Sweeping development plans released for downtown Detroit

Ambitious plans for old Brewster projects released

DETROIT – The city of Detroit released its ambitious plan Monday to transform the old Brewster projects just west of I-75. The plans for one of the most critical housing developments in Detroit are significantly larger than originally discussed.

It's comprehensive, including new residential options for a variety of budgets. There are 25 acres, plus Brush Park and Eastern Market. There will be more than 1,000 units, even though back in January, there were only plans for around 500.

Residents like Shirl Bean, who has lived in the New Brewster for nearly 20 years, are eager to see the formal plan when city leaders present it Tuesday night, because it offers business and services, too.

The Brewster Douglas site has 850 planned units, including 224 low-income units. At only 3 stories, it's significantly lower density than the old projects.

Seventy-one units are planned for 3480 Russel Street in Eastern Market, with improvements to pedestrian walkways over I-75. There will be 54 units of age-restricted housing on Albert Street in Brush Park.

Prep work is already happening at the old Brewster rec center, which is home to a new $50 million restaurant and meeting center complex, with an additional 100 units of housing.

Bean's biggest concern is affordability. She's heard rents could start at $1,000 per month, which is too pricey for many current Brewster residents.

Much of the plan is contingent on the city's application for a $30 million HUD grant. City officials didn't want to comment, because they don't want expectations to get too high until a HUD review.