Nov 21, 2023 - Development

$3.5M Chung's building renovation to begin next month

A fence blocks the sidewalk on Peterboro Street and Cass Avenue. It's expected to remain there until construction ends. Photo: Samuel Robinson/Axios

Renovations to the former Chung's building that's been empty for more than two decades are set to start next month.

Driving the news: A fence blocking the sidewalk on Cass Avenue and Peterboro Street was installed around the building last week.

  • The developer behind the project says work on the last remaining vestige of Detroit's Chinatown is set to begin in December, and the sidewalk will remain closed for the duration of construction.

What they're saying: "It's probably going to take about six months for our work restoring the building," American Community Developers VP Mike Essian tells Axios. "The restaurant build-outs will take longer."

  • Essian says the company is working through scheduling with some of the project's initial contractors.
  • There are no signed lease agreements yet, as Essian says negotiations are ongoing among several potential restaurants.

Catch up quick: The $3.5 million in renovations to the building, which Essian says will bring three new Asian restaurants to the block, are part of the effort to honor the area's forgotten Chinatown history.

  • American Community Developers' request for a 12-year tax abatement on the site was approved by City Council last month.

What we're watching: There are other efforts to recognize the area's Chinese American history.

  • Talks to bring an outdoor community space to the site of the former On Leong Tong building have continued between community stakeholders and Ilitch-owned Olympia Development since the company demolished it this summer.

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