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Our calls have been answered!The former headquarters building of the Detroit Fire Department officially be turned into the Foundation Hotel in late 2015 after an extensive renovation.
Aside from the novelty of staying in an old fire house, you have to feel at least a little comfort in knowing that the building was probably (we hope) up to speed on its fire protection and alarm systems. If nothing more, it is a cool building that should translate well into a 100-room boutique hotel. And maybe, this could be the start of a new trend since Andre Balzas is turning another fire station in London into a hotel.
The new hotel in Detroit will be managed by Chicago-based Aparium Hotel Group, who also operate the Iron Horse Hotel in Milwaukee, another historic building conversion. The fire house building, located at 250 West Larned in Downtown Detroit, once accommodated most of the city's emergency fire service needs. The building is included in the National Register of Historic Places, though oddly it is not a city or state-listed landmark.
It was built in 1929 in the popular Neoclassical style that dressed up many a governmental building. It remained a working fire station until 2011, after which it was used as headquarter offices.
We had high hopes when rapper DMX appeared on "Fix My Life" a show from Oprah Winfrey's OWN network. After all, if anyone could get 42-year old Ruff Ryder Earl Simmons to calm the hell down from a self-professed life of promiscuity and substance abuse, than super-healer Iyanla Vanzant could do it. Well, DMX was having none of it, ended up cussing Vanzant out. Intervention? #fail.
So, we're not surprised to see this video from TMZ showing Dark Man X stripping off his boxer shorts, then running around in the nude (and court-ordered house-arrest ankle bracelet) around a Detroit hotel hallway.
But, the question is, did DMX get charged with indecent exposure from the video below?
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We've already had a busy morning as far as new hotels news goes. But there's even more. Here's a short list of new hotels coming to a city near you:
· Hotel Van Zandt, Austin: Kimpton Hotels will open a new hotel in Austin in 2015 in the city's historic Rainey Street District. The 16-story hotel will feature 322 guest rooms, over 12,000 square feet total event and meeting space, achef-driven restaurant, lobby cafe and pool deck and bar. Interior designer Mark Zeff will oversee the interior design of the Hotel Van Zandt and its restaurant. Kimpton has also made announcements for new properties in Savannah, San Antonio, Milwaukee, Palm Springs, Sedona and Grand Cayman so there will be lots more Kimptons to choose from in the coming years.
· Fairmont Austin: Speaking of Austin, construction should begin on the new Fairmont Hotel at 101.Red River Street later this fall, according to this report. The 1,000-room hotel will cost nearly half a billion to build and should open sometime in 2016.
· The Archer Napa: The Archer in New York City hasn't opened yet (that's happening early next year) but already they've announced a second Archer Hotel for Napa Valley. The Archer Napa will be a new-build luxury hotel at the First Street site of the former Merrillís building, adjacent to The Shops at Napa Center. LogdeWorks and Zapolski Real Estate have partnered up on the seven-story property which will reflect "a casual elegance, organic to the Napa aesthetic. " No opening date has been set yet.
Earth Day has come and gone, and we've seen our fair share of odd hotels, so this one shouldn't really ring our bell that much. But we kind of love it because its innovative in a city that is close to our heart--Detroit. And anything that we see that's about bringing positive light to the city, we're 'bout it.
The latest venture (besides the firehouse-turned hotel) comes from a company called Collision Works. In partnership with an organization called Kickstarter, they raised over $43K to build a 36-room boutique hotel made from cargo containers.
Yeah, that was the part that threw us off, too.
But these recycled vessels are apparently made of sturdy stock and perfect for what is being called "Cargotecture". Collision Works plans to open the First Container on May 18, to coincide with Eastern Marketís Flower Day, when 200,000 visitors are expected to pass through the prototype space and showroom, located near Shed 5 at the corner of Russell and Wilkins Streets.
"Now is a great time to collaborate with the community to create quality programming and creative experiences around storytelling. What we learn here we will take with us to the hotel, Ē said Shel Kimen, Founder and CEO of Collision Works, in a statement.
Collision Works is working with the City of Detroit to buy the lot at 1923 Division along the Dequindre Cut, where they hope the hotel will find its home.
No word yet on how much a cargo-container room will cost, but he certainly hope it errs on the affordable side. We'll definitely be keeping an eye out for this one.
[Photo: Collision Works]
Say what you want about Detroit and its bad rap, we think itís a seriously inventive city that wonít let hard knocks destroy its spirit and we've said just as much on our brother site, Jaunted. Itís the place that'll take an old 1929 brick firehouse and decide to turn it into a $23 million boutique hotel.
The Detroit City Council is being asked to approve a deal to sell the Hans Gehrke-designed building across from Cobo Center to developer Walter Cohen and his group, 21 Century Holdings. The price? Just $1.25 million. Thatís cheaper than a Brooklyn condo, to give you some perspective.
Airport hotels get a pretty bad rap. Sure, there are the greasy, grimy ones, but we like to think that for every one of those, there's a perfectly clean business-friendly oneor, even better, an airport hotel with the luxury of an airport view. All this week we'll be taking a look at a few of our favorite hotels for plane spotting.
Detroit-Metro Airport (DTW) consists of two terminals; this is important to know because they're far apart, with separate freeway exits and everything. For plane spotting, you'll want to hit up the larger, newer of the two: McNamara. At the center of its 70+ gates is the Westin, with easy access to the in-terminal tram and its own TSA security lane and everything. It's pretty nifty.
Could there be actual good news on the horizon for Detroit and its (lack of) hotel scene? The Free Press reports that a hotel developer is working with IHG to create a Crowne Plaza Detroit in what was once the Hotel Pontchartrain/Hotel Riverside near the convention centre.
That's 413 rooms to come back onto the market possibly next year, though the bigger news is still the in-development Aloft Downtown Detroit. At 136 rooms, the Aloft won't have the bulk of the Pontchartrain, but will have a position in a landmark, Burnham-designed building and an overall fresher design.
If both plans come through, the Aloft and Crown Plaza will debut around the same timelate-ish 2013. Fingers crossed that it coincides with the beginning of a boom in interest in Detroit. We already don't mind going to hang out in Motown; now it's time for others to follow.
If you've ever flown through Detroit-Metro Airport, then you'll know that the place is crawling with Delta Airlines jets and jumbos. It is one of their hubs after all, but the constant aviation activity at DTW means one thing for guests at the on-site Westin Hotel: awesome, interesting room views.
The hotel knows they're a plane spotters dream, with large windows facing right out to boarding gates, so the rooms feature chaise lounges placed right where you'll want to lounge all day and all night, provided you aren't just catching a nap between connections.
There is hope after all for Detroit! Late-breaking news today brings the excellent announcement that Starwood's Aloft chain of hotels will add a Motor City location come 2013/2014. Just as you'd suspect, they'll be utilizing one of the city's many abandoned buildings, but not one that's been left to rot; the lucky structure is the David Whitney Building, a 19-story architectural piece of pride and joy.
The plan for more than just the revitalization of the Daniel Burnham-designed building with an Aloft, but also apartments and retail. If you've ever been in downtown Chicago and looked up at some of the classic Burnham structures (many of which also house hotels) and felt the desire to live in one, it may be possible soon in Detroit, likely for cheaper than in the Windy City.
Unsurprisingly, our March Madness brackets have pretty much failed miserably. For all those folks still in the game, Detroit is the place to be this weekend (now thatís not a phrase you hear very often!). If youíre Final Four-or-bust, well, we donít have to tell you that your best option would have been to book a room months ago. But fret not, for a few rooms remain for you last-minute travelers.
We hopped over to the HotelChatter rezzie system, where we found a few hotels with vacancies. Rates range from bargain-basement $60 to $499. As youíre likely aware, though, you don't want to book a hotel in just any neighborhood and assume those polite Midwesterners will take good care of you. (So while a $60 rate might be tempting, just remember that you get what you pay for. In a big city like Detroit, thereís a good chance that might mean bulletproof glass.)
Detroit better start prostrating itself before the altar of their financial gods, as after a let-down of an auto show, the Final Four will roll into town during the first weekend in April and hopefully bolster hotel room sales and tourist revenue. According to the Free Press, the "Big Dance has done what the Detroit auto show could not in January -- book up all but a handful of downtown Detroit's nearly 5,000 hotel rooms."
As for that leftover fistful, expect it to go during the rest of this month as office buddies book last-minute trips and tickets trade hands. Undeniably, the hottest hotel for the Final Four will be the newest and shiniest, namely the Westin Book Cadillac, which opened downtown in October and already shows no available occupancy for that weekend. Instead, we highly recommend turning to the huge capacity casino hotels, which are both desperate for your money and prepared for raucous crowds.
Our pick? Hit up the MGM Grand to end a long day of overpriced stadium beer and switch to slowly playing the slots for free cocktails.
Despite its massive layoffs and its money hemorrhage, it seems there is at least one thing General Motors managed to not screw up this year. According to America JR, the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center is home to the city's hippest new lounge, Volt.
The bar has floor-to-ceiling windows that showcase the Detroit River and the city skyline. It also features a pretty cool 5/10/20 menu, which is based on how much time you have to eat. The items available in five, 10 and 20 minutes include Thai sweet chili wings, macaroni and cheese bites (five-minute meal), sliders and fries (10 minutes) and build your own pasta and New York strip steak (20 minutes). Volt also offers liquor, wine and a host of regionally brewed beers.
So what's all this got to do with General Motors? Well, the hotel is owned by GM and managed by Marriottóso suddenly this cool concept all makes sense! Because we know Bill Marriott is behind every good idea out there.