Development Battles : It's Old Folks Homes V Redevelopment in Downtown, Midtown

Sarah Cox
griswoldbuildingevic.jpg
griswoldbuildingevic.jpg

[The Griswold, soon the be The Albert, photo by Michelle and Chris Gerard]

Today MLive pulls at the heart strings with the tale of an elderly dude asked to relocate from downtown's Griswold apartment building who died before he could find a new home. He had lived there for 16 years. Yikes. The Griswold is being converted from senior housing into market-rate apartments developed by Broder & Sachse Real Estate Services, Inc. The company has renamed the building The Albert.

While the resident died of natural causes, some are crying out "injustice!" MLive reports that,

"at least a dozen senior apartment buildings in Detroit's Midtown and downtown areas could convert to market rate apartments in the next 10 years, forcing thousands of seniors to find new homes."

With rental demand rising in downtown and midtown and rental rates at $2/square foot, building owners are economically incentivised to make the flip, and there is no system in place to preserve low-income housing credits.

A group called the Senior Housing Displacement-Preservation Coalition has identified more than a dozen properties in Midtown and downtown where subsidies for low-income senior housing will expire within a few years. Their most serious concern is Orchestra Towers, at 3501 Woodward Ave., where vouchers dry up on September 30 on 248 apartments.

Downtown housing for olds became a big thing in the 1980s when no one wanted to live downtown. At the time senior subsidies were seen as a good way to keep buildings occupied and preserve a little but of density.
· Preview Life at The Albert: Model Units are Open for Snooping [Curbed Detroit]
· Detroit's Midtown, downtown redevelopment threatens senior housing [MLive]
· Letter Reveals Gilbert Controls This Capitol Park Loft Building [Curbed]
· Confirmed: Griswold Building to be Renovated as Apartments [Curbed]