One of Detroit's tallest skyscrapers, Broderick Tower opened in 1928. The building was commissioned by Berrien Eaton and opened as Eaton Tower prior to its sale in 1944. The 370-foot building housed shops and a popular restaurant on the lower levels and offices above. Like many other opulent structures built in the 1920s, Eaton Tower struggled to attract and maintain tenants during the Great Depression but became a center of Detroit's boom years from World War II through the 1960s. Mirroring the larger history of the city, Broderick Tower lost tenants as many Detroit businesses left the downtown area beginning in the 1970s. Much of the building was vacant for decades, but like the city itself, the owners of Broderick Tower have worked to attract new business and with some government support, has benefited from efforts to revive the downtown area. Between 2010 and 2012, parts of the building were renovated and converted into apartments as the first phase of the building owner's plan to revive this former downtown icon.
Backstory and Context
The tower was renamed to the Broderick in 1944 when it came under new ownership. On the ground level, the Blazing Embers restaurant opened in the early 1950s and quickly became a Detroit institution.
However, through the 1970s, more and more tenants began moving out as Detroit's businesses suffered, and the building started to show its age. By 1985, it was completely vacant except for the Blazing Embers, which then closed in 1993. Various deals to renovate the space fell through over the next two decades.
Finally, in 2010, funding was secured to renovate the Broderick Tower into apartments. This was partly thanks to the resurgence of the area after the opening of the new Comerica Park, home of the Detroit Tigers, just next to the tower. Both the exterior limestone and much of the original historic interior were restored at a cost of $50 million. 100% of the 125 new apartments were leased before the grand reopening in November 2012.2