Ground was broken on the new Cambria Hotel Detroit Downtown, a new six-story, 158-room upscale hotel that will help meet the ever-increasing need for rooms in the city’s booming Central Business District. It will also give a significant boostto Detroit’s continuing revitalization.
As part of the growing Choice Hotels International Inc.’s brand, the new $50-million hotel at Lafayette Boulevard and Third Avenue will open in 2020. It is being developed by a joint venture by Detroit-based Means Group and Holdwick Development Group and Koucar Management LLC of Troy. The development will incorporate the historic Albert Kahn-designed former studios of WWJ-AM. The 150,000-square-foot new construction part of the project will replace an adjacent surface parking lot and will feature modular construction, a first in downtown Detroit.
The milestone was marked at an event attended by local dignitaries and prominent Detroit business leaders, including Arthur Jemison, group executive for planning, housing and development for the City of Detroit; Khalil Rahal, Wayne County executive director for economic development; Amanda Bright McClanahan, chief operating officer for the Michigan Economic Development Corp; and Janis Cannon, senior vice president of upscale brands for Choice Hotels.
“Cambria Detroit represents some of the most groundbreaking methods for modernized project delivery that will be mirrored for years to come,” said Eric J. Means, CEO of The Means Group. “It is a true alignment of merging old and new into a major plus for the city and its residents.”
The ground floor of the mixed-use development will be home to an Italian restaurant from celebrity chef Fabio Viviani The executive chef of local restaurant chain Bar Verona and celebrated cookbook author has become a household name with his appearances on TV shows such as “Top Chef,” “Cutthroat Kitchen,” “Rachael Ray” and “Good Morning America.” The restaurant will serve brunch, lunch and dinner with food made from scratch
The Cambria will have features tailored to the needs of modern travelers, including:
- Immersive, spa-style bathrooms with Bluetooth mirrors.
- Contemporary and sophisticated guestrooms, complete with modern fixtures, abundant lighting, and plush bedding.
- Multi-function meeting space.
- Grand ballroom and banquet space.
- State-of-the-art fitness center with spa amenities.
- Locally inspired design.
The Detroit Cambria will feature a rooftop pool and patio bar that is sure to become a destination for guests and locals alike.
The development also will be home to more than 60,000 square feet of Class A office space and new retail space. Tenants announced already include Detroit Taco and Detroit Kid City.
“Today marks the first step toward realizing our vision of bringing another high-class hotel to Detroit’s Central Business District,” said Brian Holdwick, a partner on the project. “This is one of the more exciting developments that I have had the pleasure of being involved in, and I couldn’t be more proud to be part of the team behind making this project a reality.”
Renovations on the historic building included in the Cambria development have already started. The building opened in 1936 as the home of WWJ-AM’s studios. The station later moved to Southfield, and its former studios became known as the Walker-Roehrig Building, home to the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), among others. The redevelopment of the90,000-square-foot, historic structure will see a number of its former elements preserved, including the lobby, old studio, on-air signs and more.
“We are thrilled to see this project continue Detroit’s inspiring economic growth, and we are proud to be a player in the ongoing development in this vibrant and historic community,” saidJanis Cannon, senior vice president of upscale brands for Choice Hotels, Cambria’s parent company
The architect on the project is Royal Oak-based Krieger Klatt Architects.