Prime Development, based in Grand Rapids, MI, built theapartments for the university and will manage the property. Acompany official could not be reached, but a university spokeswomansays more than 40% of the apartment building is occupied. Rentsrange from $870 to $1,395 per month for 646 sf to 1,008 sf,according to Prime's Web site. The project also includes a 950-carparking deck.

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"The property has completely transformed a vacant property intoa vibrant retail and housing environment," says the spokeswoman."It really contributes to the whole lifestyle revitalization of theMidtown area in Downtown Detroit."

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Loft developments, both condo and apartment, started in earnestabout 10 years ago to try to revitalize infill properties or unusedsites. Though it hasn't caught on as hoped, the Midtown area aroundWSU has been one of the city's success stories. "There's been aconcentrated effort by staff, faculty and students to live oncampus," the spokeswoman says of the largely commuter school. "Andthe university has been very much the catalyst for urbandevelopment."

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Bringing any retail to downtown Detroit is impressive. Tenantsthat have already signed on at the 30,000 sf of retail includeFifth Third Bank, Radio Shack, Utrecht Art Supplies and a BiggbyCoffee shop. More than $1 billion of new development is eitherfinished or under construction in the Midtown area, according tothe local University Cultural Center Association.

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Now, the university plans to possibly add another phase to theVillage project. The spokeswoman says the college is consideringanother $20 million condominium project. "I know this is beingdiscussed, but I think at this point it's conceptual. We want tosee how the first phase does first, it's something we'd beinterested in doing."

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