Buildings in downtown Detroit continue to be the real estate equivalent of a $19.95 DVD player on Black Friday: Everyone wants at least one of them, even if they don't exactly know why. On that note, we're pleased to announce the sale of a skyscraper so low-key, we've literally never once mentioned it in Curbed Detroit history: Grand Park Centre. According to the "real estate sources" (office Ouija Board) at Crain's, this 20-story office tower fetched between $4M-$5.5M. The buyer is a familiar one: Princeton Management. More on them later. A quick rundown on Grand Park Centre's history, and why we should begin an online campaign for a rooftop beer garden.
Grand Park Centre was built in 1921 as the HQ for Stroh Brewery, perhaps the most legendary of all Detroit brewers. It had a beer garden ON THE ROOF. Sadly, the company was dissolved in 2000 and its remnants moved out of the city. The Stroh's Beer brand continues today, but it's made by the hipsters at Los Angeles-based Pabst Brewing, makers of PBR. Yuck.
Back to the Grand Park Centre. The Building was designed by the whimsically-named duo of Giaver & Dinkelberg. That's significant because Dinkelberg once worked under the legendary architect/manly man Daniel Burnham, who actually assigned Dinks to design the Flatiron Building in NYC. Burnham will forever get credit for the building's elegant design, but it's entirely possible that one of the country's most famous buildings was Dinkelberg's brainchild. His work in Detroit would come later.
Back to Grand Park Centre. The 177,000 square-foot tower went through an unfortunate 1950s "modernization," much like the David Whitney Building did. GPC lost its cornice and its rooftop beer garden (monsters!), but stacked two more floors on top while building a nine-story annex in back. The building was largely renovated in the early 2000s, and is currently running at a 65% occupancy rate.
As for GPC's future, Bloomfield Township-based Princeton Management is the crew that owns the Claridge House and The Ashley, both of which are apartment buildings undergoing renovations. Princeton doesn't sound like they have immediate plans for the building, but they predict a major renovation in the "mid-term" future. May we suggest a rooftop beer garden?
· Grand Park Centre sold to Bloomfield Twp.-based Princeton Enterprises [Crain's]