By Charles Sercombe
The landscape of Caniff will undergo a radical change starting next spring.
At the recent Hamtramck Design Showcase two weeks ago, developer George Nosis unveiled his company’s plan to build a four-story building that will be a combination of retail and office spaces on the ground floor and lofts on the top three.
“Hamtramck is the new development city,” Nosis said. “We are going to see some major growth in the city.”
Nosis’ development company, Sparta Development, now owns six lots next to Planet Ant Hall. He said groundbreaking should begin by next April or May.
A house on one of the lots is being considered for donation to the Friends of the Hamtramck Historical Commission, but it would require the group to move the house to another location.
According to sources, that is unlikely to happen since the costs involved are more than what the non-profit group could raise. The house is believed to be 100 years old, hence its historical significance.
A two-story brick building on the last lot of the project site will be saved and incorporated into the development. Nosis said that it will serve as an entry point to the development, as well as his company’s office.
Plans call for the creation of “micro lofts” on the second floor, which are living spaces that are about 1,000 square feet in size. They will be offered for lease only, Nosis said.
The third floor will have larger lofts at about 1,500 square feet. The top floor will have four or five “penthouse” lofts with connecting greenspaces.
In all, the project cost is estimated at $3.8 million. Plans are still being worked out, Nosis said, and the development cost could change.
While the site is zoned for commercial and residential spaces, the company will have to get permission to build four stories in height. Most of the nearby structures are two stories in height.
Nosis, a third generation Hamtramckan, said he has wanted to develop in Hamtramck since the 1990s but the timing was never right. Now, with Detroit making an aggressive comeback, Nosis said market forces finally aligned.
The housing market in the city has tightened up considerably in the last year. Rents in downtown and midtown Detroit have skyrocketed, forcing many to seek housing elsewhere.
Hamtramck is considered ideal because of its close proximity to downtown Detroit while still offering affordable rents – although what is now considered reasonable is subject to change. Also, the city offers plenty of entertainment and restaurant options all within walking distance.
Nosis said he expects his development will jump-start similar investment in Hamtramck.
“This will bring more people to invest in this town,” he said. “We want to be in the forefront of this.”
Published October 13, 2017