Last week, it was announced the the Elia Group is purchasing 511 Woodward—the “footstool” of the Guardian Building—from Wayne County for $4.65 million. This unusual building hasn’t been used in a long time, and plans call for office space and a possible welcome center and restaurant on the ground floor.
Now we have an idea of what the building could look like after the $9 million renovation. Gone is the reflective dark facade on the current building. Instead, passers-by will be able to see into and interact with the building.
The ground floor completely opens up to the sidewalk, and the upper floors have some rooms with walls of windows overlooking the street—even some that jut out over it.
This lighter look should complement its neighbor—the Guardian Building—as well as make use of the space.
Of course, these are early renderings and subject to change. But Zaid Elia has said, “We intend to completely modify the glass, change the entire façade of the building, make it more modern, approachable, exciting and unique in the sense that it’s the only building that’s not a high rise in that area and that gives us the unique opportunity to stand out.”
Efforts have been made recently to make this area more walkable. Most notably, the Woodward Esplanade was added/enhanced last year to create a walkway between Campus Martius and Hart Plaza. Spirit Plaza, at the intersection of Woodward and Jefferson, closed off traffic to make that space open for public use.
The Elia Group also purchased the Ford Building in recent years, along with the building with the Anchor Bar.
More news should be available on 511 Woodward after the approval of the sale by Wayne County.