Rick Stanza hadn’t done any single-family residential construction in over a decade. And as the director of construction and general partner for Detroit Rising Development, which is undertaking and has completed a number of projects in Detroit, he’s certainly got a full plate.
Nonetheless, he and his development firm wanted to try their hand at something more modest: a renovation of a dilapidated bungalow in the East Village. Detroit Rising bought the home at 3011 Fischer Street in September 2018 for $58,000 and got to work.
The home, which was nearly demolished, had a long way to go. The roof was crumbling, much of the house had taken severe water damage, and parts of the walls were missing.
After about $130,000 and almost exactly a year later, the renovation is complete.
All the original woodwork was restored, the porch rebuilt, and an addition added to the second-floor, turning the previously cramped and unfinished attic into a master suite with a large walk-in closet and stand-up shower in the bathroom.
There’s also an interesting, and accidental, observation deck accessible from the bedroom. “It was actually a mistake by the carpenter,” Stanza says. “The rebuilt peak wasn’t in the center of dormer. So rather than rip it off, we decided to extend the rafter tails and make it look intentional. It ended up being the coolest part of the house.”
It’s also got all the modern amenities you’d expect in a renovated home, as well as a brand new kitchen, furnace, electrical system, and more. Woodward Throwbacks did the interior design.
The new home on Fischer Street is now three bedrooms and 1,850 square feet. The house already sold for $250,000.
While this was definitely a personal project for Stanza, it was also a test case for the potential of Detroit Rising Development getting into single-family renovation on a larger scale. He got to see what it was like to clear a title, work with the city, and hire Detroit labor. He adds that 100 percent of the tradesman used for the project live from Detroit.
“My past life was in single-family renovations,” Stanza says. “So if there’s an opportunity out there to help with the growth of the city’s density, doing stuff I love and know how to do, then why not?”
If future renovations will be this well done, then why not indeed.
Take a look at some more photos to see the work for yourself.