In Capitol Park, the venerable Griswold Building has found a new owner. Designed by Albert Kahn, the Griswold first opened its doors in 1927 as an office building. By the mid-'80s, however, the building's interior had been reconfigured into 127 units of senior housing. That's where she remains today, offering her tenants a great third floor balcony from which to view Capitol Park. There's a lot of confusion as to who the buyer might be. A March 25th press release from Friedman (the broker) doesn't divulge a buyer, but it appears an earlier version of that press release mentioned Birmingham-based Sachse Construction as the big buyer. The Free Press summed up the original press release and Sachse's involvement in this post (second paragraph from the bottom), while the exact text was reposted by a blogger. We're still awaiting responses to our inquiries at both Sachse and Friedman. In the meantime, lets do some speculating!
Sachse (rhymes with 'taxi') may be based in the 'burbs, but they're in the process of relocating headquarters to downtown Detroit. As one of Bedrock's go-to construction companies, Sachse has taken charge in signature renovation projects like the M@dison and the Chase Tower. As far as we know, their Downtown portfolio is limited to 440 Congress, an office building near the RenCen they picked up earlier this year.
Regardless of the buyer's identity, it's unlikely they are interested in running a senior housing center. The Million Dollar Question, it would seem, is whether the Griswold Building will become much-needed residential space. The press release that points to Sachse being the buyer mentions the Griswold as an excellent purchase due to the increased demand for housing, so that's one point for residential. How conducive the building's design is for carving out marketable apartments is unclear. Remember, Kahn designed the Griswold as an office building.
Also of major importance: the Griswold Building's ground floor retail. There's maybe five or six Griswold-facing storefronts down there (depending on how you divvy them up) totaling 14,000 square feet. It's easy to forget, but Campus Martius and its army of workers are just around the corner. There are customers galore already in place.
· Business briefs: Consumer's Energy awarded, 1001 Woodward sold [Freep]
· Friedman Continues The Detroit Momentum: Closes 1001 Woodward For Rock And Griswold Building For Sachse [Jew in the D]
· Friedman closes the sale of four flex and office buildings in Detroit [RE Journals]
· Sachse moves HQ to downtown Detroit, brings 45 employees [Model D]
· Griswold Apartments [MSHDA]