The recently vacant Parks Apartments building on West Adams sold for $3.25million. The buyer, Joe Barbat, is planning on $6 million in upgrades to the building, which will be renamed Briggs Houze, in a salute to its former existence as the Briggs Hotel. This is a further sign of significant redevelopment in an area that was once, and is on track to become again, a venerable part of the city.
Joe Barbat has strong ties to Michigan and the Metro Detroit area. He is the CEO and chairman of Wireless Toyz, a multi-carrier wireless retail store based in Southfield, as well as founder of Barbat Holdings LLC, a real estate development company based in West Bloomfield Township. The company currently manages over 400,000 square feet of retail, office, medical, and residential real estate. Briggs Houze will be a combination of residential and retail space.
Barbat has experience in revitalizing distressed buildings. He created a multi-story mixed-use property in Ann Arbor, Michigan, from the historic Montgomery Building. Barbat develops urban living that adheres to the history of the building and place, without sacrificing necessary 21st century amenities.
The 17-storey building will begin renovations this Spring and will be completed within the year. By creating mixed-use residential and business spaces in the city, Barbat is not only hearkening back to the days when residents lived, shopped, and worked in the same urban center, but is also looking to accommodate the needs of millenials. Millenials, and, increasingly, Gen Xers, are interested in living in vital urban spaces rather than sprawling suburban homesteads.
Briggs Houze was built in 1937. Located on West Adams between Clifford Street and Park Avenue, it is only two blocks west of Woodward. The building shared a façade with the Oriental Theater, which was later renamed the RKO Downtown. While the Oriental / RKO Downtown Theater no longer exists, the area is still a hub for the arts. Nearby venues include the Detroit Opera House, the Fox Theater, and The Fillmore Detroit.
Briggs Houze will bring elegant and upscale urban living to the Foxtown Neighborhood. Residents and visitors will be able to enjoy dining options planned for the first floor. Metro Detroiters and residents who are downtown to see shows at the nearby theaters can enjoy new dining experiences in an area that is only a short walk from entertainment venues.
The Grand Circus Park People Mover Station is only a couple of blocks away on Park Avenue between Woodward Avenue and Washington Boulevard, putting much of downtown within easy reach of future residents. The Financial District is nearby, as is the Theater District. Many of the buildings are part of the National Historic Register, as is much of the area.
The sale was handled for both the buyer and seller by Colliers International Inc.’s Detroit office. The seller, P & B Investments Inc. manages properties in Southeast Michigan and South Florida. It had owned the building for under two years; for most of that time, the building was vacant.