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Detroit’s Historic David Whitney Building to Undergo Major Renovation and Rebrand to Autograph Collection Hotel


DETROIT – Detroit-based real estate development company, The Roxbury Group, in collaboration with TreeFort Hospitality, announced today a major renovation to downtown Detroit’s historic David Whitney Building and will rebrand its hotel as an Autograph Collection hotel upon completion. The renovations will include an expansion of the hotel as well as new food and beverage venues.

The centerpiece of the project, a new Autograph Collection hotel, will be undertaken in phases over the next 12 to 14 months and will involve the complete renovation of all 136 guest rooms, and the addition of two more hotel floors for a total of 160 guest rooms and suites. Additionally, 24 of the David Whitney’s current apartments are expected to be converted to one and two-bedroom hotel suites, leaving 80 residences on the upper seven floors. Roxbury Group’s plans also call for substantial upgrades to the hotel’s lobby bar, atrium lounge, and outdoor seating. In addition, plans include a restaurant in the current Capper & Capper event space at the corner of Woodward and Park Avenues. The Roxbury Group is in discussions with a number of potential operators for the restaurant and expect to announce more specific plans by the end of summer.

“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,” said Stacy Fox, Principal, The Roxbury Group.

Autograph Collection Hotels advocate for the original – championing the individuality of each of its over 250 independent hotels located in the most desirable destinations across 43 countries and territories. Hand-selected for their inherent craft and distinct perspectives on design and hospitality, Autograph Collection properties offer rich immersive moments that leave a lasting imprint. The David Whitney will be the first Autograph Collection property in downtown Detroit.

The David Whitney, designed by famed Chicago architecture firm D.H. Burnham and Company, originally opened as a medical office and retail building in 1915. Following a decline in the fortunes of the Grand Circus Park Historic District, the building closed in the late 1990’s. A partnership led by The Roxbury Group acquired the property in 2011, and after a $94-million restoration, the David Whitney Building reopened with great fanfare in 2014 as a mixed-used property, marking a major milestone in the decades-long rebirth of Detroit’s theatre district.

Work is expected to commence later this summer and is targeted to be completed by late 2023. The Roxbury Group is working with Detroit-based Patrick Thompson Design and Infuz Architects on the design for the hotel, as well as with Gensler on brand-identity and O’Brien Construction Company on construction management. The hotel will continue to be managed by San Diego-based Azul Hospitality, which also manages the Element Detroit at the Metropolitan and the Monarch Club for the Roxbury Group.

About the Roxbury Group

The Roxbury Group is a real estate development and investment firm founded in 2005. The firm specializes in complex real estate and economic development projects. Since its founding, the Roxbury Group has developed $300 million in projects with $150 million of projects in the pipeline. In addition to the David Whitney and the Element Detroit at the Metropolitan Building, Roxbury’s hospitality work includes the AC Detroit at the Bonstelle in midtown Detroit which is targeted to break ground later this year, and a planned 150 key hotel at Ann Arbor’s Broadway Park West development. Roxbury’s TreeFort Hospitality arm has been responsible for several notable food and beverage venues including the Buhl Bar, the Monarch Club, the Hammer & Nail and the Cadillac House Inn and Tavern in Lexington, Michigan. TreeFort is currently developing a second bar venue for the Metropolitan that will open later this year.

About Azul Hospitality Group (Azul)

Azul Hospitality Group (Azul), a preferred management company for the AC Hotels by Marriott brand, has a robust infrastructure of industry professionals with extensive experience in all aspects of hotel operations and development services. The company’s primary focus is on upscale hotels and resorts, with unique destination and product attributes. Other recent Marriott-branded projects with Azul management include Moxy San Diego Downtown/Gaslamp Quarter; AC Hotel by Marriott Phoenix Biltmore; The Westin Carlsbad Resort & Spa; Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa; The Guild Hotel, San Diego, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel; Sheraton Redding Hotel at the Sundial Bridge; and Element Detroit at the Metropolitan. For additional information, go to www.azulhg.com.



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