The three city blocks surrounding the park make up the Capitol Park District. Was the home of Michigan's first capitol building.
In August 2011, the a consortium of development groups posted an RFP through the DEGC for the redevelopment of the district. Organizations involved:
- Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (“DEGC”)
- The Michigan Land Bank Fast Track Authority (“MLB”)
- Invest Detroit Foundation (“Invest Detroit”)
- Wayne County Land Bank (“Wayne County”)
- Michigan Economic Development Corporation (“MEDC”)
Properties included were Capitol Park Building at 1145 Griswold, the old United Way Building at 1212 Griswold (bought by the DDA in 2009 for 1.75 and 1.9M, respectively), and the Farwell Building at 1249 Griswold (bought by the Michigan Land Bank for $3.3M). Cleveland developer John Ferchill, who also backed the Westin Book Cadillac, is one of the bidders.
In late April 2012, the Downtown Development Authority approved Karp and Associates' application to redevelop the three buildings for about $83.9 million.
Eviction of artists
Dan Gilbert proposed the space as the "center of a new arts district, with galleries and cafes on the ground floors and residential apartments above". However, in early 2014, the two dozen artists living at 1217 Griswold were given 30 days to move out of the building. The fire marshall said the building was unfit for residents. Fire escapes were deemed unsafe and the sprinkler system was inoperable. The building did not have a certificate of occupancy from the City.
Residents from the senior housing nearby are also being evicted, but over a longer timeframe.
- Detroit seeks ideas to remake Capitol Park district. Free Press. 24 August 2011.
- Capitol Park Development Initiative Request for Development Proposals. DEGC. August 2011.
- Despite progress, vacant buildings dot downtown. Detroit News. 5 December 2011.
- Capitol Park Artists Get the Boot. MetroTimes. 12 February 2012.