As we wrap up 2021, we're also coming close to Urbanize Detroit's first year anniversary in early February. It's a great time to see what you, the readers, were drawn to this year. A couple big announcements topped the list, but for the most part, you like to see buildings completed. It makes senseit doesn't always happen. 

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Here's a look at the stories that caught your attention this year.

New construction along Michigan Avenue in Corktown

Oxford Perennial made a splash in the Detroit development scene this year, with the recent acquisition of the Book Cadillac, the groundbreaking of the Godfrey Hotel, and the announcement of a large mixed-use development in Corktown, which also looks just like the Godfrey Hotel. The Michigan and Church development will bring a seven-story building with 188 apartments and retail, plus seven townhomes and a new parking garage to the historic neighborhood. The development has gone through the Community Benefits Ordinance process and has received many tax credits and abatements.

The Exchange comes to Greektown

We've seen a lot of progress on the more vertical developments downtown this year. The 20-story Huntington Tower should open next year. Construction is steadily moving up at the Hudson's site. And the Exchange, a new 16-story building on the edge of Greektown, broke ground in early September. This will mainly be residential, with 153 apartments and 12 condos, plus ground floor retail. It should be finished in 2023.

40 Hague opens in the North End

We love it when an old building is revamped and repurposed for a new generation. 40 Hague, once a Packard showroom and service station, has new life with 38 apartments. RainCheck Development added an interior courtyard to bring in more light for residents. Some of the apartments have features like car ramps from its former use. 

A new building at the corner of Bagley and Trumbull

It's always good to see new small-scale, infill development around the city. Ballet Real Estate built a new mixed-use building in a narrow little lot, and brought a new business to Corktown. The Spectacle Society has set up shop in the space, and the owner lives above it. This adds to the many small businesses in the larger, older brick building next door. We love to see it! 

New luxury apartments in the historic Albert Kahn Building

New Center's Albert Kahn Building, built in 1931 and home to offices and Saks Fifth Avenue over the years, has new life as a residential apartment building after a major renovation. Lutz Real Estate and Northern Equities Group wrapped up the $70 million project this year, with a grand opening in the fall. Common areas highlight the Art Deco details of its original era. We're looking forward to seeing retail or restaurants move into the first floor in the near future.

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Threats to the Grosfield Building

It was a tumultuous spring for the Grosfield Building, which sits on Michigan Avenue west of Corktown.  In early June, a fire ripped through the section along Michigan Avenue and that part was eventually demolished. The corner brick building with the turret still stands, looking like it has for years. Here's to hoping it gets the renovation it deserves.

The Guardian Building's revamped neighbor

The black glass building that sits on Woodward beside the Guardian Building has always been one of those "What are they going to do with that?" buildings. The Elia Group bought 511 Woodward in 2019 and it underwent an extensive interior and exterior renovation, with a bold new facade. A Capital One Cafe has opened to the public in the northeast corner of the building and according to LoopNet, there's still office space available.