2 Royal Oak Buildings Called 'Game-Changing' for Oakland County

A residential development and downtown home/studio are among the dozen buildings described as 'architectural standouts' in Oakland County.

Two Royal Oak buildings recently were recognized as examples of constructions that have energized the metro area.

The Main Street Lofts designed by Neumann/Smith Architecture and architect Frank Arvan's home and studio on E. Fifth Street were among the 12 buildings selected as "game-changing" by Prosper, an online newsletter about economic development in Oakland County.

  • "The whole idea of bringing residential development to the center cities of Royal Oak, of downtown Birmingham, of Ferndale, all of these nice little downtowns, is something that has been a great move in the Detroit metropolitan area," writes Kelly Deines, design principal, Rossetti, of the Main Street Lofts. "The infusion of residential properties has really allowed the downtowns to flourish and come back."
  • "It's not apologetic about how it contrasts," writes Stu Pettitt, principal, Straub Pettitt Yaste Architects, of Arvan's house. "With the unorthodox use of materials in a residential area, he's found a way to almost camouflage, or take your eye off, what the material is, because it's used in a way that's still recognizably residential. But once you get up close you realize it's a concrete façade on a very traditional front porch."

Read "A Dozen Game-Changing Buildings in Metro Detroit."

l.c. January 24, 2013 at 03:41 PM
this is the 3rd straight year the fifth st. unit is featured yet I fail to see any other such construction resembling its looks.so why do you call it game changing??? personally its like a duck out of the water.same thing with the new monster foot print homes being bulit on residential lots & eliminating any back yard.its all well & good to look at but what they are doing to neighborhood values time will tell.seems to be someone in city hall who gives approval has an aching for something different.
Jack Manning January 24, 2013 at 03:42 PM
What can I say! Looking down from on-high at all the old roof-tops of downtown businesses.....simply fantastic!
PatchOn January 24, 2013 at 03:55 PM
That's a picture of the Skylofts, but it links to the Main Street Lofts, but the address in the linked article is for Main North Lofts -- so which one is game changing?
PatchOn January 24, 2013 at 04:02 PM
I think it's safe to say they are adding value to the neighborhood, considering it's nearly impossible to find a unit in these buildings for under 300k
Mark Itall January 24, 2013 at 04:31 PM
Frank's house still looks like a bomb shelter.
The Duke of Royal Oak January 24, 2013 at 05:59 PM
My dear how true!
Patti Harlick January 25, 2013 at 12:25 AM
I agree the buildings add a lot to the downtown Royal Oak area, but I must say I wish they would have done something more appealing to the north facing wall on the loft building on Washington AVe.. It is a huge blank concrete wall??!!
Mark Itall January 25, 2013 at 03:26 AM
The pimply butt-ugly Skyloft. The commercial floors look nice, the top looks as bad as the ultra-cheap looking The Fifth.
Debbie Campbell January 25, 2013 at 03:32 AM
I love Frank's house-
Jan Smith January 25, 2013 at 06:32 AM
Game changing? If the new game is ugly, as seems to be the case, does Royal Oak really want to play?
Ray Smith January 25, 2013 at 03:30 PM
I think they meant the Sky Lofts--not the Main Street Lofts, which are at 11 Mile and Main. Confusing.
Mark Itall January 25, 2013 at 06:41 PM
That is the interesting thing about architecture Debbie. One person's dream house is another's worst nightmare.


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