Parent-and-son roommates party on in a sleek, modern Brush Park townhome
By Nicole Frehsee Mazur
Photography by Scott Gaffen and Hunter Pasteur
With their sleek finishes, expansive skyline views and proximity to some of Detroit’s best restaurants, bars and nightlife, the townhomes in Brush Park’s new City Modern development make for perfect bachelor pads, or ideal empty nesters’ retreats.
For the Corera family, they’re both.
“Our son lives there but we’re down there every weekend,” says Kim Corera, who, with her husband, Cedric, purchased a 2,410-square-foot townhome last May. It’s one of many like it in City Modern, an 8.4-acre, $100 million project that kicked off in 2018 to bring more than 400 residential units, including carriage homes, apartments and renovated historic homes, to the area.
Ryan, 24, resides in the house during the week; his “roommates,” who live in Bingham Farms, camp out from Friday to Sunday. “We drive down after work and go for dinner and cocktails,” says Kim, an interior designer. (Cedric is the CEO of a staffing company.) “We usually have friends staying over — everybody wants to come because it’s such a departure from the suburbs. My son has a lot of company.”
The “different feel and vibe” of Detroit is partly what inspired the Coreras, who frequented the city before its resurgence, to invest in property there. Kim was especially drawn to Brush Park — a 22-block Midtown neighborhood that’s seen a development boom in recent years — for its walkability and mix of historic and new buildings. “I loved the idea that Brush Park wasn’t going to let people tear down the beautiful old homes there,” she says, adding that her unit is across from one of the historic homes that City Modern has restored and turned into rentals. “And I loved the idea of modern structures being built beside them.”
Kim drew on her love of contrast when it came time to design her own house, juxtaposing a variety of materials all in the same space. She ran the brick in the three-story townhome all the way up from the first floor through the second-floor living space and into the living room, and installed metal-and-glass panels on the stairs. “Being a designer, I was super excited about the [different] textures,” she says. “I wanted it to feel high-end and dressier, but mixed in with an industrial, urban feel.”
“My favorite part is [how] it has such an open feel and how modern it is,” adds Ryan. “My mom did such a great job with decorating the place.”
The ground floor doubles as a home office for Kim, who works on projects both in the suburbs and the city (she recently transformed a Detroit police station into a co-working space). The home’s most-trafficked area is the second floor, which includes a kitchen, family room and living room. The third story features three bedrooms, each with a walk-in closet — the better to store staycation suitcases, says Kim. As for who would score the most coveted sleeping space, there was no argument. “My parents paid for the place,” says Ryan, who works as a prep cook in a retirement community and is currently in school to become a chef. “It’s only fair they get the master bedroom.”
The unit’s piece de resistance, though, is the fourth-level penthouse, with its wrap-around rooftop terrace. “We were so excited about the outdoor space,” says Kim, who added planters and trees to boost privacy (it’s perfect for sunbathing, she adds), then divided the area into separate spots for lounging and dining. Each side of the terrace offers different — but equally stunning — views of the city, from the Renaissance Center to the Fox Theatre to Ford Field. “We were careful about the unit we chose because we’ll have unobstructed views,” says Kim, noting the park on one side and the mews — grassy, tree-lined alleyways that run through the neighborhood — on the other. “One of the reasons we liked our unit is because of the green space next door.”
Just inside the top floor, Kim built a small mini bar and fridge that leads out to the roof, which is, unsurprisingly, a prime gathering spot. “We’ve had a few parties and some small, more intimate dinners,” she says. Ryan is welcome to invite guests, too. “It’s never a problem if I want to have a few friends over,” he says. “[My parents] say the more, the merrier.”