Do Shinola hotels
have room to grow?
The watch brand will enter the hospitality space with a new Detroit hotel opening in 2019. The new Shinola Hotel is scheduled to open in downtown Detroit in January 2019. It will join a growing number of retail brands that have expanded their offerings into the hospitality category.
(Author : Lara Ewen)
The 129-room hotel, located at 1400 Woodward Avenue, will occupy space formerly used by the T.B. Rayl & Co. department store and a former Singer sewing-machine store. Combined with a trio of newly constructed annexes, the hotel plans to offer approximately 16,000 square feet of retail, food and beverage space aimed at attracting both locals and tourists.
The property will be a partnership between Shinola, the Detroit-based watch and lifestyle brand, and Detroit-based real estate firm Bedrock, which already operates over 330 office and retail tenants in the city. It will be managed by New York-based Mac&Lo, whose clients include New York City's hipper-than-hip Ace Hotel, and the food and beverage program will be run by New York City-based chef Andrew Carmellini of NoHo Hospitality Group, whose restaurants include Bar Primi and Little Park.
The space will merge high-end, high-tech amenities such as Frette linens and RFID-powered room keys with Shinola-branded merchandise peppered throughout the rooms, and Detroit-centric art in the public spaces. Architectural and interior design will come via Detroit-based Kraemer Design Group, known for its architectural renovations of Detroit spaces such as the Broderick Tower, and New York City-based Gachot Studios, which has designed Shinola boutiques in Los Angeles and Brooklyn, and was also responsible for the design of chef Carmellini's Little Branch restaurant.
If nothing else, Shinola is pulling out all the stops for its first hospitality venture, and with good reason. West Elm is opening its own Detroit-based boutique hotel on the same street as Shinola, albeit a 20 minute walk up the road. The West Elm property, set to open next door to the Bonstelle Theatre in 2020, will be managed by Detroit-based Roxbury Group, which is also responsible for the high-profile Element Detroit hotel, located right across the street from Shinola's hotel.
Banking on Detroit
Jan Freitag, senior vice president with STR, a global hotel research, data and benchmark company based in Hendersonville, Tennessee, said the three biggest macro trends for hotels these days are mobile (as in phone-controlled services); social (as in, providing Instagrammable moments and compelling public spaces), and local (as in, being the area expert). For Shinola, the local edge will likely be what matters most, both to the brand and to its potential guests.