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Elia Group bringing new life to long-vacant building in downtown Detroit

Elia Group bringing new life to long-vacant building in downtown Detroit,ph01

Developers and investors are pouring new money into downtown Detroit. And in good news for the city, this momentum doesn’t appear ready to slow anytime soon.

Just look at the big announcement made earlier this week by The Elia Group.

The real estate development company recently purchased 511 Woodward in downtown Detroit from the Wayne County Land Bank. The property had been sitting vacant for more than 20 years.

The goal now? That 511 Woodward becomes the latest building to come back to life in downtown Detroit’s growing revitalization.

“We are extremely excited to bring this project from concept to reality,” said Zaid Elia, founder of The Elia Group, in a written statement. “The iconic 511 Woodward building will once again be a vibrant part of the city’s landscape, growing workforce and visitors.”

511 Woodward is a landmark building in downtown Detroit. It’s biggest claim to fame? It was home to Detroit’s first telephone installation, way back in 1877.

Now, the vacant building will start a new chapter. The Elia Group said that Capital One Financial Corp. plans to open a Capital One Café in the space.

“This is another key piece of property identified in our Recovery Plan that we are putting back into productive use after it sat idle for years,” said Wayne County Executive Warren Evans. “There has been tremendous interest in the building and in Wayne County, and this deal reflects that. We are happy to help attract a national tenant like Capital One to the region. It shows that investing in Detroit and Wayne County continues to make a lot of sense.”

The more-than-7,000-square-foot two-story Capital One Café will feature a full-service Peet’s Coffee bar, with baked goods from local Detroit bakeries. While the Café will offer more traditional bank functions, such as account opening, assistance with existing accounts and access to ATMs, it will also include features designed to encourage community engagement and financial education.

An example? The Café will have free community room space for registered nonprofit, alumni and student groups. It will also feature additional semi-private spaces and nooks for customers to make phone calls, hold meetings or work.

The Café will also offer complimentary financial education programs, such as Money Coaching, which will enable customers and non-customers alike to create personalized action plans.

“We believe strong communities and strong businesses go hand-in-hand, which is why we are thrilled to be opening this new location in Detroit,” said Ryan Laudenbach, Capital One Market Executive. “Our hope is that the Café will provide the community with the resources they need and more.”

The building is being sold by the Wayne County Land Bank and will be leased by Detroit-based Iconic Real Estate.

“Our company is currently in robust negotiations will various tenants for the building,” said Kees Janeway, Managing Partner of Iconic Real Estate. “The initial leasing interest and activity on 511 has been extremely high, representing the continued growth of the City.”

Construction will begin immediately and is scheduled to be completed in late 2020, which is also when the Capital One Café is scheduled to open. The Detroit-based project team includes Yamasaki as lead architect/designer and Walbridge as the construction team.