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Former Detroit Life Building on Park Avenue to Undergo Historic Renovation

Renovation of the exterior of the nearly 100-year-old Detroit Life Building is continuing as part of Olympia Development of Michigan’s planned redevelopment of several historic buildings in The District Detroit.

The building, named for the Detroit Life Insurance Company, opened in the 1920s at 2210 Park Ave. It is being transformed into 32,000 square feet of Class A office space and 6,000 square feet of street-level retail.

The architecturally rich building, designed by Arnold & Shreve in the neoclassical Beaux-Arts style, features reinforced concrete, steel and limestone cladding. Detroit-based design firm and rehabilitation specialist Kraemer Design Group is leading the $17 million restoration to revive the building’s original splendor.

Recently, workers removed the aging concrete cornice and began replacing it with a historically accurate replica made of modern materials.

This spring, crews from RAM Construction Services began working on masonry restoration, which involves patching, replacing and installing brick, cast stone and limestone material on the 10-story building. The façade makeover, which also includes extensive cleaning, is expected to be completed later this year. Additional exterior renovation will include the rehabilitation and reinstallation of the building’s fire escape by Detroit-based Sav’s Welding Services.

The building’s full interior “core and shell” renovation will include roof and window replacement, elevator installation and other mechanical, electrical and plumbing upgrades. The area surrounding the building will also boast new sidewalks, street lighting and landscaping.

The project is among three historic restoration ventures announced as part of Phase II of The District Detroit development. The remaining historic projects include the renovation of the former Women’s City Club building at 2110 Park Avenue and the former Albert Kahn-designed Detroit Creamery Factory building at 1922 Cass Ave.

About The District Detroit

The District Detroit is a dynamic urban destination in the heart of Detroit. One that includes something for everyone—a dense neighborhood experience with a variety of developments alongside Detroit’s premier sports and entertainment venues. Connecting downtown Detroit to growing nearby neighborhoods such as Midtown, Corktown and Brush Park, The District Detroit is having a dramatic economic impact on Detroit and is a driving catalyst of the city’s remarkable resurgence. The District Detroit will deliver $1.4 billion in new investment to Detroit including the new Little Caesars Arena, Mike Ilitch School of Business at Wayne State University and Little Caesars world headquarters campus expansion. Additionally, new office, residential and retail spaces will continue to add momentum to Detroit’s amazing comeback for years to come.