22000 Grand River
Residential & Retail
Original Date Built
Our investment in historic Old Redford demonstrates our commitment to supporting local entrepreneurs, providing affordable housing, and creating places that benefit all Detroiters.
The Obama building is a historic renovation located at the corner of Grand River and Lahser in Northwest Detroit's Old Redford neighborhood. It includes the rehab of eight ground floor retail spaces and the addition of four second floor loft apartments. Retail and residential units will be available at affordable lease rates. The project will support neighborhood retail and local entrepreneurs, contributing to the surrounding small business community.
Located in a City of Detroit Strategic Neighborhood, The Obama is the result of a public-private partnership that includes the City of Detroit, Invest Detroit, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Horizon Bank and the Fisher Foundation. It is the first phase of an incremental development at the intersection of Grand River and Lahser in Old Redford. Phase two is an arts center at the Sunflower Building. Together, the projects aim to catalyze larger neighborhood revitalization.
The Obama Building offers 8,800 SF of retail and four residential units with affordable and market-rates.
Stage of Development
History: The building was constructed in 1917 as The Peoples State Bank of Redford. It closed in 1931, likely a victim of The Great Depression, and was later re-opened as Stein’s Department Store. The building sat vacant for some time before The Platform purchased in 2016. Years of neglect and deterioration left the building with a collapsed roof and significant water damage. Throughout construction, great care has been taken to rehabilitate the structure and preserve historic architectural and design elements.
The name, The Obama, was derived from engagement with local businesses, residents and city officials. It is a reference to the beloved mural by local artist Chazz Miller that adorned the façade and provided its identity for many years. The Mural will find new life inside the renovated building.
Community Engagement: The Platform is committed to developing in a way that honors and contributes to Detroit’s social and physical fabric, creating places and spaces that bring people together. We engaged local businesses, residents and civic leaders in our branding process. In addition, we formed a Neighborhood Advisory Council to recommend and approve retail tenants to ensure the proper fit in the community. Community anchors like Brightmoor Alliance, Detroit Blight Busters and Fisher Family Foundation have been loyal partners in our work.
Design: Because neighborhood development is cost-sensitive, the design approach at the Obama Building is focused on finding beauty in everyday construction and materials. We are inspired to be clever with a small budget. Rehab includes manipulating a traditional storefront system, installing a durable rain-screen façade, and simplifying floor plans while inviting natural light and establishing clear visuals to the space.
Neighborhood: Old Redford is a neighborhood in Northwest Detroit with a historic downtown surrounded by early 1900s single-family homes. Part of the Northwest Grand River Corridor, Old Redford is being targeted by the City of Detroit’s Strategic Neighborhood Fund to improve things like streetscape, business development and affordable housing. Old Redford refers to the Grand River Ave. and Lahser Rd. intersection and the area to the northwest.
Notably community anchors include Redford Theatre, Sweet Potato Sensations, Motor City Java House, Artists Village, Motor City Blight Busters, Sidewalk Detroit, Old Redford Kitchen + Café, Maty’s Cuisine, Detroit Public Library – Redford Brand, PharMor Pharmacy, Dollar Tree, Meijer Grocery + Gas, Old Redford Food Center, Flagstar Bank, Huntington Bank and Detroit Police Department – 8th Precinct.
Transit: Bus #021, 045