Rosa Parks foundry building erupts with incubator, retail activity

For Scott Griffin and Angel Gambino, the co-owners of Corktown's newest business and retail incubation space, redeveloping the old foundry at 2051 Rosa Parks Blvd. "provides a greater context for the neighborhood, increasing and enhancing the visibility" of Detroit's oldest neighborhood.

The Lincoln Brass Works foundry made bullets during World War II -- Griffin calls the 100,000 sq. ft space "an extraordinary example of classic Detroit industrial architecture." The building's eccentric layout, with options ranging from small offices to large, dramatic spaces, makes it perfect for the mixed-use environment envisioned by the owners, who hail from New York. In the six weeks since Gambino and Griffin purchased the building, they've spent their time erasing the improvements the previous owner made to the building. While the previous owner had normalized the spaces into typical office cubicles with carpeting and dropped ceilings, Griffin says they're focused on "undressing the building so the classic architecture shines."

That eye to design has paid off. Griffin says Loveland Technologies, Curbed Detroit and the new Huffington Post have all rented offices inside the foundry. Corktown Cinema is launching its re-imagination (courtesy of Big F Deal) of the art house theater in the building, which Griffin says, "is a tremendous boost to the nightlife in the neighborhood and the greater community." And while he's mum on the details, he says they're negotiating almost 20 office and retail leases in the next week.

Source: Scott Griffin, co-owner
Writer: Ashley C. Woods
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