11 Projects Happening In Detroit That Are Not The New Red Wings Arena

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3350 Cass Development Project

If you still think the only thing worth visiting in Detroit are the sports teams, think again. The area within a few miles of the in-progress arena has more cranes and construction equipment than in recent memory. New retail, new apartments and condos, and a church project. Detroit is not out of the woods when it comes to challenges, but there are signs of progress.

This list isn’t comprehensive – there’s a lot going on, and there will be more projects that fire up as the weather gets warmer. For today, since we mention the new arena underway that gets a ton of coverage, we thought we’d focus on things that are a within a relatively close distance – say, an easy bike ride.

1. Mosaic Midtown Church

Mosaic Midtown Church

This will become the permanent home of the Mosaic Midtown Church. They expect to move into this building at 80 W. Alexandrine in June.

2. The Plaza Midtown

The Plaza in Midtown Detroit under construction

The $21.1 million project at 3800 Woodward across from Orchestra Hall is expected to include 72 apartments and 2,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space.

3. The Griswold

The Griswold under construction

The first new apartment construction downtown in years, the project was delayed due to the recession but is now in full swing. The 80-unit, $24 million project being built atop the parking garage of the Book Cadillac Hotel and Residences should be complete by the end of the year.

4. The 751 (Formerly Olde Building)


A rehab is underway on this old corner of Detroit near Campus Martius on Griswold and West Lafayette built in 1924. The plan is retail and office space. Before purchase, the building was vacant for a whopping 17 years.

5. The James Scott Mansion

James Scott Mansion at Park and Peterboro.

Soon, you’ll be able to live in the mansion of the guy the Scott Fountain on Belle Isle was named after. James Scott was a controversial character, but there’s no doubt that his house was gorgeous in its heyday. Developer Joel Landy is doing the $6 million, 18-month project that will have 27 apartments and a small retail space.

6. The Scott

At the end of the block from the James Scott mansion, at Peterboro and Woodward, is an even larger Scott project. Containing 199 units, it sprawls across most of an entire city block. It will have private underground parking, bike storage, fitness center, private library, and conference center and 24/7 concierge.

7. Brush Park Detroit

Ransom Gillis House

The 8.4 acre Brush Park Detroit that’s revving up this spring will have around 400 residential units when it’s done, comprising of many new buildings but also a few restorations of old. The famous Ransom Gillis house, highlighted on HGTV, is actually part of this $70 million project. 20% of the units will be set aside as affordable according to the Mayor’s office.

8. Ducharme Place

Ducharme Place under construction on Lafayette in Detroit.

A couple of blocks over the I-375 freeway from Greektown on East Lafayette is Ducharme Place. It’s a four building, $45 million project expected to be complete in 2017, with rents of $900-$1,800 a month for apartments ranging 500 to 1,100 square feet.

9. Orleans Landing

Orleans Landing under construction in Detroit

This is new construction right near the Detroit riverfront, just down the Dequindre Cut from Ducharme. The $65 million project will have 278 residential units and something around 10,000 square feet of retail, as well as a swimming pool, fitness center, community center, and bike storage.

10. 3350 Cass + 149 Davenport 

3350 Cass Development Project

This is project actually two buildings, even though one is pictured above, as part of the same low-income development. Headed up by the Cass Corridor Neighborhood Development Corporation, this is a $16.7 million project will become 47 low-income housing units at the corner of Cass and Martin Luther King Boulevard.  The building on Davenport was built in 1918, and the one on Cass (pictured) in 1924.

11. The Strathmore

The Strathmore under Construction in Midtown

And so we end this sampling of projects back where we started, with a building next to the Mosaic Church. The Strathmore, within steps of Great Lakes Coffee, the Detroit Medical Center and lots more, is coming back to life after a decade of abandonment. The 1924 building will be 40% affordable housing, and will have 129 units as part of a $28 million renovation. There also will be retail on the ground floor.

  • Well that’s all great except for one big thing. Most of these projects are Not employing any detroiters to renovate/build them! Only the union projects have signed agreements to use 51% residents in their construction.. These have no such requirement. On a recent walk through I personally seen contractors from Grand Rapids, Lansing, and some thumb based contractors. I seen out of state plates at a couple of the lots where they were parking. How is Detroit going to rise from the ashes when you don’t hire Detroit’s residents? Take a walk near them yourself you will see the same. What a waste.

    • It’s too bad you can’t be happy about major projects taking place in Detroit. Many Detroit based contractors are doing projects in the city and the surrounding areas. You should stop complaining or trolling and appreciate how much is going on in Detroit. While you’re at it, mix in a grammar lesson.

      • Yeah, look at this complainer, trying to make sure development going on in the city helps to serve the people that live there!

    • I’m not allowed to work hard and feed my family because I don’t live in the city?

      MUST I work at McDonalds or the dollar store (all that’s in my town)

      BTW: I run one of these jobs. 100% NON-union. 80% of my guys are from the city.

      • and i’m sure your being paid prevailing wage too, well your contractor is getting that money anyway

  • I feel anyone should be able to have a part in Detroit regardless if they are from here or not! Let the city rise up from all different people all over the world! That will bring more people here, diversity and more culture to the city!! I am stoked for all the improvements!! woot woot!!! Lets go Detroit!!! 🙂

  • Hey Ron,

    Ron: Would Detroit be better without these developments entirely? You make it sound like there are no benefits in these fantastic renovations and new builds on account of where the builders live. These places will be occupied by middle and upper-middle income residents who will pay taxes, prop up local businesses and stem some of the city’s population drain. Quit bitching already.

    • Ron never mentioned anything about not wanting the buildings or renovations themselves, he’s simply advocating that Detroiters be included in the workforce. You should try to better understand what you read before commenting and using foul language, it makes people wonder…

  • I understand the complaint about local workers. But, I also know the costs and delays associated with ensuring and monitoring the “locality’ of all the hired workers. I trust there are very talented people working on these projects and that their bids were very fair. In a state-wide pseudo-capitalist reality, we’re doing alright. Having lived in almost ALL of these neighborhoods for over 5 years, I can tell you that everyone welcomes the construction and new neighbors. Detroit is no longer an insulated enclave rotting from the inside. It’s a world-player employing talent from all over the region. This is not a home-baked apple pie for the neighbor. It’s a billion dollar regional hub being risen from the ashes comparatively overnight.

  • This is wonderful, however I hope that jobs with decent pay come along with all of the new businesses and housing. I would return back to Detroit in a heart beat if I can love and work effectively and in a safe environment.

  • No offense, but for years we’ve been hearing about how people leaving Detroit, how it’s all racially motivated. How no one wants to come and live or work in Detroit because, fundamentally, they don’t feel safe. Now you belittle people who live elsewhere in this state for coming in to rebuild it when your “native Detroiters” have all but abandoned it? What gives? I work for one of the railroads in greater Detroit (Livernois and Rouge areas) and currently drive in from what you obviously consider the hated “Thumb.” Will this always be the case? I’d like to think not. I’m seriously looking at moving here at some point….which guess what, would make me, already a person paying taxes to this City, a FURTHER taxpayer. But when I hear the kind of comments folks like Ron make, why would I want to? To attack current “outside” workers simply reinforces old stereotypes: namely that many current residents don’t want help, unless it’s given to them with no questions asked. Guess what? Times are changing. You can either embrace that fact, or not.

  • I’m all for employing local residents. But you have to ask yourself, how many of the local residents have the skills to work on these projects? Not too many of them have graduated from high school or even college. How do you train someone who is untrainable. Can’t do math, read a tape measure, or show up to work on a regular basis. Would you hire these people?

    • Olympia and the DESC had career expos around the city in 2014 for the building of the new arena. They specifically targeted Detroit residents because Olympia had to have 51% of the jobs going to Detroiters. There was plenty of opportunities for those that cared.

  • When the economy tanked , so many people in the building trades left Michigan. Some of these buildings need some pretty specialized skills to rebuild. Detroit doesn’t have enough of theses types of workers to do this volume of work. Be glad that everyone in Michigan is helping to make Detroit a great place again.

  • All this their describing is for the white people can come slowly take back a city all of these devolopments are being put up where they’ve already started taking over and the only reason their building that low income apartment is because it’s right next to roughly all of these locations and every detroiter knows that Martin Luther King and Cass ave is where all the homeless people live therfore pushing them out of the community building a low income housing units all to benefit the white man’s takeover of our city wake up detroit

    • I think others were pushed out before the current majority made the claims

    • You’ve been running the city for over five decades now and it ended up bankrupt. Be thankful people like Ilitch and Gilbert are trying to bring it back. Your boy Kwame ran the city into the ground and look who had to come in and clean up his mess.

      • It would be wonderful if you had your facts before you comment. It took more than the few years that Mr. Kirkpatrick was in office to run this city down. The city was on a decline before Coeman A. Young became Mayor. If you know your history you would know that there was a thing that happened called WHITE FLIGHT when Young became Mayor. But I digress this is not about Black or White this is about the City being rebuilt. I am happy to see all of the Construction that is being done in the City. And, in a perfect world I would love to see Detroit Residents doing the work, but only if they are qualified to do it correctly. Now someone asked how can Residents of Detroit do the work if they are not educated? The Answer is Simple: TEACH THEM!

  • Affordable housing is essential for Detroit to be a true home to residents. I’m encouraged

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