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Crumbling Belle Isle Boat Club Has Boutique Hotel Potential

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Photo by Chris and Michelle Gerard

Like nearly every man-made structure on Belle Isle, the Detroit Boat Club has seen better days. Largely unused since 1996, the 112-year-old building is crumbling in every way imaginable. But interest from a Chinese investor may offer a glimmer of hope. According to the Detroit News, a hotel chain owner named Jimmy Lai is in "early talks" with the city to lease, restore, and reopen the building as a boutique hotel. Jimmy envisions the club becoming a "premiere destination for weddings" offering several restaurants for boaters and day visitors alike. The remod would not be cheap. The building itself is "steadily sliding into the Detroit River." Jimmy estimates the project would cost $40M.
· Hong Kong investor wants to save Belle Isle jewel [Det News]

Picnic way at riverbank drive, detroit mi