The installation of one of Detroit’s largest blade signs completed the final touches of a $40 million renovation project at a former Cadillac showroom Friday.
The historic building, located at 6001 Cass Ave. and designed by legendary Detroit industrial architect Albert Kahn, is now home to Tata Technologies’ North American headquarters and collaborative workspace company WeWork.
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The renovation is one of many projects spearheaded by development company The Platform. The building is located in the heart of TechTown and is kitty-corner from the Pistons Performance Center.
The interior of an Albert Kahn designed building that leads into WeWork, located at at 6001 Cass Avenue in the Tech Town neighborhood of Detroit on Friday, Nov. 13, 2020. The building that once housed Cadillac LaSalle is now home to WeWork, a workplace solution company and Tata Technologies Inc., part of the Engineering Services Industry. (Photo: Mandi Wright, Detroit Free Press)
The new vertical blade sign replicates the old Cadillac LaSalle sign that clung onto the side of the building more than 75 years ago, according to a news release. The new 44-feet tall sign is four-stories long and 21-feet wide.
Detroit was filled with buildings that adorned vertical blade signs, according to a news release. However, an ordinance limited the use of these signs, and most hang off historic movie theaters now rather than corporate buildings.
According to IdentiCom Sign Solutions, a company based in Farmington Hills, a blade sign projects on a building facade, storefront pole or is attached to a surface perpendicular to the flow of traffic.
“This sign celebrates a complete restoration of this historic building, a project that we are incredibly proud of,” said Andrew Sherman, senior development manager at The Platform.
The structure was built in 1927 as the Cadillac LaSalle Sales and Service Building. The front windows used to showcase cars, and there was even a service center garage for Cadillac clients.
Developers converted this space into four available retail spots for shops or restaurants. There’s also a possibility Wayne State will house an art gallery in one of the spaces.
Dustin Poisson, 29, of Detroit, reads while he waits for colleagues to join him at WeWork in an Albert Kahn building, located at 6001 Cass Avenue, in Detroit on Friday, Nov. 13, 2020. The building that once housed Cadillac LaSalle is now home to WeWork, a workplace solution company and Tata Technologies Inc., part of the Engineering Services Industry. (Photo: Mandi Wright, Detroit Free Press)
The Platform tried to preserve the building’s historical integrity. Sherman said the building receives historic tax credits from the government, so there’s certain preservation requirements the development company needs to follow.
The second floor shows the building’s automotive roots. A white plaster ceiling stretches across the room with details of the Cadillac logo and Mediterranean-inspired illustrations embossed into it.
In 2019, Tata Technologies moved its headquarters from Novi to the top floor of the building. The global engineering and consulting firm occupies about 22,000 square feet of space.
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The other large tenant in the building is WeWork, which occupies 90,000 square feet of space. WeWork offers collaborative work spaces, individual office pods and breakout rooms for startups, freelancers, small businesses and even large enterprises. WeWork has two other locations in the city.
Dustin Poisson, 29, is a videographer for media company What is Art. He uses the studio spaces in the WeWork Cass Avenue location and said he finds himself being more productive in the building rather than working at home.
“Especially since I have two dogs at home, it’s easier to get away from the everyday life a little bit and come here and focus on work, and then go home when I need to,” he said.
Wayne State’s criminal justice program used to be in the 135,000-square-foot building before The Platform purchased it in June 2018.
“We are honored to celebrate our great tenants who have joined us in the greater New Center area and contribute to the growing energy and momentum in this part of Detroit,” Sherman said.
Contact Slone Terranella at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @SloneTerranella.
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