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Gilbert, partners cleared by HUD to purchase Brewster-Douglass site

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The $23 million sale will likely go through in the fall

A playground and green space in a courtyard surrounded by buildings. Rendering courtesy of Bedrock

A major hurdle has been cleared to develop the site of the former Brewster-Douglass Housing Projects. Crain’s Detroit Business is reporting that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) approved the sale of the site to Bedrock Detroit and other development partners for $23 million.

The historic housing project between Eastern Market and Brush Park was demolished five years ago, and the plan to redevelop it was first announced by Bedrock in July 2018. It swiftly got approval by the city of Detroit; HUD’s approval took much longer.

A Bedrock spokesman told Crain’s that the sale will likely be finalized in the fall.

The ambitious, $300 million-plus development calls for over 900 units of mixed-income housing (648 apartments and 265 for-sale units), 3.2 acres of public space, an early learning center, and retail spread across 784,080 square feet. Nearby City Modern in Brush Park, also developed by Bedrock, will add over 400 units of housing.

Crain’s also reports that funds for the sale will go towards environmental remediation and providing affordable housing for about a quarter of the residents.

Construction first began on the eventual six-tower Brewster-Douglass homes in 1935 with a groundbreaking featuring First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Over the decades, the buildings began to deteriorate until they were finally shut down in 2008 and demolished in 2014.