A new, 185-unit luxury apartment community in Detroit’s historic Lafayette Park will be the area's first new lifestyle community in 40 years. Set for completion early this year, the $45 million DuCharme Place will comprise four mid-rise buildings, with residences standing three stories tall above a parking/lobby podium base, totaling 188,500 square feet. It is one of many ground-up residential projects currently under way throughout the area by local architecture firm McIntosh Poris Associates.
“We’ve been working on designing multifamily housing developments in Lafayette Park for nearly 15 years,” explains Michael Poris, principal. “DuCharme Place builds upon the vision of the park’s original development team by creating a community integrated with nature to support the existing historic district."
The buildings are organized around landscaped courtyards, and every unit has views and abundant natural light, Poris says.
DuCharme’s location in one of Detroit’s most venerated examples of modern architecture and urban planning—Mies Van der Rohe’s Lafayette Park—inspired the architects to choose materials, such as brick, metal, and glass, that recall the modernist palette. The contemporary and energy-efficient design will feature a terraced live green roof complete with lawn, garden, fitness center, and swimming pool. Exteriors will include insulated glazing and be clad in a rain screen fiber-cement reinforced panel system with aluminum-framed windows, featuring railings of laser-cut painted metal.
The structures' façades of locally glazed brick mark the lobby entrances on each building’s corner, while perforated and corrugated metal screening and plantings shield parking areas. This enclosed coverage system at grade level—inspired by the parking areas at Lafayette Park, which are outdoors and slightly hidden by a 4-foot sunken level and shielded by hedges—will allow for secure parking, easy access for residents, and protection from harsh weather, says Poris.
The first of the buildings is nearly complete and ready for move-in, with one- and two-bedroom floor plans ranging from 500 to 1,100 square feet. With more two-bedroom units than one-bedrooms, the project team expects to attract singles, couples, urban professionals, and empty nesters.
In addition to DuCharme, McIntosh Poris Associates is partnering with local developers to design ground-up residential complexes in surrounding urban neighborhoods. Current projects contributing to the city’s construction upswing include Floyd Lofts, featuring eight one- and two-bedroom units with open living spaces (to be completed in 2017), and 750 Forest, a 22-unit, five-story condo development (to be completed in 2018), both located in Detroit’s Birmingham suburb.
These projects add to the firm’s larger portfolio of award-winning multifamily developments, including 3909 Woodward Garden Apartments, a ground-up, five-story, mixed-use building featuring 61 market-rate apartments; Eureka Building, a conversion of the historic, five-story Eureka vacuum cleaner company’s world headquarters into four residential lofts with a ground-floor restaurant; Park Shelton, an adaptive re-use of the 12-story, 1926 Wardell Hotel into 220 condos; Genesis Villas at Medbury Park, a low-income, subsidized-housing community with 89 townhomes in the Midtown area; and 400 Parent Avenue Lofts, a former lumber warehouse transformed into eight two-level loft units.