On Michigan Avenue in Corktown, with Michigan Central Station in sight, a new mixed-use development is underway. Steelhaus Detroit will use shipping containers to build out new retail and residential space.
The process has taken longer than expected. Nicole Stopka-Nichols and Chris Nichols bought the land in 2016/17, then went through the design process with architects and builders. They broke ground in early fall 2020, to discover that creating the foundation would take much more work than they anticipated.
The previous building on the site was demolished in 2004 (appx.) and with little city oversight at that time, much of the building debris was buried in the ground. In excavating the site, they found tires, pipes, teddy bears, and bricks everywhere.
Currently, work is underway digging trenches and the couple is picking out their shipping containers. 11 in total will be used for build-out. Since the aesthetics of shipping containers can be harsh, they'll use wood, greenery, and windows throughout the modern, Scandinavian design to bring in warmth.
The bottom floor will house retail spaces, but the number of spaces depends on who shows interest. It can be built out for up to four businesses. "We want the businesses to be welcoming and bring value to the people who live here," says Chris. "We love this neighborhood and it's a strong community. It's important that whoever becomes a part of it brings value."
The second level will have three apartments -- one larger with three bedrooms and a private courtyard in the back and two smaller one-bedrooms facing the train station. The two front-facing apartments will have direct views of Michigan Central Station.
The goal is to get the certificate of occupancy at the end of 2021, with business build-out at the end of the year and tenants moving in the following spring. More information can be found at Steelhaus Detroit.