Hotel, apartments planned for downtown Royal Oak get $4.5 million state loan / by Josh Cykiert

July 28, 2015

KIRK PINHO, Crain's Detroit

A $48 million mixed-use development planned for a key location in downtown Royal Oak has received $4.5 million in Michigan Community Revitalization Program funding from the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

The project at 400 N. Main St., proposed by Southfield-based Versa Development LLC and Royal Oak-based CG Emerson Real Estate Group through an entity called Trailhead RO LLC in Southfield, is planned to consist of a 120-room Hyatt Place hotel, a mixed-use building with 56 apartments, and retail and office space.

Planned for 3.56 acres north of 11 Mile Road and west of North Troy Street, the project would also include a 325-space parking deck.

According to an MEDC memo, the site houses a former car dealership that has been closed since 2008. The site has three buildings totaling more than 40,500 square feet that will be demolished. They housed showroom, administrative, maintenance and body shop operations.

The developers plan to start demolition this fall, and construction is likely to take 18-24 months to complete, said Tim Thwing, the city’s director of planning.

Other financing for the project is expected to include a $34.75 million loan from Fifth Third Bank, $6.5 million in equity from Develop Michigan, $480,000 from Hyatt Corp., the hotel’s franchiser, and $4.1 million from the ownership team, according to the memo. Tax increment financing from the city amounts to up to $3 million in reimbursements. 

Previous proposals for the site included an $18 million Kroger Co. store development that was widely opposed by some residents and local competitors.

The site was purchased from Ally Bank out of foreclosure in 2012 and the city has approved rezoning and final site plans for the site, the memo says.

The MEDC board approved the MCRP performance-based loan Tuesday morning.

The developers still need to apply for building permits.

Source: Crain's Detroit