We love the progress being made...DMC and now WSU! original FREEP article
Merchants move into building near WSU
BY GRETA GUEST • FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER • September 14, 2008
National and local retailers are moving into a new apartment building on Woodward near Wayne State University in Midtown, a big plus for the area that serves students and professionals.
So far, Utrecht Art Supplies and Radio Shack have opened in the 30,000 square feet set aside for retail on the first floor. Coming this fall are Fifth Third Bank, Biggby Coffee and Starter's Bar and Grill.
"This is the first new apartment building in the city for many years," said Marcel Burgler, developer of the 124-unit Studio One Apartments. "It's got a lot of light and space, it's secure and has covered parking. I think we'll do well."
Burgler said the building is about 40% leased. The one- and two-bedroom apartments range from 650 square feet to 1,008 square feet and rent for $870 to $1,395. Each unit has a balcony, hardwood floors, walk-in closets, a washer/dryer combination, granite countertops, floor-to-ceiling windows, appliances and exposed concrete ceilings and duct work.
Burgler, with Grand Rapids-based Prime Development, developed the building in a joint venture with Wayne State University. The university contributed $14 million, including the 950-space parking deck that is linked by a walkway to the apartment building.
Prime Development invested $22 million to build the project on two acres on Woodward near Warren. It has an option to develop another campus housing project on a nearby 2-acre plot, Burgler said.
The building is attracting more faculty and professionals than undergrads, he said. It is particularly attractive for people who don't want to buy property they may not be able to sell quickly with the real estate market slump.
The Wayne State market is attractive to Fifth Third Bank, which is to open Sept. 29 in the first-floor retail space.
Jeff Wagner, vice president for corporate real estate for Fifth Third Bank, said the branch would be the Cincinnati-based bank's fifth in the city.
"This location we are excited about because of the redevelopment happening adjacent to it and on the Wayne State campus," Wagner said. "We are looking forward to a positive experience there. Wayne State continues to have a lot of energy."
Jon Parlangeli, store manager for Utrecht Art Supplies, said the new location is cleaner and safer than the old one on Woodward where the retailer had been for 70 years.
"If you get this much retail in one spot, it will draw people," he said. "We can all kind of cross-pollinate each other."
Contact GRETA GUEST at 313-223-4192 or firstname.lastname@example.org.