Construction has finally started on the long-awaited redevelopment of the 94-year-old United Artists Building downtown. Bagley Development Group LLC and Olympia Development announced the plans at a groundbreaking today.

The 18-story building will be redeveloped into 148 one- and two-bedroom apartments, with 20 percent designated as affordable at 80 percent Area Median Income. The $75 million redevelopment will also include 10,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space.

The project was originally announced in 2017, along with five other developments in the District Detroit. Out of those, only the Eddystone has been completed.

Brinker/Christman is the construction manager on the project, while Hobbs + Black is the architect.

“On behalf of the Bagley Development Group partners Scott Allen, Larry Brinker, Sr., Tom Goss, Richard Hosey, Roy Roberts, Jim Thrower and me, we are honored to develop Residences@150 Bagley in such a vibrant community,” said Emmett Moten, managing partner. “Residences@150 Bagley represents the perfect model for urban development, with the public and private sectors working collectively to benefit the community.”

Moten also owned the Saturday Night Building downtown, which he demolished in late 2019 in favor of a surface parking lot.

Funding for the project has come from a number of sources, including a $43 million HUD 221(d)(4) multifamily housing loan, $8.5 million from the Downtown Development Authority, $7 million from the Michigan Strategic Fund, and $3 million in federal Community Development Block Grant funding.

The United Artists building was designed by C. Howard Crane and opened in 1928. It held one of many theaters around Grand Circus Park in the 1920s. While the building held many offices, the theater was the star. After decades of decline, it closed in 1975. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. While some thought the theater itself could be salvaged, it will be demoed.