The Z, a retail and parking development in downtown Detroit, opened last week. The building provides downtown an additional 1,300 parking spots and 33,000 square feet of retail space. The ten story structure is the first ground-up development downtown for
Bedrock Real Estate Services
, local billionaire Dan Gilbert's real estate division. No word yet on possible tenants for the retail space.
The parking structure is unique in its shape, occupying two corners opposite each other. Reaching from Library and Gratiot to Broadway and E. Grand River, the building is a sort of 'Z' shape, hence the name. It also features a stylized facade highlighted with LED lighting.
In a partnership with the Library Street Collective
, Bedrock invited 27 artists from around the world to paint murals throughout the building. Adorning buildings with 'street art' is a trend that more and more Detroit businesses are embracing
. Artists featured in the Z include Tristan Eaton, Revok, Dabs and Myla, Saner, and Interesni Kazki.
Bedrock and Library Street Collective released an online video featuring the artists and their work. In the video
, Australian artist Myla extolls the virtue of the project, saying, "What they're doing is changing people's perceptions on the city. A project that is about beautifying a parking garage will become something that people will buy a flight for to visit the city to spend, like, half a day looking at all the murals."
While form is a big part of the structure's story, its function is what will matter to many of the city's commuters. The Z is a parking garage for the 21st century. It features a ticketless and cashless pay system with parkers swiping their credit cards as they enter and leave the facility. Once retail does happen, shoppers will be able to validate parking through smart phones and QR codes. Charging stations are available for electric cars.
Source: Bedrock Real Estate Services press release
Writer: MJ Galbraith
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