Oxford Capital Group and Hunter Pasteur, a single- and multi-family home developer based in Farmington Hills, have announced the groundbreaking this week for the Godfrey Hotel Detroit in the historic Corktown neighborhood, bringing 227 rooms and hundreds of jobs to the area.
The property at 1401 Michigan Ave., between Trumbull and Eighth Street, is scheduled to open in 2023. Oxford Hotels and Resorts, a wholly owned management affiliate of the Chicago-based capital group, will manage the property. The hotel will have a soft brand affiliation with Hilton’s Curio Collection.
The seven-story lifestyle brand hotel will feature I|O, one of Detroit’s largest indoor/outdoor rooftop lounges with expansive view of the Corktown and downtown areas. On the ground-floor, there will be a chef-driven restaurant, a distinctive lobby bar, a 5,500 square-foot grand ballroom that will accommodate more than 350 guests, and a state-of-the-art fitness center.
“We are excited to achieve this important milestone as we continue our strategic national investment, development, and acquisition activities while simultaneously growing our lifestyle Godfrey hotel brand throughout the country,” says John W. Rutledge, founder, chairman, and CEO of Oxford Hotels and Resorts and Oxford Capital Group. “The project will be just a few blocks from Michigan Central Station, Ford’s new billion-dollar campus and a significant development in Detroit’s resurgence.”
The Godfrey will create an estimated 200 to 300 construction jobs, and another 160 to 200 part- and full-time jobs within the hotel, the latter of which include 401(k) and health insurance, and will pay a minimum of $17 per hour.
The developer has committed to at least 25 percent of the jobs will go to Detroit residents. The company will partner with the City of Detroit through the Detroit at Work Programs as the hotel’s priority staffing partner.
“Since my student days at The University of Michigan, I have been watching Detroit closely and have been impressed by the remarkable transformation that has occurred downtown,” says Rutledge.
“We look forward to adding to this momentum and delivering a stunning physical product, as well as Oxford’s unique brand of hospitality to this beautiful and dynamic city as Detroit and the country continue their post-pandemic recovery over the next several years.”
The interiors of the hotel designed by The Gettys Group — an interior design firm based in Chicago — are inspired by local diversity and elevated elements if the industrial aesthetics of the city.
A bright neutral background will be decorated with furniture and finishes that are colorful, geometrically patterned with curated and tailored accents. The mixed warm wood tones, the bright terrazzo flooring, textured metals found in sculptural lighting and detailing, and touches of specialty finishes that offer reflectivity and dimension, will aim to connect guests with their surroundings.
The I|O Rooftop Lounge will offer a variety of spaces enhanced by mixed metals and layered with aspects of earth, wind, water, and fire, while the retractable glass roof and fully operable windows will allow guests to experience all the elements. The hotel will also have one of the largest meeting spaces in and out of downtown Detroit.
“Corktown has become synonymous with phenomenal food and drink and is home to an emerging business core,” says Randy Wertheimer, president and CEO of Hunter Pasteur. “The Godfrey Hotel will fill a real need in this neighborhood, and we’re so thrilled to bring this national hotel brand to our hometown.
“We look forward to the Godfrey becoming a staple of the city and Corktown community, not just because of the hotel, but also the exciting F&B venues we are developing, including the lobby bar, restaurant, rooftop lounge, and ballroom, which we hope will all become important destination venues for locals and travelers alike to Detroit.”
The project investors include several prominent Detroit families, led by Nate Forbes and James Grosfeld. The Godfrey Hotel Detroit will also benefit from Oxford’s metro Detroit-based development partner Hunter Pasteur’s extensive local development experience and relationships. Oxford, Hunter Pasteur, and The Forbes Co. are finalizing plans to launch the Perennial Corktown Apartments adjacent to the Godfrey, which will also break ground this year.
A few blocks the development site is Michigan Central Station, which Ford Motor Co. is spending more than $700 million redeveloping into an innovation hub centered on next-generation technologies like mobility on demand and autonomous vehicles. It is expected to be completed in 2023.