On what is basically Detroit’s Bourbon Street of Monroe Avenue, there has been a lot of investment as late, whether it’s through Greektown Casino (soon to be known early next year as JACK Detroit Casino-Hotel Greektown), the new Wahlburgers, or the litany of restaurants, some of which have been there for many years (like Pegasus Taverna, for more than a quarter century).
Next up to find new life is the St. Mary’s School, across from St. Mary’s church in Greektown. The building has been vacant for more than a decade, and in it’s newest incarnation will become the corporate headquarters for the Jack Entertainment, Dan Gilbert’s casino holdings (formerly known as Rock Gaming).
The five-story, 29,000-square-foot former school building is connected to Greektown Casino-Hotel via a pedestrian skywalk. The space is currently undergoing a $7 million renovation, with Detroit-based companies Neumann/Smith Architecture as the project and the general contractor, Colasanti Group. This is part of a larger, $70 million renovation of the overall Greektown Casino complex.
Greektown perennially has come in third among Detroit casinos in market share and revenue, behind Motor City Casino and MGM Grand. It seems that they’re hoping to change that score with the new investments.
Jack Entertainment, formed as Rock Gaming, is now a $1.4 billion company based in Detroit with 7,000 employees across all of their holdings nationally.
Here’s a little history of the building at Monroe and St. Antoine. The St. Mary’s School building, designed by Puis Daubner, was built in 1868 and used as a school, orphanage and sisters’ residence for nearly a century. After the school closed in 1966, the building became St. Mary’s Community Center. It is one of the oldest Catholic school buildings in the state. In 1980, the structure was recognized as a historical site by the state of Michigan.
The work will be complete and employees moving from One Woodward to 1041 St. Antoine in December of this year.