Eastern Market's Proposed Shipping-container Hotel

GREEN ROOMS: Proposed hotel to be made from reused shipping containers


Published:

Imagine a set of childhood toy building blocks on steroids. That’s the basic concept behind a Detroit hotel’s plans to repurpose old shipping containers as sleeping quarters. Collision Works, a 16,000-square-foot hotel that will sit on an acre of land near the Dequindre Cut in Eastern Market, is scheduled for completion next year, and a pop-up model is slated to open this spring.

“My inspiration was to do a project that had meaning and value to the local community,” says Shel Kimen, the visionary behind Collision Works. The Michigan State University graduate lived in New York for most of her life, where she worked primarily in advertising — until deciding on a new career that could make a difference.

Originally, Kimen looked for buildings to renovate but didn’t have any luck near her favorite area, Eastern Market. She’s since teamed up with George Cooper from Koop Architecture & Media because of his experience working with shipping containers. “When I [realized] I could build it from scratch using shipping containers,” Kimen says, “it reopened the Eastern Market area.”

Shipping containers just “make sense,” Kimen says, because they can speed up the building process, they’re cost-effective, and they’re more durable than other materials. Kimen plans to procure the containers locally and to teach Detroit builders how to use them. She hopes to work with as many reclaimed materials as possible. “As much of the space that can be reused material,” she says, “the better.”

The hotel will offer roughly 36 rooms, a 3,000- square-foot event venue, an outdoor courtyard, and a community workspace. Kimen hopes that Collision Works will be more than a hotel. She wants to create a place where ideas can come together, and plans to incorporate mentoring programs.

“We all have things to teach, and we all have things to learn,” she says, adding that the mentoring programs will only begin once she learns what the community wants and needs.

Kimen would also like the hotel to be a place for the people of Detroit to reclaim something she thinks they’ve lost: their stories. The Collision Works team believes that stories help create thriving, sustainable communities.

Until last September, Collision Works was known as the Detroit Hotel Project. The new name comes from the idea that collisions can be terrifying and exciting. “Collision … works,” Kimen says. “It brings us together, and that’s the first and most important part of building any community.”

Edit Module
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

An Hour with ... Ryan Abney

Event manager, Belle Isle Boat House

A Look at the Inexplicable Exclusion of Detroit Tigers’ Lou Whitaker from the Baseball Hall of Fame

Writer Michael Betzhold investigates the Major League slip-up

Exploring Metro Detroit’s Tiki Trend

Mutiny Bar and Lost River serve up island vacations with every drink

Q&A: Nancy Barr, Curator of Photography at the Detroit Institute of Arts

Plus, information about the DIA’s upcoming exhibit, Lost & Found

Meet the Makers: Salt Textile Studios

This textile maker wants her creations to be unique to ‘here’
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Review: Testa Barra Wows with Contemporary Dishes
    The Macomb Township restaurant serves Italian fare that is on par with the surging Detroit food...
  2. Exploring Metro Detroit’s Tiki Trend
    Mutiny Bar and Lost River serve up island vacations with every drink
  3. Michigan-Made, Mother Nature-Approved Tools for Your Kitchen
    Ditch disposables and opt for reusable products
  4. A Deeper Look into the Racial and Ethnic Tensions Dividing Metro Detroit
    From the city to the suburbs, existing segregation could be hindering the region’s progress
  5. Every Day is Throwback Thursday at This Roseville Steakhouse
    Mr. Paul's Chophouse has remained consistently delicious for more than 50 years
  6. 3 Eateries that Focus on People, Profit, and the Planet
    These triple bottom line businesses are part of Detroit’s FoodLab organization
  7. A Look at the Inexplicable Exclusion of Detroit Tigers’ Lou Whitaker from the Baseball Hall of Fame
    Writer Michael Betzhold investigates the Major League slip-up
  8. Q&A: Nancy Barr, Curator of Photography at the Detroit Institute of Arts
    Plus, information about the DIA’s upcoming exhibit, Lost & Found
  9. This Vegan Catering Company Celebrates the ‘Natural Beauty of Food’
    Plus, tips on how to create your own photo-worthy grazing board
  10. Your Guide to Environmentally Friendly Organizations in Metro Detroit
    These 10 local businesses are paving the way for a healthier and happier planet