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Bagley Development Transforms Artists Building Into Residences @ 150 Bagley

Michigan Chronicle
Sherri Kolade

April 1, 2022

Detroit-based development team of Bagley Development Group, is revamping the nearly 100-year-old building at 150 Bagley St. into 148 apartments. During a press conference on Thursday, March 31, Bagley Development Group member Emmett Moten, left, stands alongside Christopher Ilitch, president, and CEO of Ilitch Holdings, Inc., second from right, and Mayor Mike Duggan along with other developers and City Councilman Coleman Young II.

The transformation of the former United Artists Building in the District Detroit is well underway and Black developers are taking the helm on this $75 million project named the Residences @ 150 Bagley.

On Thursday, March 31 under a tent near the former, historic building, the official announcement was made to develop the Residences @ 150 Bagley, a project led by the Detroit-based, African American-led development team of Bagley Development Group, which is revamping the nearly 100-year-old building at 150 Bagley St. into 148 apartments, 20 percent of which will be reserved as affordable housing at 80 percent area median income.

Mayor Mike Duggan, city, local and governmental leaders from Bagley Development Group, Olympia Development, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced the project, which is described to bring market-rate and affordable housing along Detroit’s Grand Circus Park.

Beyond one- and two-bedroom units that will be up to 1,300 square feet, the redevelopment will also activate approximately 10,000 square feet of retail and dining space along Bagley Street, adding to the growing number of shopping and dining options downtown. The building is slated to open in late 2023.

Bagley Development Group is comprised of Emmett Moten, Scott Allen, Larry Brinker Sr., Tom Goss, Richard Hosey, Roy Roberts, and Jim Thrower, who have a total of decades of development experience in Detroit and have helped to save a number of the city’s vacant historic buildings, including the Fort Shelby Hotel, Farwell and Capitol Park buildings, and soon, the Fisher Body 21 plant.

Moten said during the press conference that he and his peers wanted to put a deal together with “some guys that look like me.”

“A group of Black guys come together and see if we can do something in our city,” Moten said adding that his team wanted to do something for the next generation. “Let them see if we can work collectively.”

Moten added that the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) and the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation were very integral to the project, along with countless organizations and entities.

“All the city council members and staff were very very supportive (including) Invest Detroit. …That’s the team that helped us.”

“My partners and I are honored to develop Residences @150 Bagley in such a vibrant, downtown community,” said Moten, the group’s managing partner. “Residences @ 150 Bagley represents the perfect model for urban development, with the public and private sectors working collectively to benefit the community. “Residences @ 150 Bagley, will become a flagship, residential development in The District Detroit, and will honor the past while creating the next step in downtown’s exciting future.”

Duggan said during the event that this was one of the 12 sites in the city that was the basis of an “international reputation of ruin.”

“We set out to have a plan for all 12 and the United Artists Building … was one of them,” Duggan said. “We are very fortunate that the Illitch family took this building over.”

Duggan added that the Illitch organization preserved the building for decades to make this possible.

He added that he is seeing a trend cropping up in the city when it comes to advancing new developments in Detroit.

“We are seeing a trend of long-time Detroiters, African American business leaders actually doing the development that is driving Detroit’s recovery,” Duggan said adding that Moten brought the idea to his attention years ago alongside some Black heavy hitters across various industries in the city who are now leading the project. “A number of people who are iconic African American business leaders in the city for decades. People I’ve known for many years. They all came in and said, ‘This is going to be something.’”

“I’m not sure anybody else could have done this but it is here,” Duggan said. “This beautiful building is going to come back to life. This is a great thing for the City of Detroit.”

Detroit Councilman Coleman Young II said during the event that when his father, Coleman A. Young, became mayor one of his visions was to make sure that there African Americans participated while bringing others along the journey, too.

“What these gentlemen have done here represents that fruition,” Young said of the developers.

The Residences @ 150 Bagley will not only bring affordable housing, new residents, and businesses to the thriving neighborhood around Grand Circus Park but also create hundreds of construction and permanent jobs to Detroit.

The Residences @ 150 Bagley will be within walking distance of several public transit options and a wealth of work, live, and play options in The District Detroit, including Comerica Park, Ford Field, Little Caesars Arena, the historic Fox Theatre, the Detroit Opera House and other cultural venues.

The project received a $43 million HUD 221(d)(4) multifamily housing loan, $8.5 million from the Downtown Development Authority, $7 million from the Michigan Strategic Fund, and $3 million in federal Community Development Block Grant funding secured through the Detroit Housing & Revitalization Department, according to the release.

The building, vacant for nearly 50 years, is a symbol of rebirth that will be rightly positioned in the downtown area.

“Bagley Development’s commitment to bringing this historic property back to life – and to creating opportunity through good jobs and affordable housing while doing so – remains an inspiration to me and the entire team at Olympia Development,” said Christopher Ilitch, president, and CEO of Ilitch Holdings, Inc. “We’re honored to partner with Emmett Moten and the rest of the outstanding Bagley Development team on this historic restoration in The District Detroit, and we look forward to seeing the lasting, positive impact that it will have on the community.”

“HUD is thrilled to partner with the City of Detroit, Bagley Development Group, and Olympia Development to bring 150 Bagley back to life,” said Michael Polsinelli, Detroit field director for HUD. “HUD’s name says it all – Housing and Urban Development. The rehabilitation of the United Artists Building will bring additional quality housing to the City of Detroit along with the continued successful urban development of Detroit.”

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