Barbart Holdings Opens 125-unit Hospitality Residence in Downtown Detroit

Barbat Holdings today announced the opening of the Gabriel Houze — a 125-unit hospitality residence located at the southwest corner of Michigan Avenue and Washington Boulevard, kitty-corner from the Westin Book Cadillac Detroit.
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Gabriel Houze
Gabriel Houze, a hospitality residence, has opened in Detroit. The building formerly housed the Archdiocese of Detroit. // Photo courtesy of Barbat Holdings

Barbat Holdings today announced the opening of the Gabriel Houze  — a 125-unit hospitality residence located at the southwest corner of Michigan Avenue and Washington Boulevard, kitty-corner from the Westin Book Cadillac Detroit.

Formerly known as the Gabriel Richard Building, the Gabriel Houze — located at 305 Michigan Ave. — was the home of the Archdiocese of Detroit for more than 50 years. The building has been leased by Sonder USA Inc., a hospitality company that provides personalized, high-end hospitality experiences at affordable prices.

Sonder states it has around 4,500 listings in more than 30 cities in eight countries, and offers studios, lofts, hotel rooms, and apartments.

“The building is beautiful inside and out, I am proud of our team for such a tremendous accomplishment,” says Joe Barbat, CEO of Barbat Holdings in West Bloomfield Township. “Our anchor tenant Sonder has also added significant value by tastefully furnishing each of the 125 units offering exceptional value to this community.”

Financed by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) in partnership with Invest Detroit, the ground floor of the building is currently leasing 8,000 square feet of retail space. Sonder accommodated the classical architectural elements in the building while blending a modern look consistent with other renovations in the Houze Living portfolio, a subsidiary of Barbat Holdings.

“We are especially proud of our accomplishments within the community and look forward to delivering the Montgomery Houze in downtown Ann Arbor and the Birmingham Houze in downtown Birmingham later this summer,” says Jessica Mathis, general counsel and COO of Barbat Holdings.

Sonder was incorporated in 2012. Coupled with Sonder’s furnishings, the Gabriel Houze, like the other Houze Living communities, is within walking distance of a variety of food, shopping, and entertainment destinations. It also offers amenities — such as service requests for maintenance — that can be accessed through a phone app.

The building was designed by architects Benjamin Marshall and Charles Fox and built in 1915 to house the furniture store Weil & Co. Constructed using steel framing and poured concrete, the exterior of the building was finished with a base of coarse granite and light cream terra-cotta stone.

“On behalf of the Barbat Holdings team, I want to thank each of the hard-working men and women who worked tirelessly through the pandemic to deliver this historic site and add value to this region,” said Barbat. “I also want to thank the City of Detroit who has been a great partner supporting us throughout these re-developments.”

Father Gabriel Richard, a Catholic priest who arrived in Detroit from Paris in 1798, promoted spirituality and sobriety in what was a budding frontier town. For more information about Richard, visit www.DetroitEngineofAmerica.com.

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