By The Book

“Despite the economic downturn, redevelopment of the historic fabric continues in southeast Michigan. Serving as a catalyst to revitalize downtown Detroit, the renovated Westin Book Cadillac Hotel and Residences opened in October 2008 after four years of planning, design and construction.”

“Originally constructed in the 1920’s, the 32-story building, designed originally by Louis Kamper and owned by the Book Brothers, was purchased by Cleveland based The Ferchill Group in 2004 after being vacant since 1986. According to Kevin Weigand of The Ferchill Group, the developer thought it could save the structure even though no one else could–its only stipulation was that to use its own team.”

“Soon after, Kazcmar Architects was selected to create a design to rejuvenate the once tallest hotel in the world, located at the corner of State Street and Washington Blvd. in Detroit. A $180 million financing package was developed, including 22 sources of funding, to renovate the 455-room hotel. It has hospitality venues on floors 2-23, including 35 suites, and 67 condos on floors 24 and up.”

“After the north side of the building, known as the North Tower, was demolished due to potential collapse, a three-story addition of 65,000-sf feet was added to provide guests a pool, fitness facility, celebrity Iron Chef Michael Symon’s Roast Restaurant, the Spa, 1924 Grill and the Woodward Ballroom. There is a private skywalk to the parking garage and separate elevator and entrance for condo residents to access Westin’s signature hotel amenities.”

“According to Dave Kaplan of Kaczmar, the design process was difficult because Westin Hotels are known for their sleek design and modern atmosphere. “Ornament details were simplified for budget and to go along with Westin ideology,” he says. Kaczmar worked with Sandvick, which made sure the exterior repairs, including over 2,000 window replacements, from Jamieson-Ricca, followed the State of Michigan’s historical tax credit guidelines. He explains the addition was designed to have similar features as the main building, but simplified.”

“FutureNet Group, Inc. performed professional environmental services associated with the restoration, including inspection, assessment, and monitoring of hazardous materials, and ensured OSHA compliance throughout the duration of activities, so that all environmental rules and regulations were followed. The firm is BA 8(a) and HUBZone certified, and a Disadvantaged/Minority Business Enterprise. Owner Perry Mehta, a true Detroiter, took great pride in this project, as he did on such projects as the Detroit River Walk and several public housing renovations for Detroit Housing Corporation.”

By Niki Swank
from Builders Exchange Magazine


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