Neumann/Smith Architecture moving downtown, overseeing several major development projects

Neumann/Smith Architecture, which has been around since 1969, has been working under the radar downtown for years. Now, the firm is making it official this year when it moves into the Wright-Kay Building at 1500 Woodward.
The firm has worked on several significant projects in the city out of its Southfield office, including various projects with Wayne State University, One Kennedy Square, the Science Center, the $50 million landscape renovation including meditation gardens and fountains at DTE, Blue Cross Blue Shield's east campus (including the green parking deck and courtyard), and work for several clients inside the Renaissance Center.
Most recently Neumann/Smith worked with Quicken Loans and Bedrock on some of their most high-profile developments. The first opportunity was the Madison Building, which has become a technology hub noted as much for its design as for its inhabitants. "(That building) was huge for them and for us," says Joel Smith, partner of Neumann/Smith Architecture. "It got a lot of attention." (Particularly the fifth-floor meeting space and rooftop patio available for private parties, which Smith calls "one of the coolest" spaces in the city.)
Next up on Neumann/Smith's Bedrock project roster includes renovations of the Dime Building, One Woodward, First National, and construction on the "Z" lot. "With all of this going on we needed to be closer to our client," says Smith. "We have always had a historic preservation practice but the Detroit office will be the hub for historic preservation and adaptive reuse (and) solidify our commitment to the city."
The firm is also heading up the renovation of the Wright-Kay Building, which Smith expects to be complete in June. The six floor, red sandstone building will feature office space on the upper floors (fully committed though not yet all officially leased) with ground floor restaurant and retail space.
Source: Joel Smith, AIA, partner of Neumann/Smith Architecture
Writer: Nicole Rupersburg

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Nicole Rupersburg is a former Detroiter now in Las Vegas who regularly writes about food, drink, and urban innovators. You can follow her on Instagram @eatsdrinksandleaves and Twitter @ruperstarski.
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