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Detroit's former Fisher Body plant to be redeveloped into mixed-income housing

Detroit — The Fisher Body Plant 21, an historic factory and a symbol of blight for the last 25 years, is poised for redevelopment. 

Mayor Mike Duggan joined developers and city officials Monday to announce plans to turn the abandoned manufacturing facility into 400 mixed-income housing units.

The $134 million project, dubbed the Fisher 21 Lofts, is believed by city officials to be the largest African American-led project in Detroit's history. 

"It is very exciting to be able to save this historic landmark and put it to work for the residents of this city for decades to come," Duggan said Monday, standing with developers Gregory Jackson of Jackson Asset Management and Richard Hosey of Hosey Development. 

Plans were announced for the Fisher Body 21 factory, Monday, March 7, 2022.

The building, along the heavily traveled intersection of Interstates 94 and 75, will be reborn into 433 apartments with a new retail district, according to city officials.

Construction could begin as early as 2023, officials said. The project is pending City Council approval of the sale.

The project triggers the city’s community benefits ordinance, which requires developers to work out a benefits package for the community. The city's Planning & Development Department plans to begin meetings with residents next month. 

At least 20%, or 87 units, will be at or below 80% of the area median income. There will be a mix of studios, one- and two-bedroom apartments.

The retail district below is slated to have 28,000 square feet of commercial space and 15,000 square feet of co-working space. 

The rehab of the 600,000-square-foot building is expected to be completed in 2025.

The city said when it took title of the property in 2000, extensive environmental remediation work was done, including replacing soil and removing storage tanks.

Further remediation will involve the removal of lead and asbestos, officials said. The price tag for remediation has not yet been determined, Jackson and Hosey said Monday. 

Plans were announced for the Fisher Body 21 factory, Monday, March 7, 2022.

The project team is all Detroit-based and will be hiring city workers and contractors.

The development includes the primary building, at 6051 Hastings in Detroit's Medbury Park neighborhood, and two adjacent lots at 991 and 666 Harper, which will serve as parking lots for residents. 

Designers with architectural firm McIntosh Poris Associates plan for a 2-acre roof with views of the city, a quarter-mile walking track, indoor lounge, fitness center, dog areas and common space for residents. 

Financial closing and start of construction is slated for late next year. 

The abandoned Fisher Body Plant 21 in Detroit on Sunday, March 6, 2022. The facility is to be redeveloped into housing with a retail component.