Two James Spirits

The Two James Spirits Distillery has repurposed a large, vacant industrial space on Michigan Avenue into a spirits manufacturing plant and a trendy modern tasting room for their product. This project received the maximum funding award for the OTSC given the large scale and associated costs of the building renovation. Exterior renovations include new windows and garage doors, which are open during business hours and a unique iron sign depicting the Two James Spirits name. Two James Spirits is the first distillery in Detroit since the Prohibition era. We are excited to announce that the distillery opened late summer 2013 and has already begun its gin, vodka, and bourbon production to serve to the surrounding community and beyond.

For more completed project photos, please see the Two James Spirits Photo Gallery.

Detroit Institute of Bagels (DIB)

Where Downtown ends and Corktown begins is 1236 Michigan Avenue, a once abandoned building transformed into a fully functional, bagel-themed restaurant and bakery. The project consisted of a complete renovation of the original building with a new construction addition along the side. This project received the maximum grant award from the OTSC with the primary uses of the funds dedicated to improving the building storefront. A multitude of windows, once completely enclosed, situated within the side of the building facing Michigan Avenue and downtown creates a great atmosphere for the restaurant. DIB opened its doors in November 2013.

UFO Factory

Located at 2110 Trumbull, The UFO Factory is a thriving new music venue for up and coming artists and bands to perform and showcase work, doubling as a kitchen for Laika Dog, serving up fancy hotdogs, grilled cheese, french fries and tots. Vacant since 1999, this Art Deco building underwent some needed maintenance and updates to accommodate the reuse and make it code compliant. The renovations, which were partially funded by the OTSC construction grant, include the installation of new entry doors at the front and rear of the building, restoration of the metal sign above the entrance, repair of the tile facade, and replacement of glass in the two front octagonal windows, which give the building its distinct Art Deco style. UFO has been open since late 2014 and has become a favorite nightspot for hotdog lovers and artists alike.

Detroit Tough

Detroit Tough is a special addition to Corktown and Detroit, serving as an independent gym, focused primarily on classwork ranging from yoga to bootcamp, including wrestling, gymnastics, and obstacle course training. The renovation took place in a large warehouse space at 1244 Beech to include compliant restrooms, a massage studio, sales area, yoga studio, new signage and debris removal. Within its first year of business, Detroit Tough exceeded 200 members!

St. Vincent in Corktown

Unoccupied for over 8 years, St. Vincent School maintained relatively good condition on the exterior, however, the interior was stripped of all mechanical systems and materials of value, sustaining great damage in the process. The building consists of two levels of classrooms that St. Vincent in Corktown has renovated into leasable office space. The first floor is completely leased to a variety of tenants, ranging from a graphic design firm to an old school arcade.The building is currently undergoing renovations on its second floor and when complete, will have enough space for tenants to employ over 100 people.

Batch Brewing Company

The building at 1400 Porter, built in the early 1970s, received a full remodel to the interior and exterior, accommodating a brewery, bar and kitchen. Since its opening in mid-2015, Batch Brewing Company has staked its claim as Detroit's first nano-brewery. Batch seeks to be a socially responsible neighbor and encourages its patrons to do the same. Each month, Batch partners with a local nonprofit, creating a beer that honors the partnership, offering it as a "feelgood" tap, of which $2 of the sales goes to the nonprofit.

Ottava Via

In December 2013, Ottava Via opened its doors at 1400 Michigan Ave, bringing a new quality of dining to Corktown residents and visitors. The primary focus of the grant funding was for exterior site improvements, which included converting a portion of the vacant site for an exterior dining area and Bocci Ball courts. The project comprises a new concrete patio, wrought iron and brick fences, curb cuts, and is historic in design. In addition, the patio and Bocci Ball areas are lighted, offering some after dinner sport to work off the delicious pasta and pizza.


The Ponyride project is an on-going building renovation and social demonstration in a former industrial building with an office component. Ponyride provides spaces for local entrepreneurs and craftsman to manage their businesses from the shared office space as well as manufacture their products in the industrial space at a low cost. The grant award from the Old Tiger Stadium Conservancy allowed for Ponyride to design and build a co-working space open to the community for office use. This included the fabrication of offices, conference rooms, rest rooms, copy and information technology rooms, as well as finishing the open office area with fixed work stations.

Detroit Artifactry

The building located at 2135 Michigan Avenue, built in the 1950s, served for decades as a speedometer shop and garage. Given the developments in this particular area of Michigan Avenue, the building owner has renovated the building to house the Detroit Artifactry. The building renovation includes work on both the interior and exterior of the building. Skylights will be installed adding light to the center of the billing as well as glass garage doors will light the space from both the front and rear of the building repaving the existing garage doors. The Artifactry will carry goods from artisans along with vintage and industrial pieces found from across the country. Opening soon.

2415 Michigan Avenue Building Renovation

The site will serve as host to three unique but interwoven businesses: a 75 seat 'farm-to-table' restaurant, an artisan butcher shop with carryout service and an outdoor biergarten. The restaurant will have a strong emphasis on sourcing fine seasonal ingredients from local farms and food artisans across the great Lakes region. The biergarten will focus exclusively on regional and domestic craft beers, many of which are influenced by European, Belgian and German style brews, as well as a limited selection sourced from overseas. The restoration project will make improvements to the exterior including new windows, brick maintenance and room repair as well as a complete overhaul of the HVAC system and electrical.

1701 Trumbull Historic Restoration

The building, built in the late 1800s, served as a small convenience store in its early life. A previous owner replaced the original storefront covering it fully. The project will address the front entry with a historically accurate storefront design. The Bagley entry will also receive a restored storefront. The interior space will be designed to accommodate a restaurant and bar adjoining the Bagley entrance for a food take-out area. The building, in its current state, is completely gutted on all three levels. Everything, including all the mechanical systems, will be improved to meet current code compliance including a new stairwell fro upper floor future tenants. This project is being developed in tandem with the building next door at 1707 Trumbull. The buildings have been rezoned for a multi-use facility, allowing residency in the upper floors. Financing of both projects is complete and the plans have approval from the City of Detroit to move forward into permitting.

1707 Trumbull Historic Restoration

This project is a historic restoration of a two-story building dating back to the 1920s. The building has two commercial spaces on the first floor facing Trumbull and second level office space. The building served as a small convenience store and was joined with the late 1800s era building next door (1701). A previous owner replaced the original storefront, covering it fully. This will be restored with historically accurate storefront design. The interior first floor space will be divided into two smaller tenant spaces, accommodating a wine store and bakery. The building, in its current state is completely gutted on the first level. Everything, including all the mechanical systems will be improved to meet current code compliance.

2125 Michigan Avenue

The building restoration of 2125 Michigan Avenue has converted a large space into two distinct spaces, a bike shop and hair salon. The renovation of the interior spaces required a full replacement of the HVAC systems, electrical system and updates to the restrooms and entire building for code compliance. The exterior received a substantial redesign. Previously, the building storefront was completely bricked in with small glass block window openings. The new design calls for installing distinct storefronts with large glass panels and entry doors to the Michigan Avenue facade. All paint will be removed from the brick. Additionally, the Michigan Avenue facade will receive a modern industrial look. Natural light will be introduced with skylights and additional windows.

Metropolis Cycles is a full service bicycle repair and retail shop offering new and vintage bicycles and opened Summer 2015. Black the Salon, a well-established salon in Royal Oak, is opening a second location in Corktown some time soon.
Check out where the projects currently stand here.

Zachary & Associates, Inc. | 71 Garfield, Suite 130, Detroit, MI 48201 | 313.831.6100 | | © 2013 All rights reserved.