Old Fire Station in Downtown Detroit to Become The Foundation Hotel

The former Detroit Fire Department headquarters building located across from Cobo Center will no longer be an eyesore for the city thanks to a Chicago-based hotel group who wants to revive the historic fire station.
Former Detroit Fire Department HQ building

Former Detroit Fire Department HQ building

The former Detroit Fire Department headquarters building located across from Cobo Center will no longer be an eyesore for the city thanks to a Chicago-based hotel group who wants to revive the historic fire station.

Aparium Hotel Group recently announced plans to renovate and convert the old fire station located at 250 W. Larned into an upscale independent hotel that will be integrated with the immediately adjacent building that housed the famous Pontchartrain Wine Cellars restaurant that closed in 1991. Aparium has partnered with local developer Walter Cohen of Arco Construction to embark on the extensive $28 million renovation project.

Built in 1929 and designed by Hans Gehrke—who also created the architectural plans for several fire stations in Detroit during the booming 1920s and 1930s—the five-story facility served as the administrative headquarters of the Detroit Fire Department until 2013, when it was sold to the co-developers for $1.25 million, Crain’s Detroit Business reported at the time.

According to a news release from Aparium, the roughly 62,000-square-foot hotel will be called The Foundation Hotel and will offer 100 guest rooms. When fully operational in late 2015, the hotel will employ mostly Detroit-based personnel. The former fire engine hall on the ground floor of the building will be replaced by a Detroit-themed restaurant that will be operated by the hotel. Aparium’s plans also include street-level retail space that “will showcase Detroit through the collaboration with Detroit- and Michigan-based manufacturers and designers.”

The conversion of the old fire station in downtown Detroit marks Aparium’s fourth hotel project. The hospitality development group has already developed three similar rehab projects in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (The Iron Horse Hotel), Covington, Kentucky (The Hotel Covington) and La Crosse, Wisconsin (The Charmant Hotel).

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Image via Wikimedia Commons (author Andrew Jameson)