More deets are out on the Park Apartments renovation, courtesy of Crain's Detroit. First, the name change. The Park Apartments' new name, meant to honor the building's original identity as the Briggs Hotel, will be the Briggs House Residence. Does that feel a little redundant? Were they concerned that ending on "House" would invite others to add "Of Pancakes" to the end? Either way, renovations are expected to fire up this spring.
BHOP also plans new mechanical systems, spruced-up common areas, and merging some of those tiny, 400-square-foot studios into one-bedroom apartments. The redesign should whittle the total number of apartments down from 131 to 116. Finally, the plan also calls for a rooftop terrace, so residents can look out over the Great Parking Lot Ocean to the west. Renovation work is expected to begin in the spring.
What would really be a game-changer, in our opinion, is if the renovations involved redesigning the ground floor's facade. The building was erected in 1937, but it appears that the entryway was turned into this smooth, prison-style entrance sometime afterwards. Crain's also mentions that the ownership is considering "dining options" on the first floor. A renovated entryway could carve out a storefront to make that possible.
We dug up all the old photos we could find of the building's ground floor, which mostly involved photos of the theatre it shared an entryway with. Originally known as the Oriental, the theater changed to the RKO Downtown in 1930.