By Roz Edward
Midtown Detroit, Inc. and its partners announced a $20 million investment for the Selden Corridor Initiative, a mixed-use redevelopment that will create new housing, job opportunities and training, and new businesses in Midtown Detroit. Located on Selden Street between Second Avenue and Fourth Street, the Selden Corridor Initiative will include a new public courtyard, flexible work and classroom space, a Barcade, a brewery training program, a new restaurant, Ecohomes and mixed-income rental housing. All projects are expected to be completed by late fall 2018.
“The Selden Corridor Initiative builds off other investments in the area including the Selden Green Alley, Selden Standard, Redmond Park, the Selden condominium development, the renovation of the Finn apartments, and the M1 Rail, among others,” said Sue Mosey, Executive Director, Midtown Detroit, Inc. “The Selden Corridor Initiative will begin to create a linkage to other developments underway including Founders Brewery, Jim Brady’s Detroit and the Detroit Shipping Company on Charlotte and Peterboro, building new connections with the new arena, Wayne State University College of Business and the upcoming Wigle development.”
“We are excited to be a part of this project that includes mixed-use development and reclaiming vacant historic properties,” said Brittney Hoszkiw, Community Assistance Team Specialist, Michigan Economic Development Corporation. “The Selden Corridor Initiative will help create new job opportunities and training in growing industries, creating vitality in the Midtown district.”
Funded by the New Economy Initiative, the Selden Courtyard, a new public space, will provide social innovation and collaboration space for entrepreneurs. The courtyard will include an outdoor screen and stage, high speed Wi-Fi with rocket fiber to allow for an outdoor working space and flexible modular seating to accommodate various activities and group sizes.
“Once complete, the Selden Courtyard will be a place where all kinds of entrepreneurs including creatives, women and minorities, and even brewers, can find affordable, accessible space to launch and grow businesses,” said Pam Lewis, Director, New Economy Initiative. “We believe that this new addition will further ensure that there’s a place for everyone in Detroit’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
Barcade®, a combination bar and arcade with a focus on classic video games and American craft beer, will open its first Michigan location in the 666 Selden Street building. The original Barcade was opened in 2004 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and now has locations in New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia and Connecticut.
“We are thrilled to be opening our first Midwest location in Midtown Detroit,” Paul Kermizian, owner, Barcade. “Barcade will offer a fun atmosphere for adults to enjoy craft beer, food and play their favorite classic video games from the 80s and 90s.”
In addition to Barcade, the 666 Selden Street building will also include a brewery training school, which will offer education and training programs. Funded by Midtown Detroit, Inc. and 3mission design and development, the brewery school offers programs including a bachelor’s degree in fermentation science in partnership with Eastern Michigan University. Eastern Michigan University is the only college in Michigan and second in the country to offer a Bachelors in fermentation science. Other programs include an artisanal training program for craft brewing and short courses for home brewers. Half of the seats in the brewery program will be reserved for women and minorities, who are underrepresented in the fast-growing craft brewing industry.
“The brewery training school will teach students the skills they need to pursue a career in craft brewing,” said Wade Tornquist, Interim Associate Provost and Associate Vice President for Graduate Studies and Research, Eastern Michigan University. “Craft brewing is a rapidly growing industry and there is an increased need for trained professionals to fill these positions. As part of our bachelor’s degree in fermentation science, students will participate in a project with local businesses in the fermentation industry to apply what they have learned in the classroom to real-life situations.”
Midtown Detroit, Inc., with funding support from Capital Impact Partners and Detroit Development Fund, is launching the Midtown Detroit, Inc. Creative Company Accelerator, which will focus on promoting job creation opportunities for women and minority owned businesses. Located on the second floor of 644 Selden, the Creative Company Accelerator will offer 9,000 square feet of flexible coworking, classroom and office space.
The 644 Selden building will also include mixed-income housing. These newly constructed rental units will be a mixture with 30% set aside for households at 60% average medium income (AMI). The ground floor of 644 Selden will include a new restaurant, North Cookshop, being developed by 3mission design and development, owners of Midtown’s popular Jolly Pumpkin Brewery.
“This new restaurant concept will be a natural extension of our already established and successful tasting room and restaurant operations of North Peak and Jolly Pumpkin, said Jon Carlson, co-founder and managing partner of Northern United Brewing Co. “The menu will be broad reaching in appeal but focused on wood fired pizza, meats cooked over cherry wood, salads and artisan sandwiches. We will be working with local farmers to plant hops and grape vines for use in our beer, wine and spirits.”
The Ecohomes project will bring a new type of building typology of sustainable homes to the Midtown neighborhood. The Ecohomes will include innovative sustainable technologies including rooftop solar panels, solar thermal hot water heating system, energy efficient thermal envelope, sustainable landscaping, rain barrels among many other features. Units will be available for sale. Fourteen units are underway with one of the units set aside as an affordable unit at 60% AMI, sponsored by Enterprise Community Partners.
Funders of the Fourth Street Ecohomes include Invest Detroit, Midtown Detroit, Inc., Enterprise Community Partners, First Independence Bank and Bank of Ann Arbor.
“We are excited to be a part of this initiative that supports economic and community developmentas well as job creation,” said Marcia Ventura, Senior Vice President, Invest Detroit. “The sustainable housing component helps introduce best practices in sustainability to the district.”
To increase the amount of street parking available to support the development in the area, angled parking will be created in partnership with the City of Detroit on Selden Street between Cass Avenue and Third Street.
About Midtown Detroit, Inc.
Midtown Detroit, Inc. is a nonprofit planning and development organization that supports the physical maintenance and revitalization of the Midtown Detroit neighborhood, while working to enhance public awareness, appreciation and use of the district. Its predecessor organizations, the University Cultural Center Association (UCCA) and New Center Council, have been working to encourage new mixed income housing, increased visitorship to area attractions, new commercial activity, and infrastructure investments throughout the Midtown/New Center districts. More details here: http://midtowndetroitinc.org/who–we–are