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Hotel Covington Partners Plan Project in Detroit

The partners behind the plans for the $28 million boutique Hotel Covington announced plans for another hotel in Detroit.

Aparium Hotel Group will renovate and redevelop the historic Detroit Fire Department Headquarters, turning it into a 100-room upscale independent hotel. The Chicago-based firm is partnering locally with the Salyers Group on The Hotel Covington.

The Detroit project is expected to be priced at $28 million, too, and is scheduled to be completed by late 2015. According to a news release from Aparium, the Detroit project "represents the fourth consecutive and locally relevant hotel project for the newly formed (group)".

Aparium developed and operates the Iron Horse Hotel in Milwaukee and is developing the Charmant Hotel in La Crosse, Wisconsin. 

"Aparium is honored to play a role in the important resurgence of Detroit," said Mario Tricoci, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner, in a news release. "We are inspired to be part of making Detroit a city beyond industry – a city of ideas, verve and unmatched enterprise. We are committed to raising the bar and delivering a hotel that captures the true character and hospitality of Detroit. There's nowhere else we'd rather be."

Integrating the 1929 former Detroit Fire Headquarters with the adjacent historic Pontchatrain Cellars restaurant building, The Foundation Hotel will showcase a design concept deeply rooted in the heart of the city. Aparium's plans indicate that it  "will draw from the greatness of Detroit through innovative and strategic relationships with designers, manufacturers and vendors to deliver an experience that is a source of pride for the community". With plans to hire and uniquely train mostly Detroit-based employees, The Foundation Hotel, located at 234-250 West Larned Street, is expected to bring over 100 full and part-time jobs to the Detroit market.

The messaging is similar to the announcement of The Hotel Covington, with the company noting that the hotel and restaurant will deliver on its coined mantra of "translocal hospitality", meaning genuine service and authentic experiences.

"Through its design, sense of civic pride and keen focus on unscripted thoughtful and high quality service, The Foundation Hotel will be an inspiring and transcendent place – a true outcropping of what is happening in Detroit - a city rich in history, art, architecture and culture," said Tricoci. "It is our vision that the hotel tells the transformative tale of the City as the poignant center of the true life story of re-creation of one of the world's greatest and most powerful cities."

The Hotel Covington project, announced for development at the former Covington City Hall and Coppins department store building in late 2012, hit a roadblock in early June when it was left out of the federal New Market Tax Credits. No development fund in the Cincinnati market was awarded any funds. Salyers Group CEO Guy van Rooyen said at the time that the development is moving on to Plan B and may be able to solicit the tax credits from another agency outside the immediate area. 

 photo hotelcovrendering4_zpse8debd45.png

Rendering of The Hotel Covington/RCN file

"Our project is going to be successful regardless of funding stack," van Rooyen said in June. "It's not contingent that New Markets are the only way this can get done. We're very hopeful that we have New Market potential. Our advisors are some of the best in the country with access to other firms nationwide, so we're still in the pipeline for others."

Like the Detroit project, and the ones in Wisconsin, The Hotel Covington would be an upscale destination, independent hotel, with a fine restaurant on the ground floor and 128 rooms throughout the historic, 1909 property.

In Detroit, the hotel will have an expansive ground floor restaurant in the former fire engine hall delivering elevated cuisine in a space that pays homage to the region. Van Rooyen had announced previously that elements of Northern Kentucky heritage would also be part of the design concept on Madison Avenue.

Above photo: Former Detroit Fire Department Headquarters via Wikipedia