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  1. #26

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    They could sell it with a lease back option.

    DPS paid $23 million for the purchase of 3 floors of the Fisher.
    I guess there was no empty schools that they could have used.

    Fisher has quite a few very long term tenants that are locked in other then minimum yearly adjustments which leaves little room to raise revenues.

    Miami Vice started buying and rehabbing the deco buildings of south beach to use as sets,at that time they could have been bought under $100 k ,even so the piles of drug money would have cleaned it up even if it was a place to park it,

  2. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by animatedmartian View Post
    But what does any of that have to do with Wayne County?
    My question was whether downtown is going to lose more government jobs. If the jobs are moved from the Guardian from the sale of the building, it could be moved out of downtown to anywhere in Wayne County.

  3. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    They could sell it with a lease back option.
    They could, but the OP's article said the employees from a sold building will go elsewhere: "... Jackson said the county will be selling buildings and those employees will have to go somewhere."

  4. #29

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    "More convenient for many WC residents, but a lot less convenient for many more WC residents. More than half of the county's residents live east of Telegraph. At best, Dearborn would be the only suburb that would make sense, but even then that's not really any less traffic because there's fewer freeways going through that area.

    Say if WC moved to an area near Ford HQ and pretty much the only option would be Southfield Freeway or a surface street."[/QUOTE from Animatedmartian's post.]

    Is the Adoba Hotel at Michigan Avenue and Southfield Freeway being considered here?
    They were recently spared from closing from not being able to pay Wayne County back taxes.
    Last edited by Dumpling; May-02-15 at 08:19 PM.

  5. #30

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    Each county in Michigan has a county seat.... and that is Detroit, so that means that the jobs will not move outside the city limits.

  6. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeg19 View Post
    One of the most incredibly beautiful buildings inside and out, not only in Detroit, but the entire United States.

    I find it laughable everytime I pick up a book on "greatest architecture" or "most influential buildings built", the Guardian (and maybe to a lesser extent the Penobscot and Fisher buildings) get no love from the national architecture critics. Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever seen a book regarding architecture that gives any reference to a Detroit building (save for books specifically on Detroit area architecture.) It's like they go "Hmm, Detroit? Nothing there. Moving on."
    During the most recent Superbowl, a journalist from NYC and photographer from Chicago (who are friends) began to explore Detroit's deco. What they saw surprised and amazed them, this would inspire them to team up and publish a book titled:American City: Detroit Architecture, 1845-2005

    http://www.theamericancity.com/detroit-architecture.html


    While the book focuses strictly on Detroit, the writers are from 2 of our major US cities with many Deco buildings of their own. Good book, I've sat and checked it out numerous times at my public library.

  7. #32

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    Yes, the Guardian Building is historic and gorgeous – everyone agrees with that.

    The real question is WHY it might be for sale, again.

    How many of you clicked onto the Crain’s article in Zads07 post (#14 – page1) and then clicked onto the link to the O’Keefe report?
    http://www.crainsdetroit.com/assets/PDF/CD99317430.PDF

    Some interesting reading.

    No oversight of real estate operations: “…the County does not have a centralized real estate management department that oversees the County’s asset and property management, acquisition, disposition, leasing and maintenance of its properties.”

    Other Class A buildings downtown are nearly full – why not the Guardian?: “The Guardian is the most underutilized facility in the County’s portfolio. The County presently occupies less than 40% of the building and another 25% of it sits vacant.”

    Cost overruns – now owes $60 million bond: “In 2007, the County agreed to purchase the historic art deco themed Guardian Building for $14 million. It subsequently spent an additional $39 million to renovate and relocate its headquarters….”

    Poor strategic policy: “To have invested County funds into such a massive structure only to lease it out to third parties is not a County governmental function.”

    Nobody thought of this before? “It is highly likely that the cost of leasing such space would be significantly less than the sum of its current debt service coupled with the operating costs of the building."

    Not obvious to them: It is fairly obvious that there are a number of possible scenarios for consolidating offices into the Guardian Building, terminating leases, selling excess properties and closing inefficient or duplicative facilities that will save operating costs and reduce the deficit.

    Remind you of the Fail Jail? “Clearly this building is significantly underutilized and probably never should have been purchased for its intended use by the County.”

    Again, worth reading the report.

  8. #33

  9. #34

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    Thats the best they could come up with for seating? $5 Ikea plastic chairs.

    Rolls Royce useing milk crates for seating is next.

    They did say they were just throwing the thought of sale out there which means little,makes one wonder if they have a subcontracted firm making the real estate consultation ,one does not just buy a building and dump $50 million into it on the call of the janitor.There has to be someone in the background making and putting it all together.Kinda looks like a friends n family plan county style,on the surface anyway.

  10. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dbest View Post
    I think the Gaurdian has the most bricks of any building or its the tallest brick building in the U.S., maybe both? Anyone remember?
    Albi Cathedral (France) is said to be the world's largest brick building:



    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albi_Cathedral

    The organ (reconstructed) has a notable Choeur des Bombardes:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPGDiA3fidA

    <wave!> to 56packman and Gistok
    Last edited by beachboy; May-06-15 at 06:42 PM.

  11. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dbest View Post
    Unfortunately most people outside of Detroit aren't familiar with the Guardians interior, I doubt there are too many that rival its beauty in the US. Pictures dont even tell half the story of the arcade in the Guardian.You have to experience the colors in person. I LOVE THE PLACE.. Rowland's work is untouchable.

    Here's some more about Architect Wirt Rowland and his famous buildings, large and small:

    http://ilovedetroitmichigan.com/detr...ort-biography/
    THE ACHITECTS OF RECORD FOR UNION TRUST/GUARDIAN BUILDING ARE SMITH, HINCHMAN & GRYLLS. Wirt Rowland was JUST an employee although the chief designer. Rowland would never have been involved with the project if he had not been employed by SHG. Also my research has revealed that Rowland may not have been as involved with the design as we have been led to believe. Donaldson & Meier were involved as associate architects and through my research I have found they were very involved in the design. Also I have seen a couple sets of plans prepared by Rowland, he did not sign them architect, which is something EVERY registered architect in the state does! I need to go to Lansing to look up to see if Rowland was even a registered architect.

    Included is an image from a 1929 issue of Michigan Architect and Engineer. Notice the architects of record and associate architects.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by p69rrh51; May-06-15 at 10:58 PM.

  12. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by p69rrh51 View Post
    THE ACHITECTS OF RECORD FOR UNION TRUST/GUARDIAN BUILDING ARE SMITH, HINCHMAN & GRYLLS. Wirt Rowland was JUST an employee although the chief designer. Rowland would never have been involved with the project if he had not been employed by SHG. Also my research has revealed that Rowland may not have been as involved with the design as we have been led to believe. Donaldson & Meier were involved as associate architects and through my research I have found they were very involved in the design. Also I have seen a couple sets of plans prepared by Rowland, he did not sign them architect, which is something EVERY registered architect in the state does! I need to go to Lansing to look up to see if Rowland was even a registered architect.

    Included is an image from a 1929 issue of Michigan Architect and Engineer. Notice the architects of record and associate architects.
    I looked up the info, you are right. He was the "designer" for the Guardian. Thanks for clarifying that. Although there may be varying accounts of how active he was in the process, I found this tidbit that leads me to believe he was heavily involved;

    "And that’s not the only rare marble in the lobby. Numidian marble was chosen for its unusual blood-red color. No mines in the world quarried it at the time, so Rowland went to Africa, where a mine that had been closed for 30 years was reopened just long enough for Rowland to pick out the marble he needed for the lobby."

    http://www.historicdetroit.org/building/guardian-building/


  13. #38

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    Rowland was already acclaimed when he was chosen for the project. i say chosen because Union Trust head Frank Blair picked him to design his building. Maybe SHG got the project because it employed Rowland? Rowland was involved in the arts and craft community and was known to mix elements of this into his designs. By the looks of the place its obvious.

    Heres a read that may shine some light for you because i think you are mistaken;

    https://books.google.com/books?id=QJ...ilding&f=false

  14. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dbest View Post
    Rowland was already acclaimed when he was chosen for the project. i say chosen because Union Trust head Frank Blair picked him to design his building. Maybe SHG got the project because it employed Rowland? Rowland was involved in the arts and craft community and was known to mix elements of this into his designs. By the looks of the place its obvious.

    Heres a read that may shine some light for you because i think you are mistaken;

    https://books.google.com/books?id=QJ...ilding&f=false
    I have read that book and quite a bit of it is wrong. The author of the book did not research the book as thoroughly as he should have. If you go through request for bids for the building almost 1/3 were requested by Donaldson & Meier. What the author did was regurgitate the party line established by W. Hawkins Ferry 47 years ago. Ferry set Rowland's reputation in cement and nobody has looked beyond it. On the other hand Ferry does list SHG as the architects of record in Buildings of Detroit. Again with a project as large as this Rowland would NEVER have been able to help in the design without the resources of SHG.
    Last edited by p69rrh51; May-07-15 at 11:08 AM.

  15. #40

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    That blue ribbon report for the county recommending that it move was ABSURD.

    If they are so in deep on the Guardian, it makes sense to wait for its value to go up, and let it pay for itself. Downtown is on the fast track to higher land values and a hotter market. Why bail now? That's clueless.

    And the official recommendation was 'build a self-contained campus in New Center.' What does that even mean? Isn't the Guardian self-containing. And what building in New Center would be more "campusy." There are no empty buildings in New Center, and in fact, as Crain's analysis pointed out, there's probably not even a building with sufficient empty space for the county in New Center. So this entails building new. How in the hell could cashing out early on Guardian and building new in New Center be financially sound? The blue ribbon report drafters must have a buddy with some empty land in New Center...

    To cite 'expensive parking' as the reason why county HQ should move out of downtown is also absurd. I skimmed that report and it is shockingly bad...I am sorry if the county paid for that.

  16. #41

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    Remember, the State of Michigan building on the west side of the Lodge Freeway is sitting there empty and it has adjacent parking lots.

  17. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dbest View Post
    I looked up the info, you are right. He was the "designer" for the Guardian. Thanks for clarifying that. Although there may be varying accounts of how active he was in the process, I found this tidbit that leads me to believe he was heavily involved;

    "And that’s not the only rare marble in the lobby. Numidian marble was chosen for its unusual blood-red color. No mines in the world quarried it at the time, so Rowland went to Africa, where a mine that had been closed for 30 years was reopened just long enough for Rowland to pick out the marble he needed for the lobby."

    http://www.historicdetroit.org/building/guardian-building/

    Sounds like he was a good decorator. My research points to Rowland's involvement is not at the level that is generally believed today. When I started to find the information I was not even looking into the Guardian. I pretty much stumbled across the info. researching other projects around town. Up to that point my view of the building was it was well researched and I did not have to spend my time looking into the background of the building. What I have found is we (including me) know very little about the background of the Guardian.

  18. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mackinaw View Post
    That blue ribbon report for the county recommending that it move was ABSURD.

    If they are so in deep on the Guardian, it makes sense to wait for its value to go up, and let it pay for itself. Downtown is on the fast track to higher land values and a hotter market. Why bail now? That's clueless.

    And the official recommendation was 'build a self-contained campus in New Center.' What does that even mean? Isn't the Guardian self-containing. And what building in New Center would be more "campusy." There are no empty buildings in New Center, and in fact, as Crain's analysis pointed out, there's probably not even a building with sufficient empty space for the county in New Center. So this entails building new. How in the hell could cashing out early on Guardian and building new in New Center be financially sound? The blue ribbon report drafters must have a buddy with some empty land in New Center...

    To cite 'expensive parking' as the reason why county HQ should move out of downtown is also absurd. I skimmed that report and it is shockingly bad...I am sorry if the county paid for that.
    The second sentence of the report reads...
    We have not been paid for our services and Wayne County did not solicit our services.
    And yes.. I'd imagine it was done for a reason that has nothing whatsoever to do with what's best for the county...although there is an awful lot in there about how the county manages property and how much this deal stunk that is depressing in the breadth of the stupidity of the county leadership. Maroun own large tracts in new center?
    Last edited by bailey; May-07-15 at 11:40 AM.

  19. #44

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    Art and architecture books tend to only cite the works that alter the course of the field a degree or two. That also provides both the author and a reader with a narrative with which to chart the history of the subject.

    For example almost no book cites the Guardian or Penobscot, but they almost always cite Saarinen's unbuilt Chicago Tribune design because so many buildings followed its style. While I love the Guardian, it's just a lavish example of a style, but not a trendsetter.

  20. #45

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    Hmmm….. Wayne County is now pursuing an RFP to find a real estate broker to market the 461,102 sq.ft. building. http://www.detroitnews.com/story/new...sale/28710131/

    They need a sale price of at least $60 million just to pay off the existing bond debt on the building. Besides that, the county also needs to fund a $910 million deficit of the Wayne County Employees Retirement System.

    At $60 million that translates into a sale price of $130 psf – a VERY high price for a building that is 24% vacant. For comparison purposes Gilbert paid a little less than $100 psf for the One Detroit Center building a few months ago.

    And why does this jewel of a building have so much vacancy when of rest of downtown office buildings are nearly full? Who is managing this place?

    We’ll see how this plays out.
    Last edited by Packman41; June-09-15 at 10:53 AM.

  21. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    DPS paid $23 million for the purchase of 3 floors of the Fisher.
    I guess there was no empty schools that they could have used.
    I'm a little late on a reply...

    But yes, it so frustrating that they thought they deserved big, flashy, high profile place to work when the rest of the district is in shambles.

    Many smaller suburban school districts had their admin buildings in former elementary schools (with the whole building dedicated to administration) and are now consolidating even more, by moving administration into unused wings of high schools and middle schools, and then closing and selling the old admin building.

    Madison has done this, and Ferndale is in the process of doing this.

  22. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by Packman41 View Post
    Hmmm….. Wayne County is now pursuing an RFP to find a real estate broker to market the 461,102 sq.ft. building. http://www.detroitnews.com/story/new...sale/28710131/

    They need a sale price of at least $60 million just to pay off the existing bond debt on the building. Besides that, the county also needs to fund a $910 million deficit of the Wayne County Employees Retirement System.

    At $60 million that translates into a sale price of $130 psf – a VERY high price for a building that is 24% vacant. For comparison purposes Gilbert paid a little less than $100 psf for the One Detroit Center building a few months ago.

    And why does this jewel of a building have so much vacancy when of rest of downtown office buildings are nearly full? Who is managing this place?
    It's owned and operated by Wayne County... does it surprise you it's under-occupied and badly managed?

  23. #48

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    A buyer needs to happen before the end of the year.

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