Crowne Plaza Detroit Downtown Convention Center

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Crowne Plaza Detroit Downtown Convention Center
General information
Type hotel, high-rise
Architectural style Modern
Location 2 Washington Blvd.
Detroit, Michigan
Coordinates 42°19′41″N 83°02′51″W / 42.328°N 83.0476°W / 42.328; -83.0476Coordinates: 42°19′41″N 83°02′51″W / 42.328°N 83.0476°W / 42.328; -83.0476
Completed 1965
Roof 75 m (246 ft)
Technical details
Floor count 25
Floor area 367 hotel rooms
Design and construction
Architect King & Lewis

The Crowne Plaza Detroit Downtown Convention Center, is a high-rise hotel in downtown Detroit, Michigan. It is located across the street from Cobo Center and from 150 West Jefferson. The building was constructed in 1965 to a height of 25 floors (75 metres, or 245 feet). It contains 367 rooms, and is used as a hotel, restaurant, and fitness center. Originally known as The Pontchartrain, King & Lewis designed the hotel in the modern architectural style with contemporary French interior employing angular bay windows in its design, which provides every room with views of the International Riverfront.


The hotel was originally intended to have a twin tower, on the other side of the plot, but it was never built. George H.W. Bush stayed at the hotel during the 1980 Republican National Convention.

The hotel is built on the exact site as Fort Pontchartrain (for which it was originally named), Detroit's first permanent European settlement, built in 1701, which later became known as Fort Detroit.[1]

In 1985, the hotel was purchased by Crescent Hotel Group, a subsidiary of Lincoln Savings & Loan for $19.5 million. Lincoln S&L Chairman Charles Keating soon thereafter arranged to buy the hotel outright from the company and set up the Hotel Ponchartrain LP, controlled by Keating, his family, and executive contacts. The sale was financed by a series of ethically questionable loans from Lincoln and its subsidiaries and totaled $38 million.[2] This arrangement was later cited by Sen. Donald W. Riegle (D-MI) as his basis for considering Keating a constituent during his involvement in the Keating Five scandal.[3]

It later operated as the Crowne Plaza Detroit Pontchartrain. In 2006, Shubh LLC purchased the hotel and in 2007, the building underwent a major renovation and became the Sheraton Detroit Riverside. Within a year, however, the hotel had its Sheraton branding taken away due to poor management and was renamed the Detroit Riverside Hotel. On June 26, 2009, the Wayne County Circuit Court appointed David Findling of The Findling Law Firm, PLC, as receiver of the hotel.[4] The hotel was formally shuttered in August 2009.[5] United Central Bank of Garland, Texas, subsequently acquired the bank that brought the foreclosure action, Mutual Bank, after it was deemed insolvent by the Illinois Department of Financial Professional Regulation’s division of banking.[6]

In March 2012, the hotel was sold by the Receiver, David Findling to an unnamed investor who reportedly planned to renovate it and enter into a management agreement with Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, a division of InterContinental Hotels .[7] The Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau reported that the purchaser was Mexico-based developer Gabriel Ruiz. [8] The Hotel reopened on July 17, 2013,[9] as the Crowne Plaza Detroit Downtown Convention Center. Due to the quality of the renovation the hotel was awarded Development of the Year by IHG Intercontinental Hotel Group in their annual convention in Las Vegas in October 2013.


  1. ^ Meyer, Katherine Mattingly and Martin C.P. McElroy with Introduction by W. Hawkins Ferry, Hon A.I.A. (1980). Detroit Architecture A.I.A. Guide Revised Edition. Wayne State University Press. ISBN 0-8143-1651-4. 
  2. ^ Brett S. Messing and Steven A. Sugarman, Jim Cramer, Foreword (June 30, 2006). The Forewarned Investor: Don't Get Fooled Again by Corporate Fraud. Pompton Plains, NJ: Career Press, Inc. 
  3. ^ Richard L. Berke (November 5, 1989). "Helping Constituents or Themselves?". The New York Times ( Retrieved April 3, 2012. 
  4. ^ Jonathan Oosting (August 31, 2009). "Detroit Riverside Hotel goes belly up". mLive ( Retrieved December 23, 2012. 
  5. ^ John Gallagher (August 31, 2009). "Former Pontchartrain is shuttered again". Detroit Free Press (Hotel online). Retrieved April 3, 2012. 
  6. ^ Ameet Sachdev (February 3, 2010). "Owners of failed bank sue FDIC". Chicago Tribune ( Retrieved April 3, 2012. 
  7. ^ "New Owner to renovate former Hotel Pontchartain in Detroit as Crowne Plaza". Grand Rapids Press ( Associated Press. April 3, 2012. Retrieved April 3, 2012. 
  8. ^ Louis Aguilar (April 3, 2012). "Detroit's shuttered Hotel Pontchartrain finds a buyer". The Detroit News ( Retrieved April 3, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Crowne Plaza hotel, the former 'Pontch,' reopens in Detroit". Crain's Detroit Business. 19 July 2013. Retrieved 2013-07-23. 

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