Detroit Looks to Redevelop Brewster Wheeler Recreation Center


The Brewster Wheeler Recreation Center — where famed Detroit boxer Joe Louis once trained — has remained vacant since 2006, and that’s something Detroit officials would like to see change.

Today, the city’s planning and development department issued a request for proposals and qualifications for the redevelopment of the nearly 52,000-square-foot facility and its six-acre lot.

“The goal of this administration is to save as many buildings as we can, especially ones with historic significance,” says Mayor Mike Duggan. “Just as we are doing with our home auctions, we are going to see which larger buildings people are willing to invest in and which ones they are not.”

Duggan notes that recent changes near the center, which opened in 1929 as the Central Community Center, makes a workable redevelopment plan all the more promising. Not only are the former Brewster Douglas residential towers in the final stages of demolition, but the M-1 Rail project, the nearby hockey arena, and the continued rejuvenation of Brush Park are under way.

“The Brewster Wheeler Recreation Center has a deep, personal history in our city,” Duggan says. “With all of the other positive developments going on around it, it feels like the time may be right for the right developer to come forward with the right plan.”

Site tours will begin at 9 a.m. Sept. 10 at the Brewster Recreation Center, followed by a pre-bid meeting at 1 p.m. at the Office of the Real Estate Development Division (20th Floor), at 65 Cadillac Square in Detroit.

Proposals must be submitted before 3 p.m. on Sept. 22. For more information, click here.