Economic Development Corporation Approves $1.0 Million Loan for Woodward Theater



Published:

DETROIT – The Economic Development Corporation of the City of Detroit has approved a $1.0 million loan towards the restoration of the historic Garden Theater at 3919 Woodward Ave. as a performance, retail and conference center that will be renamed the Woodward Theater.

“This is a very important step forward for an anchor development in Midtown,” said Brian Holdwick, executive vice president for business development at DEGC. “It is an excellent example of using several historic structures as the foundation for new investment and economic growth, because it brings together entertainment, retail stores, office space and eventually, much needed rental housing.”

The renovation is the third phase of a mixed-use development across the entire 3900 block of Woodward Ave. Named Woodward Garden, the development also includes an office building and parking structure and anticipates building a number of apartments as well. The Michigan Strategic Fund is providing $750,000 from its Michigan Community Revitalization Program to fund the loan, and the Detroit Casino Loan Fund will provide the other $250,000.

The Woodward Theater was designed by C. Howard Crane, the architect who also designed Orchestra Hall and the Fox Theatre. The developer, Woodward Theater LLC estimates the cost of renovating it at $12.3 million. It will include a performance venue that will seat 1,300 people and a number of other meeting rooms.

The developer has also been approved for a SmartBuildings Detroit grant to make energy-saving improvements to the building.

“It’s a great day,” said George Stewart, managing partner for the developing group. “It shows what you can do in Detroit when you get all the right parties committed to a project. We appreciate the way the EDC and Michigan Strategic Fund were able to act within a very short time frame; without these funds we would not be able to proceed.”

Brian Holdwick, executive vice president for business development at DEGC said, “This is a very important step forward for an anchor development in Midtown. It is an excellent example of using several historic structures as the foundation for new investment and economic growth, because it brings together entertainment, retail stores, office space and eventually, much needed rental housing.”

MEDC president and CEO Michael A. Finney said, “This project will strengthen midtown Detroit and act as a catalyst for a viable residential neighborhood by redeveloping an obsolete building into a vibrant entertainment venue. Through the Michigan Community Revitalization Program, we can offer quicker access to funding assistance for developers while affording lower costs and greater flexibility.”

Edit Module
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Hyper Speed
    The inside story of how a trio of young entrepreneurs convinced billionaire Dan Gilbert to back...
  2. Vegan Restaurant GreenSpace Café to Open in Ferndale
    GreenSpace Café, a plant-based, vegan restaurant that will also feature cocktails and raw juice,...
  3. Rochester’s Royal Park Hotel Updates Restaurant with Open Kitchen, Gas Pizza Oven
    The Brookshire Restaurant at the Royal Park Hotel in Rochester is undergoing renovations and will...
  4. Detroit’s Shelby Congress Building Undergoes Renovation into Office Space, Restaurants
    The Shelby Congress Building in downtown Detroit, built in 1925, is undergoing renovations and...
  5. Restaurant Featuring Michigan Whiskey, Beer to Open in Grosse Pointe
    Whiskey Six, a restaurant and bar with a focus on Michigan-made whiskey and beer, will open in...
  6. Guest Blog: Wayne County and Detroit: A Financial Comparison
    Will Wayne County become the next Detroit? Recent news about the county’s financial woes...