After sitting vacant for more than a decade, the architecturally renowned Book Tower is making a comeback thanks to a $300M renovation funded by Bedrock, the Detroit-based, full-service real estate management firm of Rocket Companies, and is scheduled to reopen this spring.
Originally built in 1926 by the Book Brothers, the Book Tower opened as the tallest building in Detroit before losing that title to the Penobscot Building two years later. When it reopens, the 500,000-square foot space will feature 229 residential units (a portion of which is reserved for affordable housing for those making at or below 80% of the area’s median income), the city’s first ROOST Apartment Hotel, 52,000 square feet of retail, office space, and three new dining options.
It will also offer coworking, meeting, and event space as well as an activated alleyway.
To complete the renovation, Bedrock partnered with New York-based architecture firm ODA, Detroit-based Brinker/Christman, and Kraemer Design Group, also of Detroit.
“Eight years ago, I said that Book Tower would be the most game changing and exciting redevelopment project in Detroit,” Dan Gilbert, founder and chairman of Rocket Companies said in a press release. “Today, we are thrilled as we prepare to re-open one of the most iconic, and interesting buildings in the entire city. Detroiters have always recognized the importance and historic significance of Book Tower, and we are ready to honor that sentiment as we put into service and deliver the meticulously restored property back to the community.”
In addition to the new amenities, the development project also restored some of the original architecture to its former glory.
More than 7,000 square feet of ornate ceiling tiles were hand-painted to match the original designs; 50,000 square feet of marble was reinstalled; 29 exterior caryatids were resorted, a 2,200 square foot skylight was refitted in the rooftop space, and the buildings’ original travertine floors were repaired.
The renovation also revealed the limestone façade for the first time in years, replaced all 2,483 windows with modern, but historically accurate, windows, and unveiled a three-story, marble-arched atrium that serves as the grand entryway.
“When we acquired Book Tower, Bedrock took on more than just a dilapidated building —we inherited an iconic property that held a century of Detroit’s history and elegance,” Kofi Bonner, chief executive officer at Bedrock said in a press release. “We understood the special place Book Tower holds in the hearts of Detroiters and we made sure our work was approached with the utmost thought, care, and intention. Book Tower will soon be reborn as a space for residents, visitors, and guests to gather and create new stories —once again building on its legacy as this city’s true architectural gem.”
Pre-leasing opportunities at the Book Tower will open in April. Residents of the tower will also take advantage of extra amenities like The Terrace Club indoor and outdoor lounge, a fitness center, and a 300-space parking garage.
Units include oversized windows, quartz countertops, European white oak flooring, stainless steel appliances, and in-suite washers and dryers.
Get more information on the reopening of the Book Tower at BookTowerDetroit.com and follow along with the progress on Instagram @BookTowerDetroit. Plus, find even more community development news at HourDetroit.com.