Olympia gives a peek at Eddystone project ahead of opening this fall

Candice Williams
The Detroit News

Detroit — Nearly 100 years after it first welcomed residents moving into booming early 20th century Detroit, the historic Eddystone will open its doors to tenants this fall.

The Ilitch family’s Olympia Development gave a tour Tuesday of its $35 million project to restore the 13-story structure at 2701 Park Ave., originally known as Hotel Eddystone.

Leo Mendez, Vice President of Design, Olympia Development, gives a tour of the unfinished lobby and displays the new signage of the historic Eddystone building next to Little Caesars Arena in Detroit on Tuesday, August 31, 2021.

The 1924 Italian Renaissance-style building designed by Louis Kemper overlooks Little Caesars Arena within the Ilitch family’s District Detroit.

“It’s really about blending the modern with history or history meets modern luxury,” said Stefan Stration, vice president of development for Olympia Development. “These are all the themes that we really think tells that story well about the history of the building, honoring that, telling that in a modern way.”

The building will have 92 residential units consisting of studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units. Of those, 20% will be reserved for affordable housing, officials said. 

Retail is planned for the ground floor and will be announced in upcoming weeks.

Preleasing has begun with Olympia Development employees and will be open to the public in September, officials said. The first tenants could move in as early as November.

Members of the news media got a tour of a 9th floor studio, one bath unit at the historic Eddystone building next to Little Caesars Arena in Detroit on Tuesday, August 31, 2021.

The tour comes one day after Olympia Development announced it had selected Four Man Ladder Management to operate a new dining concept on the ground floor of the apartment building. The team operates the Grey Ghost restaurant and Second Best bar in Detroit.

A beautiful studio, one bath unit at the historic Eddystone building during a tour in Detroit on Tuesday, August 31, 2021.

The Hotel Eddystone has been vacant since the 1990s, according to historical accounts and sat in disrepair. It was once a destination for people looking for opportunities in Detroit, Stration said, adding that he expects that of the building's incoming tenants.

“It was for the many people coming into the city in the (1920s) when you had that time of possibility and energy in the city,” he said. “And we love that because that is where Detroit is as well. We’re able to capture that energy and limitless possibilities. What you’ll see is that theme of community. People coming together for the first time from wherever they are, if they’re moving from the suburbs, if they’re in Detroit, if they’re moving from out of state, wherever they are. They’re coming here finding other people to meet and network with and collaborate with. That sense of community.”

Meredith McLellan (left), Olympia Development, and Stefan Stration, Vice President of Development, gives a tour of the Park, a one-bedroom, one bath 1,016 square-foot unit at the historic Eddystone building next to Little Caesars Arena in Detroit on Tuesday, August 31, 2021.

The Ilitch organization inked a deal with the City of Detroit in 2019 that guaranteed that the building would be redeveloped. That year, crews began cleaning out what was a vacant shell.

According to the city, the developer has until Dec. 23 to obtain a temporary certificate of occupancy from the Buildings, Safety Engineering and Environmental Department. Olympia Development officials say they’ll meet their deadline.

A full kitchen is seen at the Park, a one-bedroom, one bath unit at the historic Eddystone building next to Little Caesars Arena.

Because the Eddystone is on the National Register of Historic Places, Leo Mendez, vice president of design for Olympia Development, said that the company worked with the State Historic Preservation Office and the National Park Service to preserve and replicate features of the building. The contractor on the project is Troy-based O’Brien Construction.

Restoration work includes extensive cleaning and restoration of the limestone on the first two stories of the building, Mendez said. There was also a lot of brick replacement and the replication of the terra cotta around the windows and the cornice, he said.

“That’s been beautiful in terms of seeing that come to light,” he said.

The lobby of the apartment building will feature replicated mahogany paneled ceilings and walls. Paneling in the hallways of the upper floors was also replicated.

The beautiful bathroom of the Park, a one-bedroom, one bath unit at the historic Eddystone building.

The apartments are larger than the hotel rooms once were, now ranging from a 395-square-foot studio to 1,016-square-foot two-bedroom apartment. Rents will range from $1,086 to $2,560 a month. Each unit has in-unit washer and dryers, quartz countertops and open concept living and dining areas.

The bathroom of a 9th floor studio, one bath unit at the Eddystone building next to Little Caesars Arena.

The property will offer a concierge service and smart home technology in collaboration with Comcast. Residents will be able to use an app to control the lighting, thermostat and doors while away from their apartment, officials said.

The Eddystone sits next to the Ilitches' $70 million development at 2715 Woodward Ave. that opened this year. Its tenants are Boston Consulting Group, an international business strategy consulting firm, and law firm Warner Norcross + Judd.

cwilliams@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @CWilliams_DN