Motor City on the Move: Broderick Tower

By CHRIS ZADOROZNY, Sports Editor

Over this past weekend, the biggest residential project in Detroit was officially completed. The completion allowed residents to move in immediately, a couple of months after it was scheduled to officially open.

The David Broderick Tower, which is located in Grand Circus Park, directly next door to the most important tech building in Detroit, the M@adison Building, welcomed over 50 new residents over the weekend, five immediately on Friday when it opened.

The Broderick Tower opened last weekend, welcoming tenants for the first time in over 30 years.

This news is the biggest news coming out of Detroit since Quicken Loans moved it’s company headquarters to the city in 2007, and the building of the Compuware Building back in 2000.

It is believed that the renovation and completion will spur more development of buildings into residential apartments and condos.

Once called the Eaton Tower after Theodore Horation Eaton Jr., who was an importer and dealer in chemicals and dyes, construction started in 1926 and opened two years later. The building is 368 feet high or 35 floors. It was built to house offices for doctors, dentists, and other businesses.

Eaton owned the building until David Broderick, an insurance broker, bought the tower in 1945 and renamed it after himself. He created the Sky Top Club on the 33rd floor as a private club to entertain guests and clients until his death in 1957. The building changed ownership a couple of times between 1963 and 1976 until a family by the last name of Higgins bought the building and is still owned by them today.

The companies that handled the restoration and renovation is Motown Construction Partners L.P., which is led by Fred Beal, owner of J.C. Beal Construction, along with Kraemer Design Group, Strategic Energy Systems, Soils and Materials Engineers, and NTH Engineers.

The first four floors will contain retail, business offices and restaurants. Floors 5-34 will be residential with high end apartments, lofts and suites at the top.

The first floor will be a restaurant owned by the Broderick Tower, called La Cave, while the other three floors have yet to be determined.

The renovation began when financing was secured in December of 2010, with the expected finish date of September 2012, but of course, that didn’t happen, with many setbacks. The building was approved this past weekend by the city of Detroit for a certificate of occupancy.

A view of Comerica Park from the penthouse of the Broderick Tower

Soon, the building across the street, the David Whitney Building, will begin construction to convert the former office building into a boutique Aloft Hotel, with apartments on the top level.

Of the 125 apartments, only two are still available according to Stewart Beal, the President of Beal Properties’ Facebook, units 9A and 11A.

The success so far is is unimaginable to those who didn’t think this would work. It’s obviously a bit early to judge success, but with all but two apartments already rented, it’s hard to imagine this won’t be a success going forward.

The possibility of this renovation spurring development around the Downtown area would be huge. It’s a little early to be discussing how this will affect the rest of the buildings downtown, but it gives the city and most importantly, the businesses, hope.

To read the original post that appeared in the ninth edition of The Michigan Journal, on Wednesday, November 7, 2012, go to www.michiganjournal.org

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