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Bamboo Detroit grows into bigger space in the Julian C. Madison Building

Michelle & Chris Gerard

Back in 2013, Bamboo Detroit opened as a co-working space on Brush Street near Ford Field. A little over three years later, they’ve outgrown that space and seeing the need for increased co-working space downtown, they’ve moved into a bigger location on Washington Ave. We recently toured the new location with co-founder Amanda Lewan and chatted about the need for more office space downtown.

Lewan said that Bamboo couldn’t expand in their original location, and this third floor space in the Julian C. Madison Building is a great location. It’s located just around the corner from Capitol Park and across the street from the DCA and the Book Tower. The six-story building was named after Julian C. Madison, the third African American engineer in the U.S. and the son of the first African American engineer in the State of Ohio. The building is still in the same family and owned now by Sharon Madison.

Bamboo is home to more than 125 members, including many start-ups and small teams that want to work downtown. This location has more dedicated desks, a brainstorm room, conference rooms, meeting rooms, print and mail services, a large open co-working space, and an event space.

Many of the start-ups who have worked at Bamboo helped with the relocation, including NXT Design, Rocket Fiber, Rightsize Facility, and Newmind Group.

Lewan says they did a lot with a small budget, and the relocation happened quickly. They signed a lease in mid-October and opened their new doors January 1. They wanted earthy tones, which can be seen throughout the space. When we visited, they weren’t 100% complete, but they were close. Lewan would like to host more events (there’s an even larger event space on the sixth floor of the building, seen below), and build the start-up culture in Detroit even more.

Bamboo Detroit is having a Grand Opening on Tuesday, January 17 from 6-9pm.