Detroit’s Stone Soap Building to Undergo $27M Renovation

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Officials from the City of Detroit, Detroit Economic Growth Corp., and additional stakeholders today announced the redevelopment of the historic Stone Soap building as part of the city’s East Riverfront framework plan. The project is expected to break ground next spring following City Council approval, and is slated for completion by fall 2020.

Detroit-based developer Banyan Investments will take on the $27 million project, renovating the building, located at 1490 Franklin St., into a new mixed-use structure, and will add three to six additional stories. The project includes 63 residential units, including condominiums and rental units, with 20 percent reserved as affordable housing units for residents making 80 percent of the area median income.

“The riverfront belongs to everybody, and the redevelopment of the Stone Soap building is a big piece of how we are making it a walkable, enjoyable amenity for all Detroiters” says Mayor Mike Duggan. “It’s also another important piece of our city’s history that is being brought back to life.”

The project will also include 13,000 square feet of retail space and permanent performance space for Shakespeare in Detroit, a locally based company that performs Shakespeare’s works across the city. The commercial space will be built in a European style, with an open market concept for food and beverage space. The development will also include Detroit’s first parking carousel in an enclosed space, as well as a pool, a gym, rooftop gardens, storage, and bike stations for residents.

The first two structures in the Stone Soap building were initially created in 1907, followed by a three-story addition in the late 1920s. The building housed several industrial companies before being purchased by the Stone Soap Co. in the late 1970s, where commercial detergents were manufactured for laundries, restaurants, and car washes until the late 1990s. The building has been vacant for at least the last 20 years.

The Stone Soap redevelopment is part of the city’s East Riverfront framework plan, which is designed to improve the Riverfront experience for Detroiters and visitors from St. Antoine to East Grand Boulevard and Larned Street to the Detroit River.

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