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Detroit real estate this spring: What to watch for and expect

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Michelle & Chris Gerard

It’s the first day of Spring and even though it’s grey and dreary in Detroit, we’re anticipating a busy real estate and development season heating up. Here are a few of the big ideas we’re keeping an eye on.

Hot neighborhoods

A couple months ago, we talked about what could be Detroit’s hottest neighborhoods for 2017. Since then, we’ve been surprised by some of the neighborhoods emerging. The University District is now listing and selling houses regularly for about $300K. After a big sale in New Center, we’ve seen other houses on Virginia Park Street follow suit and go for a big listing price, along with some condos at pretty good prices. What will we see next in New Center? And Islandview, banking on the success of development in West Village, is posting some pretty big listings and sales this year. Will more homes be renovated along East Grand Boulevard and/or near Kercheval?

And Brush Park? It’s crazy over there, with crumbling properties asking around $300K for development rights.

Here comes the QLINE

Michelle & Chris Gerard

That red streetcar will start rolling on schedule down Woodward May 12, and so many people are banking on its success. Everyone will be watching to see how many people use it regularly, and if the investment along the Woodward corridor will pay off. Will it be a great success? Can we extend it to at least Ferndale, or add rail down Michigan Avenue and more corridors? Or will it be People Mover 2.0? We’ll soon know.

What will happen around the Arena?

The Little Caesars Arena will open this fall for the Red Wings and Pistons seasons. Olympia has big ideas in mind for the area around the arena (branded the District Detroit), including a lot more residential, but only a few buildings besides the arena are under construction. Some tipsters tell us Cass Corridor has seen a few more older buildings demoed this week, and a new listing for the holdout house near the arena only mentions land, not buildings. This is troubling. Will we have a clearer idea of what’s to come after the arena opens?

Maybe more condos instead of apartments on the horizon

The construction boom over the past few years in Detroit has been dominated by apartments. We’ll see DuCharme Place and Orleans Landing open this spring, offering hundreds of new apartments in Lafayette Park and the Riverfront. And the micro apartments at 28 Grand will soon be completed. As we see more residential open up, the need for people to invest in the city and own property becomes even more apparent. We have a couple condo developments in the works; perhaps some smart developers could offer more in the near future?

Moving forward on old projects

We’d love to see progress on the big plan for the State Fairgrounds, and something, anything happen with the Statler City site. We’re always rooting for poor Lee Plaza, which is looking pretty dreary these days. We’ve seen big projects like the Hudson’s site and Packard Plant moving forward — could Michigan Central Station be next we can dream)? Are there any other plans you’d like to see gain momentum, Curbed readers?