Just two months ago, city officials expressed serious concern about the fate of the 15-story, gothic-style Metropolitan Building after a large chunk of the exterior crashed onto the roof of a pickup truck.
Now Detroit’s Downtown Development Authority is negotiating the sale of the 89-year-old building to a group of developers who want to build 60 high-end apartments with commercial and retail space on the lower floors.
Metropolitan Development Partners has already begun stabilizing the building at 33 John R., which originally housed jewelry retailers, dealers and manufactures. The facade restoration is expected to cost about $300,000, according to the DDA.
Under the ownership of the DDA, the Metropolitan has fallen into disrepair and is regularly open to trespassers, who have vandalized the building. Its ornamental facade has been shedding and is covered graffiti.
The news comes on the same day that developers announced plans to renovate the Old Wayne County Building.
Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.