detroit — Two years after breaking ground, the owners of Residences at Water Square on Tuesday celebrated the groundbreaking of the 496-unit high-rise apartment building along the city’s riverfront.
On the site of the former Joe Louis Arena, developer Sterling Group built from the ground up a 25-story glass exterior building with expansive views of downtown Detroit and Canada. The Detroit-based company broke ground on the Third Street property in February 2022.
“Just 24 months later, our first residents will officially move into their new homes when the doors open today,” Danny Samson, director of development for Sterling Group, said Tuesday. “Another wonderful addition to the Detroit skyline.”
Samson said the company’s goal was to create something that didn’t exist in the market and set a new standard for downtown and riverfront living. He was joined Tuesday by other company officials and local government officials.
The project redesigns the city’s skyline for the first time in decades, Mayor Mike Duggan said Tuesday.
“This shows how far we have come from bankruptcy,” he said.
Duggan recalled how the package was given to a creditor, bond insurer Financial Guaranty Insurance Co., in the Detroit municipal bankruptcy in 2014. While it wasn’t a bad company, he said, they weren’t developers and didn’t know what to do with the property, which was long the home of the Detroit Red Wings. The venue opened its doors in 1979 and hosted its last event, a concert, in 2017.
“But we had a company from Detroit that loved Detroit and saw the vision,” he said. “And when the Torgow family and the Sterling Group proposed taking over this property and building on it, they had the full support of my administration and the city council because we knew their reputation. “We knew the quality.”
The all-glass exterior building features studios, one-bedroom units and two-bedroom penthouses. According to the management, the two-bedroom penthouses were already rented before the building opened. According to the company’s website, available apartments range from $2,350 a month for a 586-square-foot studio to $4,775 for a 784-square-foot one-bedroom corner unit.
“This apartment building is a high-end apartment building,” Duggan said. “It is for people who pay a very high amount of rent. And the city that we want to build is a city where there is room for people of all incomes, that there should be residences for high-income people and there should be residences for those with low incomes, and it’s an interesting thing.”
Duggan noted that the project received no tax incentives and the developer did not apply for any aid.
Each apartment home features quartz countertops, custom Italian cabinetry and closet systems, stainless steel appliances, and washers and dryers. Common areas include a fitness center, pool, and rooftop terrace with a fire pit and grill.
“The experience we offer here is a building completely driven by top-notch customer service,” said Lyndsey Battles, general manager of Residences at Water Square. “Even our concierge, who will greet them when they come in, or the valet parking who will take care of that car and park it as soon as they get home. A very perfect life here. With the expansion of amenities… they have their 24-hour fitness pool location. We’ll have a cafe on the main floor, a full pet grooming and washing station, and we’ll have this beautiful terrace on the 25th floor and a lounge up here. A fully equipped building.”
The location is also a draw, Battles said.
“You have the iconic Joe Louis Arena site,” he said. “Living on such an iconic piece of land in Detroit’s history is distinguished in just that way. It’s nice because we are within walking distance of all the great things our beautiful downtown has to offer. Whether it’s food or festivals, concerts, all within walking distance right here, especially being the number one riverfront.”