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Inside Eight & Sand, an Old Warehouse With Ambitious Plans

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[Photography by Chris and Michelle Gerard]

The Detroit Bus Company recently jumped into the real estate arena, purchasing an old warehouse on the Detroit/Hamtramck border for less than $800K. Like any good warehouse, there's an unimaginable amount of space—over 90,000 square feet inside complimented by five acres of parking out back. Unlike most warehouses, however, there's an abundance of good architecture, natural light, and ambitious plans for the massive interior.

The complex has been renamed Eight and Sand, a term once used to wish steam locomotive operators a safe journey. The overall idea is to renovate the warehouse into a rough event space and business incubator. Beyond just the Detroit Bus Company offices, several small businesses are already repurposing the dusty spaces to suit their needs. The tenant list already includes Pot & Box, the Fowling Warehouse, Reclaim Detroit, and many more.

From the event space angle, Eight & Sand will also be a venue for food trucks and local businesses to hold rallies/markets. For Small Business Saturday, the building's dedicated event space hosted HLDY MRKT, a bustling marketplace featuring a variety of local vendors. Under the skylights of the building's sawtooth roof, a beer garden and concert stage are in the works.

Detroit Bus Company founder Andy Didorosi anticipates investing roughly $700K into renovations. What's especially inspiring about the whole project, however, is that it's taking a neglected, architecturally significant warehouse—the go-to symbol of Detroit's decline—and repurposing it into a hub for the small, determined businesses the city is becoming known for. Let's hope it's a model that can be replicated.
· EIght & Sand [Facebook]
· Detroit Bus Co's Eight & Sand in Hamtramck will be an entertainment complex and business incubator [Model D]