“I would categorize [the former B. Siegel building] as a bit of an emotional purchase. This was the corner past which I’d walk or drive or ride my bike every day and stare at this group of vacant and decaying buildings,” Hessler said at the groundbreaking of his “7.Liv” redevelopment on February 15th.

 
Once home to the Avenue of Fashion, the former B. Siegel Department Store occupied the southwest corner of Livernois and 7 Mile. Hessler purchased the parcel in 2016 and always had plans for redevelopment that would benefit the neighborhood.

 

Over the past two years, Hessler has worked to secure financing to restore and renovate the parcel he purchased into retail space and apartments with underground parking. 
 
“I felt since moving to the neighborhood that this parcel is one of the most important missing pieces in the ongoing revitalization of the corridor. I had hoped in 2016 that activating this corner would serve as a catalyst for creating walking traffic on the avenue and adding amenities for the residents of the area. Two years later, I feel very confident that this will be the case,” Hessler said. 
 
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan was among the speakers at the groundbreaking event. 
 
“I hope we will see more of this kind of development. I have said all along the development is going to spread from downtown and midtown to the neighborhoods,” Duggan said. “This is the real evidence of that.”

 

 

The loudest cheers from the crowd were saved for Lolita Haley, a resident and business owner on the Livernois Corridor.  
 
“The opening of this new retail and housing development will have a desirable impact and bolster the existing businesses on the corridor,” Haley said. “This venture takes our corridor to another level of diversity. New housing, who would have thought? How unique in uptown Detroit!” 
 
Quinn Evans Architects first collaborated with Hessler on his Cass Corridor Tattoo Parlor, Iconic Tattoo. Quinn Evans Architects has completed construction documentation for the 20,000 square feet of retail, about 10 apartments and 30 underground parking spots for 7.Liv.