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First unit in ‘reverse gentrification’ fourplex is complete, lists for $620K

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Developers for the Islandview townhomes hired locally and renovated a neighbor’s unit for free

Exterior of brick townhome Photos by Stylish Detroit

Last year, builder Joe Ventimiglia and designer Michael Coffindaffer began renovating a fourplex on East Grand Boulevard in Islandview, but there was a catch. While three of the four units were vacant, the fourth was still occupied by owner Lorraine Griffin, who’d been in the home nearly 50 years.

Instead of pressuring Griffin to sell, they decided to renovate her home, for free, along with the others as part of the group’s Saint Paul on the Blvd development. The group installed new windows, a roof, a facade, and electrical system.

“Because she stuck it out, she deserves to enjoy the rebirth of the building. She also has the opportunity to have the value change from $10,000 to $300,000 for her,” Ventimiglia told Fox 2 Detroit last year.

Moreover, the developers say they’ve hired over a dozen local residents to work on the project, many of whom had few carpentry skills and got on-the-job training.

Because of how the developers have included residents in the development, they’ve dubbed the process “reverse gentrification.” As neighborhood home values increase, they’re hoping this is a way for locals to stay, as opposed to be displaced.

The first of the three completely-rehabbed units has just finished and is listed through Max Brook Realtors for $620,000. The other two will hit the market in the fall.

Kitchen with granite countertop

The three vacant townhomes in the 1912 building required a gut rehab. The finishes, appliances, and overall design are superb throughout.

The first floor has an open floor plan with connected kitchen and living room. The two second-floor bedrooms connect via a shared bathroom. The master bedroom is unique in that it’s on the third floor and has an aluminum-framed glass partition separating it from the master bathroom with some nice brick accents.

Other features include a 190-bottle wine cellar, two gated parking spots, and granite countertops.

There’s a lot we could say about the townhome—take a look at the pictures and Stylish Turf’s website for more.

Living room with open floor plan
Bathroom connecting two bedrooms
Glass partition in master bathroom
190-bottle wine cellar