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Could Vanity Ballroom come back to life?

Anything is possible, right?

There are many renovations in this city that we’ll have to see to believe. This is one of them.

John Gallagher at the Detroit Free Press is reporting today that there’s an effort underway to possibly renovate the Vanity Ballroom at East Jefferson and Newport.

It’s a tough one. It hasn’t been used in over 30 years. It needs a new roof. It’s been exposed to the elements and scrapped like many buildings. (There are excellent pictures of the interior in the Free Press.) But according to the article, Josh Elling from Jefferson East Inc. wants to bring it back.

"Structurally the building is still sound but we’ve got to put a roof on it," Elling said. "All told to bring that building back is about an $8-million project."

"We’re very cognizant of the deep historical significance," he said. "We’ve had a lot of ideas come into play that would say, could it be some sort of restaurant, could be it some sort of brewery, but I think the consensus is given the history of this building, we need to somehow maintain the integrity of that ballroom, to have it come back as sort of a community performance space in some way."

The group would have to raise the funding for a renovation, which could be a big challenge. But East Jefferson has seen a lot of growth lately, with more retail popping up and dedicated bike lanes created. What do you think, Curbed readers? What would you like to see in that space? And is it even possible?