Detroit Economic Growth Corp. Seeks Proposals to Purchase, Renovate Iconic Lafayette Towers


DETROIT— Acting on behalf of the City of Detroit, Detroit Economic Growth Corp. (DEGC) is requesting proposals for a qualified developer to purchase and renovate the iconic Lafayette Towers, a high-rise apartment complex just east of Downtown in the historic Mies Van der Rohe Residential District.

The twin, 22-story towers located at 1301 and 1321 Orleans St. were designed by Van der Rohe and completed in 1963. They were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1996. The complex comprises 584 units of market-rate housing along with a fitness center, laundry room, community space, pool and garage. 

“This property is ideally suited to take advantage of the resurgence of business in Downtown Detroit, and the demand for apartments by people who want to live nearby and enjoy all the excitement of an urban lifestyle,” said George W. Jackson, Jr., president and CEO of DEGC. “It’s a great opportunity for a developer that recognizes the momentum we have in Detroit and can move quickly with a solid financial package.”

The complex is available because the City of Detroit has agreed to purchase it through the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in a foreclosure action. DEGC anticipates the sale to the City will close in mid-November, with a simultaneous closing of the sale to the entity selected.

HUD is requiring the purchaser to make a minimum level of repairs to the property, which it estimates will cost approximately $10 million and must be completed within 18 months of closing. The City is requiring a minimum bid of $5,849,330, and other conditions also apply.

DEGC has scheduled a pre-submittal meeting at 10:00 a.m., Oct. 10 at its offices in the Guardian Building, 500 Griswold St., Suite 2200, Detroit, MI 48226, and the proposal is due at 5:00 p.m. Oct. 17 at the same location. The complete request for proposals can be downloaded at:

Questions must be submitted via e-mail to no later than five business days prior to the submission deadline.