Local firm drafting master plan for former Brewster-Douglass site

Candice Williams
The Detroit News
The city released conceptual renderings based on their Douglass-Market Transformation Plan, which targets parts of Brush Park and Eastern Market for over 1,000 units of new housing and thousands of square feet of commercial space. Much of the housing will be built on the site of the former Brewster-Douglass projects, reimagined here.

A Detroit-based global architectural design and planning firm is drafting a master plan for the $300 million development of the former Brewster-Douglass housing project.

Matt Rossetti, president of Rossetti, announced Monday that Bedrock Detroit selected his firm to create the plan for the 22-acre site near Interstate 75 south of Mack Avenue near the Brush Park neighborhood.

“This is an ambitious project that will honor this neighborhood with a rich history, and we are proud to be part of it,” Rossetti said in a release. “The master plan considers all populations and need for amenities, high-quality public spaces and educational opportunities to the area’s existing and future residents.”

The development will include 913 apartments, condos and townhouses, catering to people of varying income levels as well as an 80-room hotel. Other development features include three acres of public space, 19,000 square feet of retail and 60,000 square feet of childhood education space.

“It was important to reintroduce the urban street network to this site and connect to the adjacent Brush Park neighborhood,” said Amy Chesterton, the director of Urban Planning at Rossetti.

The architecture firm also called on Seattle-based landscape architecture firm, Gustafson Guthrie Nichol, for assistance with the public spaces.

“The cornerstone of our planning work was centered around these spaces, and how they will benefit the neighborhood and its residents and impact their daily lives in a thriving, urban neighborhood,” Chesterton said.

Construction is expected to begin in summer 2019 and will likely be completed in multiple phases, according to Rossetti. The first units are expected to become available as early as 2021.

In July, the Detroit City Council approved a development agreement and commitment of $10.2 million toward the development. The approval came after the developer addressed concerns from some council members regarding the number of affordable housing units the development would have.

Bedrock has promised to designate more than 150 units as affordable, or 25 percent of the rental units on the site — whichever is greater. Those units would be affordable for at least 30 years, according to Bedrock’s affordable housing agreement with the City of Detroit in July 2017.

The Detroit Housing Commission previously entered a purchase agreement for $23 million with Douglass Acquisition Community, an affiliate of Bedrock.


Twitter: @CWilliams_DN