The owners of the Fisher Building in Detroit’s New Center area have closed on a $36 million refinancing loan to retire existing debt and create capacity to cover continuing preservation, improvement expenditures, and leasing costs for the National Historic Landmark.
A portion of the refinancing from Boston-based UC Funds will allow the ownership team – The Platform, HFZ Capital Partners, and Detroit native John Rhea’s Rheal Capital Management – to continue to address several areas of previously deferred maintenance.
The plans include modernizing three additional elevators, renovating public bathrooms, creating a conference center for the building, and restoring the historic brass entrance doors and other areas of beauty to their original grandeur.
“Since taking ownership, we have attempted to return the Fisher to its original grandeur and to attract a strong mix of both office and retail tenants,” says Peter Cummings, executive chairman of The Platform. “We evaluate buildings not only for what goes on inside them but also in terms of how they contribute to their neighborhood. It is gratifying to see the revitalization of New Center and the impact the Fisher refurbishment is having on its surroundings.”
In the four years that the group has owned the Fisher Building, it has invested several million dollars in capital improvements to restore the Fisher brothers’ original vision and create a fully occupied and upgraded Class A office, retail, and entertainment destination that marries the historic and modern.
The ongoing rehab has included:
- Restoration of the Fisher Arcade’s ornate plaster ceiling.
- Installing a multi-million-dollar, environmentally friendly HVAC system.
- Spending $1.4 million on extensive masonry repair.
- Updating exterior signage.
“It’s exciting to see all the long-overdue improvements made in the Fisher Building,” says noted Detroit retailer Rachel Lutz. “The Platform’s commitment to preservation and stewardship of this significant landmark was a huge factor in my decision to open two shops in the building. Doing business in New Center has exceeded my expectations, and with everything in the pipeline, will only continue that trajectory.”
The historic building also is adding new tenants including the United Way for Southeastern Michigan and new retail tenants Kill the Hate, William & Bonnie, and Shy Vs. Bold.
The current business plan calls for more than $10 million in capital expenditures and leasing costs by the end of the year.