The Complex

Prototypes / Design → Interiors / 21,900 SQ. FT.

The Challenge

Passion for Detroit defines Jonathan Hartzell, Rick Stanza, and their development firm Detroit Rising. For the past several years, they have been working on projects designed to bring businesses and people to the Midtown area, just west of Downtown Detroit.

The Journey

Their first idea was to use re-purposed shipping containers as they had with the first phase of the development, a food hall and entertainment venue known as Detroit Shipping Company. When modifying the containers for use as stacked retail and office spaces turned out to be more costly than anticipated, they reached out to NewGround for a design that would feel cohesive with the first phase, but meet the tight budget and keep the project on its original timeline.

The Destination

The building is meant to serve entrepreneurial retailers and office startups who need affordable space and want to be part of the up and coming community. The first floor features small, independent retailers, while the second and third floors contain office space for start-up companies of various sizes. NewGround’s interdisciplinary design team used conventional steel construction and an industrial aesthetic to keep costs down, while still featuring some repurposed shipping containers to tie the two phases together. The new design creates a strong street presence that brings life back to what was a gap in the urban community.