The pace of change in the physical landscape of downtown Detroit is moving at breakneck pace.
The latest news is that work on the Shinola Hotel has officially started today. Instead of a traditional “groundbreaking” putting shovels into the ground, a hole was made in a brick wall during the news conference.
The boutique hotel, announced with much fanfare last September, will be located at the corner of Woodward and Grand River in downtown Detroit in buildings with some history, including one built in 1915.
The hotel will be eight floors, and will offer guests 130 hotel rooms. The development will house 16,000 square feet for restaurant and retail.
The Shinola brand has exploded in popularity, starting with watches in 2011 and expanding into being a mark portraying the concept of luxury created in Detroit.
“We want this to be downtown’s living room. This should be the place where everyone can come enjoy great food, enjoy great events, have a meeting. Just take in the experience. And do so in an environment that is so tremendously consistent with the Shinola brand,” said Tom Lewand, Shinola’s CEO. “For us it is a chance to really show the brand. To be able to expand from watches, leather, and audio into different offerings. We couldn’t be more excited to be part of this project, to be a part of this great team. We look forward to working hard over the next few years rolling up our sleeves and getting to work and creating a world class destination right here in downtown.”
The project will expand up the 1400 block of Woodward. The plan is to also put a building on the parking lot behind the building on Farmer. There will be a bridge to connect them.
There will also be an “activated” alleyway much like “The Belt” you’ll find just a couple of blocks away that will have restaurants and retail that winds under the Z Garage off of East Grand River between Library and Broadway. The Belt is a warm-weather hot spot with bars that have outdoor seating.
The food and beverage will be developed by Chef Andrew Carmellini and Noho Hospitality. Chef Carmellini is well known in the New York food scene.
Kramer Design Group is the architecture firm of record, and construction is being done by Barton Malow Construction. The hotel will be designed by Gachot Studios.
The date for the opening of the hotel has not been ironed out, but sources I have point to an opening sometime toward the end of 2018.