Nov 15, 2022 - Business

Shipping container sequel makes pandemic pivot

A rendering shows a three-story building made out of blue shipping containers.

A rendering of the first iteration of the 444 Peterboro project. Photo courtesy of Detroit Rising Development

A companion shipping container project planned next to food hall Detroit Shipping Co. is pivoting from office space to a hotel.

Why it matters: The change exemplifies one way the pandemic is affecting what kinds of development get funded now in the city.

Catch up fast: Developer Detroit Rising lost its financing for the $6 million office development due to the lack of demand for office space amid the pandemic, according to city documents and founding partner Jon Hartzell.

  • Announced in 2019 after Detroit Shipping Co.'s 2018 opening, the project suddenly made less sense once tenants started vacating existing office spaces.

Zoom in: The delayed project at 444 Peterboro, near Cass Avenue, has nearly doubled in cost to $10.5 million.

  • It's planned with 32 hotel rooms on the second and third floors and a rooftop bar.
  • Construction is expected to start this spring, with plans still including ground-floor retail space.

Between the lines: Hartzell declined to disclose the hotel tenant, but tells Axios it's going to be nontraditional: Guests check in online and get their room keys from a kiosk, with staff minimally involved.

  • He said he anticipates the hotel's proximity to Little Caesars Arena and other venues will provide clientele.

Yes, but: City Council still has to approve the change in Detroit Rising's agreement with the city to redevelop the land.

  • A committee is expected to consider the issue again Thursday after council asked how the pivot affects any tax breaks the developer may have already secured from the city.

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