Prep Work to Start on $60 Million Residential Development in Lafayette Park - Sachse Construction
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Prep Work to Start on $60 Million Residential Development in Lafayette Park

Prep work for a $60 million to $70 million residential development in Lafayette Park is scheduled to begin in January after several months of amassing land and striking an important deal with soon-to-be neighbors.

Once complete, the high-end Pullman Parc would fill 4 acres of Detroit’s near east side with 180 apartments and 81 for-sale homes. The first move for developers is demolition of the empty Friends School at the site, which will begin next month. Utilities and road work will start this spring, and the project will go vertical starting this summer, said Randy Wertheimer, CEO of Hunter Pasteur Homes.

It is expected to be done by the first quarter of 2021.

Hunter Pasteur, a Farmington Hills-based homebuilder with many properties in the area, is completing the townhouses, carriage homes and corner flats. Detroit-based developers Broder & Sachse and Woodborn Partners are building the apartments.

“This is a historic neighborhood of Detroit on the rise, and we’re planning an exceptional housing development that meets the need for more residential options outside of the city’s central business district,” Richard Broder, CEO of Broder & Sachse, said in a written statement.

Several large residential projects have cropped up recently on the outskirts of downtown as the city enjoys a wave of investment and improving reputation as a place to live. Long-neglected areas, such as Brush Park, are being transformed by flashy, high-end developments out of reach for the average resident.

The Renato at Pullman Parc is a 180-unit apartment complex planned for Lafayette Park.

For the Pullman project, developers purchased the former Quaker school in Elmwood Park in March for $2.4 million, according to city property records. In September, the nearby St. John Presbyterian Church sold two quarter-acre parcels of land — one on the corner of St. Aubin and Lafayette streets, and the other behind the church — to developers for $1.3 million.

The historic black church, which has operated at 1961 E. Lafayette St. for more than 50 years, will stay intact. Wertheimer said a deal was reached with the church to buy pieces of land essential for the development.

“The church is remaining, and we look forward to being good neighbors,” he said.

Six-story apartment buildings will be erected along St. Aubin. Broder & Sachse said the layout of the units and pricing have not been finalized yet. Pre-leasing will begin in fall 2020.

The apartments will be called The Renato at Pullman Parc. Their design is inspired by the Pullman railcar. Minneapolis-based BKV Group Inc. is the architect, and Sachse Construction is the construction manager.

Details on the for-sale properties are more concrete. There will be 18 one-bedroom flats, with shared garages, ranging from 650 to 900 square feet. There will be 28 park homes, fronting a courtyard and composed of 1,300-1,800 square feet and 1-2 car garages. Lastly, there will be 35 townhomes, ranging from 1,600 to 3,000 square feet, with two-car garages and a rooftop deck.

The for-sale units are being designed by Chicago-based Studio Dwell and Boston-based Merge Architects, and the courtyard and green space is being handled by Northville-based landscapers Grissim Metz Andriese Associates.

The units will range from $250,000 to $900,000 and go on sale early next year.

Lafayette Park has been targeted with other high-profile projects. The long-vacant former Wayne State University pharmacy school, Shapero Hall, is being razed for a 374-unit residential development called Lafayette West. It is set to include 314 apartments and 60 for-sale condominiums, for which Hunter Pasteur is the construction manager.

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