Detroit-based real estate development company, The Roxbury Group, in collaboration with TreeFort Hospitality, will be completing a major renovation to the city’s historic David Whitney Building and rebranding its hotel as an Autograph Collection hotel upon completion. The renovations will include an expansion of the hotel, as well as new food and beverage venues.
The centerpiece of the project, a new Autograph Collection hotel, will be undertaken in phases over the next 12-14 months and will involve the complete renovation of all 136 guestrooms, and the addition of two more hotel floors for a total of 160 guestrooms and suites. Additionally, 24 of David Whitney’s current apartments are expected to be converted to one and two-bedroom hotel suites, leaving 80 residences on the upper seven floors. Roxbury Group’s plans also call for substantial upgrades to the hotel’s lobby bar, atrium lounge and outdoor seating.
In addition, plans include a restaurant in the current Capper & Capper event space at the corner of Woodward and Park Avenues. The Roxbury Group is in discussions with a number of potential operators for the restaurant and expect to announce more specific plans by the end of summer.
“In working with Marriott International and our management team at Azul Hospitality, we concluded that downtown Detroit was ready for the level of service and experience that an Autograph Collection hotel would bring—and of course there is simply no better place for that to happen than the David Whitney,” said Stacy Fox, principal, The Roxbury Group.
The David Whitney, designed by famed Chicago architecture firm D.H. Burnham and Company, originally opened as a medical office and retail building in 1915. Following a decline in the fortunes of the Grand Circus Park Historic District, the building closed in the late 1990s. A partnership led by The Roxbury Group acquired the property in 2011, and after a $94-million restoration, the David Whitney Building reopened with great fanfare in 2014 as a mixed-used property, marking a major milestone in the decades-long rebirth of Detroit’s theatre district.
Work is expected to commence later this summer and is targeted to be completed by late 2023. The Roxbury Group is working with Detroit-based Patrick Thompson Design and Infuz Architects on the design for the hotel, as well as with Gensler on brand-identity and O’Brien Construction Company on construction management. The hotel will continue to be managed by San Diego-based Azul Hospitality, which also manages the Element Detroit at the Metropolitan and the Monarch Club for the Roxbury Group.