DETROIT – When Milner Arms Apartments underwent remodeling, its tenants had to relocate, but they weren't evicted -- residents were promised a chance to return to a modern living space.
Nearly 14 months ago, the floors were barely walkable in the Midtown Detroit building, but $16 million worth of rehab breathed new life into the 105-year-old building, now called the Hamilton Midtown.
"This was a big deal," said Broder and Sachse CEO Richard Broder. "Top-to-bottom renovation. Every system, every surface got touched."
It's more than a historic renovation for the 97 units in the building, it's also about the 28 people who still call the building home.
"It was kind of tough," said resident Tanya Clark. "We were scared. We didn't know what we were going to do."
It was an emotional day for tenants like Clark, who has lived in the building for 10 years. She's seen the building at its worst, and now, thanks to the owners taking care of them during construction, she gets to see it at its best.
"We have a commons area now, laundry," Clark said of the renovations. "Oh my God, it's beautiful. To see the before-and-after? It was bad."
Clark said the owners had a moving company move the residents' belongings for free during renovation and are planning to do the same to help them move back. The best part is the rent is almost the same -- it's a 5 percent increase.
"It's very rare because everywhere you go it's sky high," Clark said. "I'm very thankful."
Apartments start at $722 a month and go up from there. For more information, visit the Hamilton Midtown's official website here.
The Hamilton Midtown was originally built in 1913 as the Hotel Stevenson, designed to house transient workers who came to Detroit during the growing auto industry.