The investment and activity on the east side of the city of Detroit along Jefferson continues to heat up.
The latest is that the Big Boy at the corner of East Jefferson and East Grand Boulevard at the foot of the bridge to Belle Isle has been purchased by The Platform, an investment group that includes Peter Cummings.
If you remember, Cummings was behind the Whole Foods in Midtown and also is part of the team that recently purchased the iconic Fisher Building. The Platform is also doing projects in Old Redford and New Center.
There are a few parts to this, so let’s walk through them.
The Big Boy is going to be demolished after Easter Sunday, as it’s been purchased by The Platform from property developer and restaurant company Curis Enterprises.
“I’d like to thank all of our customers and employees for their support and service over the 50 years that we’ve been in business,” said Michael Curis, president of the company, in a release. “We are going to do everything we can to look out for our Big Boy family and make sure they find work elsewhere.”
Curis Enterprises is also offering all employees at the location am undisclosed bonus as a thank you for their service to Big Boy and their customers.
The soon to be demolished restaurant sits on roughly a one acre site that’s in a prime position considering all the activity that’s starting to happen, including the completion of the RiverFront walkway connecting Gabriel Richard Park and Belle Isle.
Now let’s get into the historic places. A former nursing home and a couple of houses are on the five lots. We went and checked them out, so the pictures you see that go with this are from today.
The former nursing home at 130 E. Grand Blvd. was built in 1898 and designed by Louis Kamper. He’s the architect of the Book-Cadillac Hotel, Book and Broderick towers.
Three other historic properties will also see rehabilitation, and there will also be new construction.
The Platform has entered into an agreement with intention to acquire five parcels from the Detroit Land Bank Authority on East Grand Boulevard between East Jefferson Avenue and Congress Street.
“The Islandview neighborhood is poised for great things. The Platform is committed to equitable development and ensuring that all Detroiters are included in the city’s future,” said Peter Cummings, co-principal of The Platform, noting that affordable housing is included in the plans.
For the developers, this project is personal as one is a parishoner of a church that’s just down the street, Church of the Messiah Episcopal Church.
Dietrich Knoer, co-principal of The Platform, also chairs the board of “BLVD Harambee,” the neighborhood youth organization of the church.
“Islandview is a beautiful neighborhood located around the important intersection of Jefferson and Grand Boulevard and surrounded by amazing public amenities, such as Belle Isle, Gabriel Richard Park, and soon the RiverWalk, when it is extended to Belle Isle,” Knoer said. “We care about the community that we work in and remain committed to celebrating Detroit neighborhoods by making them the great places to live that they deserve to be.”
Detroit-based Hamilton Anderson Associates is the architect on the project.
For more background on the east side, check out: