Fisher Building owners close on $36M refinance loan to continue preservation

Candice Williams
The Detroit News
The Fisher building, which has National Historic Landmark status, is getting infrastructure upgrades and maintenance.

Detroit — The owners of the Fisher Building announced Monday that they have closed on a $36 million loan, a refinancing move they say will cover preservation and the ongoing rehab for the historic Albert Kahn-designed building.

Plans include a conference center for the 1928 building, modernizing three elevators, renovating public bathrooms and restoring the brass entrance doors.

The refinancing was done through Boston-based UC Funds, according to the ownership team, the Platform, HFZ Capital Partners and Detroit native John Rhea’s Rheal Capital Management.

“Since taking ownership, we have attempted to return the Fisher to its original grandeur and to attract a strong mix of both office and retail tenants,” said Peter Cummings, executive chairman of the Platform, in a statement Monday.

The group says it has spent several million dollars on capital improvements since purchasing the Fisher and nearby Albert Kahn building in a $12.2 million deal less than four years ago.

Restoration work includes EverGreene Architectural Arts hand-painting the deteriorated areas of the Fisher Arcade’s ornate plaster ceiling. The owners say they’ve spent about $1.4 million on masonry repairs and also installed an environmentally friendly HVAC system. Other improvements include: the fire alarm and central sprinkler system and four modernized elevators.

Leasing at the Fisher Building has grown in the past two years with tenants including United Way for Southeastern Michigan headquarters and retailers Kill the Hate, William & Bonnie and Shy Vs. Bold.

Twitter: @CWilliams_DN