DETROIT-Fourmidable, the manager of the new apartments at the redeveloped Pick-Fort Shelby Tower in the Downtown, tells that the 56 units are now ready to be leased. The 92-year-old building has gone through an $82 million renovation into a mixed-use building, with the apartments and 203 hotel rooms, by a joint venture that includes Eugene Curtis, Leo Phillips, Richard Curto and Emmett Moten, the former chief of development under former Mayor Coleman Young.

The Hilton Doubletree hotel opened in December on the first 10 floors. Scott Allen, president of Fourmidable, was in the apartments today going through final punch-lists. “We’ve had very good interest, but have not been able to start showing the units until this week because of construction schedules. So far we have verbal commitments for three units, and we’re expecting to formalize those deals in the next two days,” Allen tells

There are 12 one-bedroom units, two two-story penthouse units and the rest are two-bedroom units. The rents for the basic units range from $1,630 to $3,185 per month, with the penthouses leasing for more.

The prices are high for the Detroit market, which doesn’t have much of a 24-hour Downtown, barely any residential in the CBD and no grocery store. However, Allen says there’s still demand. “We manage several other rental properties in the Downtown, such as Harbortown, Village Park Apartments and Lofts at Rivertown, and we’re doing very well for rentals. Fort Shelby is also very unique, offering boutique living with hotel services. There’s nothing like it in Detroit,” he says.

Residents will share an entrance with the hotel, but will have separate, guarded elevators, he says. The residents will also share the hotel amenities, including valet parking, restaurants, a concierge, housekeeping and dry-cleaning services, and fitness and business centers. The hotel is already doing well, Allen says. “I know they’re booked up for the 2009 North American Auto Show this month, and also for the Final Four coming to Ford Field this year,” he says.

The building had been vacant for 10 years. Developers caught up in redevelopment efforts in the Downtown, including the Book-Cadillac building, seized the Fort Shelby as a good candidate for reuse.

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