Reporting Ron Dewey
DETROIT (WWJ) - Another iconic building that was left to waste will once again come alive in downtown Detroit.
Ceremonies were held Thursday for an $82 million construction project at the David Whitney Building which has stood in downtown’s Grand Circus Park since 1915.
George Jackson, president of the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, calls the Whitney one of the crowning jewels in Detroit’s future.
“It took several years for the right developers, the right financing picture to fall in place … that’s what preservation really is,” said Jackson. “It’s not whining, complaining, making attacks on people; it’s about getting things done, taking on the challenge and making things happen.”
Developer David DiRita said the one emotion that he wanted to express concerning the pending rebirth of the Whitney Building was gratitude — a reference to the public and private funding, investments and tax credits toward the project.
“Projects of this complexity are always a team sport in this town,” DiRita said. “The fact is that no single idea or checkbook is large enough to make a project of this magnitude come to life.”
In the next two years, the 19-story structure will be returned to its original architectural glory, with restoration of its ornate interior and exterior, complete with the reconstruction of the building’s historic rooftop sign.
The plans include a boutique hotel, over 100 apartment units, a restaurant, lounge and ballroom.