Detroit 2018 wrap-up

Detroit had a busy 2018, and 2019 is shaping up to be even busier. Crain’s put out a Top 10 list for 2018, and Curbed points out developments to watch in 2019. Here’s our list of the most significant real estate developments of 2018, and trends to watch in 2019.

Ford bought Michigan Central Station

Renovations have begun and Ford has already moved part of their electric and autonomous vehicle division to a different location in Corktown. Ford is setting up a true urban campus housed in various buildings spread across the neighborhood. In total, the automaker plans to invest over $700 million to renovate the train station and other properties it has bought in the area.

Detroit has some exciting new downtown hotels

The Siren Hotel opened in spring 2018, the Shinola is opening January 2, and the Element will open in the long-vacant Metropolitan Building early next year. Despite the addition of these relatively small boutique hotels, many business leaders feel that Detroit still lacks enough hotel rooms to attract large events such as the NCAA Final Four.

The Detroit Riverfront continues its transformation

Atwater Beach started construction on the East Riverfront this year and will be complete by next summer. Noted landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh, who designed Brooklyn Bridge Park in New York and Maggie Daley Park in Chicago, was chosen to design the expansion on the West Riverfront. The new park will be funded in part by a $50 million donation from the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation.

Dan Gilbert’s Bedrock broke ground on the Hudsons site and on the Monroe Blocks

The two massive mixed-use developments will reshape Detroit’s skyline when they both open in 2022. At 912 feet, the Hudson’s tower will be the tallest building in Detroit.

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Transportation options got more creative

Following the opening of the Q Line streetcar in 2017, bike lanes, scooters, and driverless shuttles dominated the news in 2018.

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Get ready for a wave of residential development that started in 2018

The first residents have moved in at City Modern in Brush Park, and two projects in Corktown are nearing completion. All told, approximately 2,000 new rental units will hit the market in 2019. This would be a modest supply in many cities, but in Detroit it’s a bona fide construction boom. The vacancy rate stands at 3.1% and net absorption last year was 2,400 units, so while the new supply may slow rental growth, it’s unlikely to result in a glut of new apartments.