$3B in construction projects fuel downtown Detroit’s growth

Dive Brief:

  • The city of Detroit has nearly $3 billion worth of developments under construction, with 25 more projects in the pipeline, according to a new report.
  • While many of the recently completed jobs focus on multifamily housing, the city also has an abundance of nonresidential projects under way or about to be under way, including the $250 million University of Michigan Center for Innovation and the Wayne County Justice Center, which the Detroit News reported will cost $598 million.
  • Data from Downtown Detroit Partnership’s report suggests that the Motor City may be on the upswing from challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The area’s population has increased 25% over the past decade, the report said, and the number of visitors has risen to pre-pandemic levels.

Dive Insight:

The report noted that Detroit will soon host a variety of high-profile events, including the Midwest Regional round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, and the Final Four of the tournament in 2027. It will also host the 2024 NFL Draft in April.

Hotel projects will meet the upcoming demand for visitors. Projects in the pipeline include the Huntington Place Convention Center Hotel and renovation project, and the recently completed Godfrey Hotel.

Some recently completed projects in downtown Detroit include:

  • Newlab at Michigan Central: The headquarters for Newlab Detroit, a hub for experts, scientists, engineers and others to build businesses in the city. The 270,000-square-foot complex was part of a $1 billion investment into the entire Michigan Central Campus. The Ford Motor Co. financed and developed the project.
  • Bagley Mobility Hub: The mobility center houses 1,250 parking spots, a testing area for autonomous vehicles, e-bikes and e-scooters, EV charging stations and smart guidance systems. The project was also a part of the Michigan Central Campus $1 billion investment, which Ford financed and developed.
  • Book Building Project: The two-pronged build featured a seven-year, nearly $400 million restoration of one of Detroit’s oldest skyscrapers. The location now features 229 apartments and Roost Detroit, an extended-stay apartment hotel with 117 rooms.

Considering the events of the past two decades, the new projects indicate that Detroit is on the rise. The 2008 recession walloped the famously auto-dependent city, which fell on hard times after, including a 2013 bankruptcy where it reported $18 billion in debt, per Vox. The pandemic also struck the city, though it’s making strides in recovery through investments into housing and office buildings that could drive growth, per Axios.

Earlier this March, local ABC affiliate WXYZ Detroit wrote that the city was undergoing a “major transformation” as a result of the construction boom.

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