The value of a renewed piece of Detroit is often measured in sweat equity. It involves years of scraping together financing, back-and-forth with the city over permits, and pushing forward even when the city's revival feels uncertain.
That's the story of one such block on Woodward: the home of the historic Garden Theater. The block has seen demolitions, the restoration of office space, and the saving of the theater from ruin. Bit by bit, retired GM employees-turned-self-taught real estate developers George Stewart and Michael Byrd the founders of the Woodward Garden Block Development Project set out to create a reimagined entertainment complex. They demolished what couldn't be saved, leased out parking and office space, built a new 61-unit apartment building, and restored the crown jewel that is the Garden Theater.
At the center of the block's renewal is aptly-named The Block, a casual gastropub. You're likely to see a diverse mix of diners there: employees from the nearby Detroit Medical Center, students and faculty from Wayne State University, and theatergoers from the Max M. Fisher Music Center, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, or Majestic Theater complex.
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