Switzerland-based IWG plc, which creates flexible workspaces, announced it will open Spaces, a $25 million open and shared office concept, in the historic former Women’s City Club building in downtown Detroit.
“As we continue to expand the Spaces portfolio, we see Detroit as a strong market for co-working,” says Michael Berretta, vice president of network development for IWG, which owns Spaces. “Our modern co-working model will help local small business owners and entrepreneurs innovate and create in a dynamic and unique work environment. We’re excited about Detroit, and there is no question that our brand is a perfect fit for the community.”
The Women’s City Club building is located at 2110 Park Ave., near The Fillmore Detroit, Fox Theatre, Grand Circus Park, and Comerica Park.
Spaces will offer about 47,000 square feet of office areas and 10,000 square feet of street-level retail. Detroit’s Kraemer Design Group is the lead architect, and Detroit-based joint venture Brinker-Christman will serve as construction manager (a joint venture of Lansing-based The Christman Co. and commercial contracting firm Brinker Group in Detroit).
“Entrepreneurs and small businesses are the backbone of our economy,” says Keith Bradford, senior vice president of Olympia Development. “Offering a shared office space concept in The District Detroit tailored to local business owners will help further drive the progress we are seeing throughout our city.”
In related news, Frita Batidos, a Cuban-inspired restaurant, opened its newest location in September at 66 Columbia St. between the Fox Theatre and Little Caesars world headquarters, at the west side of Woodward Avenue. The first location was opened in Ann Arbor in 2010 by Eve Aronoff.
“I always wanted to open a restaurant in Detroit, and Columbia Street is the perfect location,” says Aronoff. “We really care about the people we are serving and want the food and environment to be a great experience for each customer. I want everyone to feel appreciated, valued, and full when they leave Frita Batidos.”
Aronoff was a “Top Chef” contestant and credits her menu to the food she had at Cuban restaurants as a child in Miami. Her dishes include Frita Cuban burgers, Batido milkshakes with fresh fruit, and fried plantains.
The location is open 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Sunday-Wednesday and 11 a.m.-midnight Thursday-Saturday.
In the upcoming months, the Columbia Street destination will welcome Rush Bowls’ first Michigan location; Sahara Restaurant and Grill, which will offer Middle Eastern food; and a Union Joints restaurant.
The M Den, the official merchandise retailer for the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, has opened its first Detroit location at 55 W. Columbia St. The 4,000-square-foot shop offers apparel for men, women, and children, Yost Ice Arena hockey pucks, coffee mugs, puzzles, and more.
It also offers store-exclusive apparel that gives sports fans an opportunity to simultaneously show their Detroit and Wolverine pride, including graffiti-style sweatshirts by Valiant and T-shirts featuring the Detroit Tigers’ “D” and “Detroit” stylized in the University’s Victors font. Also available are licensed apparel, golf supplies, and accessories by brands including Nike, Vineyard Vines, Brooks Brothers, and more.
Scott Hirth, president and co-owner of The M Den, and his business partners began exploring a Detroit location after taking over the family-owned business in 2013. Hirth and Olympia Development of Michigan announced plans to open the Detroit location last year.
“We wanted to do a couple of things: serve our customers on the east side of the metropolitan Detroit area and be a part of the great renaissance taking place in the city,” Hirth says. “The Ilitch organization offered us an opportunity to do that, and we couldn’t be happier.”
The shop will benefit the university’s sports programs.