Construction starts on project to redevelop Detroit's historic, but empty Whitney Building
Building to be turned into boutique hotel with apartments, restaurants
Construction has begun to redevelop downtown Detroit's historic, but empty David Whitney Building.
Once work is completed, the 19-story Woodward Avenue property will include a 136-room Aloft Detroit hotel and 105 one- and two-bedroom apartment units.
Gov. Rick Snyder switched on a ceremonial light during an event Thursday in the Whitney's expansive atrium, which is in disrepair and features graffiti.
The Republican governor says the property "was a problem for a lot of years" and now represents an opportunity.
Snyder says he hopes the work being done at the Whitney will lead to redevelopment projects elsewhere in the city.
The $82 million redevelopment project also will include the addition of a restaurant, lounge, fitness center and banquet space.
Read more: Dan Gilbert to unveil downtown Detroit development plan Thursday
Slideshow: Inside the Whitney Building during "The Next Big Thing" event in 2011