below-market rental rates for small businesses.

The average apartment will be about 434 square feet for a studio and 1,690 square feet for a two-bedroom unit. Rents will start at $950 for an affordable-rate studio to $1,050 monthly for market-rate units. The two-bedroom units will be just under $1,200 for the affordable-rate option and max out at $2,700 monthly.

“We’re seeing our residents come in from other areas within the Detroit market as well as from suburbs, out of state, and really honing in on what that resident is looking for,” said Karen Matkovich, senior area director of Village Green, which is handling leasing and operations for The Corner. “It’s not as much about focusing in on the amenities for the building, but the building as a part of the community.”

This is the interior of a one bedroom unit at The Corner apartments.

The Corner was chosen after the Detroit Economic Growth Corp. helped the city selectdevelopers for redevelopment of the former Tiger Stadium site.

In addition to The Corner development there is the Detroit Police Athletic Complex which opened in March 2018. Residential units have views of Trumbull, Michigan Avenue or the baseball field. In some units, tenants will have two of those views.

The Detroit Economic Growth Corp.'s small-business team worked with Larson’s company to identify small local businesses. So far 10 of the 12 spaces have been committed, although leases have not been finalized. Already announced for the retail spaces are nonprofit Build Institute and healthcare provider Plum Health.

Other businesses to be announce soon will include food and beverage, fitness, clothing and financial services, Larson said.

About 60% of the commercial space will have rents set at 50% of market rate. Commercial rents in the area range from $22 to $35 a square foot monthly, while the affordable commercial space will be available for $10 to $12 a square foot, Larson said.

“We’re really gearing that to small local businesses,” he said. “Part of that is really making sure that we’re being thoughtful about the surrounding community. Corktown has such an organic, local-grown place, and we want to make sure we’re replicating that." 

The development is among other housing options popping up in the Corktown area near Tiger Stadium.

The Elton Park project across the street has opened its first phase to residential tenants.

Next door, Larson's The Towns at the Corner is an option for home buyers with prices in the $400,000 range for about 1,500 square feet and a two-car garage. That development is being done in  partnership with Bloomfield Hills-based Robertson Homes.

So far 25 of the 34 townhouses have been purchased, Larson said, adding that he expects all of those homes to be sold by spring of 2020.

Twitter: @CWilliams_DN