Automotive millionaire Gregory Jackson, new owner of the Mies van der Rohe-designed Lafayette Towers, is following through with his promise to bring the battered buildings back from the brink. With an investment of merely $5M, Jackson tells the Detroit News he can begin attracting young people back to the towers. Jackson will start by adding the one amenity every young professional desires most: shuffleboard courts. It'll be standing-room only in the leasing office tomorrow!
1. The plan calls for badly-needed improvements to the kitchens and bathrooms, though it's doubtful that he will follow HUD's recommendation to replace all 584 bathtubs in the building. We may never know why HUD wanted all new bathtubs. What do they know that we don't?
2. New classes will be held in the fitness center, new bike racks outside. Good call, Jackson. Throw in a yoga class or two; you're guaranteed to get a crowd. Bike racks, too. With the Dequindre Cut right nearby, bike racks are key.
3. Improved Wi-Fi service. Yes. The most important.
4. As previously mentioned, Jackson will be adding shuffle board courts and cabanas to the "rooftop pool area," which is a generous way of saying "pool on the roof of the four-story parking garage." This improvement might carry more weight when it's not 8 degrees outside.
5. The goal is to finish these renovations in the next 18 months. Jackson notes, seemingly with pride, that the Lafayette Towers are over 50% full. Have occupancy rates dropped significantly during the whole ownership debate?
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