Chinatown's moment has finally arrived. At the intersection of Cass and Peterboro, two buildings that have come to symbolize the lost neighborhood were recently sold. Suddenly, it looks like renovations and a new business are on the way.
Sadly, the attention from developers comes at a price. Say goodbye to quirky vintage shop Showcase Collectable and hello to a tattoo parlor from Rochester.
Chung's Restaurant ↑
After four years on the market, the epic price chopping saga of Chung's is finally over. The sale price hasn't been revealed, but it was last spotted asking $250K in December. The buyer: Midtown Detroit Inc, the local development corporation responsible for much of Midtown's revitalization. According to The News, Midtown Inc has no plan for the building quite yet.
Chung's was the last vestige of Chinatown to bite the dust, closing in the year 2000. Asking $500K, it went up for sale in 2010 before lowering its expectations time and time again. This building is in far worse shape than its counterpart across the street. A photo from 2009 implies that it was unsecured at some point, and the listing broker told us it badly needs a new roof.
Showcase Collectable/Mantra ↑
Asking just $250K, this building hit the market in November. It was quickly gobbled up by Matt Hessler, who closed on the property earlier this month for just $225K. Hessler summed up his plan nicely for the Detroit News:
"I'm going to renovate it and restore it to the Chinatown era," said new owner Matt Hessler, a Detroit resident who owns a tattoo shop in Rochester. "I'm really happy to have a business in Detroit." The first step is opening a tattoo shop in one section of the building, the corner storefront once housing the retailer Mantra. Unfortunately, Hessler says Showcase Collectable must go. The vintage shop has been paying just $550/month in rent since opening in 1999, and the building might not meet various tax credit requirements if it's not vacant. We're also hearing that the building's other storefronts will be renovated and made available for retailers.
· All Chinatown Coverage [Curbed]
· Curio shop in Detroit's old Chinatown forced to move out [Detroit News]