Once considered to be among downtown's most endangered buildings, the Metropolitan Building's escape from the wrecking ball just got a lot more real. The Downtown Development Authority (DDA) just green-lighted a plan to rehab the building into 71 market rate apartments, reports the Freep, with retail planned for the first two floors. It's the plan hinted at last summer, when a "potential developer" sunk $300K into stabilizing the brick-dropping facade.
Initial details are few, but it's estimated that rent is likely to clock in around $2 per square foot, the magical, development-spurring number Detroit has been shooting for. Opened in 1925, the Metropolitan's oddball triangular footprint is bound to produce quirky apartment layouts. Parts of the roof look ideal for rooftop terraces. It'll be fun to see what designers dream up.
Metropolitan Development Partners—the company behind the plan—estimates remaining rehab work could take about a year. Factoring in the red tape and the unexpected delays faced by every project, it could be even longer. After 38 years of abandonment, however, the remod should feel positively speedy.[Photography by Tony Barchock]