The intersection at Michigan and Trumbull has seen its fair share of history. Known to the locals simply as “The Corner,” the former site of Tiger Stadium saw four World Series winning teams, 22 Hall of Fame players and three Hall of Fame managers.
For generations, Detroit residents came to see stars whose names are now a major part of baseball lore. The Georgia Peach, Mr. Tiger, the Bird, Gibby and Tram all called the stadium home. It’s where Ty Cobb collected his 4,191 career hits. Mark Fidrych talked to the ball. Hank, Dizzy and Virgil led the way to a championship as America emerged from World War II. The team reunited the city in 1968 and we watched Sparky’s boys get off to a 35 – 5 start on their way to the top in 1984.
The boys of summer have defined the past in Corktown, but recently, ground was broken on the stadium site’s next iteration.
A Look to the Future with a Nod to the Past
The first portion of the reimagined site aims to honor the history of the site while at the same time providing a communal space for future generations.
The Corner Ballpark opened in late March. An initiative of the Detroit Police Athletic League (PAL) being presented by Adient, the site will be the home to youth sporting events, concerts, car shows and outdoor markets.
In addition to being an event space, it serves as a site for workforce training for 17 young adults between the ages of 18 – 30. It gives them real world experience working in a sports and entertainment facility.
In addition to the field, the site features the original Tiger Stadium flagpole as well as 50 seats and the top of the Michigan Avenue entrance gates.
New Mixed-Use Development
The Detroit PAL project is a great space for the community and pays homage to the baseball heritage of the site, but Tiger Stadium was also a major economic driver for the Corktown area and since the stadium closed, no other development has come up to fill the void.
Enter, The Corner. Developed by Larson Realty Group, the final piece of this Corktown redevelopment will be a mixed-use building with 111 apartment units and commercial space on the first floor totaling 26,000 square feet.
Studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments will be available. The group says that a 700 square-foot apartment will rent at $1,350. The developers plan to make 20% of the residential units affordable for those making 80% or less of the area median income.
On the commercial space side, 60% of the retail space is going to be offered at 50% of market rates for rental.
The first partner to call The Corner home is Build Institute. The Detroit-based nonprofit specializing in entrepreneurship education will occupy 4,000 square feet of the new space. Larson is also hoping to attract a large restaurant or market to the site.
Begun in early May, the developer expects the redevelopment to take about a year and create roughly 400 jobs in the process.
Ford Motoring Into Corktown
The Corner isn’t the only big development taking place in Corktown at the moment. Ford Motor Company just purchased Michigan Central Station, the long vacant train depot, to serve as a Detroit base of operations for the Dearborn automaker.
Plans for the site are scarce, but the company is expected to share more information on June 19. The release says the event will mark “the start of a new era of innovation and mobility.”
What are you most looking forward to in the Corktown area? Feel free to share your favorite memory of Tiger Stadium with us.