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Huntington Place

Detroit, MI

Huntington Place (formerly Cobo Center), was in need of an upgrade - starting with opening the building to the Detroit River and the redeveloped riverfront. The exterior facade facing the river was demolished and replaced with a glass curtain wall, providing some of the best views of downtown, the river, and Canada. On the opposite side of the building, a state-of-the-art electronic screen system was incorporated into the facade to draw attention to the center.

Another significant feature of this renovation was the adaptive reuse of the former Arena, which once hosted sports teams and performances, into the new 40,000 sq. ft. Grand River Ballroom. The transformation involved the complete removal of the arena ceiling, ice rink, and seating areas with the structure still intact. A portion of the existing arena structure was removed and then re-supported on a new structural system to accommodate the new atrium.

A new floor level was created, and the ballroom was placed on the facility’s second level. With seating for 5,000, the ballroom is surrounded with an exterior glass curtain wall, and complete with a food court and supporting back-of-house spaces. The ballroom sits over a newly created meeting room space and is flanked by a new three-story atrium that visually and physically connects the inside to the riverfront.

Over five years, multiple phases of renovation and expansion occurred in collaboration with several partners to make the center safer, leaner, and greener. This work immediately resulted in certification from APEX-ASTM for sustainable conferences, and more recently, it received LEED certification for existing buildings. The revitalization of this landmark facility honors its legacy and ensures its longevity. With additional improvements underway, this venue is a significant fixture in the City of Detroit’s resurgence.


APEX-ASTM Certification for Sustainable Conferences, LEED Certification for Existing Buildings

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