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Old Posted May 17, 2006, 5:48 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Detroit
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Detroit DDA approves Book Cadillac renovation deal; closing expected in early June

By Robert Ankeny

11:54 am, May 17, 2006

After years of stops and starts, the renovation and rehabilitation of the Book Cadillac Hotel moved a step closer Wednesday with the Detroit Downtown Development Authority approving a development agreement with JTMK-Cadillac Ltd., an Ohio partnership controlled by The Ferchill Group of Cleveland.

Final closing is to take place in early June on all facets of the $175 million project, with 17 layers of financing, Ferchill attorney Anthony Saulino Jr. of Butzel Long P.C. told the DDA board. The project is expected to be completed by summer 2008.

The one-time 800-plus-room hotel, opened in 1925 and closed since 1984, is to be converted into 450 hotel rooms, with the upper nine floors converted to 67 condominium units ranging from 750 square feet to 3,000 square feet. The hotel will be a Westin-branded Starwood operation.

The exterior facade is to be restored to its original design, said Gary Brown, project manager for the Detroit Economic Growth Corp. The DEGC staffs DDA projects.

Developers will construct a three-story auxiliary building on the north side of the existing hotel, to include a banquet hall, kitchens, swimming pool and fitness facilities, Brown said.

Plans for the hotel call for a major entrance and enlarged retail space on the ground floor, with escalators to the second-floor registration area.

A Dallas-based Kimberly-Clark Corp. subsidiary withdrew from a plan in 2004 that called for a $150 million renovation, but remediation and interior demolition work continued and is substantially completed, Saulino said.

Also approved by DDA Wednesday is a 528-space parking garage east of the Book Cadillac at 150 Michigan Ave. To be built by an investment group affiliated with Walbridge Aldinger Inc., the $17.4 million structure will be bought by the DDA with spaces resold and leased for condominium owners’ use
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