CASE STUDY

Project:

Development Projects

Client:

Roxbury Group

Prime Development

 


Berg Muirhead has led all media relations and event planning for the Roxbury Group’s major developments in greater downtown Detroit, from the start of construction, to grand openings, and other major announcements such as new restaurants and retail. Those developments include:

  • The David Whitney Building in Grand Circus Park
  • The Auburn in Midtown
  • The Plaza, set to open next year in Midtown
  • The Griswold, set to open in early 2017 Downtown

The David Whitney Building had been vacant for nearly 20 years when Berg Muirhead was tapped by the building’s development team to introduce the start of construction and the return of the iconic building to active use.  

We planned a press conference to announce the redevelopment plans with remarks from Governor Snyder, Mayor Duggan, funders and the development team. The press conference included a tour of the historic building with press documents that outlined the $82 million redevelopment plan, as well as a ceremonial lighting (in place of a ground breaking) of the signature atrium to mark the start of construction. With the Whitney being partially converted into an Aloft Hotel, as well as apartments and first floor restaurant and retail, we worked closely with the communications team from Starwood, Aloft’s parent company, on all press activities.

About a year after the construction kick-off, and 70 percent through the redevelopment, Berg Muirhead planned and executed a hard hat media tour to show off the building’s apartment model and hotel rooms and announced more detailed plans for the new restaurant. We also announced the start of pre-leasing activities to assure that when the building opened, the initial tenants would already be in place and move-in times negotiated.  

In December 2014, Berg Muirhead planned the final press event for the completion the David Whitney Building’s redevelopment. The event included a ceremonial lighting of the exterior of the building, to officially mark its return as a fully active building.  

Berg Muirhead continues to work with the David Whitney development team and will soon handle communications for the opening of the first floor restaurant, the Grand Cirque Brasserie.

 

Prime Development

Berg Muirhead provided media relations services for Prime Development’s Studio One Apartments in Midtown, which at the time was greater downtown Detroit’s first new-construction, market-rate apartment development in 30 years. We were engaged after the ground breaking for the project and our first major project was to announce the opening of the temporary offsite leasing center. During the 18-month construction phase, we developed and executed events and press strategies to keep the project in the media and in the minds of the rental community. This was a time when there was little demand for Greater Downtown living, so every effort was critical to the building’s success. We planned an “illuminate” event, which lit the building up for one night during construction to offer the community a one-night event with food, drink, fashion and tours. This event garnered high interest in the project and media coverage. We also conducted a traditional mid-construction media hard hat tour, which garnered significant press, including a full page article on the front of the Detroit Free Press’ business section.   

Berg Muirhead also handled the announcement of the completion of the building, which included the announcement of several first floor retailers. Soon after the Studio opened, Berg Muirhead nominated the project for Crain’s Real Estate award, which garnered a “Development of the Year” top recognition. Berg Muirhead continued to work with the developer to announce new retailers as its first floor became completely occupied, as well as supported various marketing and PR needs through its first years of operation.