The Third Precinct Police Station, located off Gratiot at Hunt Street outside of Eastern Market, has had a “For Sale” sign on it for years. Curbed had tried contacting the eccentric owner, especially after hearing rumors of Jennifer Lopez and/or Janet Jackson using the third floor as a suite. The bizarre, historic building was finally sold this spring and it will see new life as office and a coworking space.
Curbed recently toured the building as renovations are moving into high gear.
The building opened in 1897 and served as a police station until 1959. We could imagine officers riding their horses up to the brick garage back in the day. The location is ideal for a station like this; looking out from the third floor, you can see directly into downtown and over into Eastern Market.
The building has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the new owners, Matthew and Kevin Morin, have many historical photos and drawings to work from.
The building was owned for years by a man that goes by Sunny, who ran a sort of investigation/process serving business. Yes, there is a basketball court on the third floor and yes, there was a jacuzzi in the building. We’ve heard rumors of a wild Super Bowl party in 2006. On the first floor, the rumor is that the large circular desk was once the desk of Jimmy Hoffa’s right hand man. Also of note is a large mural of Sunny’s, commemorating his Vietnam days.
As eccentric as he might have been, Sunny did respect and keep up the building. He kept any piece that came off, and many historical remnants are embedded here.
The first floor of the building will serve as a new coworking space. It was once the police lobby, and still has the tin ceilings. The new owners are trying to save as much as they can, including reusing old bricks, possibly turning old doors into tables, and refinishing the terrazzo floor. The tin ceiling is in good condition. The basement, which had a smoking room and a room for the police officers’ wet gear, will be used for more offices and storage.
The new owners, Matthew and Kevin Morin, also own Macro Connect, an education technology consulting company. The second floor of the Third Precinct is being redesigned for the new headquarters and office space for the Detroit-based company. The ceilings will be left open on this floor. They’re framing the new offices with original wood from the building.
The third floor has the basketball court, which Sunny built. It used to have ropes, a boxing ring, and a band room as part of a police training school. A shooting range was set up in the corner. There’s also office space on this floor; you can see some of the 120-year-old wood floors refinished beautifully here. The new owners and Lambrecht Realty are currently looking for a tenant for the floor.
Interior renovations underway include new and restored historic flooring, new furnaces and air conditioning units, new lighting, and new bathrooms and kitchenettes. They will be insulating the walls to make the offices as energy efficient as they can.
The exterior restoration includes limestone and tin cornice restoration, new windows, and tuck pointing all brick. The owners are working with Renaissance Building Services, Marusich Architecture, and Carl Nielbock in the building restoration.
Parking will be added in the back of the building; on the block behind it, a new assisted living complex is under construction.
The Morins hope to reopen the building and have a big celebration at the end of November. Not only would the festivities celebrate the grand opening, but also the building’s 120-year anniversary and Macro Connect’s 20 year anniversary. Here are a few more photos from around the building.