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Midtown Mid-Rise Bringing Woodward Retail and Office Space

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Surrounded by tall, barbed-wire fencing, the empty landscape at Stimson and Woodward has spent decades exuding all the charm of a disused prison yard. Those days, however, are numbered. Starting this August, it'll be the site of Midtown's latest mid-rise construction project. Known rather blandly as the Midtown Professional Building (MPB), developers are marketing the five-story, 75,000-square-foot development as the answer to Midtown's scant inventory of high-end office space. Not in the market for an opulent office? Do not despair! MPB's 8,000-square-foot ground floor is dedicated entirely to retail.

The development company — Queen Lillian Development — is expecting to spend around $30M on construction. The only committed tenant thus far is a division of Wayne State's School of Medicine, though the amount of space they'll need hasn't been announced. For those looking for prices, the 1.67-acre lot was previously owned by the City of Detroit, which was asking for a minimum bid of $1.3M on its most recent Request for Proposal (RFP). Interestingly, Detroit's ask has gone up by $100K since 2007, despite property values in the city having plummeted since then.

Offering custom build-outs and 40-50 dedicated spots in the parking garage for customers, it's not hard to imagine MPB landing Detroit's next big retailer. That's the good news. Unfortunately, the parking garage slated to cover up the majority of the property seems particularly clumsy. Despite eating up 243' of frontage on Stimson, the garage is merely two stories tall, too small to offer public or shared parking for any surrounding developments. Might the M1 Rail offer enough mobility to curtail these sorts of inefficient parking designs in the future?

CORRECTION, 4/9: We mistakenly wrote that WSU is moving into the Midtown Professional Center. They're actually moving into the Medical Office Building at Tolan Park, another building Queen Lillian just finished constructing in Detroit.

· Midtown Professional Building [Official]
· Queen Lillian Development to break ground in August on Midtown office building [Crain's]