David Whitney Building to undergo renovation, add hotel rooms

Candice Williams
The Detroit News

Eight years after reopening as a revitalized mixed-use development, the David Whitney Building in downtown Detroit will undergo a rebrand and expansion of its hotel space.

Detroit-based The Roxbury Group announced Wednesday with TreeFort Hospitality the renovation that will bring an Autograph Collection hotel to the site at One Park Avenue, as well as new food and beverage venues.

David Whitney Building

The project is expected to be complete by late 2023.

“In working with Marriott International and our management team at Azul Hospitality, we concluded that downtown Detroit was ready for the level of service and experience that an Autograph Collection hotel would bring — and of course there is simply no better place for that to happen than the David Whitney,” Stacy Fox, principal of The Roxbury Group, said in a statement Wednesday.

Autograph Collection has 250 independent hotel across 43 countries and territories. This is the first of its hotels in Detroit, officials said.

The David Whitney Building features Marriot’s Aloft-branded boutique hotel with 136 rooms after reopening in 2014 following a $94 million renovation of the building, which had sat vacant for 15 years. The building also has 105 apartments, with 24 units expected to be converted to one and two-bedroom hotel suites during the upcoming renovation.

Work is expected to begin this summer, according to the developer. When complete, the David Whitney Building will have 160 guest rooms and 80 residences.

The project also calls for upgrades to the hotel lobby bar, atrium lounge and outdoor seating. A restaurant is planned for the building’s Capper & Capper event space at the corner of Woodward and Park avenues. The Roxbury Group said it plans to announce further plans for the restaurant by the end of the summer.

The David Whitney Building opened in 1915 as a medical office and retail building. It closed in the late 1990s. In 2011, the Roxbury Group led a partnership to purchase the building, which is considered a symbol of the rebirth of Detroit’s theatere district. 

Detroit-based Patrick Thompson Design and Infuz Architects are working on the design for the hotel. Gensler, which has offices in Detroit, is involved in brand-identity and O’Brien Construction Company is handling construction management. San Diego-based Azul Hospitality will continue to manage the hotel.


Twitter: @CWilliams_DN