After surviving a decade of abandonment and multiple demo threats, the Brewster-Wheeler Recreation Center is bouncing back with a vengeance. Plans unveiled yesterday envision the 52,000-square-foot facility with a large restaurant atop the basketball court, along with a basement bar and a roof deck.
And that's only half of it. Community space is also planned, including a culinary arts training studio that'll work with Alternatives for Girls and programming areas for the Detroit Chess Club. Not to mention a new headquarters for Slow Roll. And that's still only half of the overall project—we haven't even gotten to the mixed-used development happening outside.
THE BUILDING ($10M)
- Restaurant developed by Curt Katallo, co-owner of Vinsetta Garage in Berkley.
- Theme celebrating Joe Louis, who trained at Brewster-Wheeler early in his career.
- The original basketball court will become the dining room floor.
- Surviving parts of the boxing ring will be saved.
- Kitchen incubator, culinary arts studio, and catering space also included.
- The bar's name will honor Leon Wheeler, Detroit's first African-American recreation employee and building manager from 1929 to 1945. The official press release doesn't specify where the bar will be, but the Freep mentions a "basement bar" is planned.
NEW HOUSING AND RETAIL ($37M)
-The mixed-use development doesn't have many details yet, but we do know it'll contain between 100-150 apartments with 20% reserved as affordable housing. It's planned for the empty space south of the building, across Brewster Street (more on that ahead).
OUTDOOR STUFF ($3M+)
-Brewster Street will be reconnected with St. Antoine.
-One acre of open space will be developed as a "focal point" of the project, also south of Brewster Street.
WHAT'S NEXT: City Council still needs to approve selling the land to developers, which could happen in the next 2-3 months. After that, they'll have one year to begin construction. Early estimates from the Duggan administration have the restaurant beginning construction this year and opening in 2016, with the housing/retail development starting next year and opening in 2017.
· Mayor Duggan Attempts to Save Brewster Wheeler [Curbed]
· Rec Center Next To Brewster Projects Is Probably Dunzo Too [Curbed]
· Brewster-Wheeler Rec Center Escapes Wrecking Ball [Curbed]
· Restaurant, housing coming to Brewster Rec Center [Freep]