Bedrock is ready to unveil a new chapter of the Book Tower building, as the downtown Detroit property’s seven-year, $300-million-plus historic restoration approaches completion.
Bedrock has crafted 500,000 square feet and 38 floors into 229 residential units, 117 ROOST Apartment Hotel accommodations and 52,000 square feet of retail and office, including three new dining options.
Located at 1265 Washington Blvd., Book Tower will also offer co-working, meeting and event space, in addition to an activated alleyway. This spring, the storied landmark will make its highly anticipated return.
“Eight years ago, I said that Book Tower would be the most game-changing and exciting redevelopment project in Detroit,” said Dan Gilbert, founder and chairman of Rocket Companies, in a statement. “Today, we are thrilled as we prepare to re-open one of the most iconic, and interesting buildings in the entire city. Detroiters have always recognized the importance and historic significance of Book Tower, and we are ready to honor that sentiment as we put into service and deliver the meticulously restored property back to the community.”
Where every story has a story
Built in 1926 by the Book Brothers, Book Tower was the tallest building in Detroit at the time of completion. Today, it remains one of the most architecturally renowned buildings in the Midwest and one of the most intriguing reuse projects in Michigan.
Following its 2015 acquisition of the Louis Kamper-designed, Italian Renaissance Revival style building, Bedrock embarked on a comprehensive, historic restoration of Book Tower. The building was originally found in a state of disrepair, after sitting vacant for more than a decade, including destroyed century-old plaster ceiling tiles, shattered marble wainscoting and exposed electrical and plumbing systems.
Bedrock engaged partners including the award-winning New York-based architecture firm, ODA, for architecture and interior renovation as well as Detroit-based Brinker/Christman on construction and Kraemer Design Group on historic preservation. Balancing the iconic character and charm of the Book while creating a contemporary, accessible and unique destination was the leading strategy of Bedrock’s plan.
“When we acquired Book Tower, Bedrock took on more than just a dilapidated building—we inherited an iconic property that held a century of Detroit’s history and elegance,” said Kofi Bonner, chief executive officer at Bedrock in a statement. “We understood the special place Book Tower holds in the hearts of Detroiters and we made sure our work was approached with the utmost thought, care and intention. Book Tower will soon be reborn as a space for residents, visitors and guests to gather and create new stories—once again building on its legacy as this city’s true architectural gem.”
A journey for the books
After three years priming the structure for re-development, Bedrock and its partners:
- Recreated and hand painted more than 7,000 square feet of ornate ceiling tiles to match the original designs and color of the structure.
- Reinstalled 50,000 square feet of marble.
- Replaced all 2,483 windows with modern, historically accurate versions to increase energy efficiency.
- Restored 29 caryatids on the exterior of the building.
- Adapted the former office spaces into 46 unique floor plans for apartments and hotel rooms.
- Refitted the rooftop event space with a 2,200 square foot skylight.
- Repaired the building’s original travertine floors.
- Revealed the classic, limestone façade for the first time in years.
With more than 7,000 individual glass jewels and 6,000 glass panels, Book Tower’s architectural centerpiece is an original 1920s art-glass skylight. The crown jewel illuminates The Rotunda, a newly unveiled three-story, marble-arched atrium that serves as the grand entryway for guests and residents.
The Residences at Book Tower
Book Tower’s collection of 229 studio, one- and two-bedroom units boast 46 unique floor plans and amenities such as:
- The Terrace Club: an indoor/outdoor lounge with sweeping city views, the spacious terrace features a fireplace, a kitchenette and comfortable seating on floor 14.
- The Rotunda: a marble arched atrium that greets guests with seating and an airy lobby bar beneath the breathtaking skylight.
- The Study: a 3,000 square feet co-working space for residents and hotel guests, with views of Washington Boulevard and The Rotunda.
- Fitness Center: a 24/7 private exercise facility for residents and hotel guests, complete with state-of-the-art equipment.
- An entertaining suite for hosting events such as private dinner parties.
- 300-space parking garage, attached and covered for convenience.
The Residences incorporate oversized windows for natural light, quartz countertops, European white oak flooring, stainless-steel appliances and in-suite washers and dryers. Residents of this preeminent development are also within steps of Book Tower’s dining offerings, an activated alleyway and Capitol Park’s nearby greenspace.
Pre-leasing opportunities, including tours of The Residences, will be available in April. A portion of the units will be reserved as affordable housing for those making at or below 80% of the area median income.
Discover a new chapter
Book Tower will house Detroit’s first ROOST Apartment Hotel, 117 extended-stay accommodations with boutique hotel features. Operated by hospitality company Method Co. and set to open by early summer, ROOST Book Tower provides a stylish option for travelers with apartment dwellings which feature full-sized kitchens and modern appliances in a beautifully-designed space, plus the perks of a hotel and residential amenities.
Book Tower will also offer a selection of dining, bar and event experiences that will debut later this year, also operated by Method Co. The main level will include a new-to-market French restaurant, featuring breakfast, lunch and dinner service, as well as a boulangerie.
A bar in The Rotunda creates a scenic location for coffee and tea service in the morning, light bites throughout the day, and handcrafted cocktails in the evening, while the lower levels of Book Tower will host a Japanese restaurant and sake pub.
Additional experiences will be available at an indoor/outdoor rooftop bar and within an 8,000-square-foot, sky-lit event space for special occasions, meetings and milestone celebrations. Book Tower will also unveil an activated alleyway featuring original artwork, foliage and furnishings.