Plan: Restore Detroit Boat Club, transform into boutique hotel

Detroit Boat Club

The derelict Detroit Boat Club may undergo a transformation before it eventually sinks into the river.

A Hong Kong-based investor wants to return the historic jewel on Belle Isle to its original beauty and create a boutique hotel with 100 to 120 rooms.
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Jimmy Lai, owner of the Vintage Hotel group, is proposing a $40 million makeover that would include several restaurants and restored docks.

And he’s pledging to allow the oldest operating rowing group in the country to continue using the facility, according to the Detroit News.

City and state officials said there’s a renewed interest in Belle Isle after the state recently took over management of the island park.

Lai’s proposal is in the early stages and requires negotiations with state and city officials to lease the building.

Click here¬†for more on the Boat Club’s history and for more photos.

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.

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