It has been 11 years since the Strathmore Hotel, located on West Alexandrine in Midtown Detroit, closed, but in approximately 18 months it will reopen as a residential building offering affordable and market-rate rental units to Detroiters.
During a ceremony on Tuesday, Jan. 13, outside the historic eight-story building, Mayor Mike Duggan, Midtown Detroit, Inc. (MDI) and their partners announced that funding has been finalized for the $28 million project and that reconstruction on the 129 apartments and 2,000 square-feet of ground-floor commercial space will begin in the next 30 days.
This will occur once the environmental remediation, which is currently under way, is complete.
The redevelopment of the Strathmore is being led by Midtown Detroit, Inc. and development partner McCormack Baron Salazar, based in St. Louis. This project was made possible by the public-private partnership comprised of numerous funding organizations: United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, Michigan State Housing Development Authority, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, City of Detroit, U.S. Bank, Invest Detroit, Detroit Development Fund, Enterprise Community Partners, Ford Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, Hudson-Webber Foundation and Midtown Detroit, Inc.
“The redevelopment of a building as significant as the Strathmore is a great boost for Detroit no matter how you look at it,” Mayor Duggan said. “Our development team chose to get behind this project because it fits perfectly into our commitment to provide Detroiters the opportunity to live in any neighborhood in the city they want.
“With its significant number of affordable housing units, the Strathmore helps to make even a hot property like Midtown accessible to an average Detroit resident.”
Midtown Detroit, Inc. strives for a mix of market-rate and affordable housing in its developments. In the redeveloped Strathmore, 40 percent of the residential units will be offered for affordable housing rates while the other 60 percent will be market-rate.
“The Strathmore is an exciting and significant housing development for Midtown, and we are incredibly grateful for our partners who have worked tirelessly to get this project over the finish line,” said Sue Mosey, president of Midtown Detroit, Inc.
Detroit-based Hamilton Anderson Associates has been hired as the project architect. The apartments they are designing will include one and two bedroom units. Individuals interested in becoming a tenant of the future Strathmore Apartments may call Midtown Detroit, Inc. at 313.420.6000 for preleasing information.
In addition to Mayor Duggan and Sue Mosey, speakers at the ceremony included Lawrence Williamson, real estate manager, Midtown Detroit, Inc.; Sonya Delley
senior vice president, Invest Detroit; and Mark Morante, senior vice president, Michigan Economic Development Corporation.
“Creating vibrant, sustainable and unique places where talent, entrepreneurs and businesses want to locate, invest and grow is a critical building block in a strong economic foundation,” Morante said. “This project will bring new vitality to Midtown and serve as a catalyst for additional economic growth.”
“McCormack Baron Salazar is pleased to be a partner with Midtown Detroit, Inc. in the redevelopment of the historic Strathmore Hotel. MBS, after more than 25 years of attempting to work with Susan Mosey and MDI, has succeeded in moving forward with our first project together. We look forward to working in Detroit for many years to come,” said Richard Baron, chairman and CEO of McCormack Baron Salazar.
“U.S. Bank is proud to partner with Midtown Detroit and McCormack Baron Salazar on this amazing project that will provide safe, high-quality housing for the residents of Midtown and surrounding communities,” said Abhisek Mitra, assistant vice president of U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation. “We are happy to help finance housing that will support the continued growth and revitalization of Detroit.”
Other residential development projects recently completed or under way in Midtown that include affordable housing units are:
• Coronado, a recently renovated building on Second Avenue which includes 24 units of affordable housing.
• Cass Plaza, historic renovation project that is now partially occupied with more units scheduled to open later this year, offering 47 units of affordable housing.
• Casamira, located on Delaware, this property is scheduled to be under renovation this year with 11 units of affordable housing.
• The Auburn, a completed development on Cass that includes 12 units of affordable housing.
Midtown Detroit was recently listed in USA Today’s 10 Up-and-Coming Neighborhoods around the USA, highlighting its abundance of restaurants, galleries, community gardens and markets. And dedicated local entrepreneurs have made Midtown an attractive hub for small businesses with high-end shops and eateries.
Midtown is at the core of the city’s M-1 Rail development and non-motorized transportation plans will soon connect the district to Eastern Market and other neighborhoods via greenways and bike paths.
The future Strathmore residential development will be a significant addition to the available market-rate and affordable housing in Detroit. Completion is expected in 2016.
Built in 1924, the historic eight-story Strathmore Hotel is located at 70 W. Alexandrine in Midtown Detroit and the Willis-Selden Historic District, representing one of the largest concentrations of architecturally significant, late 19th and early 20th century buildings of mixed uses existing in Detroit.
The district’s residential and commercial building stock reflect the history of the area, from its development as a streetcar community in the last 19th century through the intensification of its land use in the early 20th century.
In the early 20th century, the Willis-Selden Historic District became one of the most important areas of suppliers to the auto industry and a prime location for the influx of people seeking jobs in the manufacturing industry.
As an apartment hotel, this building served the short-term traveler as well as the long-term residents by providing residential dwellings with services customarily found at hotels such as dining and limited retail.
The structure operated as an apartment hotel until 1964 and was then renovated into 187 apartment units and was occupied as such until 2004.