With the dust of COVID-19 finally beginning to settle, commercial development in metro Detroit is once again bustling. Big plans are in store for several the area’s shopping malls and office buildings, many of which were left abandoned or under-utilized during the peak of the pandemic.
Read on to see what’s in store for notable sites like Fairlane Town Center, the United Artists building, The Oakland Mall and more in our summer development guide.
Dallas-based real estate firm Centennial bought Dearborn’s Fairlane Town Center in May. The company hopes to transform the sprawling property into a mixed-use development, offering shopping, housing and possibly medical services. The mall, which opened in 1976, is spread out over three floors, with 125 stores and a reported 83% occupancy rate as of February, according to the city of Dearborn.
A growing number of empty or underused metro Detroit office buildings, schools and motels — and even one abandoned department store — are being converted into new housing. Southfield is home to several such projects, including the former Northland Center Mall, John Grace Elementary School and Hawthorne Suites hotel.
The 18-story United Artists Theater Building, located at 150 Bagley St., will be transformed into a 148-unit residential building called the Residences @150 Bagley. The $75-million project is headed up by a Detroit-based and Black-led development team known as Bagley Development Group, whose members include Emmett Moten Jr. and Richard Hosey. The residence is scheduled to open in late 2023.
Real estate investor Mario Kiezi, who owns commercial properties in Ohio and Michigan, purchased the giant 1.5 million-square-foot Troy shopping mall in March. The 31-year-old Kiezi said he intends to gradually transform it into an “anti-mall” that will appeal to teens and feature new, unique and affordable entertainment options for families.
The Ralph C. Wilson Centennial Park is the final piece of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy’s plan to revitalize 5.5 miles of frontage along the Detroit River. The park, a $75 million investment, is stationed on the west side of the riverfront near the site of the former Joe Louis Arena and will consist of 22 acres of playscapes and recreational spaces.
Dan Gilbert’s plan for his real estate firm’s Hudson’s site development in downtown Detroit consists of two buildings: a skyscraper with luxury residences and a luxury hotel; and an 11-story mid-rise with more than 550,000 square feet of office space, exhibition space and ground-floor retail. The development, located at 1208 Woodward Ave., broke ground in December 2017 and is still under construction.
As of Mid-May, construction is officially underway on an upscale 318-unit housing development in Detroit’s Lafayette Park that is one of the larger pandemic-era residential developments in the city to get started. The $133 million Lafayette West, located at 1401 Rivard St. near I-375, will consist of six five-story buildings with a mix of 230 rental apartments and 88 for-purchase condos. It is scheduled to open in spring 2023.
The 25-story residential tower in Detroit that is now under construction at the former site of Joe Louis Arena could be finished as early as spring 2024. Early foundation work began at the site in February.