One of our most memorable homes of 2016 was this gorgeous stone house in Old Redford. Readers fell in love with it, and it was no surprise that offers came in quickly. We recently visited the home and its new owners to find out that Detroit’s not only getting new residents, but a new business that’s a perfect fit for Motown.
Gabriel Currie, founder of Echopark Guitars in LA, and his family found the house after searching for a while in Detroit. They didn’t find much in their initial search through the historic neighborhoods. But after his wife saw the Old Redford house on the MLS in the early morning, Currie flew out the next day to see it.
Currie, who has also done historic restoration and construction work in the past, could see the quality in the Old Redford home. He toured the home with Ron Clem from Hall & Hunter, the listing agent for the house. During his visit, the old owners (who had owned it since the 70s), showed up and discussed it with him. Currie also talked to some neighbors and put an offer in that night.
What will they do to this beautiful house, you ask? There’s not a whole lot they need to do to it. There is carpet through much of it, and they’ll tear that out and restore the hardwood underneath. Currie also wants to restore the wood trim that’s been painted in the bathrooms. They might also build a large deck and treehouse on the expansive property.
After living and working in LA his whole life, he found Detroit to be the right place to move his business. “There’s no room for bullshit here,” he says. “You have to depend on the people around you.” He wants to create things here that he can’t do in LA and believes that creative endeavors can change the world. Currie hopes to open his shop within five minutes of where they live and has a few places in mind, but will start a more serious search for that location this spring.
Through Echopark Guitars, he’s worked with members of Aerosmith, Queens of the Stone Age, Social Distortion, and many more. He’s excited for the art and music opportunities and history here in Detroit. In the next few years, he expects to employ 20-30 people and run arts programs for young people in the community. He also hopes that his move will inspire others to invest in the city. He’s talked to many friends and family who have a pretty negative outlook on the city and can’t believe that they’re moving here.
On his move to Detroit, he says, “Everything I’ve worked for just came together and made sense.” He and his family look forward to their permanent move here as they transition from LA. On our visit, they showed us old titles and floor plans they had found in the house, and areas they plan to explore. They’re only the fourth owners of the old stone house, and they expect staying there for a while.