Detroit Developers Scaling Back Ambitions

The market and construction costs are taking a toll on development ambitions in Detroit.

2 minute read

January 31, 2020, 6:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Detroit, Michigan

J Dennis / Shutterstock

The Michigan Opera Theatre had hoped to develop a 480-foot high-rise on property it owns in downtown, but after releasing a request for proposals in April 2019, the project has been quiet. This week, that silence turned into an indefinite delay, according to an article by Kirk Pinho.

Erica Hobbs, communications manager for Michigan Opera Theatre, released a statement citing market conditions as the reason for scrapping the development plans.

"Michigan Opera Theatre's April request for proposals said it wants to increase revenue through a ground lease of the property and increase the revenue brought in by its 700-space parking deck built in 2005," according to Pinho.

The defunct 34-story builing would have been built on an 0.8-acre surface parking lot located "next to the Detroit Opera House and the seven-story Detroit Opera House Parking Center at the corner of Broadway and John R streets."

Pinho also notes that several other buildings planned for Detroit's downtown have been either scaled back this month. Earlier this week, "Bedrock LLC CEO Matt Cullen revealed that Dan Gilbert's planned tower on the site of the former J.L. Hudson's department store building would not be the tallest building in the state, as it had been planned for nearly three years." Reports that Bedrock would reduce the height of that project have been public since August, however.  Earlier in the month, developers scaled back plans for The Mid, a $377 million condo project located on Woodward Avenue in Midtown.

Thursday, January 30, 2020 in Crain's Detroit Business

Black and white Rideshare Pick-Up Zone sign

The Slow Death of Ride Sharing

From the beginning, TNCs like Lyft and Uber touted shared rides as their key product. Now, Lyft is ending the practice.

June 1, 2023 - Human Transit

Red on white 'Room for Rent, Inquire Inside' sign

In Most U.S. Cities, Archaic Laws Limit Roommate Living

Critics argue laws preventing unrelated adults from living in the same home fail to understand the modern American household.

May 24, 2023 - The Atlantic

Vancouver Chuck Wolfe

Ten Signs of a Resurgent Downtown

In GeekWire, Chuck Wolfe continues his exploration of a holistic and practical approach to post-pandemic urban center recovery, anchored in local context and community-driven initiatives that promote livability, safety, and sustainability.

May 24, 2023 - GeekWire

Self-driving Mercedes semi truck on highway with white semi truck behind it

California Moves to Limit Autonomous Trucks

A bill passed by the State Assembly and moving on to the Senate would require autonomous semi trucks to have a trained human operator in the vehicle.

June 2 - The Sacramento Bee

Minnesota state capitol building with red flowers on green front lawn

Minnesota Budget Includes Significant Transit Investments

After a contentious debate, the state legislature passed a budget that changes how transportation projects are funded and supports increased transit service in the state.

June 2 - Governing

A vacant lot between two one-story brick buildings with graffiti in Detroit, Michigan

Proposed Land Value Tax Plan in Detroit

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan proposes hiking property taxes for vacant land and buildings while lowering the rate for occupied homes and businesses in a split tax plan he contends will resolve many of Detroit's blight and high property tax woes.

June 2 - The Detroit News

Project Manager III

San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency

UDO Transportation Planner

City of Charlotte - Charlotte Area Transit

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.