Boutique hotel planned for Detroit Fire Department HQ

US: $23 million project could be open in time for the 2015 North American International Auto Show.

A development group led by 21 Century Holdings LLC has agreed to pay $1.25 million for the 1929 building, and has teamed up with Chicago-based Aparium Hotel Group, which will manage the property.

The partners are proposing a 75- to 80-room hotel at the five-story firehouse in Detroit, with a bar/restaurant and banqueting space on the first floor. They plan to retain the underground parking at the site.

A onsite pub will provide a link to the site’s days as the Chrysler Firehouse during the Detroit auto show – described as “a watering hole for auto show press featuring celebrity bartenders like former Chrysler CEO Dieter Zetsche (now Daimler CEO) and racing car driver Juan Pablo Montoya”.

The building will retain the firehouse look on the ground floor, keeping the two poles in the main, first-floor room, Cohen said. “And in the summer, we’ll open the big red doors and have outside dining with outside umbrellas.

The working title for the project is the Foundation Hotel. The development group plans “a full historic renovation of the building that will cost more than $23 million”. It hopes to secure historic tax credits but will do the full renovation whether it gets them or not.

If Detroit City Council approves the deal, the development group hopes to close on it this summer, with construction starting later this year to be open for the 2015 auto show.

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