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Exploring Broderick Tower

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Continued from Part Two

Here's what most of you have probably been waiting for: The views from the tower.

Ford Field from the tower


The sun sets over downtown


The Renaissance Center


Looking out on downtown through a penthouse door.


This view pretty much framed itself.


The sun slips behind the clouds.


The Opera House demolition is occuring on the left, while the new YMCA rises in the center.


The Metropolitan Building


Old buildings along Woodward Avenue


Looking down


The Financial District




Renaissance Center


Washington Boulevard


Book Tower


The West Side of Grand Circus Park




Looking north towards New Center


Looking northwest


Ford Field



Part One

Part Two

Part Three

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Great photos Allan! The shots with the broken windows are great, it's not something you see everyday! It's amazing that such a tower is going unused...seems like such a waste.

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Awesome tour Allan. I know that you mentioned that work is going to begin to transform Broderick Tower into condos or apartments. Is that going to begin soon?

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Thanks guys!

The tower renovation is supposed to start in about one year. The city wants something done with the building, since right now it is considered to be a huge "eyesore." City council had a six hour meeting two weeks ago specifically to discuss this building. They are trying to get things moving. The renovation was supposed to start in 2000, but it got caught up in the city bureaucracy.

Here are some more photos:

Renaissance Center through broken glass


The abandoned Metropolitan Building (which will be converted into lofts)


Book Tower


The Statler Hotel is being demolished


Another view off to the north


I always wonder if anyone saw me hang out the window to get photos like this


David Whitney Building


One final skyline shot


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Very nice Allan! As always I enjoy your photo tours of Detroit. Your tours of the Broderick have been fascinating. Both here and what you have shown me offline.

These are some of the best photos of Detroit that I have ever seen.

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Fantastic photos Allan - its very interesting to see the inside of Broderick Tower. The Broderick and the Book tower are two of my favorite buildings in Detroit. Hopefully, it will get rehabbed soon.

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Ok, I just got back from the Broderick, and I was told that Hines will be moving in equipment for the renovation in three weeks (which unfortunately means no more cool photos from the top). It's good for the building, but bad for me. Mike Higgins has been trying to renovate the Broderick for almost fifteen years now.

Since Hines stepped in, the renovation has really been pushed along. The city had a six hour meeting about the building two weeks ago. Two city council members, Maryann Mahaffey and Sheila Cockrel, have really helped push this along. The renovation plans are mostly complete. I don't know the name of the architecture firm who is doing the plans, but I'll post it as soon as I find out.

The entrance to the building will be redone. The new entrance will be via the adjacent Madison Theater, which is an old theater that was completely gutted a couple of years back. The Madison Theater will be renovated into offices for the Broderick Tower Apartments, and it will also be home to the Broderick leasing offices. The lobby for the apartments will be on the third floor. The lower two floors of both the Broderick and the Madison will be retail. The first floor bar will remain, and they plan to restore the mezzanine within the next couple of weeks. They've been trying to do it for a while, but are relying on volunteer labor to tear out the dropped ceiling.

The upper floors of the Broderick will have somewhere between 100 & 150 apartments. They have decided on an exact number, but I don't know what it is yet. There will be 3-4 per floor, depending on the floor. They are still deciding what to do with the penthouse. They want to try and do either a club or restaurant up there. However, that would require a dedicated elevator, and currently the elevators stop on the 32nd floor. The 33rd and 34th floors make up the penthouse apartment, where Mike Higgins lived up until ten years ago.

The building will be connected to the underground parking garage in Grand Circus Park, much like they did with the Kales Building renovation on the northwest corner of the park. Currently a portion of the Grand Circus garage is walled off. They will open that up and those spaces will be leased to the tenants. The portion that is walled off is supposedly part of what was supposed to be the main terminal of the mysterious subway system that was apparently started, but never completed.

They are working on a way to add something to the top of the tower that will light up at night. They want something that will change colors. I don't know if I like that idea, but any lighting on the building is good, because downtown's buildings aren't very will lit at night.

The new elevators for the building have been ordered, and are apparently sitting over in the Ramada Inn downtown. I will check that out to see if it's true or not.

Mike Higgins owns the Chicken Shack next to the Broderick, as well as the Tall Ezz shoes and Club Bleu. Mike seems to think he's going to rent out the Chicken Shack for $8000 per month! He's crazy if he thinks that! We should see some work on the Tall Ezz shoes place soon though, since Mike just got the papers signed the other day.

As with all development in Detroit, it's not official until you can walk through the doors into the completed building. I do have a good feeling about this, however.

I did get some excellent photos tonight, which I will post later, but I have to read 150 pages and do a rendering of a site plan by 8:00, and it's almost 1:30. I really want to get a couple hours of sleep in there, but I doubt that'll happen!

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Hey Allan, any chance of going again before the reno. I know I'd be interested, as well as probably a few SSPers. I was kinda hoping to get some daytime photos this time around. Anyway, pm me or something.

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Check your PMs. I've been through all 193,000 square feet, but I'm always up for another return trip. I am basically a regular tour guide of the place - I've spent close to 50 hours exploring the building so far. In my experience, the night shots of the interior come out much better than the daytime ones, unless you were to go on a sunny day (which are hard to come by in Michigan this time of year).

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I just returned from Broderick Tower. They are still planning on starting the renovation in a week and a half to two weeks from now. The saga with Mike Higgins continues....Mike owns the Tavern on the Park, and he had his secretary use the Broderick checking account to pay for some other things related to the building. Because of that checks for to the gas and electric companies bounced when the bill was paid. So the electricity and gas at the Broderick will probably be shut off next week.

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