Brownfield Redevelopment of 7.Liv Revitalizes Avenue of Fashion in Detroit, Michigan
The Avenue of Fashion, running along Livernois Avenue in Detroit, Michigan, the former B.Siegel department store was a top destination for retail shopping during the mid-20th century. The Avenue of Fashion district is a vital area for Detroit’s northwest neighborhoods along with this project aligning closely with the energy for revitalization in the area.
This project entails the redevelopment and transformation of the former B. Siegel Company Department Store building, the building that once anchored Detroit’s Avenue of Fashion District. Now named 7.Liv, the former department store is now home to retail businesses, a restaurant and ten units of housing for staff and students of two nearby colleges, as well as new underground parking.
All in all, the redevelopment included selective demolition and extensive exterior and interior renovations along with the help from PM Environmental, a Pinchin Company. PM prepared the approved Brownfield and 381 Work Plan, as well as a Community Revitalization Program Grant, securing $1.175 million and $1.3 million, respectively. Additionally, PM completed Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs), as well as subsurface investigation activities that included using ground penetrating radar (GPR), the advancement of seven soil borings, as the installation of one temporary monitoring well. Based upon the results of the GPR survey, PM identified orphan underground storage tanks (USTs) at the site. PM oversaw the removal of the two orphan USTs, conducting excavation oversight and site assessment sampling. Removal of the USTs and contaminated soil eliminated the need for a vapor barrier on the project. PM also completed and submitted a Baseline Environmental Assessment for the developer and assisted with Due Care activities.
The property was developed in 1934 with a small fruit market building on previously vacant land. The fruit market was demolished in 1940 when a portion of the current building was constructed in the northeastern portion. The main building was home to the former B. Siegel Department Story from 1940 until the 1990s. Two additional commercial buildings were constructed in 1949 and 1951, bringing the building to approximately 26,000-square feet. The building had been primarily vacant since the early 2000s with just one tenant space occupied: a pet grooming business.
The developer demolished the structure (approximately 10,000 square feet) while the other two structures remained. Strategic construction coupled with rehabilitation allowed the project to restore the property to productive use while preserving its historic character. The B. Siegel Department store remains and serves as the anchor retail store for the development. A total of 20,500 square feet was reserved for commercial tenants which includes a clothing retailer, a coffee shop, and a yoga studio.
The residential component of the property is located within the second story of the former department store structure. The units consist of a mix of three studios, a single one-bedroom, and six two-bedroom apartments. The units cater to the local student population. An underground parking garage was also added to the property beneath the department store and the newly constructed corner building to provide residential and commercial tenant employee parking.
Beyond remediation environmental contamination, the project helped bring life back to the Avenue of Fashion by putting the property back into productive use after nearly two decades of vacancy and neglect. The residential units that reside at 7.Liv will cater to students and faculty of the nearby University of Detroit Mercy and Marygrove College, encouraging those to live and spend in the neighborhood.
Additional local business along the Avenue of Fashion will benefit from an influx of new employees and residents into the area and the resulting increase of spinoff consumer spending. Now completed, the 7.Liv project acts as an anchor and further catalyzes economic development along Livernois Avenue on the northwest side of Detroit.
From the beginning of this project, PM Environmental, a Pinchin Company has proven to be the right partner behind the scenes to make the most of opportunities below the surface. Catalyst for a Comeback: PM and Detroit’s 7.LIV: Article here.
For any questions on how PM can help you in your next project, contact us at pmenv.com/contact.
• 1.3 million Michigan Community Revitalization program grant for the $8 million project
• PM completed directives and oversight for brownfield redevelopment, environmental assessment and due diligence
• Long-term job creation and new walkable shopping district to the local area
• Phase I & II Environmental Site Assessment
• Baseline Environmental Assessment (BEA)
• Documentation of Due Care Compliance (DDCC)
• Asbestos Abatement Air Monitoring and Clearance Testing
• UST Removal & Soil Excavation Oversight
• Property Condition Assessment (PCA)
• Act 381 Work Plan
• Community Revitalization Program Grant