Ilitches touted 6 housing buildings in The District Detroit in 2017; here’s where they stand today


Four years ago, the Detroit District announced a new residential development initiative with 686 units in six settlements. But four years later the buildings lag behind what was planned.

The District of Detroit called it “the largest single announcement of new housing, affordable units, and refurbished historic buildings in over 20 years.”

In 2017 and 2018, renovation and construction should start on all six developments.

According to a press release from the 2017 announcement, 139 of the buildings should be classified as affordable housing with no more than 80% of the region’s median income. The press release also stated that the projects had met Olympia Development’s goal of 20% affordable housing across the Detroit district.

“The Detroit District will be one of the most exciting places in the country to live,” said Christopher Ilitch, President and CEO of Ilitch Holdings, Inc. Action in an emerging city. “

The Ilitches recently declined to be interviewed on camera but referred us to a number of press releases including new tenants entering a newly built office building next to the arena and progress being made on the Eddystone. In a statement, they said, “It is not uncommon for the pace of development projects across the country, including Detroit, to change or change over time. This is due to a variety of reasons including community and market needs, demand, tenant interest, need for additional planning, and general economic conditions (including COVID-19). You can read your full statement under the graphics.

Use our slider tool below to see what the renders looked like and what they actually look like today.

The Alhambra (100 temples) – Renovations should start in 2018

The American (408 Temple) – Renovations should begin in 2018

The Arena Lofts (120 Henry) – construction was expected to start in 2017

The Eddystone (110 Sproat) – The renovation should start in 2018

One Eleven West (111 Henry) – Construction was expected to start in 2017

150 Bagley – Renovations should start in 2017

Full statement from The District Detroit and Olympia Development (ODM).

During the pandemic, Olympia Development of Michigan (ODM) continued its commitment to steady, balanced, and community-oriented development throughout the Detroit District. Notable achievements over the past year included:

● The recently completed state-of-the-art office building at 2715 Woodward, home to Warner, Norcross + Judd and the Boston Consulting Group.

● The former Eddystone Hotel, which will offer our community new affordable and market-driven housing and retail at street level as part of a historic renovation (scheduled for completion in 2021).

The ongoing restoration of the historic Women’s City Club, which will bring new commercial tenants and retail to the Detroit District (also scheduled for completion in 2021).

In addition, the pre-development activities for other important projects will continue:

We are continuing to review the historic renovation of several buildings on Henry Street, which, if approved by the City and State of Detroit, will bring marketable and affordable housing to just 30% of median income.

● The historic renovation of Residences @ 150 Bagley, the former United Artists building, which also includes affordable units, continues. Our development partner, the Bagley Development Group, has announced that construction will begin this year once the HUD loan process is complete.

● We are still examining the development options for 100 temples, 408 temples, as well as 110 and 120 henry

These recent projects build on several years of completed development in the Detroit District, including:

● Little Caesars Arena (the second largest arena in the country, behind Madison Square Garden, which, along with Comerica Park and Fox Theater, brings about 14 million people to the arena district each year, benefiting many local businesses).

● Chevrolet Plaza (public space).

● Google headquarters in Detroit.

● Little Caesars World Headquarters (Detroit’s first new corporate headquarters building in more than a decade, and only the seventh since 1950).

The Mike Ilitch School of Business (made possible in part by a $ 40 million donation to Wayne State University from Mr. and Mrs. Ilitch).

● Columbia Street (a pedestrianized street with several shops and restaurants, including Frita Batido’s).

● Additional shops and restaurants such as Starbucks and Tin Roof, a bar and restaurant with live entertainment.

ODM worked closely with city and state officials to create a plan that would make the arena possible while providing a significant return on investment for the city and residents.

It’s important to note that at the time of the groundbreaking in 2013, the city woke up from bankruptcy and development and investment nearly stalled.

ODM’s willingness to invest $ 450 million in the city at such a point (later rising to over $ 800 million) was a massive demonstration of capital support for the city. This has been recognized as extremely important by all parties including the finance manager, the DDA, and the state of Michigan.

While the funding of the arena included public incentives, all commitments (as verified by the DDA) related to the funding of the DDA’s own arena were met. In fact, the necessary ancillary development obligations were met years ahead of schedule.

The jobs and economic impact as a result of all of the above developments have been significant:

  • To date, more than 20,000 men and women have been hired in high-paid craft and construction, construction and permanent positions for these developments.
  • ODM contributed approximately $ 6 million in fees for human resource development funds that would provide skilled worker training to Detroiters.
  • Forty-three Detroit-based companies received 60 percent of the arena contracts valued at more than $ 530 million.
  • New businesses have and will find a home in the Arena neighborhood, including Google, the Detroit Pistons, Boston Consulting Group, Warner Norcross, and Judd, as well as retail stores like Tin Roof, Starbucks, The M Den, and more.

Due to the new construction in The District Detroit, the tax base in the Detroit Downtown Development Authority’s Catalyst Development District increased by an estimated 456 percent from 2013 to 2018.

It is not uncommon for the pace of development projects across the country, including Detroit, to change or change over time. This is due to a variety of reasons including community and market needs, demand, tenant interest, need for additional planning, and general economic conditions (including COVID-19).

ODM’s approach has been to prioritize or accelerate certain developments based on community and market needs, including but not limited to Women’s City Club, 2715 Woodward, and pre-development activities on Henry Street (all mentioned above).

We remain optimistic about our city and our communities and will continue our steady and balanced development throughout the Detroit District.


Dusty Kennedy