Joe Barbat, the CEO and chairman of Wireless Toyz, purchased a 64,000 square foot building connected to the Hotel St. Regis in Detroit’s New Center area. The eastern half of the building that also houses the hotel is located on the corner of Woodward Avenue and West Grand Boulevard. This prime location makes it very attractive not only for those who work in the city, including the nearby Henry Ford Health System, but also for those who wish to live in the city but may work in outlying areas of Metro Detroit.
Barbat, continuing his tradition of hearkening back to old Detroit, is renaming his purchase the St. Regis Building. The five-story structure is an addition to the St. Regis Hotel, which was built in 1966, and was added in 1984. The exterior of both buildings share the charm of the neoclassical hotel’s architecture.
There will be 60 units in the St. Regis Building, most of which will be one-bedroom apartments. Those 54 one-bedroom units, as well as the six studio apartments, will rent for approximately $1.50 per square foot. The units range from 500 to 800 square feet. The apartments will be fitted with new electrical, plumbing, heating and cooling. Barbat will also have new kitchens and flooring installed in the units.
Amenities will abound in the building. Valet service and a rooftop terrace are among the features that renters will be able to enjoy. The building purchased by Barbat has a ground floor space that was once used as a restaurant and banquet center and which will offer further services for the tenants.
The St. Regis Building is a block away from the historic Fisher Building and the Fisher Theater. The Fisher Building, an Art Deco masterpiece of limestone, granite, and marble, was financed by the Fisher family to provide retail and office space downtown, and continues to thrive. The Fisher Theater inside the Fisher Building is home to touring Broadway shows, the perfect evening out for St. Regis House tenants.
Detroit’s New Center Area, bordered by the Lodge Freeway and John R., and including West Grand Boulevard and the Henry Ford Hospital system, is an area that is flush with possibilities. The architecture and energy of the area make it a place of interest. The excellent location and easy access to freeways offer effortless accessibility.
While the purchase price was not disclosed, the total cost of the entire project, from purchase to renovation, will near $4 million. Barbat is expecting financing and other approvals to fall into place soon. Once that happens, the construction on the apartment units is expected to be completed within 10 to 14 months.