DETROIT (WWJ) – Work currently is underway to finish a project 10 years in the making — the restoration of The Woodward Avenue Garden Theatre.

Built in the early 1900s, the theater is sandwiched on the blighted block of Woodward Avenue between Alexandrine and Selden streets in Midtown. It was the first theatre to be built outside of downtown Detroit, and is one of the final phases of the prolonged project to revitalize the Midtown stretch of Woodward.

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Zachery and Associates President Ernest Zachery said acquiring the funds for the project has been difficult, but worthwhile.

“We only make the numbers work with a lot of help from community related organizations,” he said.  “We’ve had a lot of help from a lot of nonprofits that are in business to help cities like Detroit.”

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Along with the theatre restoration, Woodward Garden Block Development partner George Stewart said there are plans to build a five-story complex right next door.

“Our plan is to convert (the theatre) into a live entertainment venue,” he said. “Next door to that building we plan to build a five story development building.”

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Stewart said the building will include commercial and retail space as well as apartments.