The Historic Field To Be Saved Under These Plans Which Include Mixed Use And Community Development
Never underestimate the power of a community’s love for a historic site, especially when it’s combined with burgeoning economic development in the neighborhood. The old Tiger Stadium site is finally on its way to a second act as a retail, real estate and community center totaling a price tag of about $44 million for the project.
The Economic Development Corporation (EDC) named Larson Realty Group as developers for the Michigan and Trumbull location in Corktown.
Larson Realty Group is headed by Eric Larson, who is also the current CEO of the Downtown Detroit Partnership and formerly was with Bedrock Real Estate Services. No stranger to downtown development, Larson has been involved in redevelopment the A. Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education, One Detroit Center, the Millender Center, Orchestra Place and the Madison Theatre Building.
Included in the old Tiger Stadium plans are multi-story buildings that seems to be following the recent trend of ground floor retail space (30,000 square feet) and 126 residential units (141 if a higher density plan is approved), with 20% earmarked as “affordable.”
“Our project vision is to transform this storied site into an activated, mixed-use development that builds on the Corktown neighborhood’s vibrancy and history while providing economic opportunities for generations to come,” said Larson.
When it comes to the retail space, 60 percent will be subsidized in support of Detroit retail entrepreneurs. Partnerships with the Build Institute, the Detroit Black Chamber and Hatch Detroit aim to create a steady flow of businesses for the location.
Back to the community’s love for this site. The good news is that the Bennett Park/Navin Field/Tiger Stadium field is staying intact. The EDC also approved a plan and budget presented by Detroit PAL (Police Athletic League) and the Old Tiger Stadium Conservancy to develop the historic site, including the playing field. Project developers will restore the field complete with a gated entryway and ticket booth, lights, covered dugouts and seating for 2,500 spectators. PAL will also construct a 9,300 sq-ft headquarters building that will have a banquet facility overlooking the field.
“Detroit PAL is thrilled at the opportunity to redevelop the original Tiger Stadium field,” said Tim Richey, CEO of Detroit PAL. “This means a new sports complex and home for Detroit PAL, which will strengthen our service and mentorship programs for our 12,000 Detroit PAL youth athletes and 1,500 volunteers. This renewal project is also important in the revitalization and continued economic development of Detroit and its surrounding communities.”
All of this on the PAL side will cost about $11 million, With PAL using $3 million of the $3.8 million in Federal fundIing granted to the project. The remaining $8 million will be raised through grants and a fundraising campaign.
As far as the for-profit side of the development goes … if you ever wanted to own a piece of Tiger baseball history, this may be your chance. Individuals will be able to get their own piece of the development action for as little as $100. This will happen thanks to crowd sourced funding through Fundrise, a site and service that specializes in real estate investing. Whereas other services like Kickstarter or Indiegogo are basically a gift, Fundrise actually involves equity in the project. The plans anticipate that 10% of the total project cost will be crowdfunded. They expect that offer to open to investors in 2015.
As part of the agreement, all financing for the project must be raised by the end of 2015. Construction is expected to start in 2016.