Starwood Hotels signs on to David Whitney building redevelopment

Another one of downtown Detroit's vacant skyscrapers is getting a breath of fresh air now that Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has signed onto to the redevelopment of the 19-story building overlooking Grand Circus Park.

"Assuming all of our financing and tax credits come together on time, which they are, we plan to start construction in the first quarter of 2012," says Mike Damitio, senior vice president of development for Trans Inn Management, which is heading up the development with The Roxbury Group.

The national hotel chain selected the David Whitney building to open one of it's Aloft hotels, a boutique hotel that emphasizes "forward-thinking technology, and the vibrant social atmosphere." Aloft Detroit will feature 136 "loft-like rooms" with industrial design elements, a bar and 6,600-square-foot fitness center open 24 hours. It's set to open in July of 2014.

The Roxbury Group and Trans Inn Management are redeveloping the David Whitney Building into a mixed-use structure that features ground floor retail, hotel on the middle floors and apartments on the top floors. The skyscraper, designed by Daniel Burnham of New York City's Flatiron building and Union Station, opened in 1915 with spaces for retail and offices for doctors and dentists around its majestic interior atrium. It has been vacant for years until recently when the Roxbury Group began breathing new life into with things like Model D's Next Big Thing event earlier this fall.

The redevelopment of the David Whitney Building will serve as the cap on a reinvigorated line of skyscrapers overlooking Grand Circus Park. The Kales and Madison Theatre buildings have been redeveloped into loft and office spaces in recent years. The David Broderick Tower, on the other side of the intersection of Woodward and Park avenues, is also being rehabbed into a combination of retail, office and apartment spaces.

Source: Mike Damitio, senior vice president of development for Trans Inn Management
Writer: Jon Zemke

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