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

Metro Detroit Teachers Share Their After-School Side Hustles

With declining salaries, more teachers are working second jobs to pay the bills

Rebuilding the Bridges Between Detroit's Jewish and African-American Worshippers

A pastor and a rabbi are making 'interfaith' more than just a buzzword

An Hour With... Rita Sayegh

Retail Director and Buyer at Mills Pharmacy and Apothecary

Inside Detroit Mercy's Civil Rights 'Immersion' Course

The program is taking students to iconic sites in three southern states

Could this Detroit Native be the Next Pope?

How the weight-lifting, piano-playing, former football player became part of the Roman Catholic hierarchy
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. This Bank-turned-restaurant is Another Reason to Love Clarkston's Dining Scene
    The Fed Community is serving up good food in a kid-friendly atmosphere
  2. The Sky’s the Limit
    Pilot opens second winery location in Irish Hills
  3. Review: Inside Detroit Vegan Soul’s New Westside Location
    It's one of several restaurant openings in Grandmont Rosedale this year
  4. Savor Detroit Fall 2017
    Hour Detroit's Savor Detroit, a five-night dinner series featuring ten top chefs, took place at...