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Commercial Real Estate

Philip J. Neudeck building is located at 415 Clifford Street in the heart of Detroit’s Central Business District. Positioned at the southeast corner of Clifford and Bagley, the building boasts adjacencies to Grand Circus Park & the burgeoning Washington Boulevard corridor.

Historically utilized for office space, the Neudeck building is currently 100% vacant and unencumbered by any lease arrangements. In addition to being suitable for office use, the Neudeck could have merit as a residential, lodging or mixed use project.

Neudeck Property Highlights:

Building Size – 85,600 RSF

Typical Floor Size – 9,500 SF (approx.)

# of Floors – Eight (plus a full basement and penthouse for storage and roof access).

Year Built – 1939, partially renovated in the 1970’s and 1990’s.

Parking – Sale includes an adjacent gated, surface parking lot which, capable of accommodating approximately 33 cars.

Elevators – Three (all operational)

Other Property Features:

  • Free standing building with views of Grand Circus Park & the Stadium District
  • Two-story first floor lobby
  • Two block radius of the David Whitney Building / aLoft hotel project; Detroit City Apartments; AT&T CBD campus; DTE Energy HQ; Detroit People Mover station.
  • Roof & mechanicals have been well maintained and are in working condition.

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Joe Barbat, the CEO and chairman of Wireless Toyz, purchased a 64,000 square foot building connected to the Hotel St. Regis in Detroit’s New Center area. The eastern half of the building that also houses the hotel is located on the corner of Woodward Avenue and West Grand Boulevard. This prime location makes it very attractive not only for those who work in the city, including the nearby Henry Ford Health System, but also for those who wish to live in the city but may work in outlying areas of Metro Detroit.

Barbat, continuing his tradition of hearkening back to old Detroit, is renaming his purchase the St. Regis Building. The five-story structure is an addition to the St. Regis Hotel, which was built in 1966, and was added in 1984. The exterior of both buildings share the charm of the neoclassical hotel’s architecture.

There will be 60 units in the St. Regis Building, most of which will be one-bedroom apartments. Those 54 one-bedroom units, as well as the six studio apartments, will rent for approximately $1.50 per square foot. The units range from 500 to 800 square feet. The apartments will be fitted with new electrical, plumbing, heating and cooling. Barbat will also have new kitchens and flooring installed in the units.

Amenities will abound in the building. Valet service and a rooftop terrace are among the features that renters will be able to enjoy. The building purchased by Barbat has a ground floor space that was once used as a restaurant and banquet center and which will offer further services for the tenants.

The St. Regis Building is a block away from the historic Fisher Building and the Fisher Theater. The Fisher Building, an Art Deco masterpiece of limestone, granite, and marble, was financed by the Fisher family to provide retail and office space downtown, and continues to thrive. The Fisher Theater inside the Fisher Building is home to touring Broadway shows, the perfect evening out for St. Regis House tenants.

Detroit’s New Center Area, bordered by the Lodge Freeway and John R., and including West Grand Boulevard and the Henry Ford Hospital system, is an area that is flush with possibilities. The architecture and energy of the area make it a place of interest. The excellent location and easy access to freeways offer effortless accessibility.

While the purchase price was not disclosed, the total cost of the entire project, from purchase to renovation, will near $4 million. Barbat is expecting financing and other approvals to fall into place soon. Once that happens, the construction on the apartment units is expected to be completed within 10 to 14 months.

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Joe Barbat, who recently purchased the Parks Apartments building for $3.25 million in an off-market deal, understands the importance of keeping iconic buildings true to their roots. While the building will undergo significant renovations in order to make the apartments more desirable for contemporary tenants beginning this Spring, it will tie back to the former glory of the building.

To start, Barbat will rename the building the Briggs House Residence. The building was once the Briggs Hotel, a destination for many during its heyday, starting from its creation in 1937. Renovations to the building are set to be completed within a year. Barbat Holdings LLC has indicated that lease applications for apartments in the Briggs House Residence should be accepted in six months.

Barbat’s renovations will adhere to the building’s, and neighborhood’s, history. The Parks Apartments on West Adams are part of an effort to revitalize the area, but keep it true to its historic nature. Nearby Grand Circus Park is a vital green space in the city. In 1983, the park was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This federal designation means that the area is considered worthy of preservation. Barbat Holdings LLC will be able to apply for state historic tax credits to aid in rebuilding the area while maintaining its historic nature.

Plans call for the 95,000 square foot building to be converted into 116 Class A units. There are currently 131 units in the building on West Adams. There are two two-bedroom apartments and two penthouse suites, as well as 64 studio apartments and 63 one-bedroom apartments. Barbat will create more spacious living spaces by combining some of the smaller studio apartments into one-bedroom units. The size of the apartments currently varies from 400 square foot studios to 1,600 square foot penthouses.

Creating more one-bedroom units will allow for more spacious urban living for new residents. Studio apartments will still be available; the number of units will be reduced. The variety of total units available will allow renters the option to choose the unit that works best for them.

While keeping the historic integrity of the century-old building intact, Barbat has stated that the building will have new electrical, HVAC, and plumbing systems installed. Combining modern comfort and amenities with classic architectural details signifies an earnest desire to ensure that the history of downtown Detroit stays culturally true while maintaining its relevance for new urban dwellers.

Residents will enjoy new common areas and an exercise area thanks to the planned renovation. A laundry room in the building is simply one of the new amenities that makes downtown living even easier. A rooftop terrace is planned, giving a spectacular view of the downtown skyline. An Internet café will offer global connectivity for visitors and residents alike. Residents and visitors will also be able to enjoy dining options planned for the first floor.

Though the building has been vacant for most of the past two years, its location makes it an ideal place for Detroiters to live.

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Detroit Real Estate Boom

January 14, 2014 by

The city of Detroit is experiencing something of a real estate boom. Investors interested in seeing the city flourish are working together to create investment and financing opportunities for commercial and residential developments.

Competition continues between lender groups in long-term fixed mortgages. Although the rates have ticked up, the competition has not decreased commercial transactions momentum. This has helped private investors purchase commercial buildings throughout the city. During a recent tax-foreclosure auction, an investment group based in Canada purchased 21 properties in Corktown for approximately $185,000.

However, long hindered by the city’s dire economic situation, those interested in moving the city forward on larger scale are now able to find alternate funding for their developments. Instead of being stymied by the restrictions and parameters that have inhibited lending, continued development of funding through the union of foundations and commercial lenders brings in capital that is sorely needed, so that these investors can better serve the needs of the city’s population.

The Woodward Corridor Investment Fund recently announced new funding of $30.25 million. The funds are the result of investment by The Kresge Foundation and NCB Capital Impact. The new funding from The Kresege Foundation and NCB Capital Impact will combine with support provided by the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation, Living Cities, PNC Bank, Prudential, MetLife Inc., and Calvert Foundation, to provide opportunities for investment and rebuilding.

Rather than focus on a specific type of commercial or residential building project, the fund will support mixed-use building projects. This reflects the city’s demand for such buildings, where commercial and residential real estate serve the needs of a vibrant urban population. In an effort to revitalize the city for all its citizens, the building project includes transit-oriented projects, as well as developments that appeal to a mixed-income base.

The donors to the Woodward Corridor Investment Fund have a vested interest in bringing the city to its full potential. Whether the ties are long-standing, such as with the Kresge Foundation, or are more recent, such as with NCB Capital Impact, all are united in their goal to revitalize the city that means so much to them.

DTE Energy looks to be another important factor in the city’s development.  Not only are crews working with other developers in order to rehabilitate projects and buildings, but the company reportedly purchased the Temple Hotel, between Cass Avenue and Woodward Avenue. This building is located in the proposed Red Wings sports and entertainment district.

Dan Gilbert, chairman and founder of Rock Ventures LLC, recognizes the importance staying true to the city. “Designing a signature architectural project from the ground up in downtown Detroit — or any great city — is an opportunity of a lifetime, and we are committed to getting it right,” he said. Detroit’s Hamilton Anderson Associates and New York’s Shop Architects PC will be working together to create a development on the former Hudson’s site that will reflect the architectural traditions of the city.

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