A new deal will bring a 600-800 room hotel on the West Riverfront next to Huntington Place. First reported by Crain's, the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority (which oversees Huntington Place) and Sterling Group are entering into an agreement for the redevelopment project. 

This project includes:

  • A new 600-800 room hotel built by Sterling Group next to the convention center (they're currently building a residential tower on the site, which is the former home of the Joe Louis Arena);
  • The extension of Second Avenue further down toward the river; 
  • A new 30,000-square-foot ballroom at Huntington Place;
  • and expanded parking at Huntington Place.

A memorandum of understanding is in place and development plans will start to materialize. In order for certain renovations to happen at Huntington Place, they needed some of the land owned by Sterling Group, who is redeveloping the neighboring Joe Louis Arena site. 

Funding was approved by the state late last year that would allow the convention authority to do the redevelopment project.

Crain's reports that Claude Molinari, board chairman and president and CEO of Visit Detroit, says:

"It's a clear and bold statement that we mean business when it comes to meetings, convention centers and sporting events," Molinari said of the deal. "We also think that it's an indication to the entire industry of meetings, conventions and events that Detroit is a real player. The success of drawing events in the last two years has reinforced that we need to continue to build."

Multiple hotels are on the development horizon in downtown Detroit and surrounding neighborhoods. In Corktown, the Godfrey Hotel will open this year and a hotel component is included in the redevelopment of Michigan Central. The Hudson's site will also have a hotel in its tower. Olympia and Related Companies' new District Detroit plan has a new hotel going in next to the Little Caesars Arena, plus offices in the Fox Theater converted into a hotel. The Cambria Hotel is set to open on the west side of downtown this year, while another hotel will also open in the redevelopment of Book Tower. 

Many business leaders have noted that downtown has a lack of hotel rooms, and more rooms would mean Detroit could land some bigger events.

The West Riverfront is rapidly changing. Sterling Group's 25-story residential tower continues to rise at the old Joe Louis site. On the other side of the Riverfront Towers, the Ralph C. Wilson Park is currently under construction. 

No timetable or budget details for the Huntington Place project have been released.