By Edward Cardenas
DETROIT (CBS Detroit) – A development company which has remade downtown Detroit is now looking to redevelop a historic neighborhood just outside the city’s stadium district.
Bedrock Development, which is affiliated with the Dan Gilbert’s Bedrock Realty Services, is among a group of partners with Brush Park Development Partners which will lead the development of an 8.4 acre, 47-parcel residential development that will include commercial, greenspace and redevelopment of four historic mansions.
City officials were joined by representatives of the neighborhood and developers to announce the development agreement for a four-block area of the historic Brush Park neighborhood, north of I-75 and east of Woodward.
“We are building a neighborhood that’s going to be available to everybody,” said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, at the project announcement.
Brush Park Development Partners was one of nine companies which responded to an RFP for the project, and estimate the cost of the development to be $70 million.
Developers are calling for 337 apartments, townhomes and flats – of which at least 20 percent will be affordable housing – along with the renovation of the four historic mansions which date back to the 1870s.
Residents in the area are anticipating the new development that the was once home to David Whitney, JL Hudson, and Albert Kahn.
Ron Butler, president of the Brush Park Condominium Association, has lived in the neighborhood for more than a decade and has seen the community survive the unsettled economic times and continue to thrive.
“It’s absolutely fantastic,” said Butler, who has lived in the condo complex on Woodward since it was built in 2000. “It’s so nice to see young people, all the energy coming into the area … all kinds of people from all walks of life are coming into the area.”
While Butler lives in one of the new condos, Vernette Byron moved into a century-old home 12 years ago with hopes for the area.
“I saw the potential because we had all these beautiful, lovely historic homes in here and I know that at some point in time someone had to do something with it,” said Byron, who called Brush Park the “Heart of the City.” “If you don’t have beautiful places in the city, you can’t have a city.”
The announcement comes on the heels of a development agreement for the historic Brewster Wheeler Recreation Center which will include new restaurants, community programs, up to 150 new residential units and a one-acre public green space.
City officials and developers stated that restoration on the historic houses is expected to begin this summer, and work on the new residential construction also is expected to begin by the end of 2015. The project is expected to be completed in 2017.