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This Cass Corridor property will be redeveloped into the Boulevard Hostel

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Coming in 2018

Once a thriving prohibition-era hotel, this long vacant property will soon be redeveloped into a 60-room hostel, with restaurant/bar space on the ground level.

The redevelopment is a joint venture between Southfield-based business attorney Scott Roberts and Oliver Lewis, a European hostel operator who grew up in the Detroit area and who currently operates a 270 bed hostel in Helsinki. They chose to open a hostel to appeal to younger travelers looking for a more social experience or travelers who preferred a lower price point. Located near the Masonic Temple, this hostel will be right between downtown, the new arena, and midtown. They’ll offer travelers social activities not offered at traditional hotels, plus a community space.

They’re anticipating approximately 60 private rooms and 60 dormitory beds. For the private rooms, they’ll have both en-suite and shared bathroom rooms. A long-term lease was signed with the owner of the building, Second Street Property, LLC, in January and they’re expecting to open early 2018. The developers are also currently seeking a restaurant/bar operator for the building.

The Boulevard Hotel, 1929
Courtesy Walter P. Reuther Library, Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs, Wayne State University

A prohibition theme could go far in this space, looking at the history of the building. The Boulevard Hotel opened for business in 1924. The basement was used as a speakeasy for several years in the late 1920s and early 1930s before being shut down by prohibition agents. Roberts shared some Free Press clippings with Curbed that cover the colorful/violent history of the hotel in that time period.

The hostel will have about 2,500 square feet of bar/restaurant space. Those interested in setting up shop in the new Boulevard Hostel can contact Roberts at scott.f.roberts@gmail.com.