Development in Detroit might be at its best when cool old buildings are re purposed in style. The Aparium Hotel Group announced plans today to redevelop the historic Detroit Fire Department Headquarters into a 100 room upscale independent hotel. Aparium will be working with established Detroit developer Walter Cohen on this $28 million project.
According to a release, the redevelopment “will transform the one-of-a-kind space into a truly original hotel with a “Detroit State of Mind” and a deep appreciation for Detroit’s past and a celebration of its promising future.”
The Foundation Hotel, as it will be called, will open in late 2015 at 234-250 West Larned Street. It is the fourth consecutive hotel project for the newly formed Aparium Hotel Group by hospitality veterans Kevin Robinson and Mario Tricoci.
“Aparium is honored to play a role in the important resurgence of Detroit,” said Mario Tricoci, Chief Executive Officer / Managing Partner, Aparium Hotel Group. “We are inspired to be part of making Detroit a city beyond industry – a city of ideas, verve and unmatched enterprise. We are committed to raising the bar and delivering a hotel that captures the true character and hospitality of Detroit. There’s nowhere else we’d rather be.”
Aparium will draw on Detroit’s talent and spirit throught innovative and strategic relationships with designers, manufacturers and vendors “to deliver an experience that is a source of pride in community”.
They have plans to hire and uniquely train mostly Detroit-based employees and the hotel is expected to bring over 100 full and part-time jobs to the Detroit market. Their idea is that the hotel and restaurant will embody the Aparium coined mantra of “Translocal Hospitality” which means a commitment to genuine service and authentic experiences.
“Through its design, sense of civic pride and keen focus on unscripted thoughtful and high quality service, The Foundation Hotel will be an inspiring and transcendent place – a true outcropping of what is happening in Detroit – a city rich in history, art, architecture and culture,” said Tricoci. “It is our vision that the hotel tells the transformative tale of the City as the poignant center of the true life story of re-creation of one of the world’s greatest and most powerful cities.”
The hotel will include an expansive restaurant in the former fire engine hall delivering elevated cuisine in an approachable atmosphere (think gastropub). The restaurant will pay homage to the region through partnerships with local distillers, brewers, farmers, and purveyors. A chef’s table will deliver a destination prix fixe (a complete meal at a fixed price) experience as well as serve as an incubator for up-and-coming chefs and a homecoming platform for great chefs who have left the area.
Like the hotel and restaurant, a ground floor retail experience will showcase Detroit with good and products provided in collaboration with Detroit- and Michigan-based manufacturers and designers. Also included in the development is the smaller former Pontchatrain Cellars restaurant building next door on Larned.