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HUD OKs sale of former Brewster-Douglass site to Bedrock affiliate for $23M

Candice Williams
The Detroit News
This artist rendering of the proposed development on the Brewster-Douglass site was released last July.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has approved the sale of the former Brewster-Douglass housing projects site in Detroit for $23 million to an affiliate of Dan Gilbert’s Bedrock.

The approval of the sale last month to Douglass Acquisition Community paves the way for what will become a $300-million mixed-use development. The site sits near Interstate 75, south of Mack Avenue in the Brush Park area.

“We are still working through our due diligence inspections on the Brewster-Douglass site and expect to close in early fall,” Bedrock said in a statement Monday.

HUD’s approval comes nearly a year after the Detroit City Council approved last July a development agreement and commitment of $10.2 million toward the development.

The Detroit Housing Commission had previously entered the purchase agreement for $23 million with Douglass Acquisition Community, an affiliate of Bedrock. The nearly 19-acre site was approved for $11.7 million in September 2017, according to HUD’s approval letter.

Remediation of the site is expected to cost no more than $4 million, according to the letter. This will give the Detroit Housing Commission $19 million in proceeds that officials have said will be used toward improving its low-income housing sites.

Last fall, Detroit-based global architectural design and planning firm Rossetti announced it was drafting a master plan for the development. At the time, the first units were expected to become available as early as 2021.

Bedrock has partnered with Detroit-based developer Woodborn Partners and New York-based developer Jonathan Rose Companies for the project.

Developers previously announced the project to 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.

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

Officials have said that more than 150 units will be designated 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.

Twitter: @CWilliams_DN