After a brush with demolition in 2012, Shapero Hall is now destined for an unusual residential conversion. Formerly home to Wayne State's pharmaceutical school, the blighted tower will be rehabbed into nearly 200 "micro apartments" by the end of 2015. Will this be downtown Detroit's first dip into the micro apartment trend seen in much larger, denser cities?
Most tend to associate "micro apartment" with spaces closer to 300 square feet, many of which include smart space solutions, or design elements that make living in such cramped quarters more enjoyable. Curbed New York's micro-unit coverage offers a taste of what other cities are seeing.
Crain's tells us that Shapero Hall's apartments range between 400-500 square feet, with rent averaging $560 to $700 per month. The size is right, but developer Boydell Development (aka Dennis Kefallinos) is known for crafting residential buildings full of large, bare-bones lofts on the cheap. Unsurprisingly, Boydell declined to reveal the budget for Shapero's conversion. Judging from Detroit Urbex's interior photos, major investment is required.
Wayne State vacated Shapero hall over a decade ago, moving classes to better facilities in Midtown. In 2007, the property—which includes over 5 total acres—was sold to Dennis Kefallinos for $2.5M. After neighbors protested his request to rezone the property to accommodate a hotel, Shapero deteriorated into the mess you see today.
· Shapero Hall Tour [DetroitUrbex]
· New prescription for Shapero Hall [Crains]