Behold! The Penske Tech Center, future headquarters to the M1 Rail streetcar system. The $6.9M facility—which includes a garage and an outdoor rail yard—recently began construction at a vacant lot at Woodward and Bethune, a couple blocks beyond M1's northernmost stop in New Center. The mid-century municipal architecture won't be winning any awards, but there are reasons to love this glorified garage.
The Setback: Before construction began, the big question was whether the rail yard or the building itself should face Woodward. Thankfully, M1 went with the latter. However bland the architecture might be, placing it snugly against Woodward is good urban design.
Goodbye, Grass: The new construction eats up one of the unsightly, litter-strewn fields lining Woodward as it passes through North End. Swapping a field for the tech center should be a positive for nearby residents, whose input went into the final design. At the same time, it would've been a much bigger win if North Enders could actually board there. Construction should be complete by the end of 2015.
· Construction Begins on the M1 Rail Tech Center in August [Curbed]