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City requests proposals for two Midtown development sites

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Eight acres of vacant land will be developed

It seems to be a big week for Midtown residential potential. Yesterday we reported on a few apartment buildings for sale. Today, we have eight acres of vacant lots that will be turned into residential developments.

The city announced today that it’s looking for developers for two major sites in Midtown for residential development. The proposals will bring 200-250 new units to Midtown, with 20% affordable housing.

The first site is the largest publicly owned vacant parcel in Midtown. It’s the site of the former Wigle Rec Center. It’s located at 901 Selden Street and it’s just over seven acres, bound by the Lodge, Selden, an alley off Third Street, and Brainerd Street.

From the Wigle RFP

From the announcement, "Competitive bids will include a well-designed, walkable, environmentally sustainable, mixed-income neighborhood of between 150-200 units, with open space that connects seamlessly to the Midtown neighborhood. Project proposals also should include a mix of residential unit types and sizes, with at least 50% of the units made available to renters, with 20% of the rental units reserved for affordable housing."

The options suggested in the RFP are pretty interesting (they start on the Site Context section), with a combination of townhouses, apartment buildings, and parks. The influences for these different options are Philly, Brooklyn, and Lafayette Park. This could be quite the opportunity in this under-utilized part of Midtown.

The second proposal is in the Sugar Hill Arts District. For this one, "Proposals must create a walkable, mixed-use, mixed-income community that includes at least 60 units of multifamily rental housing in addition to ground-floor retail and structured parking."

From the Sugar Hill RFP

This site is near MOCAD and N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art and bound by East Forest, John R, Garfield, and Woodward Avenue. From the release, "20% of the residential units should be affordable to households making 80% of area median income (AMI) or lower."

"As the city rebuilds its population density, we are going to do everything we can to make sure Detroiters of all income levels have the ability to live in these new developments," said the city’s Director of Housing & Revitalization, Arthur Jemison. "That includes some of the best new developments in downtown, midtown and along the east riverfront."

Both proposals are due November 14 and more information can be found here.