Groundbreaking held for $53 million apartment building development in Detroit's New Center

DETROIT (WXYZ) - A $53.1 million development in Detroit's New Center is the first project of its kind in more than 30 years. 

Third and Grand, on West Grand Boulevard at Third Avenue, will feature 231 apartments, a 330 space parking structure, as well as 21,000 square feet of commercial space. The six-story building will be located on what has been a paved parking lot since the former Howard Johnson Motor Lodge was taken down in 1979.

Peter Cummings is a principal in the development company The Platform. He says the time is right for activity like this to move from downtown and Midtown to the New Center.

"You have to build on the shoulders of the people who were around you and before you and we're just, I think, in the right place at the right time and delighted," Cummings told 7 Action News. 

The Platform plans to set aside 20 percent of the apartments for affordable housing, a decision applauded by both Mayor Mike Duggan and city council member Mary Sheffield, who attended Wednesday's ground breaking

"I think today sends a very loud signal that development outside of the Central Business District and downtown is feasible," Sheffield said. "I think it is extremely important that we continue to send that message to developers and, also, that 20 percent set-aside is plausible and can also be profitable."

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation provided a $2 million incentive for the project. Invest Detroit provided the developers with a $4 million loan with the additional funding provided by Fifth Third Bank. 

The development is expected to open in spring 2018.

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