$82 million renovation at Detroit's historic Whitney Building - My29 WFTC Minneapolis-St. Paul

$82 million renovation begins at Detroit's historic Whitney Building

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DETROIT (myFOXDetroit.com) -

The time is finally right.

Downtown Detroit is booming, and after years of vacancy and blight, the atrium of the David Whitney Building is alive again - full of people and excitement.

And this is just the beginning.

"When you walk in, you just go 'wow,'" said Gov. Rick Snyder. "What an opportunity."

The David Whitney Building will be home to the swanky Aloft Hotel. There's space for restaurants and apartments.

The building sits right at Grand Circus Park - which is part of Dan Gilbert's new vision of a lively city center - and just next door to the Broderick Tower, another historical building that's been transformed.

The Broderick Tower has been open for just a few months, and it's virtually full.

"As a Detroiter, it's phenomenal," said George Jackson of the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation. "The excitement downtown in the past couple years has been incredible."

"Now we're getting into that spirit," Gov. Snyder said. "It's that whole 'can-do' attitude. It's about bringing back places like this, and we'll do the same thing with the city and state."

Broderick Tower Property Manager Eric Novack said the newer problems facing downtown are "good" problems.

In the old days, Novack said, projects would get finished, then fade away because developers were non-existent. Now he says people are lining up to rent, buy and develop space.

"And that feels good," Novack said.

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