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Developer Wants To Transform Detroit Firehouse Into Hotel

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DETROIT (WWJ/AP) - A swanky new hotel could be coming to a very unique location in downtown Detroit.

Southfield developer Walter Cohen wants to turn the five-story historic firehouse at Washington and Larned, near Cobo Center, into a boutique hotel for business and upscale leisure travelers.

The Detroit City Council could approve the proposed $1.25 million sale of the former fire department headquarters to Arco Construction and the Aparium Hotel Group as soon as Tuesday.

Cohen said the building would be converted into a hotel with 80 upscale rooms and a Cajun-themed restaurant on the first floor. He said all designs will make use the of the building’s 1929 architecture, complete with retaining the station’s two fire poles.

Aparium chief executive Mario Tricoci told The Detroit News that the project would cost about $23 million to complete. Work could begin as early as this fall, with the goal to open in time for the 2015 North American International Auto Show at Cobo Center.

Cohen and his co-developers are calling the project the “Foundation Hotel,” although an official hotel name has not yet been determined.

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