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State Gives Developers $3.5 Million for Plaza Project

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Cover photo by <a href="http://www.michelleandchrisgerard.com/%22"> Michelle and Chris Gerard. Renderings via </a><a href="http://roxburygroup.com"> The Roxbury Group.</a>
Cover photo by Michelle and Chris Gerard. Renderings via The Roxbury Group.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) announced this week that developers the Roxbury Group will transform the Plaza Midtown into mixed-use retail and residential units. Built in 1965, the former medical office building, probably best known in Detroit for its rooftop neon sign depicting a hammer pounding on a nail, offers over 130,000 square feet of space.

MEDC officials say that the redeveloped building represents a total investment of $21.1 million and will create 25 full-time jobs. In addition to the $3.5 million Michigan Community Revitalization Program performance-based equity grant, the project is also eligible for a brownfield MBT credit of $1 million. In addition to the MEDC funding and the brownfield credit, the project will also receive a 12-year Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Tax Abatement that Crain's says has a value of $4.2 million. This incentive, offered by the city of Detroit, is aimed at encouraging the redevelopment of aging structures that need contamination abatement, represent blighted property or that would be obsolete without intervention.

Roxbury plans to renovate the building's façade, installing a glass front, to restore the building's brick and stonework. The neighborhood is already home to new development projects, including a brand new structure for Wayne State University Physician's Group currently under construction at a cost of $68 million, according to Crain's. As we reported in January, Gerald Crane, a University of Michigan professor, was the architect who designed the Plaza, and also create master plans for the Detroit Medical Center. Ann Arbor's Quinn Evans is the architecture firm in charge of executing the current plan for the building.

The Plaza will serve as a bridge of sorts between Woodward Avenue and the new arena district while adding 72 residential units and 2,000 square feet of retail space easily accessed by the upcoming M-1 streetcar loop. Roxbury's other projects include the David Whitney Building, the Aloft Detroit hotel, the transformation of the old Globe Trading Co. building into the newly-opened outdoor activity center and for the Griswold, the Michigan Ave parking garage apartment stack that began construction last month. Once known as Professional Plaza, the building was slated for demolition before Roxbury acquired it this winter.

·State awards Detroit developer $3.5 million for $21.1 million The Plaza project in Midtown [Crain's Detroit Business]
·Construction Starting on Apartments Atop Downtown Garage [Curbed Detroit]
·'Hammer Hammer Nail' Rehab Spills Deets and a Rendering [Curbed Detroit]
·Professional Plaza Saved: Rehab Plan Calls For 75 Apartments [Curbed Detroit]