DETROIT (WXYZ) - Today the Economic Development Corporation of Detroit approved a plan to build stores and 300 new apartments on Detroit's Riverfront. The approval brings it one step closer to reality and helps it get funding.
"For me it's a matter of coming home," said the man behind the Rivertown Project, Richard D. Baron, the Chairman & CEO of McCormack Baron Salazar.
Richard D Baron is a native Detroiter who has developed projects in 35 cities across the country.
He says by bringing business to Detroit, he follows in his grandfather's footsteps. His grandfather owned a store just blocks from where the planned project would be.
"It is my roots, and I am happy to be part of the effort to rebuild the city," said Baron.
Baron also is taking on this project because he believes it will make him money. He says there is a huge demand for new housing in Detroit. He says he knows how to create a safe and attractive urban community.
The first phase will include about 300 apartments, with rent starting at $850. MBS plans to spend about $55 million building the community along Atwater and Franklin Streets, between the Dequindre Trail Greenway and Riopelle Street. There will be storefronts in the neighborhood.
If all goes as planned Baron says he could break ground next spring.
He says he believes more people from around the country will soon be investing in Detroit.
George W. Jackson, president and CEO of Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, agrees.
"It is time to reignite the redevelopment of the East Riverfront, and we're excited that a quality developer has recognized the opportunities here. McCormack Baron Salazar is a firm with a solid reputation, and we are confident that it will lead others to the prime real estate we have along the Detroit River," said Jackson.