Once the nation’s tenth largest city, Detroit has sustained a more than 60 percent drop from its peak population of over 1.8 million citizens, leaving several of its buildings abandoned and in disrepair. As part of the city’s renaissance movement to redefine its image as Motor City, Detroit purchased the 400,000 SF former MGM Grand temporary casino and implemented a $60 million renovation. The space now serves as the city’s Public Safety Headquarters.
The seven-story building is connected to an eight-level parking garage and now houses several important departments. The facility includes Detroit’s Information Technology Systems Department, Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, the Detroit Building Authority, the Michigan State Police Detroit Forensic Science Laboratory, and detective offices from several police units. This reorganization of city operations resulted in efficiency improvements predicted to save as much as $3 million per year and boost the morale of first responders.
One of the most unique spaces in the building is the Media Room. Working with local news stations, designers created the Media Room control booth to include broadcast feeds to the media parking lot. This feature allows news vans to hook up directly instead of running cables down the building’s hallways for press conferences. The building also houses 21 interview rooms equipped with hidden video and microphones that are automatically turned on with each room’s light switch. City staff benefit from technology-enhanced conference rooms, training rooms, and open office collaboration spaces that support teamwork across departments. Access control units and security cameras are located throughout the space, and a guard station is situated at the main drive entrance to the building for additional safety.