Developer transforms old industrial building in Ferndale into creative class center

What was once old, dirty and busted is now new, edgy and hip in Ferndale.

GVA Detroit has
turned what was once an old mid-20th Century industrial building into a
mixed-use building, complete with loft-style office space on Hilton
Street between 8 and 9 mile roads.

“We’re trying to get the
creative class to come there,” says Jennifer Roosenberg, marketing and
communications manager for GVA Detroit.

The Southfield-based
firm bought what it now calls the Zicor Building three years ago and
completely gutted the structure so the only original pieces left are
the walls, roof and floor.

“It was in pretty rough shape,” Roosenberg says.

The
city rezoned the property for mixed-use, giving GVA Detroit a lot of
flexibility on what it could do there. It’s part of the reason why the
developer left the units raw so the prospective tenants have more
options on customizing the space. It has led to a lot of loft-life
offices, with high ceilings, exposed ductwork and wide-open spaces.

The
15,000-square-foot building is divided into eight units over two
floors. So far about 25 percent of the structure is occupied and
another large tenant is close to signing. One of the tenants is a
payroll company for the film industry that just opened a Michigan
office.

Source: Jennifer Roosenberg, marketing and communications manager for GVA Detroit
Writer: Jon Zemke