Developer Parks Garage Right Next to Ford Field in Detroit

Sat July 31, 2004 - Midwest Edition

Detroit (AP) A private developer will build a $40-million office building and a parking deck adjacent to Ford Field, a Lions official said.

In addition, an upscale hotel offering 130 to 200 rooms is in the works for the former Hudson’s warehouse attached to Ford Field, said Tom Lewand, the Lions chief operating officer.

“We’d like to get both projects completed in time for the 2006 Super Bowl [at Ford Field],” Lewand told The Detroit News for a story published July 8. Southfield-based Etkin Equities Inc. will develop the five-story, 115,000-sq.-ft. office building, which will house 400 workers from the accounting firm of Pricewaterhouse-Coopers and other tenants.

It will be located in what is now a surface parking area and will be near a new 1,000-space parking deck, the Detroit Free Press reported.

Construction will start in the fall and be completed in late 2005, Lewand said. An agreement between the Lions and the developer was formally announced July 8.

The brick and glass office building will be designed by Rossetti Architects in Southfield, which also designed Ford Field, Orchestra Place and the Compuware building in downtown Detroit.

The hotel would be at the western end of the Hudson’s warehouse and overlook a large atrium. Its amenities would include a business center and food services. A hotel operator will be announced in the next few months, Lewand said.

The projects are part of a recent surge in development in downtown Detroit, ahead of the Super Bowl and other major sporting events to be hosted by the city.

“In the last few years, we’ve seen more companies seek out marquee locations like Ford Field, downtown Detroit and New Center because people want to work near restaurants, stores and entertainment,” said Andrew Farbman, president of NAI/Farbman, an office brokerage and leasing firm in Southfield.

The Lions opened the $500-million, 60,000-seat Ford Field in 2002 while refurbishing the adjacent Hudson’s warehouse.