City of Birmingham recognizes innovative projects with historic awards

The Birmingham Historic District Commission’s
Awards recognized some of downtown’s biggest recent projects, including
the renovation and expansion of the Briggs Building and 203 Pierce, the
home of Toast restaurant.

are the sorts of projects where the developer choose to repurpose
old structures into something newer and better. Too often Metro Detroit
businesses looking for new or more space choose to raze and build anew.
It’s a far from sustainable practice. The owners of these two buildings
went down a different path, especially the Briggs Building developer.

actually took a look at that and said, ‘We need more space but we have
a great building,'” says Sheila Bashiri, city planner for Birmingham.
“They basically recycled the building.”

Ted Fuller’s company
breathed new life into the historic structure at the corner of Old
Woodward Avenue and Maple Road by adding a third floor and filling in
an adjacent parking lot with a 5-story addition.

The overall
project, which is fully leased, adds 62,000 square feet of space and
175 parking spots. Approximately 42,000 square feet is dedicated to
Class A office space, 10,000 square feet is set aside for retail and
the remainder is luxury apartments. A parking deck is behind the

The original Briggs Building was built as a 2-story
office/retail building in 1930. The adjacent lot served as a surface
parking lot for decades.

Source: Sheila Bashiri, city planner for Birmingham
Writer: Jon Zemke