Sixteen-story condo and apartment project planned for Detroit's Greektown

Candice Williams
The Detroit News

Plans for a 16-story mixed use building are in the works for Greektown – the first residential units in the neighborhood in several decades.

According to plans submitted to the Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, the $64.6 million project, called The Exchange, will have 153 apartments and 12 condos. It will be at Gratiot, Brush and Macomb, which is currently the site of a surface parking lot.

Artistic rendering of the Exchange, a 16-story mixed-use building with 153 apartments and 12 condos that's planned for Greektown.

The developer is Southfield-based Gratiot Acquisition Partners LLC, which is associated with LIFTbuild, a company of Southfield-based general contractor Barton Malow.

The project will span five parcels totaling a half-acre. 

"It's just a tiny little corner on the edge of Greektown that reaches out to the central business district, too..." said Marisa Varga, senior director of project development for LIFTbuild. "It’s a really exciting location for the community and for people that want to come back into Greektown."

Varga said construction is expected to start in late September or early October and be completed by January 2022.

The developer seeks $2.8 million in brownfield tax increment financing, to be considered during a public hearing set June 24 before the Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, Varga said.

Artist rendering of the Exchange in Greektown. Retail and office space is planned for the first floor.

The developer is also seeking community feedback on the project through the Greektown Neighborhood Partnership, the Greater Downtown Business Association and the Downtown Detroit Partnership.

Twenty percent of the units will be set aside as affordable for lower-income residents.

The property will have retail and office space on the first floor. Vargas said that they are talking with a few retailers to bring a grab-and-go grocery concept to the project. 

The project plans come less than a year after the Greektown Neighborhood Partnership unveiled its goals for the neighborhood in a framework that called for residential units and retail as well as public parks and increased walkability.

More than half of the land in Greektown is surface parking lots, according to the partnership. One goal has been to develop several of those lots.

Melanie Markowicz, executive director of the Greektown Neighborhood Partnership, said her organization has been working with the developer on the project for the past year.

"Part of our strategic direction of the neighborhood is not only to diversify uses in the district to extend beyond entertainment with the introduction of residential, but also development of these parking lots will really aid in the creation of a vibrant public realm and connect disparate areas of downtown in what we think will be new and exciting ways," she said.

Markowicz said the development will complement Randolph Plaza, which sits nearby along Randolph, she said. In the fall, a portion of the street was raised in the first phase of the project. The partnership is now working with businesses Buffalo Wild Wings and The Well to create outdoor patios, she said.

"The Exchange really leads directly into it where we could have connected circulation and public realm for enjoyment," she said.

Twitter: @CWilliams_DN