Joe Barbat, who recently purchased the Parks Apartments building for $3.25 million in an off-market deal, understands the importance of keeping iconic buildings true to their roots. While the building will undergo significant renovations in order to make the apartments more desirable for contemporary tenants beginning this Spring, it will tie back to the former glory of the building.
To start, Barbat will rename the building the Briggs House Residence. The building was once the Briggs Hotel, a destination for many during its heyday, starting from its creation in 1937. Renovations to the building are set to be completed within a year. Barbat Holdings LLC has indicated that lease applications for apartments in the Briggs House Residence should be accepted in six months.
Barbat’s renovations will adhere to the building’s, and neighborhood’s, history. The Parks Apartments on West Adams are part of an effort to revitalize the area, but keep it true to its historic nature. Nearby Grand Circus Park is a vital green space in the city. In 1983, the park was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This federal designation means that the area is considered worthy of preservation. Barbat Holdings LLC will be able to apply for state historic tax credits to aid in rebuilding the area while maintaining its historic nature.
Plans call for the 95,000 square foot building to be converted into 116 Class A units. There are currently 131 units in the building on West Adams. There are two two-bedroom apartments and two penthouse suites, as well as 64 studio apartments and 63 one-bedroom apartments. Barbat will create more spacious living spaces by combining some of the smaller studio apartments into one-bedroom units. The size of the apartments currently varies from 400 square foot studios to 1,600 square foot penthouses.
Creating more one-bedroom units will allow for more spacious urban living for new residents. Studio apartments will still be available; the number of units will be reduced. The variety of total units available will allow renters the option to choose the unit that works best for them.
While keeping the historic integrity of the century-old building intact, Barbat has stated that the building will have new electrical, HVAC, and plumbing systems installed. Combining modern comfort and amenities with classic architectural details signifies an earnest desire to ensure that the history of downtown Detroit stays culturally true while maintaining its relevance for new urban dwellers.
Residents will enjoy new common areas and an exercise area thanks to the planned renovation. A laundry room in the building is simply one of the new amenities that makes downtown living even easier. A rooftop terrace is planned, giving a spectacular view of the downtown skyline. An Internet café will offer global connectivity for visitors and residents alike. Residents and visitors will also be able to enjoy dining options planned for the first floor.
Though the building has been vacant for most of the past two years, its location makes it an ideal place for Detroiters to live.