Oxford Capital, Hunter Pasteur to Break Ground on the Godfrey Hotel Detroit in Historic Corktown

Rendering of historic Corktown Godfrey Hotel in Detroit

The Godfrey Hotel Detroit will bring 227 rooms, amenities including a rooftop lounge and restaurant, and hundreds of jobs to the city’s historic Corktown. Elkus Manfredi Architects

  • 227-room hotel on Michigan Avenue is scheduled to open in 2023
  • Amenities include Detroit’s largest rooftop lounge, chef-driven restaurant, distinctive lobbybar and elegant ballroom for events
  • 160-200 projected jobs will pay at least $17 per hour, with at least 25% going to Detroit residents

DETROIT — Oxford Capital Group and Hunter Pasteur will break ground this week on The Godfrey Hotel Detroit in historic Corktown, bringing a 227-room, lifestyle brand hotel with first-class amenities, as well as hundreds of jobs, with many going to Detroit residents.

The property, at 1401 Michigan Ave. between Trumbull and Eighth Street, is scheduled to open in 2023. Oxford’s wholly owned management affiliate, Oxford Hotels & Resorts, LLC, will manage the property. The 227-room, seven-story hotel will feature I|O, Detroit’s largest indoor/outdoor rooftop lounge with expansive views of downtown Detroit and Corktown, a ground-floor chef-driven restaurant, a distinctive lobby bar, a 5,500-square-foot grand ballroom that will accommodate events of more than 350 guests, and a state-of-the-art fitness center. The hotel will have a soft brand affiliation with Hilton’s Curio Collection.

Importantly the Godfrey will also create an estimated 200 to 300 construction jobs, and an estimated 160 to 200 part- and full-time jobs, the latter of which include a 401(k) and health insurance, and will pay a minimum of $17 an hour. The developer has committed that at least 25 percent of these jobs will go to residents of Detroit, an unprecedented commitment in such a project. The developers will partner with the City’s Detroit at Work Program as the hotel’s priority staffing partner.

“We are excited to achieve this important milestone as we continue our strategic national investment, development and acquisition activities while simultaneously growing our lifestyle Godfrey hotel brand throughout the country. The project will be just a few blocks from Michigan Central Station, Ford’s new billion-dollar campus and a significant development in Detroit’s resurgence,” said John W. Rutledge, founder, chairman and CEO of Oxford Hotels & Resorts LLC and Oxford Capital Group LLC, a Chicago-based national hospitality-focused investment, development and management firm. “Since my student days at The University of Michigan, I have been watching Detroit closely and have been impressed by the remarkable transformation that has occurred downtown. We look forward to adding to this momentum and delivering a stunning physical product, as well as Oxford’s unique brand of hospitality to this beautiful and dynamic city as Detroit and the country continue their post-pandemic recovery over the next several years.”

“Corktown has become synonymous with phenomenal food and drink and is home to an emerging business core,” said Randy Wertheimer, president and CEO of Farmington Hills-based Hunter Pasteur. “The Godfrey Hotel will fill a real need in this neighborhood, and we’re so thrilled to bring this national hotel brand to our hometown. We look forward to the Godfrey becoming a staple of the city and Corktown community, not just because of the hotel, but also the exciting F&B venues we are developing, including the lobby bar, restaurant, rooftop lounge, and ballroom, which we hope will all become important destination venues for locals and travelers alike to Detroit.”

The interiors of the sophisticatedly tailored hotel, designed by The Gettys Group, are inspired by the rich local diversity and elevated elements of the industrial aesthetics of the area’s restoration spirit. A timeless interior with a bright neutral background is enlivened with furniture and finishes that are saturated in color, refined in geometries and patterns, and carefully curated and tailored accents. The mixed warm wood tones, the bright terrazzo flooring, rich and textured metals found in sculptural lighting and detailing, and touches of specialty finishes that offer reflectivity and dimension, further cements the identity of this hotel as connecting the guest with the elements of natural forms and local ingenuity and industry. Lofty, reflective and easy guestrooms continue the industrious spirit with custom appointments featuring warm furniture tones and accents set against a bright and clean backdrop.

The hotel’s event and dining experiences complete the fashionable ensemble, designed to be a transportive destination for visitors local and from out of town alike. The I|O Rooftop Lounge will provide a rich, yet relaxed and vibrant experience to delight guests offering a variety of spaces and moments of discovery throughout. The interior design is savory and moody as the day transitions to night; enhanced through mixed metals for all-day sparkle. Layered with aspects of earth, wind, water and fire, the retractable glass roof and fully operable windows allows guests to experience all the elements. The hotel will also uniquely offer one of the largest meeting spaces in and out of downtown Detroit, well-appointed with warm and inviting wood tones, moments of sparkle and wonder, and finely crafted details.

“We view Detroit as a compelling hotel investment market given all the existing and new demand being created by the dozens of recent and forthcoming corporate relocations and expansions downtown,” said Matthew Kalt, vice president of Oxford Capital Group, LLC.

The Godfrey Hotel Detroit will add to Oxford’s current and historical portfolio of more than 15,000 hotel rooms. Current Godfrey Hotel locations include Chicago, Boston, Tampa, Hollywood and others in planning and development. The hotel will benefit from Oxford’s extensive national hotel management experience, that includes robust food and beverage offerings; sophisticated revenue management, social media, direct sales, e-commerce, and marketing strategies; its proven ability to run highly profitable rooms and meeting and event venues; highly effective recruiting, training and retention methods; and creative cost control initiatives.

The project investors include several prominent Detroit families, led by Nate Forbes and James Grosfeld. The Godfrey Hotel Detroit will also benefit from Oxford’s metro Detroit-based development partner Hunter Pasteur’s extensive local development experience and relationships. Oxford, Hunter Pasteur and The Forbes Co. are finalizing plans to launch the Perennial Corktown Apartments adjacent to the Godfrey, which will also break ground this year.

About Oxford Capital Group, LLC and Oxford Hotels & Resorts, LLC

Oxford Capital Group, LLC is an award-winning international real estate investment, development, and management firm that focuses on large-scale acquisitions, developments, redevelopments, and operationally-intensive real estate. Oxford, its affiliates, and principals have been involved in over $3 billion of real estate and private equity investments, with a primary focus on hospitality (15,000+ hotel rooms); hospitality anchored mixed use projects including multi-family (1,000+ units); senior housing (3,000+ units); urban retail; and parking. Oxford Hotels & Resorts, LLC is its wholly owned hotel management affiliate, which specializes in operating, managing, and branding distinctive, high design luxury lifestyle hotels, and food & beverage venues. Its growing national portfolio of luxury lifestyle hotels and brands include Audrey, Cass, Felix, Godfrey, Griffon, Julian, King George, Le Méridien Essex Chicago, LondonHouse, Los Gatos, Porter, Thompson (Chicago), Versey, and Vertigo. It also has a growing collection of restaurants, rooftops, bars and pool-centric food & beverage venues. These include About Last Knife (ALK), I|O Rooftop, LH Rooftop, Ruka, Spa Boutique, SX Sky Bar, and WTR. Oxford Living, LLC is its senior housing investment and management platform. Oxford Residential, LLC is its multi-family development affiliate.

About Hunter Pasteur

Founded in 1999, Hunter Pasteur has built and developed over 1,500 new construction single family and multifamily condominiums in Southeast Michigan.  Hunter Pasteur residential credentials are vast and varied including underwriting, acquisition, entitlement, development, sales and construction.   This vertical integration ensures control of the process and an unwavering focus on execution from concept through project completion. Our wide range of home types include multifamily condominiums, residences and high design urban living developments. Equally principled and committed, Hunter Pasteur is a passionate advocate for the critical role housing plays in economic and community development.  The company was recently named the Multifamily Construction Builder of the Year by the Home Builders Association of Southeast Michigan.


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