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  1. #1
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    Default Broderick Tower Official Thread

    Discuss any developments regarding Broderick Tower and it's official redevelopment here.

    http://www.brodericktower.com/

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Broderick_Tower


  2. #2
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    I think it's great plain and simple! Get rid of all those creepy dentist chairs on the upper floors!

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    Darn it Doma, you got me excited, thinking that there was news regarding the redevelopment of the Broderick Tower. It seems like there hasn't been any news in forever. The opening date is continiously pushed back. It seems like there isn't any work being done there. It's a shame too because when I move downtown in a few years, I'd love to rent there. I could see it becoming a very nice restored building like the Book Cadillac.

    Also, in before "Tear that schitt down!"

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    I am not in that area regularly but I have yet to see any signs of work going on in the Broderick.

    And the web site is fairly sophisticated, I would not imagine that was done for free. Plus there are architectural drawings in the web site, floorplans are also expensive.

    Still, jbad89 is correct, the date just always keeps getting pushed back and it never appears as if any work is being done there.

    too bad, the Broderick Tower happens to be one of my favorite vintage buildings.

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    There is information about the financing behind the Broderick Tower project on a different Dyes thread. Check out the "Crain's on Richard Hosey, Lafayette Bldg" thread, the last half of the Crain's article is about the Broderick. Maybe something positive in the near future??.

  6. #6
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    How many times are people going to start this non-sense. Higgins has mastered the game of doing just enough to not get fined by the city. Here's how it works for people that haven't been following for the last decade:

    1. City claims they are going to crack down on slumlords
    2. Higgins accounces plans and shows architectural drawings (which at this point have been cheaper than the fines he has evaded)
    3. City says OK, but this time you better do it
    4. Repeat steps 1-3 for many, many more years to come.

    A few things I have learned are not real: Santa, the Easter Bunny, the toothfairy, compassionate conservatism and Higgins redevelopment plans

  7. #7
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    lol....I know right.....

  8. #8
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    www.buildingsofdetroit.com/places/brod

    < /shameless self-promotion >

  9. #9
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    The Crain's article sounds like maybe Higgins is no longer the Broderick owner.

    You think Higgins and Maroun are the same person? At least Maroun operates the bridge, what in the world does Higgins actually DO? I know of no project that Higgins has ever completed, do they even exist?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by kryptonite View Post
    The Crain's article sounds like maybe Higgins is no longer the Broderick owner.

    You think Higgins and Maroun are the same person? At least Maroun operates the bridge, what in the world does Higgins actually DO? I know of no project that Higgins has ever completed, do they even exist?
    The Leland. And I'm pretty sure he owns some apartment buildings on the east side, or at least he did. I have an article from the 1980s that lists everything he owned at the time. It's huuuuuuuuuge. Some were not empty at the time but now are. Some, like the Hotel Detroiter, have since been razed.
    I've been trying to get a hold of him for several weeks to ask questions for a building history on the site. If I ever get a hold of him again (and he said he was down to talk about the Detroiter), I'll ask about the Broderick.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by kryptonite View Post
    There is information about the financing behind the Broderick Tower project on a different Dyes thread. Check out the "Crain's on Richard Hosey, Lafayette Bldg" thread, the last half of the Crain's article is about the Broderick. Maybe something positive in the near future??.
    Repost from the thread Broderick parts are bold.

    Crain's on Richard Hosey, Lafayette Bldg

    Great piece by Nancy Kaffer in this week's Crain's:

    Richard Hosey is a numbers guy, a senior vice president and senior originator for tax credit investments based in Bank of America's Detroit office.

    He's also a historic preservation guy, whose résumé includes stints at prominent historic preservation and real estate companies in New Orleans and Baltimore.

    And when Detroit's historic buildings are slated for demolition, Hosey thinks it's a waste.

    When the Lafayette Building — the latest historic building to make the city's demo list — was still in play, the native Detroiter wanted to prove that it could be rehabilitated, the economic climate notwithstanding.

    Detroit Economic Growth Corp. officials have said rehabilitation of the Lafayette isn't financially viable, an assertion to which Hosey objects.

    “The markets are really frozen up and projects are hard to do, but in terms of the viability of the building, I think it's definitely viable,” he said.

    So he ran some numbers.

    “It was something to show the guys in this city that it does work,” Hosey said. “So I ran the numbers, I thought it worked and I thought it was viable.”

    What he devised was a formula he says can work to convert many of Detroit's historic buildings — pre-1936, significant architecture, a good story — into residential rental units, even in a moribund lending climate that's required ever-more-complicated layers of financing to get deals done.

    Hosey's calculations figure gross size, average size of units and rents at a rate the current market would bear.

    He compared those costs — an estimated $60 million to rehab the Lafayette, $50 million with a deferred developer fee — to the available arsenal of state and federal tax credits and tools, including a larger state historic tax credit made available this year and a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development loan insurance program designed to help private industry construct or rehabilitate moderate-income rental housing.

    “The big assumption in the project is that we would be the beneficiary of the new state historic tax credit, at the enhanced size,” said Hosey, ticking off elements of the formula.

    “That's a state historic credit at $11.5 million which would generate about $8 million in net funding into the deal … a federal historic tax credit that I would have on the low side at $12.5 million, a brownfields state credit that would come in at $6 million, and a $19.5 million HUD 221(d)(4) loan.”

    The U.S. Federal Housing Administration has become one of the country's most viable lenders, he said, but it can be a long process.

    Brian Holdwick, DEGC vice president of business development and finance, said Hosey has good ideas but that the lending market is still a problem.

    “He's mostly trying to leverage new market tax credits to bridge these gaps, and hopefully it does, but the key problem now isn't the ability to get tax credits, it's first position financing,” Holdwick said.

    The DEGC routinely uses such tools, he said.

    “They're all good tools. (Hosey) brings new energy to trying to aggressively market those tools and trying to solve the gaps, but it's not something different and new,” Holdwick said.

    “He's trying to put a whole bunch of layers of financing together that are needed to do these projects, and he brings a tremendous amount of energy, but I haven't seen any of these projects get over the finish line, either, in recent months. But that doesn't mean we won't keep trying.”

    Developer Fred Beal's experience with the 91-year-old Broderick Tower bears out Hosey's theorem.

    “Traditionally, it was difficult to put HUD (products) together with tax credit scenarios like new market tax credits,” said Beal, president of J.C. Beal Construction Inc., based in Detroit and Ann Arbor. “But right now, the developer that's going to get something done is very likely to be doing it with HUD.”

    Beal's Broderick, a 34-story neoclassical/Chicago school/Beaux Arts skyscraper in Detroit's Grand Circus Park, stalled when the credit market dried up.

    Beal said he'd started to assemble financing for the project using the 221(d) program, but then-low appraisal value put a crimp in the works.

    “Today, knowing all the things we know about tax credit and new market tax credits, that same loan would work,” he said. “But we'd have to start all over to get it.”

    The Broderick has received a federal tax credit worth 20 percent of the cost of the $55 million project and a $2 million state tax credit that can double or triple under the new state guideline — and that means the project may be on track to close this summer.


    Hosey admits his formula isn't a magic bullet. Historic tax credits aren't always a sure thing, and city support or social lending could be required to leverage the historic tax equity credit.

    But, he said, he'd like to see the city's historic buildings recognized as economic development tools.

    “I understand (the DEGC) has seen a lot of (deals) fall apart,” Hosey said. “I've seen a lot of things fall apart in this market, but I want to get a project done and off the ground. Even with things falling apart, I want to help them see that things are possible, and see what we've been able to do in cities around the country.

    “I think Detroit is a prime spot for things to happen, and even in these hard economic times, we have what need to go forward with this.”

  12. #12
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    So, the Detroit Historic Commission, with the enthusiastic support of the non-professional preservation community and against the opposition by its own staff and that of development agencies in Detroit, allowed Higgins to install a 3 acre billboard on the side of the Borderick.

    The goal of this billboard, on a historic building and over looking a historic district, was to raise funds for pre-development work.

    Three, nearly four full years later - there is no movement towards completion of the building. The only two points of activity have been the condementation and closure of the Pit Stop and the collapse of an adjacent, Higgins owned building.

    The Broderick, which was less than 30 days away from being foreclosed upon, is still in the hands of Higgins.

    So, giant billboards have led to nothing but further decay and the inability of the City to foreclose to get the building away from a slumlord. Is this advertsing thingy really a viable model for other buildings as has been suggested?

    Can some one tell me if the scaffolding is still up, protecting passersby from material falling from the building? If so, why is there no outrage about a private owner not taking steps to "mothball" the building?

  13. #13
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    Sometime in the last 2-3 years I remember seeing a trailer for an indie horror film that was shot at, or at least set at, the Broderick. I didn't actually see the movie, but I think the plot was basically that some guy goes into the building and is never seen again. His sister and friends go to the building to search for him, get trapped, and macabre hijinx ensue. Has anyone heard about this?

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    Quote Originally Posted by PQZ View Post
    Can some one tell me if the scaffolding is still up, protecting passersby from material falling from the building? If so, why is there no outrage about a private owner not taking steps to "mothball" the building?
    yes, scaffolding is still there.

    there is no outrage for the same reasons that there is no outrage for each of the other stupefyingly commonplace insults to the halfway intelligent and rational residents of this city, we are outnumbered by morons, crooks, and the apathetic
    Last edited by gravitymachine; July-21-09 at 01:14 PM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by PQZ View Post
    The Broderick, which was less than 30 days away from being foreclosed upon, is still in the hands of Higgins.
    How much is the Broderick being foreclosed for?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by buildingsofdetroit View Post
    I've been trying to get a hold of him for several weeks to ask questions for a building history on the site. If I ever get a hold of him again (and he said he was down to talk about the Detroiter), I'll ask about the Broderick.
    If you don't get in touch with him, you might consider a FOIA request of whichever public body handles historic designation applications; it should include a fairly extensive history of the building.

    Quote Originally Posted by buildingsofdetroit View Post
    Sometime in the last 2-3 years I remember seeing a trailer for an indie horror film that was shot at, or at least set at, the Broderick. I didn't actually see the movie, but I think the plot was basically that some guy goes into the building and is never seen again. His sister and friends go to the building to search for him, get trapped, and macabre hijinx ensue. Has anyone heard about this?
    No, but I did see a group of three or so kids on the roof there as the sun set on July 12. I had a strong feeling they were doomed. Not sure that's related, but thought I'd share. The horrors may be real, and they may be impeding Higgins' development of the building.

  17. #17
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    When I see construction workers begin to fence up the area, bringing in the construction elevators, waste cargos and new construction equipments, then I believe it.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by davewindsor View Post
    How much is the Broderick being foreclosed for?
    Its not being foreclosed upon any more. Thats the point. The City has no leverage to get Higgins to do any more than bare minimum on the buildings.

    There was $350,00+ outstanding that was triggering the City to be able to foreclose on the Broderick and the Farwell.

    Higgins sold the Historic Commission on the concept that if he were allowed to hang the big ad, he would use the moeny to do predevelopment and then redevelope the building. FOBC and others suppoorted this. The DDA and HDC staff advised that he was likely to pay off liens, keep the buildings as is and do nothing.

    He took his payments and paid off the liens and tax debts. That was nearly four years ago.

    Where is the pre-development? Where is the project in moving forward? A building collapsing does not count as progress.

    Higgins now has a steady income stream and no motivation to actually do anything with the buildings. He can continue to pocket the advertising incrome from now until the building collapses. Why should he invest the ad cash in a project that doesn't pencil when he can continue to collect the ad cash and take skiing trips to the Alps? He's owned the buildings for how many deacdes now?

  19. #19
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    "Higgins now has a steady income stream and no motivation to actually do anything with the buildings. He can continue to pocket the advertising incrome from now until the building collapses. "

    Too bad that the DDA/DEGC similarly mismanages the buildings that they own and control thus depriving them of any legitimacy to be able to ask anyone in town to keep up their own. But the demolition machine needs to be fed so the apologists for the DDA/DEGC are more concerned with making excuses for the failings of Geo. Jackson and Co. than pointing out the need for the DDA/DEGC to act as a responsible landlord, not a slumlord engaging in demolition-by-neglect.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Novine View Post
    Too bad that the DDA/DEGC similarly mismanages the buildings that they own and control thus depriving them of any legitimacy to be able to ask anyone in town to keep up their own. But the demolition machine needs to be fed so the apologists for the DDA/DEGC are more concerned with making excuses for the failings of Geo. Jackson and Co. than pointing out the need for the DDA/DEGC to act as a responsible landlord, not a slumlord engaging in demolition-by-neglect.
    Gotta agree... they could have used the blank wall facing the coney's and hung advertising banners (like on the UA) that could have been seen from Campus Martius and environs, and used the cummulative advertising money to secure the building and maybe put on a new roof.

    But that would have required business acumen....

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    Quote Originally Posted by PQZ View Post
    Higgins now has a steady income stream and no motivation to actually do anything with the buildings. He can continue to pocket the advertising incrome from now until the building collapses. Why should he invest the ad cash in a project that doesn't pencil when he can continue to collect the ad cash and take skiing trips to the Alps? He's owned the buildings for how many deacdes now?
    Can he be divested of the ability to hang the ads under the agreements?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Huggybear View Post
    Can he be divested of the ability to hang the ads under the agreements?
    Wouldn’t that be vindictive?

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    That Crains article is incredibly idiotic. The author should be fired.

    Alleged "numbers guy" Bob Hosey makes his living off of historic tax credits. Of course he thinks the Broderick and Lafayette are good candidates for historic tax credits.

    Next up, let's ask grocers if the city should subsidize groceries.

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    Crawford,

    Hosey apparently makes money by applying for and receiving the tax credits. He has a vested interest in being right in assessing whether or not a building would receive the credit before actually applying for the credit.

    It seems more analogous to asking a surgeon if you're a viable candidate for the type of surgery he performs. In other words, perfectly sensible.

  25. #25
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    Anything connected with Michael Higgins is doomed. That is - it's doomed to be subsidized by our tax dollars.Big splashy plans, press releases, politician's photo-ops, and not a damn thing ever done. He's a slumlord.

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