Friday, March 19, 2010

Bringing the Kresge Building back to life

It's always nice to see development plans take root downtown, whether it's a new bar, refurbished lofts, or renovated retail space. It's particularly swell to see all three happening at once, particularly in an historic structure like the old Kresge Building.

Fairly ambitious plans are underway within the walls of the famous Kresge, the one-time high-traffic hub of Woodward Avenue that first opened in 1899 and eventually became K-Mart. Called "The Shops in the Kresge Building", the development has already seen the opening of The 5 and 10 Bar & Cafe, and a number of small retail outlets. There's a cake shop, a clothing boutique, a malt shop, an attorney's office, and others. Having opened in early March, the building's first floor is already about 50 percent occupied.

Plans call for the eventual opening of more stores on the second floor, as well as a grocery market in the basement level. It's one type of development that downtown Detroit has been lacking, and after seeing the renovation efforts that have taken place already, they look serious about making it work. What should help are other larger developments, such as the soon-to-happen relocation of Quicken Loans to downtown offices, as well as eventual construction of the recently announced light-rail system that is planned to run up Woodward from Jefferson out to the New Center.

To read more about The Shops at the Kresge Building, visit their website. Check it out in person on Woodward, just across from the Compuware Headquarters.