By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor
Two weeks have passed since developers unveiled redesigned renderings of the dormant DuCharme Place and another redevelopment project is ready to kick off in Detroit’s Lafayette Park. Rumors surfaced recently that the long-vacant Shapero Hall building located at 1010 Rivard Street will be transformed into apartments—and not any kind of apartments, but micro-units.
According to Crain’s Detroit Business, locally-based Boydell Development Co. has received the necessary building permit to repurpose the derelict structure into a rental community with 180 micro-apartments. Ranging in size from 400 to 500 square feet, the units will rent for $560 to $700 per month and are expected to meet the demand for smaller dwellings in Detroit’s Central Business District, where the vacancy rate is at only 1.9 percent of the existing 10,551 apartments. With big employers such as Quicken Loans, Detroit Medical Center, DTE Energy, Compuwave Corp. or Wayne State University (WSU) offering incentives for young professionals, these micro-apartments could just be the perfect choice for fresh graduates willing to relocate and get a job in Detroit.
Designed by Paulsen, Gardner & Associates in the early 1950s, the T-shaped building was originally known as the Wayne State University Medical Science Building and it became the home of the university’s College of Pharmacy in 1965. Almost 20 years later the eight-story building was renamed Shapero Hall in 1984, according to Detroit Urbex. In the late 1990s WSU decided to cut renovation costs at Shapero Hall and relocate closer to its main campus in a newly built facility, the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy which opened in 2002.
After staying vacant for five years, Shapero Hall was purchased for $2.3 million by Dennis Kefallinos—who owns Boydell Development Co.—with plans to transform the building into a hotel. However, Kefallinos’ project was discarded because of zoning problems.
While it still needs a name, the Shapero Hall adaptive reuse project is slated for completion by the end of 2015, Crain’s says. The 180 apartment units will bring Boydell Development’s residential real estate portfolio in Detroit to approximately 1,000 units.
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Image via Detroit Urbex