Hudson's, Crowley's and Kern's have all vanished into
memory, the former People's has remained. Highlighting
the flexibility of the building's design, mid-60's developers
were able to convert its open shop floors into divided
offices for 3 decades of profitable operation. While
the office market has softened leaving People's again
vacant I do hope that again its open layout will aid
it in renovation.
The surrounding neighborhood is changing. When I first
started frequenting the area in 1998 People's was joined
by several other vacant or underutilized buildings.
The old Howard Johnson, Book-Cadillac and Lafayette
Bldg. were abandoned. Today the HoJo is renovated, the
Book-Cadillac slated for a $150 million dollar makeover.
Only People's and Lafayette remain vacant. Even several
buildings on nearby Capitol Park are being renovated.
Adding to the activity is the completion of Compuware
this year which can only help the building's chances.
As stated the building's floors are basically open
with a handful of columns. Depending on how much weight
they can support it seems to me that they can by configured
to virtually any use. Currently the building is in decent
shape and appears to have no structural problems. I
would rate its chances as very high for renovation.
My only concern would be its demolition to build a block
sized parking structure. But the Book-Cadillac will
have its own garage, a new garage is going up on Woodward
and the Hudson's garage should open shortly. Hopefully
parking will not be a concern.