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Willys Overland Loft Condo Breaks the Bank at $540K

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Zillow
This 1-bedroom, 2-bath bi-level penthouse in the Willys Overland building has many attractive features: the concrete floors have an interesting patina, and the place comes with an attached terrace that adds nearly 400 square feet of living space (at least seven months out of the year, anyway). The 1600-square-foot unit also has a dining room the realtor claims can be transformed into a "flex" room or a second bedroom. Given its location off the kitchen, and the small footprint of the space, this might be the smallest bedroom in midtown, and not really a legal one, given the seeming impossibility of putting a window in that area.


The finishes are nothing spectacular, and the current paint colors—day-glo oranges, purples and reds comprise a seriously off-putting mural of sorts on one wall over the kitchen—will be missed by no one (apart from the old owner) if and and when the unit sells. Despite qualifying for both the Live Downtown and Live Midtown incentives, this place is incredibly pricey at $540K—a shocking number when you consider that it sold in in December 2014 for just $174.9K.Then again, the lofts share building space with new Detroit icon (or new-money hipster startup, depending on the point of view) Shinola, so you'll be set if you need a fashionable watch in a pinch.

The loft has an interesting layout with the single bedroom as a suspended second floor loft-within-the-loft. A steel staircase leads to the bedroom and creates an interesting focal point in the home's main living area. The kitchen has oodles of glass tile, a trend that many local decorators have become far too invested in. Here, the tile looks inexpensive and makes the kitchen seem small and dark. The dark, heavy cabinets don't exactly help.

The loft, one of 73 units in the 1917 building once owned by Willys Overland, the car maker that would eventually become Jeep, has stainless steel appliances and its own in-unit laundry. With 12-foot ceilings and a lot of turn-of-the-century character, the unit's other amenities include large windows in deep recesses, visible structural supports with an almost sculptural look, exposed brick and that vast terrace. The right buyer will see past the place's current decor and imagine something a bit more refined. And paint is an easy fix. The price tag? Maybe not as easy.

·444 W. Willis Street [Zillow]
·Double Condo Unit in Willys Overland Building [Curbed Detroit]
·Shinola Opens Midtown Shopping Hangout Space [Curbed Detroit]