According to the Detroit Free Press, the city's Lafayette Park, which contains the largest collection of residential buildings designed by architect Mies van der Rohe, is losing a vacant eight-story tower to bulldozers and getting a $108-million residential development in exchange. The complex, which could be open by 2020 will include 314 apartments and 60 condos on a 5-acre site. The project is being developed by Novi-based Ginosko Development Co. and will be a mix of mid-rise buildings and one 13-story high-rise.

Twenty percent of the residences would be set aside as "affordable" units for those with incomes at 80 percent or less of the area's median income. That level is currently $38,450 for an individual, $43,950 for a couple and $54,900 for a family of four. The remaining non-condo residences would be mostly studio and one-bedroom market-rate apartments. Some apartments could rent for $1,000 or less. Prices for the condos have yet to be set. The remaining non-condo residences would be mostly studio and one-bedroom market-rate apartments. Some apartments could rent for $1,000 or less. Prices for the condos have yet to be set.

Lafayette West is just one of several market-rate housing developments that are just getting underway or been proposed for Lafayette Park in the past year.Others include a planned 231-unit development next to the Dequindre Cut at 1920 Gratiot by The Platform development firm and a 346-unit development at 1100 St. Aubin.
Ginosko president and CEO Amin Irving, 41, led Thursday's demolition kickoff. He and a group of neighborhood residents and civic leaders took hammer swings to tear apart a brick wall outside the derelict tower, once known as Shapero Hall.

Detroit housing director Arthur Jemison praised the project and said he is eager to see the empty tower come down. Ginosko bought the site for $16 million this summer from real estate investor Dennis Kefallinos, who acquired it from Wayne State for $2.3 million in 2007. “We’re about to go out and knock down one of the major eyesores in the city. I’m excited about that," Jemison said.

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