DETROIT (AP) — Crews are working on a new project that will bring 288 apartments and penthouses to Detroit's improving downtown.
A ceremonial groundbreaking was held Thursday for City Club Apartments-Central Business District Detroit.
Work began in September. When completed next year, the project is expected to fill another gaping hole in a downtown that's going through a revival. A groundbreaking was held last month for an 800-foot-tall (244-meter), 58-story office and retail building that will be the tallest structure in the city.
The city also is pitching downtown sites to Amazon as the online retail giant searches for a second headquarters.
"Downtown Detroit is a great place to invest. The city is bustling," said Terry Pryor, a senior vice president at Huntington National Bank. Huntington is the lead bank and primary lender on the City Club Apartments project.
City Club Apartments-CBD Detroit is expected to have 13,000 square feet (1,208 square meters) of retail space that will include a pet store, restaurant and gourmet market.
The building is being constructed on the site of the 18-story Statler Hotel, which stood from 1915 until it was demolished in 2005. The new building will be within walking distance of three professional sports stadiums and a planned 50-block neighborhood of offices, apartments, restaurants and shops just north of downtown.
"Four years ago it was inconceivable (of) somebody building an apartment project from the ground up," Mayor Mike Duggan said at Thursday's ceremony.
Now, there is a six-month wait for an apartment in downtown and Detroit's Midtown, Duggan told reporters, adding that about 5,000 units are under construction, but 10,000 likely are needed.
City Club Apartments Chair Jonathan Holtzman said the desire to live downtown is growing in Detroit and other cities.
"We are experiencing demographic, economic and attitudinal changes," he said. "Millennials, professionals, empty nesters, baby boomers and short-term corporate housing residents are seeking connection and active engagement in vibrant urban environments."