Developer wins tax credit for ambitious project

By Charles Sercombe

Hamtramck’s tallest building has leaped yet another hurdle toward a major makeover.

Mark Hausner, the owner of the four-story building on Jos. Campau and Belmont, was granted tax credits worth $116,000 through the Hamtramck Brownfield Redevelopment Authority to help offset the cost of redevelopment.

The money isn’t directly given to Hausner but instead is skimmed off taxes collected from the future increase in the property’s value.

The project has been in the talking/planning stage for the past couple of years. Hausner plans a $1.4 million renovation that includes “Flavor” restaurant on the ground floor, office space on the second floor and high-end rental lofts on the upper two stories.

Hausner will also be able to apply for a special grant for building owners who want to upgrade or create new apartments in upper floors. He could receive up to $30,000 from that special rehab deal.

Hamtramck Community & Economic Development Director Jason Friedmann said the project has been scaled back from previous plans, which included demolishing two houses behind the building to make way for a parking deck.

Renovation of the building could start this March. “Flavor” is a soul food-themed restaurant being developed by Hamtramck School Board President Titus Walters. Friedmann said the restaurant is scheduled to be open in January or February.

The front of the restaurant will be redesigned thanks to a façade improvement grant from the city’s Downtown Development Authority.

Hausner, who sits on the Hamtramck DDA, could not be reached for comment. Friedmann said Hausner is financing the renovation through private investors.

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