Plans for the towering vacant Lee Plaza have come and gone over the last few years. But an announcement by the city yesterday sounds more promising than most. With City Council approval, the city would sell the site for $350,000 to a venture with developers the Roxbury Group and Ethos Development Partners.
The building, which sits about a mile west of the Fisher Building on West Grand Boulevard, has been vacant since 1997. Redevelopment plans call for 180 new residential units, with at least 50 percent of its units for residents earning “a range of incomes below the area median income level,” or below $40,000 annually.
The redevelopment could cost $50 million.
“An entire generation of young Detroiters has known Lee Plaza only as that vacant eyesore next to Northwestern High School. While this building has deteriorated significantly over the last two decades, we have tapped a development team that has saved many buildings others said were too far gone to be brought back to life,” said Mayor Mike Duggan. “In addition, Roxbury and Ethos are committed to making the redeveloped Lee Plaza available to families that have a range of income levels.”
The Roxbury Group has completed many redevelopments in the past few years, including the David Whitney Building and the new Element Hotel at the Metropolitan Building. Ethos Development Partners redeveloped the NSO Bell Building on Oakman Boulevard.
According to a release, City Council could look at the proposal this month. Work will continue securing and cleaning the building, with possible construction starting in 2021.