Detroit Regional Chamber > Racial Justice & Economic Equity > Major Developments That Will Define Detroit in 2024

Major Developments That Will Define Detroit in 2024

January 4, 2024

Michigan Chronicle
Ebony JJ Curry

Jan. 3, 2024

Imagine the skyline of Detroit, once a symbol of industrial might, now a canvas for modern innovation and urban revival. Cranes and construction crews are busy at work, crafting the future of the city. The hum of progress fills the air as new buildings rise, each a testament to the city’s resurgence. This year, several of these developments will reach completion, transforming empty lots and old facades into vibrant spaces teeming with life.

In the heart of downtown, glass and steel structures emerge, reflecting the renewed energy of the streets below. Each project, whether a sleek office complex, a bustling retail center, or a cozy residential building, adds a unique brushstroke to the evolving urban landscape.

As you walk through the city, you’ll see the tangible signs of change. Sidewalks, once quiet, are now pathways of excitement, leading to the newest additions to Detroit’s architectural tapestry. The buzz of conversation about these developments fills local coffee shops and street corners, a chorus of anticipation and pride.

From the heart of downtown to the cultural enclave of Paradise Valley, the city’s landscape is changing, and here’s what you need to know about these exciting projects.

Paradise Valley Developments

A new era is unfolding, marked by the bold and visionary efforts of Black developers and entrepreneurs who are redefining the city’s landscape. Among them are Hiram Jackson, publisher of the Michigan Chronicle and CEO of Real Times Media, and Dennis Archer, Jr., both making significant strides in the historic entertainment district. Fall of 2023, Archer’s Congress Hospitality was set to unveil The Vinyl Society, a vibrant homage to Detroit’s rich musical heritage, blending sound and culture in a unique space. 2024 is now set to see this lounge coming to fruition along Randolph and Monroe streets downtown.

The impact of Black entrepreneurs extends beyond the entertainment sphere. Kevin Johnson, the former NBA All-Star and Sacramento Mayor, is bringing a modern twist to traditional flavors with Fixins Soul Kitchen in Paradise Valley. This full-service restaurant will offer soul food with a contemporary flair, celebrating authentic Black culinary traditions in a 21st-century setting.

Paradise Valley, historically a hub of Black excellence and creativity, is experiencing a renaissance thanks to the dedication of figures like Jackson, Archer, and Rainy Hamilton. Their efforts are breathing new life into the area, ensuring that the legacy and spirit of Black development continue to thrive and shape the future of Detroit.

Target’s Midtown Debut

In a major retail boost for the city, Target plans to open a 32,000-square-foot store on Mack and Woodward Avenue in Midtown by late 2024, making it Detroit’s only Target. This marks the return of the department store chain to Detroit after almost two decades since the closure of its Eight Mile Road location in 2003. The new Target, a compact version of its usual suburban outlets, is a welcome addition to Detroit’s retail landscape, offering residents access to a variety of shopping options.

Revitalization of Detroit’s Waterfront: The Ralph C. Wilson Centennial Park Project

Located at 1801 W. Jefferson Ave., the Ralph C. Wilson Centennial Park is poised to become a new beacon of urban renewal in Detroit. Last year marked the beginning of an ambitious $75 million venture to transform a once-bustling riverfront, famously known as the previous venue for the Mo Pop music festival, into a sprawling 22-acre oasis of public enjoyment and natural beauty.

This extensive redevelopment is designed to breathe new life into the area, creating a multifaceted public space by late 2024. The plans for the park are expansive and community-focused, including the construction of state-of-the-art playgrounds and basketball courts, catering to families and sports enthusiasts alike. Additionally, an outdoor concert space is set to emerge, promising to be a new hub for cultural events and live performances, reigniting the area’s historic connection to music and entertainment.

In a nod to environmental stewardship, the project also integrates wildlife conservation efforts, ensuring that the park not only serves the community but also respects and nurtures the local ecosystem.

Big Sean’s Cinema Venture

Detroit’s entertainment scene is set for a boost with rapper Big Sean’s plan to open a new movie theater in partnership with Emagine Entertainment. Although the location remains undisclosed, the project is expected to start construction in the fall of 2024. This will be a significant addition to Detroit’s cinema landscape, which currently has only one first-run movie theater, the Bel Air Luxury Cinema.

600 Associates

Reimagining the Joe Louis Arena Site The site of the former Joe Louis Arena, a landmark in Detroit sports history, is being redeveloped into a 25-story residential tower with 500 housing units. Detroit-based developer Sterling Group is leading this project at 19 Steve Yzerman Drive, with completion expected in 2024. This development is a key part of the city’s ongoing efforts to revitalize its urban core and provide modern living spaces.

Detroit’s Skyline to Welcome New Glass Tower and Luxury Hotel: Hotel Water Square

Detroit’s riverfront skyline is set to be further enhanced with the opening of a new glass tower and the initiation of construction for the Hotel Water Square, a 25-story high-rise adjacent to Huntington Place. This development, part of the city’s expanding hospitality sector, will begin its Community Benefits Process in January.

Slated to start construction in the second quarter of 2024, Hotel Water Square will stand alongside the already completed Residences at Water Square, which is set for completion in February 2024. This project is spearheaded by Atwater and Second Associates, LLC, which includes Sterling Group, the developer behind the neighboring Residences.

The 600-room hotel is poised to be a significant addition to downtown Detroit’s hotel offerings, featuring two ballrooms, 50,000 square feet of meeting space, diverse dining options, a fitness room, and a spa. Enhancing connectivity, Second Avenue will extend to this area, and a pedestrian bridge will link the hotel directly to the convention center, facilitating easy access for visitors.

This development comes as a response to the growing demand for more hotel accommodations in Detroit, which is crucial for hosting larger events and encouraging visitors to stay within the city. The hotel scene in Detroit has already seen the opening of several new establishments this year, including the Roost at Book Tower, the Godfrey Hotel, and the Cambria Hotel. Additionally, projects like the AC Hotel are currently under construction, further enriching the city’s hospitality landscape.

Hudson’s Site Project

The former J. L. Hudson Department Store site at 1208 Woodward Ave. is being transformed by Bedrock into a mixed-use development. Initially planned as Michigan’s tallest building, the project has undergone revisions and is now expected to reach a height of 685.4 feet. The development, on track for completion by the end of 2024, will include office, retail, hotel, residential, event, and public spaces, contributing to the dynamic nature of Detroit’s downtown area.

The Development at Cadillac Square, Formerly known as the Monroe Blocks project.

Located at 18 Monroe Ave. in the heart of Detroit, the project once known as Monroe Blocks, overseen by Bedrock, has undergone significant transformation. Initially set for completion in 2022, the development faced delays and has been thoughtfully redesigned. The original vision of a sprawling 814,000 square feet of office space has been revised to a more compact but equally impactful 400,000 square feet.

In a striking blend of the old and the new, the updated plan unveiled in February, now known as The Development at Cadillac Square, integrates a fascinating element – a 2,000-seat concert venue. This venue is not just any addition; it will incorporate the ornate façade of the historic National Theatre Building, an architectural gem designed by Albert Kahn, known for its past life as a vaudeville house and movie theater. While the project continues to progress, Bedrock has creatively utilized the space. The area dubbed the “Monroe Street Midway,” has become an eclectic and vibrant outdoor hub. It features an array of public art installations, adding color and life to the cityscape. Additionally, the space includes a roller rink and a drive-in movie screen, offering diverse entertainment options and ensuring that the area remains a lively part of the community during the development phase.

The Development at Cadillac Square is a testament to Detroit’s adaptive spirit, marrying historic preservation with modern urban development, and promises to be a dynamic addition to the city’s downtown area.

The Beauty: A New Chapter in Affordable Housing for Detroit’s North End

Detroit’s North End neighborhood is on the brink of a significant change, welcoming a new development that promises to enhance the community’s access to affordable housing. Spearheaded by Detroit developer Charles Dickerson III and his team, the groundbreaking for The Beauton took place in the summer of 2023, marking the start of a project that has been in the planning stages since 2019. With an expected construction period of about a year, The Beauton is set to open its doors to new residents starting in the summer of 2024. This $7.3 million project, which aims to provide 29 new apartment units, is a significant stride towards addressing the city’s housing needs. It includes ten micro-studios, ideal for single residents or those seeking a compact living space. Additionally, there are 15 standard studios and four larger units, comprising two one-bedroom and two two-bedroom apartments.

$2.5 Billion Revitalization Plan for Detroit’s New Center

Detroit’s New Center neighborhood is gearing up for a transformative $2.5 billion development, driven by a partnership between Henry Ford Health, Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores, and Michigan State University. This initiative aims to create a vibrant, walkable community with enhancements in healthcare, residential, retail, and recreational spaces starting in 2024.

Key features of the plan include connecting Henry Ford Health’s facilities with pedestrian-friendly bridges and walkways alongside green spaces. Additionally, a collaborative research facility with Michigan State University’s health sciences program is in the works, fostering innovation in medical research and education.

The development will also expand Henry Ford Hospital, adding a one-million-square-foot facility with advanced medical amenities on West Grand Boulevard. Advanced medical facilities, including cardiac catheterization and electrophysiology labs, radiology units, intensive care units, and specialized areas for trauma and behavioral healthcare.

This large-scale investment in New Center is set to redefine the neighborhood, turning it into a hub of health, education, and community engagement in Detroit.

Detroit is not just rebuilding; it’s reimagining itself. It’s a city where the past’s strength and the future’s promise meet, creating a dynamic and hopeful present. So, keep your eyes peeled, for with every passing day, a new piece of Detroit’s future falls into place, painting a brighter picture for all who call this city home.