More affordable housing opening in downtown Detroit

A redevelopment of the historic Elmwood Plaza building, now to be called the City Club Apartments Lafayette Park, broke ground Thursday.

"Detroit isn't different from anywhere else in the world, the issue is -- can Detroit take advantage of it, like other cities are?" said Jonathan Holtzman, CEO of City Club Apartments Lafayette Park.

Holtzman said the development like this attracts people of all demographics.

"We've got this whole young generation that doesn't want to live in the suburbs, they want to live in the city. You got another generation that's putting off marriage and children, and they don't even want a car, and they want to live in the city, and then you've got older people like me that are saying, what am I doing in the suburbs? I want to live in the city," he said.

Among the amenities are a boutique style lobby with 24/7 concierge, social programming, an expansive outdoor park with a heated pool, a bark park, and an unobstructed view of the Riverfront and Canada, downtown and Eastern Market. 

Detroit City Councilwoman Mary Sheffield was on hand for the groundbreaking. It's happening in her district and she lives right down the street. 

"We have an opportunity to show other developers that this can take place, that we can welcome in the revitalization of Detroit and new development, but also protect those who have been here," she said.

Twenty percent of the redevelopment will involve affordable units, a priority for her and the city.

"We want to continue to increase and push affordable in the city of Detroit as investment comes to the city, but we also want to make sure that our Detroiters who have been here believe they are a part of this dream and  that we are not displacing people," said Donald Rencher, director of Housing and Revitalization.