Project Description

The Metropolitan Building is a high-rise office building located on a triangular-lot, at 33 John R Street in downtown Detroit, Michigan, near Grand Circus Park. The building was built in 1924 and finished in 1925. It stands at 15 stories and was once occupied by shops, offices, and the facilities of jewelry manufacturers and wholesalers leading it to also be known as the “Jeweler’s Building”. The manufacture of luminous watch dials in the building left behind several toxic substances that have thwarted redevelopment plans. Architects Weston and Ellington designed it in a Neo-Gothic style. The exterior of the building is faced with brick, granite, and terra cotta.

The Metropolitan Building closed in 1977 and current plans call for development into lofts. In March 2010, the Downtown Development Authority voted to install safety scaffolding and netting on the building to prevent parts of the facade from falling.In September 2013, the city requested bids for removal of asbestos and other hazardous materials from the building to determine if it should be demolished or restored. The property was offered to Rock Ventures, owned by developer Dan Gilbert, however the company declined to take ownership of the structure. Earlier, Bruce Schwartz of Bedrock Real Estate Services, one of Rock Ventures subsidiaries, said that part of the building could be demolished to construct a public space, lofts and offices. However, he later said the company would be open to restoring the structure.

As of 2017, work is currently being done to clean up the Metropolitan Building. It seems that this could be another hotel with retail space coming to downtown Detroit.