Restoration finally begins on 139-year-old mansion in the Cass Corridor

The James Scott Mansion is being converted into apartments. By Steve Neavling/MCM
The James Scott Mansion is being converted into apartments. By Steve Neavling/MCM

By Steve Neavling
Motor City Muckraker

After four decades of abandonment in the Cass Corridor, the crumbling James Scott Mansion is finally undergoing an ambitious makeover.

Crews are beginning to renovate the 139-year-old mansion at Peterboro and Cass.

Developer Joel Landy plans to convert the decaying, castle-like building into 27 apartments and retail space. The renovation is expected to be complete in late 2017.

Landy wants to restore the mansion to its original architectural details at a cost of roughly $7 million.

The building is just three block from the new Red Wings arena that is under construction.

The construction manager is Monahan Company, which also restored the Ashely apartments in downtown Detroit and the Garden Theater on Woodward.

Built in 1877, the mansion served as the private residence of James Scott, a wealthy and eccentric bachelor, gambler and real estate heir. When he died in 1910, the mansion was turned into apartments and then abandoned in the 1970s.

Since then, demolition appeared to be inevitable because of severe neglect. The roof and many of the floors have collapsed. And a homeless man discovered body parts in an outside stairwell in 2008.

It’s not yet clear how much Landy expects to charge for the apartments.

The project is just one of many that are under way as the Cass Corridor undergoes a sort of renaissance.

Steve Neavling

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.