Restoration at Woodward and Baltimore in Detroit
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  1. #126

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    Quote Originally Posted by Worldsgreatest View Post
    Gilbert has made it clear they need the space and vacancy rates are extremely low so there's no reason why they would suddenly downsize Monroe block, that's just baseless conjecture. I wonder why Chemical Bank doesn't sign on for space in the tower instead of building new space on Woodward though.
    I would imagine the location of the new Chemical Bank HQ has everything to do with the fact that one of its board members owns/controls directly or indirectly the property it is supposed to occupy.

  2. #127

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    FINALLY.

    Groundbreaking for Monroe Blocks on track for December

    The groundbreaking for the $830 million Monroe Blocks development in downtown Detroit is on track for December, according to Bedrock.

    “Much like Hudson’s, it’s eerily close to the same timing a year ago,” said Joe Guziewicz, vice president of construction for Bedrock, on Thursday. “We’ll do a groundbreaking kick-off, and watch out. Work will start.”
    Sounds like it won't just be a ceremonial groundbreaking either, but that real work will start pretty much right away, which is good given that they are a bit behind schedule.
    Last edited by Dexlin; November-08-18 at 08:10 PM.

  3. #128

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    I am resigned to the fact that the National Theatre is doomed, except for the facade.

    New location of the National arched facade with the street closed as a pedestrian zone...
    https://www.google.com/maps/@42.3329...7i16384!8i8192

    But what I don't like is that the renderings show only the outer arch & towers as being saved.

    Losing the inner arch (around the window) with the decorative crown detail would be a travesty....

    Since it will be just a pedestrian zone behind it... the arch doesn't have to be so wide, and both the inner and outer arches should be salvaged.
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    Last edited by Gistok; November-09-18 at 04:21 AM.

  4. #129

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    I agree, it is a shame that we're going to lose so much of the theater.

    I will say, the reuse of the arch is very cool; almost Parisian.

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    Hopefully they incorporate the parts of the inner arch into the new buildings somehow, even if it's just a decorative element of the lobby.
    Last edited by EGrant; November-09-18 at 08:05 AM.

  5. #130

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    The National Theater should be saved. It's the last remaining building on the block. It's the last theater built by Albert Kahn and the last remaining theater of the original theater district. It's also on the National Register of Historic Places. We should not just let this be a pass for Gilbert just because he has saved so many other historic buildings. This building has been sitting vacant, waiting revival for 25+ years and all of a sudden because it doesn't fit with Gilbert, we're ok with it being torn down?

  6. #131

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zads07 View Post
    all of a sudden because it doesn't fit with Gilbert, we're ok with it being torn down?
    Does anyone know the actual condition of the building? I'm not advocating for it's destruction if it can be saved, but based on these photos from 6 years ago, it was in rough shape then, and I doubt it's gotten better over the years.

  7. #132

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    Quote Originally Posted by EGrant View Post
    Does anyone know the actual condition of the building? I'm not advocating for it's destruction if it can be saved, but based on these photos from 6 years ago, it was in rough shape then, and I doubt it's gotten better over the years.
    The interior of the theater is just a shell. Almost zero architectural features remain. The diminutive lobby has a few features remaining but any reuse of the facility would have likely eliminated the existing lobby.

  8. #133

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    In my earlier comment about saving both the inner and outer arch of the National Theatre facade... I just read up about the facade and towers. The white terra cotta and colored tiles are all Pewabic Pottery. So it would be blasphemy to destroy any part of the facade arches.

    Also the small ticket lobby of the National Theatre is decorated in yellow Pewabic Pottery tiles. If the theatre meets the wrecking ball, these tiles should be salvaged as well.

    Pewabic Pottery was founded in 1903... and this was a 1910 commission, so these are among the oldest Pewabic tiles.

    Chuck Forbes salvaged the Pewabic tiles from the YWCA (which was razed when Comerica Park was built), and reused them in the Gem/Century theatres.
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    Last edited by Gistok; November-09-18 at 04:38 PM.

  9. #134

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    I had thought that someone had purchase the National Theatre building a few years back and to renovate it. What had happened to that plan? I don't blame Gilbert if it get razed. I blame those whom had owned it in the past and just sat on it probably for some type of write-off while letting the building deteriorate more over the years. I would love to see a multiplex entertainment or something including in that spot. That would be ripe for a movie cinema as well

  10. #135

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    I was part of the 2002 Preservation Wayne (now Preservation Detroit) cleanup team. We removed all the fallen plasterwork from the main floor area (several large dumpsters full), so that the city could make it marketable for developers.

    The theatre (abandoned in 1975) had already deteriorated decades before, and in the 1990s the city took it over. They put on a new roof, but by then the severe damage to the interior had already been done, and little further interior damage has taken place (the plasterwork was mostly already gone).

    In 2006 the exterior (facade) qualified for Superbowl facade improvement grants, and was cleaned up.

    I cannot remember when the developers took it over after that, but those developers just sat on it for years and years. It finally took litigation from the city to get the building back.

  11. #136

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    I'd also like to see more of the National Theater saved -- and why are they closing Farmer? It seems pretty pedestrian friendly already in that area.

  12. #137

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    Remember when Bedrock announced it would raise the Metropolitan building for a park? Well that didn't happen and it's now being restored! I still hold out hope that the National will be saved due to it's significance even if isn't a theater any more. With so much of the inside bare you could really put just about anything in there while preserving the detail that has survived.

    This is great news that Bedrock is starting real work though! Ever since the first rendering every time I'm in CM I try and picture what it will be like with that giant parking lot replaced with tall buildings... Gives me goose bumps!

    Now if someone could just buy and develop that giant cement lot just north of the old county building We'd really be in business East of Woodward.

  13. #138

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    Quote Originally Posted by K-slice View Post
    Now if someone could just buy and develop that giant cement lot just north of the old county building We'd really be in business East of Woodward.
    The folks who restored the WCB own that lot presumably to use for parking for the structure. The interesting thing though is that Dan Gilbert owns just a tiny corner of it at Lafayette and Randolph. He doesn't make squat selling the spots, but it was a brilliant move to make sure that just about anything that happens on that site will involve him in some way.

  14. #139

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    The inside of the National Theater as of September 2018.
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  15. #140

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    Nice pictures Nicholas D'Asti. Welcome to the forum.

  16. #141

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    Quote Originally Posted by hybridy View Post
    Detroit feels this worse sooner and it will last longer evidenced by the longterm hemorrhaging population trend. Next recession is imminent and itís gonna hurt real bad. I am glad I got out at high price and locked in a record low rate for mortgage. Time to batten down the hatches.

    DG isnít using conventional financing to build his projects. Heís using taxpayerís dollars.

    I doubt Monroe block happens in this economic cycle, of at all.

    Hudsonís will flood market with unnecessary office space and hotel rooms, but itís newness appeals. Ren Cen 2.0, if it even gets completed.
    A recession is coming. Michigan's not ready.


  17. #142

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    Quote Originally Posted by hybridy View Post
    Careful, Worldsgreatest will come and wag his finger at you for not wearing your rose-colored glasses.

  18. #143

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    The trend is that although the time between recessions is increasing, the intensity and length are also increasing. We are already at the second longest period of expansion since the 1850s, and it will be the longest next year. The next recession is not going to be pretty.

  19. #144

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    Seems like they are getting far more frequent to me. The recession for me ended about the first of 2016. Now I'm out of work again and time will tell how easily I get a job back. Going out of town in a week so cant really start looking just yet. So its been about 2 years of good work with the 10 years prior to that hugely bad for me. I worked 15 weeks between 2017 and 2011. Then till about the first of 2016 I had 3-6 month jobs here and there. Begining of 2016 I had a steady year and 10 months at one place then 4 months at another. Before that I had a steady job for 11 years straight. Now off and things are slow for now but with the monroe and hudson comming it will be booming soon. Not soon enough for me though. Unemployment runs out in 2 weeks. All I know is the first 12 years of my career was WAY better than the last 12. Doesent even seem like we are in a bigger period of expansion since the late 90's At least for me.
    Last edited by abraham; November-30-18 at 09:48 AM.

  20. #145
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    Quote Originally Posted by hybridy View Post

    Conjecture, conjecture, conjecture. In the words of our dear president: SAD!

    lmfao this is an opinion article, post some real data otherwise this has nothing to do with Monroe block. Also if you actually read, this piece paints a pretty rosy picture of what a recession would look like, again unlikely to come before 2020.

    Excited for groundbreaking, beautiful development.
    Last edited by Worldsgreatest; November-30-18 at 11:05 AM.

  21. #146

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    We have been notified the parking lot is closing Tuesday, groundbreaking ceremony later in the week and construction (allegedly) starts the following week.

  22. #147

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    The parking lot is closed and there are now workers on site. They are setting up what looks like a stage for the groundbreaking ceremony.

  23. #148

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrChrome View Post
    The parking lot is closed and there are now workers on site. They are setting up what looks like a stage for the groundbreaking ceremony.
    Great to hear!

  24. #149

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    I hope they spare the National Theatre.

  25. #150

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    They put up a massive tent on the site. Basically spans the entire block, from Campus Martius to Farmer.

    EDIT: Some debate on the Detroit reddit page whether this is a beer tent or for the groundbreaking. To be honest, I'm not sure why they'd need such a large tent for the groundbreaking, but who knows.
    Last edited by EGrant; December-08-18 at 08:50 AM.

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