Alden Towers is having a much-needed identity crisis.
The apartment complex on Jefferson and Van Dyke in Detroit's Gold Coast neighborhood held a reopening event Thursday night to unveil renovations on one of four towers. The other three will be remodeled in the next year and a half, completing $5 million in rehab.
That leaves the buildings with 92 finished units, 45 units in progress and another 245 to start on.
When Denver-based Triton Properties purchased the foreclosed property for $2 million in 2011, the building was severely neglected after a failed redevelopment effort by The Northern Group. The 1923 complex was notorious for trapping renters and plenty of squatters in elevators.
"It was a free-for-all," says Luke Davis, director of real estate for Triton. "All the doors were wide open. Some of the units hadn't been lived in for years."
After safeguarding the property with cameras and security, Triton rehabbed units in Tower A, gutted the leasing office, redecorated the lobby, cleaned up the riverfront area, and installed a fitness center, business center and library.
"There was tons of historical charm hidden at the time behind layers of neglect," says Davis.
Architecture firm Kraemer Design Group was tasked with updating the interior while keeping the historic building in line with preservation standards. The group left some original features, like closets and moldings, but updated what was beyond repair. Studios, one bedrooms and two bedrooms will rent for $650 to $1150 a month.
The main floor decor reflects the building's nine-decade heritage, combining some stunningly modern pieces with charmingly old eccentricities.
Lucite chairs sit beneath stained glass windows. Sleek, minimal leather couches are flanked by velvet curtains. Bold modern carpet in the lobby neighbors original 1920-era tiling in the hallways.
Renters have been living in the building throughout construction, leaving as their leases expired or moving units to accommodate renovations. Currently, 72 units are occupied.