Detroit firm Patrick Thompson Design (PTD) has been tapped for a full-concept overhaul of the old Corktown Inn. Construction will begin early- to mid-summer on what's being re-branded as Trumbull & Porter, a 144-room boutique hotel that originally opened in 1966 as a Holiday Inn. The new rooms and lobby could debut as soon as this fall and a restaurant will eventually follow. Corktown Hotel, LLC purchased the hotel in the fall of 2014 and Access Hospitality is acting as both developer and management company for the property.
Thompson says that the designs his team developed will offer a boutique hotel experience at a relatively modest price. With five distinct room types and a different experience for each, they will range from $129 to $189 once the re-design is complete. Suites will start at $199.
The name Trumbull & Porter, says Thompson, is a nod to the area's industrial influence, where truckers and dispatchers are always giving each other directions by listing intersections.
"The goal is to create a beautiful, functioning space where locals and travelers want to be," says Thompson. "There are so many improvements coming, it's going to become a destination."
Everything will be torn out and stripped to the original concrete floors and ceilings where PTD will start from scratch. Thompson says the rooms will be "eclectic but collected," clean and modern with custom-designed beds, furniture, and lighting. Things won't be in-your-face Detroit, but still inspired and rooted in local history. PTD is working with local artisans like Detroit Wood Type Co. to help outfit the rooms. End-of-hall lounges are planned as well as a brand new fitness center. A completely re-designed lobby will feature a morning coffee shop that transitions to a lobby bar at night.
A restaurant and retail space are also planned. The restaurant opens up to an outdoor courtyard, one that PTD hopes will be as much for the neighborhood as it is for hotel guests. It will be equal parts picnic area and outdoor lounge, says Thompson, including fire pits and tables among other planned amenities. The exterior, too, will receive significant upgrades, including a charcoal paint job, a large exterior mural, and a landscaping overhaul.
"Our plan is to create spaces to engage the community and add to value to the businesses in the area like St. Cece's and Batch Brewing," says Thompson. "We are planning on collaborating when possible with local retailers, artisans, and craftsmen to be sure the hotel and its spaces reflect an honest version of Detroit and what it has to offer to the world."
Patrick Thompson Design, currently a five-person firm, is in the middle of the schematic design phase, and drawings are being completed to go to bid. The renderings have already been approved by the ownership group.
After the Holiday Inn closed, the hotel operated for more than two decades as the Corktown Inn. That run developed a certain reputation over the years with its three-hour room rentals and underwear vending machine. Access Hospitality began making changes last year and has since cleaned up the hotel
, getting rid of the old Inn's rather infamous amenities while also enacting a no-smoking policy. The hotel is currently open for business.
Source: Patrick Thompson, creative director at Patrick Thompson Design
Writer: MJ Galbraith
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NOTE: An earlier version of this story listed Access Hospitality as the owner of the hotel. Corktown Hotel, LLC, purchased the hotel and Access Hospitality is developer and management company of the property.