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Historic Corktown hotel to re-open by summer 2015


Since purchasing the Roosevelt Hotel in 2010, Detroit real estate developer Dennis Kefallinos has offered little information on his plans for the historic and long-neglected Corktown hotel. It's now confirmed that the Roosevelt Hotel will once again operate as a hotel, opening somewhere within a year's time.

While details of amenities remain vague, Kefallinos's senior project manager Eric Novack says that construction crews are currently working on the building infrastructure. The hotel will have 76 rooms and feature commercial space on the ground floor.

Kefallinos owns and manages a number of buildings and businesses throughout the city, including the Lafayette Lofts and the Russell Industrial Center. Though the Roosevelt could have been redeveloped as an apartment building, Kefallinos has long-wanted to open a hotel and the Roosevelt's floor plans remain well-suited for that. Larger rooms lend themselves to extended stay customers, a situation the company sees happening often.

"This has been quite a while in the making," says Novack. "We haven't been resting on our laurels. We've been doing the work in the background like with the historic preservation people to get approval for new windows for the building."

Not wanting to suggest an opening date for fear of it being pushed back, Novack says that people will once again book rooms at the Roosevelt sometime in the next six to twelve months. It's infrastructure work in the meantime.

The hotel opened in the early 1920s across from a bustling Michigan Central Station and its fate followed that of the now-vacant and blighted train depot. The Roosevelt sat empty and unsecured on 14th Street for years before Kefallinos purchased it from Wayne County at auction.

This announcement follows recent news of improvements to neighboring Michigan Central Station, though the intentions of that building's owner, billionaire Manuel Moroun, remain mysterious. His camp has yet to offer any details of redevelopment plans for Detroit's most iconic vacant building.

Source: Eric Novack, senior project manager at Boydell Development Company
Image: Corktown History

Writer: MJ Galbraith

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