It's been a few years in the making, but the Foundation Hotel is finally starting to take shape in the old Detroit Fire Department Headquarters on the corner of Larned and Washington. Michael Kitchen, from the Aparium Hotel Group, tells us they're targeting an opening for Winter 2016/17.
Aparium Hotel Group won the city-led RFP in early 2013, and have since bought the adjacent building, which was home to Pontchartrain Wine Cellars. Construction has recently started to convert these two buildings into a top of the market hotel for Detroit, including a ground-floor restaurant in the former apparatus room and ballroom that will overlook the skyline.
The Foundation Hotel promises to show off the great history and businesses in Detroit. This includes using local beer and food purveyors in the restaurant, enlisting local artisans and craftsman in the renovation, and maintaining the historic nature of the building. Many of the Fire Department elements will be used in the design, including keeping the doors used for the fire engines.
The hotel will have 99 guest rooms, along with meeting spaces on the lower levels. And yes, there will be a glass enclosed ballroom at the top of the former Pontchartrain Wine Cellars.
The restaurant will have an open, active kitchen leading into the dining room. Above the kitchen will be a mezzanine with a chef's table to serve as an incubator for up and coming chefs.
Here are a few pre-construction pics of the building to give you an idea of the space: