In Detroit development news this week, the heavy hitters seem to be dragging their heels on big projects (looking at you, University of Michigan and Bedrock), while a flurry of smaller business openings, retail rehabs and streetscape upgrades are adding up in a big way on the eastside. 

Here’s your weekly recap of Detroit development news, with updates on another Midtown demolition, the community benefits process for Henry Ford Health’s proposed expansion, apartments coming soon in Corktown and more.  

Looming deadline

The University of Michigan (U-M) needs to break ground on its Center for Innovation downtown to receive the $100 million earmark it is eligible for in the state’s budget. At a U-M Board of Regents meeting last week, however, it didn’t approve (or even discuss) a development proposal — a necessary step before construction can begin. There are two regents meetings scheduled before the year-end deadline. The building is expected to cost $250 million and be a workforce hub and satellite campus with technology-focused instruction. (Outlier Media, Detroit Free Press)

Spend money to make money

The city celebrated more than $35 million in investments in the East Warren corridor at an event last week. The money has been spent on grants for business, a parking lot that can also function as a public plaza, restoring storefronts, streetscape improvements and upgrading Balduck Park. The Strategic Neighborhood Fund contributed $21 million in an area that includes Morningside, East English Village and Cornerstone Village. The money is spurring on the opening of a bookstore, coffee shop, farmers market and Baobab Fare’s second restaurant. 

A survey conducted by E. Warren Development Corp. in 2017 found retail occupancy was just under 40%. Today it’s at 55% and the nonprofit hopes to see it rise to 90% in the next five years. A little farther south, the city has tapped the Eastside Community Network to help with the planning process for redeveloping the streetscape of Mack Avenue. (Detroit News, Model D)

Justice delayed

Wayne County said months ago that delays in opening its Criminal Justice Center in Detroit are straining the county’s resources. It declared a state of emergency at the existing Juvenile Detention Facility in March due to overcrowding and other issues. Dan Gilbert’s firm Bedrock Detroit said it reached “substantial completion” of the facility on Aug. 21 and that it would be ready to open in four to six weeks. 

However, the county says a number of items still need to be addressed before opening. Bedrock had already missed two deadlines to reach that milestone constructing the almost $609 million center. The county is looking to complete its own move into the complex six months after Bedrock finishes construction. (BridgeDetroit, Freep)

Best of the rest

If you want to participate in the community benefits process for Henry Ford Health’s proposed $2.9 billion hospital campus, show up Oct. 3 to University Preparatory Academy High School — Ed Parks Campus at 6 p.m. Read more information about the meeting and process. (Crain’s Detroit Business, City of Detroit)

The 195-unit building called the Perennial Corktown on Michigan Avenue is set to open in December. The developer calls the building “elevated” amenity living, and tenants will have access to a fitness center and a 10,000-square-foot pool deck. (Detroit News)

Machine sprays over a parcel full of bricks and rubble surrounded by buildings, with construction vehicles on the site.
Demolition of the Chapel of St. Theresa, the Little Flower. Photo credit: Noah Kincade

The Chapel of St. Theresa, the Little Flower (aka St. Patrick’s Church) in Midtown was just demolished. The church was designed by Donaldson & Meier and opened in 1926. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1997, but its last church service was in 2015. (Urbanize Detroit)

Aaron (he/him) believes in telling true stories about real people. He doesn’t think there’s anything better than a crisp fall afternoon at the Detroit Jazz Fest.