Ferndale casket company is reincarnated as office lofts, studios, and retail spaces

A former casket-making company in Ferndale has been reincarnated into a urban-loft style office space for entrepreneurs.

The development, 360 Hilton, on Hilton north of 8 Mile just off Ferndale’s downtown, has been renovated into eight units, four upstairs and four downstairs. The spaces are relatively small, between 1,200 and 2,400 square feet, and ideal for small businesses, one-person operations, says Michael Ziecik, principal of the Forum Group, a Bloomfield Hills firm that is the broker and manager of 360 Hilton.

The spaces are intentionally small, ideal for small businesses, entrepreneurs working in a variety of fields. The city has been progressive in changing its zoning to allow for mixed uses such as retail, light industrial and office in the same building, Ziecik says.

“Ferndale’s a destination today. That wasn’t always the case. A big part of that is the city and the chamber working to make Ferndale a friendly place to do business … They’ve taken traditional zoning and changed it to allow for creative uses, and we’re seeing a lot more traffic,” he says.

Originally the plan was to attract artists to small studios, but with Russell Industrial Center in Detroit and more recently the opening of Rust Belt Market on Woodward near 9 Mile in Ferndale, the developers marketed to small businesses, says Ziecik.

“It’s great that Detroit’s become a place people want to go, where things are happening,” he says.

Tenants at 360 Hilton include a t-shirt designer, a fitness trainer, a spa, an internet sales company. Renovations on three of the units are ongoing and the leasing price is meant to offer amenities of a Royal Oak without the pricing of Royal Oak, Ziecik says.

The redesign has included new heating and cooling system and open-air windows that open up as well as epoxy floors, exposed ductwork “that give it a edgy urban feel,” Ziecik says.

Source: Michael Ziecik, principal, Forum Group Commercial Real Estate
Writer: Kim North Shine