Art Deco classic restored in downtown Detroit

An Art Deco classic has been restored by DTE Energy, re-invigorating a building that has been vacant since 2004. Once belonging to the Salvation Army, the 32,000-sqare-foot building on the west side of downtown will soon house 140 DTE information technology employees. It has been renamed the Navitas House. Navitas is Latin for energy.

Architecture firm Hamilton Anderson Associates and general contractor L.S. Brinker, two Detroit-based companies, led the rehabilitation. That rehab brought the building up to current codes while preserving historic elements like the lobby's historic features and the bathrooms' terrazzo tiles and marble walls. Navitas is also projected to be DTE's first LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, building for 2015. Green elements include a rain garden behind the building that will filter runoff while creating an urban oasis for birds and butterflies.

"One of the keys to urban revitalization is to bring vacant buildings back to life, which helps a street feel more alive, makes it safe,r and improves the overall stability of the neighborhood," says Ron May, DTE Energy executive vice president of Major Enterprise Projects. "This beautiful building stands now as a symbol of our work to help energize Detroit."

Navitas House is located on Bagley across from the DTE Energy headquarters. The restoration of the old Salvation Army building is not the only project DTE has planned for its neighborhood. The publicly-traded energy company expects to break ground on what's been called a mini-Campus Martius just east of its headquarters in the spring. DTE plans on transforming what is now an empty lot into a green space that will be a gathering place for people who live in, work in, and visit downtown Detroit.

The Navitas House is located at 601 Bagley St.

Source: DTE Energy press release
Writer: MJ Galbraith

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MJ Galbraith is Model D's development news editor. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.