Detroit’s Eastern Market Poised to Grow with New Housing, Food Production, Offices, and Retail

The City of Detroit’s Housing and Revitalization Department (HRD) and the Detroit Economic Growth Corp. (DEGC) today announced they are seeking proposals from qualified development teams for two sites in the Eastern Market District.
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Eastern Market
The City of Detroit and Detroit Economic Growth Corp. are seeking proposals for two sites in the Eastern Market District. // Image courtesy of the City of Detroit

The City of Detroit’s Housing and Revitalization Department (HRD) and the Detroit Economic Growth Corp. (DEGC) today announced they are seeking proposals from qualified development teams for two sites in the Eastern Market District.

The first property is nearly 1-acre of vacant land at 1923 Division St., on the northeast corner of the Dequindre Cut Greenway. HRD is seeking proposals to build a new mixed-use, mixed-income housing development with the potential to offer up to 125,000 square feet for residential dwelling use.

The land is centrally located near Lafayette Park and downtown Detroit. The property is adjacent to several businesses and is generally bounded by Alfred Street to the north, Division Street to the south, the Dequindre Cut Greenway to the west, and St. Aubin Street to the east. It is close to both I-75 and I-375, and two blocks from Gratiot Avenue.

“This is a prime location that will help create the model for future development along the Dequindre Cut,” says Donald Rencher, director of the Housing and Revitalization Department. “That’s why we’re looking for catalytic projects that include sustainable design principles; incorporate ground-floor commercial space; provide mixed-income housing; and takes advantage of its location on the Dequindre Cut to offer publicly accessible space.”

The development groups says developers should demonstrate a strong track record in delivering quality projects on time; have evidence of strong financial capacity; have significant mixed-use development expertise coupled with a commitment to creating quality, well-designed housing; and be committed to setting aside at least 20 percent of the development’s residential units for households making 80 percent of the area median income or less.

A pre-submission conference will take place at 10 a.m. Sept. 9 via Zoom here. Proposals must be submitted by 5 p.m. Oct. 30. For details on the RFP, interested parties can visit here.

The second property is located at 1540 Wilkins St., on the southeast corner of Riopelle, in the heart of Eastern Market. In partnership with the city of Detroit and Wayne County, the DEGC is seeking proposals from qualified development teams or end users to construct a new food manufacturing, production, and distribution facility along with commercial office space and public parking. The nearly 3.5-acre development site is inclusive of three parcels — 1580, 3085, and 3101 Wilkins.

The project must include construction of a new facility with up to four floors housing food processing, commercial space, and a multi-story parking deck.

This property sits within the evolving Eastern Market District, which, thanks to the Eastern Market Neighborhood Framework Plan, will see increased food production and distribution in the Market District and expanded amenities in the interlacing residential neighborhoods.

The Eastern Market Framework Plan sets the course to drive $70.9 million in private investment, create nearly 500 jobs, catalyze a district-wide greenway network, and retain nearly 300 jobs in the local food sector.

The 1540 Wilkins St. development has been identified as essential to elevating food production in the market core. Given its central location to the existing Eastern Market, it is a top development priority and will likely serve as a model for future development.

Respondents must demonstrate a strong track record in delivering quality projects on time, evidence strong financial capacity, have significant real estate development and manufacturing expertise, and exhibit a strong commitment to maintaining the character and function of Eastern Market, the development groups say.

A pre-submission conference will take place at 10 a.m. Sept. 30 via Zoom here. Proposals must be submitted by 10:00 a.m. Dec. 16. Any questions may be directed Catherine Frazier, cfrazier@degc.org.

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