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Developers Secure $73 million to Convert Vacant Pick-Fort Shelby Hotel
 in Downtown Detroit Into an All Suites Hotel, Convention Center
By Kortney Stringer, Detroit Free PressMcClatchy-Tribune Business News

Dec. 22, 2006 - Developers secured $73 million in financing this week to convert the storied but vacant and rundown Pick-Fort Shelby Hotel in downtown Detroit into an all-suites hotel, convention center, upscale restaurant and high-rise apartments.

With financing in place, developers plan to begin construction by the end of next month. The target opening for the hotel portion, owned by Hilton Hotels Corp., is winter 2007.

In addition to a 204-room Doubletree Guest Suites hotel, the building is to have a Finn & Porter restaurant, a 30,000-square-foot convention center and 63 apartments, with opening complete by the third quarter of 2008.

"We're excited to be in a closing position right now," said Emmett Moten Jr., CEO of the Moten Group of Detroit, one of four developers for the hotel.

Detroit's Downtown Development Authority accepted the historic easement on the renovation, which will ensure that developers maintain the building's design.

Along with projects including renovation taking place at the Westin-Book Cadillac, the Shelby plan is part of a push for more hotel rooms in downtown Detroit.

Moten also said the Pick-Fort Shelby building, on Lafayette between First and Second streets, could be part of a neighborhood association including Detroit Newspapers.

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Copyright (c) 2006, Detroit Free Press

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