Historic Detroit fire headquarters to be converted into upscale hotel

Fire Department HQ
Old Detroit Fire Department headquarters. Photos by Steve Neavling

The historic Detroit Fire Department headquarters downtown will be converted into a 100-room upscale hotel, investors announced Wednesday.

Fire Department HQ
Windows on the FD HQ.

Chicago-based Aparium Hotel Groups, which has undergone successful hotel projects in Wisconsin and Kentucky, said the $28 million project is appealing because the neoclassical building sits across the street from Cobo Center, which attracts tens of thousands of out-of-town visitors a year.

It’s unclear how much money the city received for the historic headquarters, which was one of the first to be built without space to accommodate horses when it was completed in 1929 at 250 W. Larned. At the time, fast-growing Detroit had one of the largest fire departments in the country.
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The building has stood largely empty since fire administrators moved to a new headquarters that is combined with police. Firefighters moved out several years ago because of budget cuts.

The city is still looking for someone to purchase the block-long, eight-story Detroit Police headquarters that was designed by famed local architect Albert Kahn.

Ornate trim on the exterior.
Ornate trim on the exterior.

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.