SW Detroit development sparked by Michigan Central station project

Next year empty property in southwest Detroit will have housing and shopping.

The empty space greets many heading into the Mexicantown Business District of southwest Detroit - for now. 

"We're about building more than buildings. We want to build lives and communities," said Clifford Brown, managing partner, Woodburn brothers.

The city awarded the $16 million project on Bagley and 16th Street to Detroit-based developer Woodborn partners. Brown is the lead developer.

"He's shown with his past record and past developments, he's built things on time, he is great with the community," said Donald Rencher, director of Housing and Revitalization.

City officials say Woodborn will bring deep, local development experience to project which is expected to add 60 new and mixed-income apartments, 40 parking spaces and 5,000 square feet of retail along Bagley. Brown says it will be diverse and will create a sense of place.

"We want to make sure everyone feels welcome in our buildings," Brown said.

Brown excited for the four-story building's proximity not only to downtown, but also to the popular Honey Bee Market and the soon to be revamped Michigan Central Station in Corktown.

"It really shows you the economic impact and what it's causing with new development and it will continue into the southwest area," said Rencher.

Over the next couple of months, Woodborn partners and city leaders say they will be engaging with neighbors and community leaders to gather feedback. Brown says they hope to break ground as early as October of this year and finish up the project by November of 2020.