Restoration at Woodward and Baltimore in Detroit
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  1. #76

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    Quote Originally Posted by ekleezy View Post
    New update. Supposedly starting construction this summer. http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article...oreUserAgent=1
    I'll believe it when I see it. Ilitch has no credibility for projects that are not subsidized.

  2. #77

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    this design is really refreshing for detroit. im not sure how one cleans a triangular curtianwall system, but it will have some really great reflectivity. a new city 'jewel' perhaps...lol

  3. #78

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    Quote Originally Posted by 48307 View Post
    I'll believe it when I see it. Ilitch has no credibility for projects that are not subsidized.
    Technically it IS subsidized... If the Ilitches spend $200M in the "district," the city will give them $70M over 30 years. Between this building ($70M), and the parking garage on Montcalm currently being built (+/- $20M) they are almost halfway there. The infuriating part, is they had plans to renovate buildings for Little Sleazers years ago, but obviously they waited until they got public funds to do so. It was all just overshadowed by the money doled out for the arena.

    This link has the cost estimate:
    http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article...esign-unveiled

    The estimate for the garage I learned from a contractor that bid the job.
    Last edited by esp1986; June-22-16 at 08:56 AM.

  4. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by esp1986 View Post
    Technically it IS subsidized... If the Ilitches spend $200M in the "district," the city will give them $70M over 30 years. Between this building ($70M), and the parking garage on Montcalm currently being built (+/- $20M) they are almost halfway there. The infuriating part, is they had plans to renovate buildings for Little Sleazers years ago, but obviously they waited until they got public funds to do so. It was all just overshadowed by the money doled out for the arena.

    This link has the cost estimate:
    http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article...esign-unveiled

    The estimate for the garage I learned from a contractor that bid the job.
    Whatever...

    One can get into a discourse like St. Paul's on the body (eye, foot, etc.) but the bottom line for the new arena effort is that it is a total project (totality) consisting of a number of known (planned) buildings and probably buildings not yet planned.

    So it kind of hard to say that of the 70M so much (dollars or percentage) is because of a single building or buildings when this project as known today is what 10 - 12 buildings including residential, parking garages, office buildings, etc.

    It is STILL my belief that the Ilitches plan to spend many hundreds of millions doing many buildings in the decade to come.

    The whole district area west of Woodward will probably evolve in ways we have no idea today. Some one will say I'm going to re-purpose 640 Temple. Someone else says I will re-purpose a building at nnn 2nd street or 3rd street or Ledyard or whatever...

  5. #80

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    Absolutely no information on the Blenheim Building on the Park Ave. side of this block. It's not on the National Register of Historic Places, nor is it on the Park Ave. Historic District list, which probably means it will be demolished, but at least say something about the building and the future of it.

    According to Loveland, it's owned by Blenheim LLC and built in 1905.

  6. #81
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    Not sure where this comment (it is a post I borrowed from a sports forum) about Cleveland's experience with their renaissance in the area around Quicken Loans Arena fits, but I'll put it here..

    "Have any of you been to Downtown Cleveland lately?

    Downtown Cleveland is booming. While the Greater Cleveland area has shrunk massively in population over the last two decades (and beyond), the last decade for Downtown Cleveland has been incredible. Not sure what the population is up to now, I think it is like 15k immediately in Downtown and that doesn't count the neighborhoods immediately around Downtown (trendy neighborhoods like Tremont and Ohio City or University Circle)
    More than anywhere, this renaissance is evident in the area immediately surrounding Quicken Loans Arena."

  7. #82

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    Figures - the second comment on this thread lauded the proposed design, so that's what they changed. The new design isn't terrible, but the original was better.

    1953

  8. #83

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    Quote Originally Posted by hybridy View Post
    this design is really refreshing for detroit. im not sure how one cleans a triangular curtianwall system, but it will have some really great reflectivity. a new city 'jewel' perhaps...lol
    You clean it just like any other curtainwall. Hang. Clean.

    Getting into the corner of a triangle with a squeege (or whatever) is a likely a little more difficult than a square. Many buildings have odd-shaped windows.

    The reflectivity patterns should be fun.

    Not sure what I think of the design. Depends on execution, I suppose. The courtyard between the buildings is the most interesting part to me. That's where the people will mostly engage this new building and the existing Fox Building.

    The other detail to watch will be the 'tube' between the buildings. In the renderings its pretty plain. I'm guessing they haven't yet decided how to handle that detail. Its a tough one. Plain is probably best. I think I'd vote for all-glass, but of different character, so it doesn't look too much like its a mosquito snout.
    Last edited by Wesley Mouch; June-22-16 at 09:37 AM.

  9. #84

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    Quote Originally Posted by emu steve View Post
    Whatever...
    Typical pie in the sky defense by emu steve of anything Ilitch touches or proposes (the proposed, yet unfinished list is a lot longer).

  10. #85

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    While I like this new version, I still prefer the original one. This building could be built anywhere, while the prior version was unique to that site.

  11. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by downtownguy View Post
    Typical pie in the sky defense by emu steve of anything Ilitch touches or proposes (the proposed, yet unfinished list is a lot longer).
    I'd rather say that I love to debate the 'doubting Thomases' of Detroit who thought that M-1 wouldn't be built, the arena wouldn't be built, the LC's headquarters wouldn't be built, the new housing adjacent to Comerica won't be built, etc. etc.

    For those into counting and checking things off of a list.

    The Detnews article by Louis A. indicates that the Ilitches are in for 14 buildings:

    "The headquarters is one of 14 planned new buildings the Ilitches intend to announce as part of its $650 million plan to transform 50 blocks of Detroit, mainly north of downtown, into an upscale area that will be anchored by the new home ice of the Red Wings."

    Twelve more to go...

  12. #87

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    From the Freep article:

    About 700 Little Caesars staffers will work in the new building.
    When Little Caesar's moved some of their employees downtown in 1988, the count was 400 employees. I think they pretty much filled the Fox Building at that time. The new building is considerably narrower and probably wont be much deeper. At 14' per floor, it will probably have fewer floor than the Fox. Even taking into account the theatre space in the Fox Building, I suspect it has fewer usable square feet than the Fox.

    So, two skepticisms: Will the new building have capacity for 700 employees? Where will these 700 employees come from? Do they actually have that many working in the 'burbs? Sure they may do some new hiring, but 700? Really??

  13. #88

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zads07 View Post
    Absolutely no information on the Blenheim Building on the Park Ave. side of this block. It's not on the National Register of Historic Places, nor is it on the Park Ave. Historic District list, which probably means it will be demolished, but at least say something about the building and the future of it.

    According to Loveland, it's owned by Blenheim LLC and built in 1905.
    Out of sight, out of mind. Why did you have to bring that up?

    But, it's forgivable because they are such great historic preservationists. Forget about the Ilitch destroyed Varney Apartments and Madison-Lenox Hotel, or the maimed Fine Arts Building. This is progress!

  14. #89

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    Quote Originally Posted by southen View Post
    I thought the faux historic design above was a pretty hokey attempt at honoring the theaters around it, especially with the glowing pucks and Little Caesar statue. We need to preserve what we have in the city in terms of historic architecture, but we need to push the envelope with modern architecture as well. Continually replicating the past isn't what modern city's do and it isnt what gave Detroit the architecture we all appreciate today. Everyone celebrates our art deco structures but those were a departure at the time. Same can be said for our mid century buildings that are often celebrated.

    As for the building I like the massing and the facade facing Woodward. I wish they didn't make such a big deal of the "pizza shaped" glass and let people discover that subtle nod on their own. Im not a huge fan of the top with the "car port" but overall it is a nice design and I am pleasantly surprised given the Disney-esque quality of their previous rendering.
    I copied that quote from the other thread because I totally agree. We need to be open minded to the formal possibilities inherent in the architectural materials and methods contemporary today. That's how we can extract the best value from them. Not just in savings but in stylistic opportunity. Let's build an honest 21st century building and not pretend it's still the horse and buggy days. And let's build spaces for today's purposes, not yesterday's. I'm not in love the new design but I do like it, certainly better than the previous proposal.

    Formal considerations aside, what's most important about architecture is how it interacts with the people who use it and shapes the space around it. I'm glad they're thinking about building a workplace conducive for employees. And I love their promise of street-level retail. Adding some commercial activity to draw more people to the area would bring vibrance to the neighborhood beyond what you get now from a few hundred employees and intermittent event crowds. I'd see that as a big plus.

    Whether it works or not will depend almost entirely on its execution. I appreciate the elegance of subtlety, not extravagance. But subtlety does not mean skimping on materials, detail, and engineering quality. If anything it makes them more important. And regarding the street-level retail, let's hope it's not just a sports memorabilia store and a pizza restaurant. Of course what goes in there will have a lot to do with what will succeed.

    My hope for this neighborhood is that it becomes much more well-rounded than it is today. Having so many event venues isn't really conducive to that. But at least it can become a more well-rounded entertainment district that attracts people besides when there are events at the theatres or on game day.

    Of course the best way to do that would be for the Ilitches to unshutter all the vacant properties they own directly behind the theater. Empty they're a depressing weight on the vicinity. I wish there were a way to force the Ilitches to step up and renovate them, or sell them at a reasonable price to someone who will. They're ripe with opportunity.

    And since this is the Ilitches, let's hope the new headquarters is built at all. Like so many others have said, they have a history of announcing plans that never materialize. But since it's for their own benefit, I'm optimistic it will.
    Last edited by bust; June-22-16 at 02:38 PM.

  15. #90
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    Now that we have a design for the new building, I wonder what design the Ilitches will come up with for the housing across the street?

    Will it blend with the new LC building?

  16. #91

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    Im sure the new housing will be somewhere between Orleans Landing and the new Gilbert Brush Park development. Modern, but nothing crazy or really groundbreaking.

  17. #92

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    I hope plenty of jobs go along with this tower. Olympia should be publicly posting them.

  18. #93

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    Quote Originally Posted by emu steve View Post
    Not sure where this comment (it is a post I borrowed from a sports forum) about Cleveland's experience with their renaissance in the area around Quicken Loans Arena fits, but I'll put it here..

    "Have any of you been to Downtown Cleveland lately?

    Downtown Cleveland is booming. While the Greater Cleveland area has shrunk massively in population over the last two decades (and beyond), the last decade for Downtown Cleveland has been incredible. Not sure what the population is up to now, I think it is like 15k immediately in Downtown and that doesn't count the neighborhoods immediately around Downtown (trendy neighborhoods like Tremont and Ohio City or University Circle)
    More than anywhere, this renaissance is evident in the area immediately surrounding Quicken Loans Arena."

    uum, we certainly know it well, we have condos in both downtowns, Downtown Clevelands "boom" is no bigger than Downtown Detroits "boom".
    Infact they are pretty similar. Market appreciation lately is actually a bit higher in midtown here than anywhere in Cleveland. Id say overall Downtown Detroit is actually busier presently but Cleveland is doing nicely. . Areas population is also similar with all the new developments in both cities. As for neighborhoods , the boom in Tremont, Downtown , and Ohio City is basically the same as Detroit Downtown, Midtown. Lafayette Park, (huge increases), Corktown and Indian Village areas. University Circle on the cities far east side is doing well but its similar in distance going north to six mile here, hardly a urban core area. Neither city outshines the other in progress. Detroit is not in a backseat position to whats going on in Cleveland. Detroit District is bigger than anything on the board presently in Cleveland. We used to think Cleveland had the edge but lately no way,,Detroit is doing very well..finally...
    Last edited by DetBill; June-22-16 at 04:42 PM.

  19. #94

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    Quote Originally Posted by hybridy View Post
    this design is really refreshing for detroit. im not sure how one cleans a triangular curtianwall system, but it will have some really great reflectivity. a new city 'jewel' perhaps...lol
    I curious on how you would define"refreshing" for the average visitor? Something that will be noticed? Or something that merely reflects the details of the neighboring buildings?

    I liked the old design better (with a touch of what the architecture community deridingly calls "pastishe")... and people walking by along Woodward would have said "hey Joe... check that out how that mixes old and new".... With what is planned now... the building will stay splendidly in the background.

    Also... for those folks who say.... "everywhere else is doing this... so we should be too".... To that I say "Really?? We want Detroit to look like everywhere else?? If that is the case, then we really do have a lot of catching up to do... so we don't have to look at so much of all that old stuff any more!"

    The Fox Theatre is the heart of Detroit's entertainment district. People come downtown this district often to escape (even for a while) the blandness of suburbia... do we want to make this district look like Northwestern Hwy or Big Beaver Rd.? Does everything have to be either modernism or considered Disneyesque? Is there no happy middleground that can please the public that gets away from both the carport top AND the modern "gingerbread"?

    I'm not deriding modernism versus the good old days.... but there has to be something else available. Something that will make people say.... "wow that's different... AND cool!".

    But I'm not sure architecture schools today are going anywhere near that direction....
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  20. #95

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    The faux historicist design went away per owner direction. Has to be taken up with Chris illitch

  21. #96

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    Quote Originally Posted by hybridy View Post
    The faux historicist design went away per owner direction. Has to be taken up with Chris illitch
    Maybe we'll see a less historicist new design for the Mike Ilitch School of Business as well.

  22. #97

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    Quote Originally Posted by hybridy View Post
    The faux historicist design went away per owner direction. Has to be taken up with Chris illitch
    Isn't a lot of the 1920's architecture that everyone waxes poetic about also simply an earlier and well done "faux historicist" design?

  23. #98

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    Quote Originally Posted by DetroiterOnTheWestCoast View Post
    Isn't a lot of the 1920's architecture that everyone waxes poetic about also simply an earlier and well done "faux historicist" design?
    Some, but not all. The art deco skyscrapers - like the Penobscot, Guardian and Stott buildings - were built in a new style that tried to be appropriate for the new scale of a skyscraper. Trying to graft older styles on that big a building made it look a little silly, like the Book Tower.

    Not that we aren't fond of the Book Tower, but it's kind of like your great aunt who insisted on dressing like a teenager from 1960, even though she's 250 pounds - good style for its time, but not size appropriate.

  24. #99

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    Talk about bait and switch , this is disappointing
    Last edited by Detroitdave; June-23-16 at 11:24 AM.

  25. #100

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    Quote Originally Posted by Detroitdave View Post
    Talk about bate and switch , this is disappointing
    Yes, because thinking an early rendering from months ago was going to be the final plan is such a terrible bait and switch...

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