Detroit hotel gets $180 mn makeover

Downtown Detroit’s historic Book-Cadillac Hotel will undergo a $180 million transformation led by The Ferchill Group to offer a 455-room hotel and 67 luxury condominiums.
The four-star, full-service Book-Cadillac Hotel will feature exceptional views of the downtown skyline and the Detroit River.

Among its many first- class amenities, the hotel will offer flat screen televisions and high-speed cable and wireless Internet access in each room, a swimming pool, whirlpool and state-of-the-art fitness center, as well as onsite retail and fine dining.

The hotel will also serve as an anchor of the City’s downtown redevelopment strategy, said Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

“This has been a long, difficult effort, but I have always believed one of Detroit’s greatest landmarks was worth the attempt,” he said. “Today’s announcement makes all of the work to overcome all of the obstacles we have encountered worthwhile. The Book-Cadillac certainly is one of the most challenging projects the City of Detroit has ever worked on. It also is one of the most significant as it will anchor three main streets vital to Detroit’s redevelopment.”

In 2004, the City’s Administration called upon The Ferchill Group, the Cleveland-based developer of Detroit’s Hilton Garden Inn, to provide a lifeline for the Book-Cadillac after a 20-year vacancy and failed attempts to develop it.


“We needed a developer who not only understood the complexities of transforming an 82-year-old building into a modern, four-star hotel without losing its originality, but one who could creatively assemble a complex financing package,” Mayor Kilpatrick said. “The Ferchill Group came through.”

Governor Jennifer M. Granholm said: “The growth and revitalization of Detroit is critical to the growth of Michigan and the economy. I am proud that the state was able to help in the reviving of the Book-Cadillac hotel, this is a huge economic boost and success for the city.”

The Ferchill Group closed on a $180 million sophisticated financing package to renovate the historic Book-Cadillac Building into the luxury hotel. The package took more than a year to complete and includes an unprecedented 22 sources of funding. National City Bank, along with its Community Development Corporation, was a significant financing source for both the hotel and condominium components of the project by providing equity, construction financing, and its “NCHAMP” mortgage loan discount program for condo purchasers.

“National City formed the first bank CDC in the country in 1982, and we are proud to be the first Michigan financial institution to utilize Federal New Markets Tax Credits in Detroit. We have invested or committed more than $28 million in support of projects such as the Book-Cadillac Hotel,” said William E. MacDonald, Vice Chairman, National City Corporation. “Our CDC enjoys a strong record of equity investments that continue to revitalize low- and moderate-income neighborhoods in Detroit. At National City, we are fond of saying that taking care of our communities is not just the right thing to do, it is the best thing we do.”

John Ferchill, Chairman and CEO of The Ferchill Group, said: “This project reflects the tenacity of the Detroit community, particularly its leaders for moving this project forward against all odds. We are proud to play a role in the preservation and renewal of one of the City’s most storied assets. We respect the sentiment Detroit has for this architectural treasure and remain committed to seeing this project through to completion.

“Next month, we will begin the transformation of this historic and long- neglected corner on Washington Boulevard and Michigan Avenue to anchor downtown Detroit for investment and create catalytic opportunity with its connections to the Convention Center, Riverwalk and the City’s celebrated sports arenas and ballparks,” Ferchill said.

The hotel promises to be the biggest and most significant renovation project in downtown Detroit since the opening of the Fox Theatre in 1988. Construction is expected to begin immediately with an anticipated grand opening in summer 2008.