Midtown makeover ordered on former site of recreation center

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The City of Detroit is working on a plan to put new housing on some of the biggest vacant lots in Midtown.

A big empty lot where the Wigle Recreational Center used to be, and a smaller parking lot near to the city's VA hospital are two city owned areas getting a makeover.

"Now that the market has strengthened, we've seen more developer interested in some of the parcels we have, and so we said 'Okay, let's think about what we should have on this site,'" said Arthur Jemison, Director of Housing for the City of Detroit.

City officials say these lots are the perfect spots for new housing because they are so close to the growing entertainment district, the hospitals, and incoming Q-Line streetcar.

Jemison says the plan will lay tracks for even more growth. Now the focus shifts towards finding a good developer.

"We need someone who's really going to provide design excellence, and create a redevelopment at the site that's going to be appealing to every kind of Detroiter," Jemison also said.

Proposals will be evaluated by the city by the end of the year. Construction will hopefully begin by next summer or fall.