$20 million redevelopment unveiled for Selden Corridor

Candice Williams
The Detroit News

Detroit — A new $20 million project planned for the Selden Corridor in Midtown will feature mixed-income rental housing, a new public courtyard, flexible work and classroom space and a brewery training program.

644 Selden

Midtown Detroit Inc. and its partners Wednesday announced the $20 million investment for the Selden Corridor Initiative.

The project on Selden Street between Second Avenue and Fourth Street will bring new housing, a new restaurant as well as job opportunities and training to Midtown Detroit, officials said.

“The area has a lot of vacant buildings and vacant land, so the primary goal was to really activate the area with new uses,” said Sue Mosey, executive director of Midtown Detroit Inc., Wednesday during a gathering on Selden Street for the announcement.

The space will include mixed-income rental housing, a new public courtyard, flexible work and classroom space and a brewery training program.

Rental housing units at 644 Selden building will have 30 percent set aside for households at 60 percent of the median income. The median income for Wayne County is $48,100 annually for a one-person household, according to the Michigan State Housing and Development Authority.

Owners of Midtown’s Jolly Pumpkin Brewery will open a new restaurant, North Cookshop on the ground floor.

Capital Impact Partners, Detroit Development Fund and the Michigan Economic Development Corp. is funding the shell and core improvements for 644 Selden, according to Midtown Detroit Inc.

644 Selden

The Selden Courtyard next door will feature an outdoor screen and stage and Wi-Fi. It is funded through the New Economy Initiative, a development effort to build a regional network of support for entrepreneurs and small businesses.

A brewery school will offer education and training programs, including a bachelor’s degree in fermentation science through Eastern Michigan University. The college is the only one in Michigan and second in the country to offer the program, officials said.

The Fourth Street Ecohomes, a new building typography for the Midtown area, will be available for sale and include features such as rooftop solar panels, solar thermal hot water heating system and rain barrels. Midtown Detroit Inc. owns the lots and construction is already underway for the 14 homes. Funders of the Ecohomes include Invest Detroit, Midtown Detroit Inc., First Independence Bank, Enterprise Community Partners and Bank of Ann Arbor.

“We’re excited about the creative uses for the buildings that were highlighted today,” said Marcia Ventura, senior vice president of Invest Detroit, a community development financial institution.

Invest Detroit has worked with Midtown Detroit Inc. in the past on development projects, but primarily along Woodward, Ventura said.

“Now we’re looking back toward the Lodge and back toward the west edge of Midtown,” she said. “We think it’s exciting the development is heading in this direction.”

Permits have been pulled for 644 Selden and the Ecohomes.

Mosey said the Selden Corridor Initiative builds on other investments in the area including the Selden condominium development, Selden Green Alley, Selden Standard, Redmond Park and the renovation of the Finn apartments. It creates a link to other developments underway in the area including Founders Brewery, Jim Brady’s Detroit and the Detroit Shipping Company on Charlotte and Peterboro, she said.

“There are plenty of other people doing things around here, but there is still a lot of vacancy,” Mosey said. “We really felt this was a great opportunity to keep all the old buildings we love here and make all the different types of housing, all different income levels work in the neighborhood and just bring job training.”

Midtown Detroit Inc. is contributing funding for the development of an accelerator space that will target startup and early-stage creative businesses owned by women and minorities.

There will also be a Barcade, a combination bar and arcade that focuses on classic video games and American craft beer. It will open at 666 Selden.

“We are thrilled to be opening our first Midwest location in Midtown Detroit,” said Paul Kermizian, owner of Barcade. “Barcade will offer a fun atmosphere for adults to enjoy craft beer, food and play their favorite classic video games from the ’80s and ’90s.”

Midtown Detroit Inc. said it is confident it will be able to secure a loan it seeks to renovate 666 Selden, a former welding supply building.

Selden Brewery

“We really wanted to focus on new commercial tenants who were bringing something new like the new Barcade concept and then this education training program, the brewery school,” Mosey said. “That’s a high priority for us because we believe we can help people get into good jobs.”

All projects are expected to be complete by late fall 2018.

Around the corner at Jumbo’s Bar, owner Cindy Furkovich said Wednesday she expects new development in the area to boost property values. Furkovich said her family has owned and operated the bar on Third Avenue since her father opened it in 1940.

These days Furkovich says the bar gets foot and bike traffic from judges, lawyers, bartenders and people who work in the area.

“I’m sure I won’t be everybody’s cup of tea,” she said regarding the potential of new residents moving to the area. “I’m sure it will be good for business. I’ve been doing OK on my own.”

Twitter: CWilliams_DN