Pulte Family Management SJ, a wholly owned for-profit entity of the William J. Pulte Trust, has acquired The Inn at St. John’s in Plymouth Township from the Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The hotel, conference rooms, and reception centers will continue to serve and support business, civic, and private events. The 27-hole golf course will operate as usual with daily tee times, organized outings, events, and league play. The chapel will remain available for Catholic weddings although it will be renamed the Chapel of Mary and Joseph to distinguish it as a separate entity from the rest of the St. John’s complex.
The family’s future plans for the property include upgrades that will be announced by Pulte Family Management in the coming weeks and months.
The late William Pulte, who passed away in 2018, was a philanthropist and founder of home building giant PulteGroup Inc. He also served with a small group of local Catholic business leaders who worked closely with Adam Cardinal Maida to finance and develop the former St. John’s Provincial Seminary campus into a hotel, conference center, and golf course.
“The Inn at St. John’s was near and dear to my father’s heart,” says Mark Pulte, William Pulte’s son. “He was honored to work with Cardinal Maida on the transformation of this beautiful property and to have played a role in its success. When the Archdiocese expressed interest in selling the property, my father’s estate was a natural choice. They knew that it would be in good hands.”
Allen Vigneron, Archbishop of Detroit, says, “This purchase is yet another example of the Pulte family’s longstanding commitment to southeast Michigan and the local Church in Detroit. The decision to sell was motivated in part by the considerable challenges of a Catholic organization operating a hotel conference center — especially during the pandemic — so we are grateful that Pulte Family Management has stepped forward to purchase the property and operate it going forward, ensuring its continued legacy and value in the local community.”
The decision to purchase was made in-part as a tribute to the late Bill Pulte, according to his son.
“My father would have loved this moment as he played a significant role in the vision for the campus from the beginning,” says Pulte. “He was passionate about helping others and he was a creative thinker. We are in the unique position to seamlessly integrate both his vision and values with the purchase as well as continue to make an impact with its future successes.”
Located near the southeast corner of Five Mile Road and Sheldon Road, the Inn at St. John’s was established in 1948 as St. John’s Provincial Seminary to provide graduate-level theological education and spiritual formation for diocesan priesthood candidates from the dioceses of Detroit, Lansing, Grand Rapids, Saginaw, Gaylord, Kalamazoo, and Marquette.
The seminary closed in 1988. In 1994, Maida had a vision to revive the property as a resource for diocesan youth and families, kicking off years of development resulting in the community gathering place that exists today.
In January of 2006, The Inn at St. John’s Hotel and 5ive Steakhouse opened, offering 118 luxury guestrooms, a fine dining steakhouse, a bar and lounge, and in-room dining. St. John’s golf course began with nine holes in the property’s earliest years and grew to 18 when the golf greens opened to the public in 1979.
Nine more holes were added during the property’s redevelopment in the 1990s, completing the 27-hole course that now exists at the site.
The Inn served as the setting for the Concours d’Elegance show for several years, but next year the classic car show will be moving to the Detroit Institute of Arts. A date has not been announced, but show planners led by Hagerty are eyeing a September date.