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City seeks development proposals for site of former Hope Hospital in Virginia Park

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The 0.75-acre site could be used for a large residential or mixed-use development

Aerial view of a residential neighborhood with some taller buildings in the background. There’s a rendering of a multi-story development at an intersection.
View of the site at 801 Virginia Park Street.

The city of Detroit’s Housing and Revitalization Department (HRD) has issued a request for proposals (RFP) to develop a vacant 0.75-acre site in the Virginia Park Historic District.

The parcel on the southwest corner of Virginia Park Street and Third Avenue is blocks away from New Center, the Henry Ford Health System campus, the Lodge freeway, and dozens of historic homes in the dense residential neighborhood.

HRD says it will consider a range of development ideas. A residential component, however, is required and 20 percent of those units must be affordable to households earning up to 80 percent of the area median income (around $45,000). Multiple housing types, as well as a mixed-use development, will be considered.

A 0.2-acre vacant parcel across the street could also be included in the proposal.

The city also says it’s looking for projects that enhance the “equity, sustainability, resilience, and healthy living” of nearby residents. Other recommendations in the RFP include minimal street setbacks, a design that compliments the neighborhood, and as little land as possible dedicated to parking.

Computer images of modern townhomes with brick and glass facades. People walk along the sidewalk in front of the building.
Rendering of a possible development at the site.

“This development opportunity offers a large tract of land in a prime location that is surrounded by historic homes and thriving neighborhoods,” Donald Rencher, director of the City’s Housing and Revitalization Department, said in a release. “This is a unique chance to build a game-changing, inclusive development that will become the centerpiece of this neighborhood in the heart of the city.”

The city is asking $360,000 for the land. Submissions are due by January 24, 2020.

The parcel sits on the former site of Detroit Hope Hospital, which opened in 1970 and closed in 2010 before its demolition in 2014. Detroiturbex has a brief history of the black-owned hospital, which was founded to treat those overlooked by traditional medical institutions.