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West Village Catches Apartment Fever; 63 Units Proposed

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[Albert Kahn Associates]

Yet another residential development proposal has been unveiled, but this one isn't anywhere near downtown. Designed by Albert Kahn Associates, the 7-story building is actually eyeballing the corner of Jefferson and Van Dyke, more or less the southern gateway to West Village. The proposal includes plans to demolish a cluster of six older buildings in exchange for 63 new apartments, retail on the ground floor, and a big parking lot equipped with a "meditation garden" for residents. Is it worth it?

The press release is mostly fluff—it never even explicitly states whether the building would contain apartments or condos—but a couple details are revealed. We know that the retail space would face Jefferson Avenue, while a two-story lobby would open onto Van Dyke. The parking lot has enough spaces for every unit to park a car, but it's also surrounded by a lot of "decorative pavement." Also, is that supposed to be ivy on the facade? What's the rendering trying to hide?

The plan spares Jefferson Liquor and Garalino's Pizza, but the block's other buildings all face demolition. They're a strange hodgepodge of architecture surrounding a parking garage in back. All are vacant today, but there happens to be an old DetroitYES thread focused on the history of these exact buildings. After combining Google Streetview images with a description of the location posted by "MidTownMs," everything makes a bit more sense.
CORRECTION: We initially labeled the white house as the former Van Dyke Place Restaurant. That's incorrect. The restaurant was in another house nearby.

Note: The development still needs city approval to plop a residential building on properties zoned business, with a public hearing scheduled for Wednesday, March 4, 2015 at 10:30 a.m in room 401 of the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center.