First homes dropped into place at modular home mixed-use development in Detroit

New modular construction method used at old Tiger Stadium site

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DETROIT – A famous corner in Detroit is another step closer to a complete revitalization.

The corner of Michigan and Trumbull avenues, where Tiger Stadium used to be, is being transformed. A four-story building is going up for stores and apartments, and workers are using a unique construction style that's never been done in the city of Detroit.

At the spot where Tiger Stadium used to stand, there is now a ballpark for children. There will soon be stores and homes where the stands used to be.

The homes are making headlines because they're already done, but they're waiting to be dropped into place. The first one was lifted Tuesday morning and placed on its lot.

"You're either going to be looking down on Michigan Avenue or into the ballpark," said Eric Larson, of Larson Realty Group.

Larson is leading the corner project and opted for the modular construction to cut the timeline by six months.

"You don't really save a tremendous amount in actual cost, but you save a lot in terms of the ability to move fast," Larson said.

By the end of the month there will be a four-story building on the corner. The apartments themselves are built off-site in a warehouse by Champion Home Builders out of Troy.

The apartments are dropped into place and the utilities have to be connected.

"We are just essentially faster because we're doing it assembly-line (style), away from the elements," said Phil Copeland, of Champion Home Builders.

There will be 111 homes, ranging from studio apartments to two-bedroom units. Rent will start around $1,100.

About 20 of the units will be set aside as affordable housing and 50 percent of the retail space will be sold at half the market price so small businesses can afford it.

The entire project is expected to be done in February.

About the Authors:

Nick joined the Local 4 team in February of 2015. Prior to that he spent 6 years in Sacramento covering a long list of big stories including wildfires and earthquakes. Raised in Sterling Heights, he is no stranger to the deep history and pride Detroit has to offer.

Derick is a Senior Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.