Detroit-based Soave Real Estate Group and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan Wednesday opened the first phase of Elton Park Corktown, a $150 million mixed use development that has 151 residential units across six buildings and 11,400 square feet of retail space.
More than 70 percent of the apartments have been leased in the eight months following the first resident moving into the first completed building.
“What had been for years a sea of parking lots and a large vacant building is now a beautiful new residential anchor and public space in Detroit’s oldest neighborhood,” says Duggan. “I am deeply grateful to Tony Soave for his continued investment in the growth and revitalization of our city.”
This is the largest development in the neighborhood in decades, and the first phase was completed in a little more than two years. It includes five new buildings and the renovation of the historic Checker Cab Building, which now houses 45 one-bedroom and seven two-bedroom apartments, as well as 2,500 square feet of ground-floor retail.
Soave has committed to designating 20 percent of the residential units as affordable housing.
New additions to the neighborhood include the Robertson, a four-story building with 45 one- and two-bedroom units and 3,000 square feet of first-floor retail space; the Crawford, a five-story structure with 40 one- and two-bedroom apartments and 3,800 square feet of ground level retail space; 2100 and 2120 Trumbull, each home to five apartments of about 1,000 square feet and about 1,000 square feet of retail in each; and 8th Street Row, which has four three-story townhomes.
Checker Alley is a centrally located outdoor gathering space that offers access from Trumbull Avenue into Elton Park. The development also includes parking, internet, in-unit laundry facilities, and proximity to grocery stores, coffee shops, fitness centers, bars and restaurants, entertainment, and more.
The development plans included an engagement process with business and resident stakeholders in the area.
“I am very happy to have worked with the city and our strong team to take this once underdeveloped and underutilized corner of the Corktown community and transform it into a vibrant 24-hour district in this iconic corner of Detroit,” says Soave, president and CEO of Soave Enterprises. “We are honored to play a role in Detroit’s continued renaissance delivering much-needed housing to this great neighborhood.”
Future phases of Elton Park have the potential to bring an additional 275-350 residential units and retail to the remaining three acres. The first phase of the project cost $50 million to complete, leaving $100 million for future development that has yet to be planned.
The name Elton Park comes from a park originally located at Elizabeth Street and Fifth Street. It was lost to the construction of the Lodge Freeway in the late 1950s.
Soave has a 55-year history of real state in Detroit, including serving as an investor in the Lofts at Rivertown on East Jefferson and the Randolph Building in Paradise Valley. The company started investing in Corktown in 1998 when it purchased the Checker Cab business and parcels of land around the building totaling 4.5 acres. Until breaking ground on the project, the area primarily provided parking for the neighborhood’s restaurants and bars.
Detroit’s Roxbury Group provided development services; Detroit’s Hamilton Anderson Associates and Quinn Evans Architects, which is headquartered in Washington, D.C. and has a Detroit office, provided architecture and design; and Monahan Construction in Eastpointe served as construction manager.
Elton Park’s financial supporters include the Michigan Economic Development Corp.’s Michigan Strategic Fund, through which the development received a $6.9 million Community Revitalization Program investment, Comerica Bank and Huntington Bank, which financed the project, and the city of Detroit, which supported the project with infrastructure improvements in the area.
Soave has investments and operations in real estate, metals recycling, agriculture, and automotive. It has $2 billion of development across five states.