A project many development enthusiasts and historic preservationists have had their eyes on has officially started. A new 10-story building will go up on Woodward, connected to the Bonstelle Theatre, which will be restored. 

The new build will house the AC Hotel at the Bonstelle, which will add 154 hotel rooms just north of downtown. The 10-story building will be connected by a new 4,000-square-foot glass-enclosed conservatory to the Bonstelle Theatre. The historic building will be an event and performance space, with a bar and private event space.

The $49 million project is led by the Roxbury Group, who have undertaken numerous development projects around the city, including the restorations of the David Whitney Building and the Metropolitan Building. Roxbury is partnering with Atlanta's Peachtree Group on development. 

“We are very excited to be bringing the AC Hotels brand to Detroit, and to be doing so in such grand fashion with the connection to the Bonstelle,” said David Di Rita, principal of the Roxbury Group. “We take a great deal of pride in pairing high-end hospitality with iconic historic properties, and we are honored to be restoring the beauty of the Bonstelle and seamlessly integrating it with the modern sensibility of AC Hotels.”

Construction is led by Sachse Construction, with  design by Stantec, interior design by Patrick Thompson Design, and hospitality managed Azul Hospitality. 

The Bonstelle Theatre was originally the Temple Beth El synagogue; it was designed by Albert Kahn and dates back to 1903. In 1925, the synagogue moved north on Woodward and the building was redesigned as a theatre by architect C. Howard Crane. Wayne State acquired the theatre, also known as the Bonstelle Playhouse, in 1951, and it was decommissioned in 2018. 

The development is located at Woodward and Eliot, within walking distance from Little Caesars Arena, Comerica Park, the Fox Theatre, and Midtown. It's also close to the larger City Club development planned at Woodward and Mack. 

The AC Hotel Detroit is expected to open in 2024.