An Albert Kahn-designed building on Lafayette and Third in downtown Detroit is open again. The Walker-Roehrig Building, which was home to WWJ for years, is now the Cambria Detroit Downtown Hotel. We toured the redesigned building at a Grand Opening celebration this week.

Looking into the Sala Ballroom from the mezzanineRobin Runyan

The new hotel has been years in the making; the first plans for the development called for new condos. A couple years later, the development team decided to turn it into a hotel and offices. During the pandemic, the team realized the need for offices wasn't as strong as before, but people were looking for more experiences. The hotel includes a new restaurant, event spaces, a rooftop and lobby bar, a taco shop, and Five Iron Golf, giving visitors a range of entertainment options inside the building. 

The developers on the project are Koucar Management, Holdwick Land Development LLC, and the Means Group. Eric Means, who had been part of the development since the beginning, died tragically in 2020; his wife Tracy, who spoke at the Grand Opening, has led the Means Group since. 

"His vision for Detroit was to create projects, like this Cambria Hotel, that would attract people from all over the world," she said of her late husband.

Cambria Detroit

The hotel opened earlier this year, but construction wasn't complete on all the components until now. Joseph Caradonna, Co-Founder and Principal, Koucar Management, says that they opened in phases, with the hotel tower first, and they hosted weddings and corporate events this summer.

"We really haven't pushed leisure travel yet because our restaurant wasn't open," he says. "But our main restaurant, Cibo, opens to the public November 1." Now that guests can experience all the hotel has to offer, they're excited to welcome more of the general public to the hotel.

The Sala Ballroom, which can hold larger events, has a black and white carpet and dance floor, along with glass chandeliers. It also has a mezzanine overlooking it, with rooms behind the mezzanine where brides can get ready for their wedding. Balla Lounge, a space next door, offers space for smaller events or extra space for bigger events. 

The room where Sala is located was once an auditorium for WWJ; the mezzanine had been covered and was revealed during construction. The hallway leading into Balla still has the lighting board that ran power into the studio. 

The old lighting board leading into the new Balla Lounge.Robin Runyan

Downstairs, Five Iron Golf has golf simulators, duck pin bowling, large TV screens, plus food and beverage options and space for events. 

The lobby for the hotel is on the third floor, along with Beve, the lobby bar and the Cielo Rooftop Lounge. Beve has peacock motifs, striking patterns, and jewel tones, highlighting the Art Deco design that can be seen throughout the building.

Beve, off the hotel lobbyCambria Detroit

The 154-room hotel is new construction with a courtyard and fitness room for guests. The rooms themselves have chaise lounges, bluetooth connections, and room to work. The suites have an additional seating and dining area, as well as two bathrooms. 

A suite in the Cambria Detroit Hotel.Cambria Detroit

The hotel is located a few blocks from Huntington Place on the west side of downtown. Additional photos can be seen in the gallery at the top of the page.