INTRO: Detroit’s top real estate moguls competed for the Capitol Park project and lost to a team from Lansing. Kevin Prater and Richard Karp will redevelop The Farwell Building at 1249 Griswold, the old United Way Building at 1212 Griswold and the Capitol Park Building at 1145 Griswold. All are the kind of buildings that historic preservationists say are sure to spark economic development. The estimated cost is $85 million.
Capitol Park is a small patch of land surrounded by a triangle of buildings. It’s hard to see any other buildings or streets. It feels like Manhattan… self-contained. But it’s just 1 block from Woodward and one block from the Book-Cadilac Hotel. Here’s Richard Karp.
“It’s a little lost forgotten little triangular park right in the middle of everything and the way the buildings surround it create their own little independent micro-community. The size of the buildings and the situation of the park create an interesting pedestrian scale. It will be a great epicenter of housing and retail activity. It’s just perfect.”
Richard Karp’s biggest project to date is the Durant Hotel in Flint. For Capitol Park he beat out Dan Gilbert, John Ferchill and the Ilitchs.
“I feel pretty good about it. I think the DEGC (Detroit Economic Growth Authority run by George Jackson) made the right decision.”
Karp lives in Lansing and grew up in Southfield.
For a long description of the Farwell and other iconic Detroit buildings click below.