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April 25, 2013 - Image 112

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2013-04-25

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'Open &Or I Cobo Center


Metro Detroiters hurry to reserve space at renovated Cobo Center.

Shannon Mackie { Contributing Writer


obo Center, one of the largest
convention centers in the nation, was
originally built in 1961, and is now
undergoing a $300 million renovation to
create a new ballroom, an open-air terrace
and glass vistas of two countries. The center
was expanded in 1989, but the current
$300 million renovation will provide more
architecturally spectacular event space and
greater flexibility in the use of the entire
The renovations began in 2011, and the
first stage is expected to be completed this
summer. This initial stage will include a new
ballroom, atrium, lobby, kitchen, food court
and 250-seat cyber cafe as well as 25,000
square feet of redesigned meeting room
The center is currently booking corporate
events, meetings and catering functions for
the redesigned space, and openings are filling
up fast. "We've had a tremendous response
to the new space," said Thom Connors, SMG
regional vice president and Cobo Center
general manager.
The new ballroom will offer stunning views

8 OPEN DOOR Magazine • May 2013

of the Detroit River and can be subdivided to
accommodate smaller groups. It will include
40,000 square feet of banquet space, capable
of seating 2,375 guests for dining and 3,800
guests for general sessions. In addition,
guests will be served by an 8,000-square-foot
state-of-the art kitchen complete with tasting
The new state-of-the-art kitchen will have
a new face — Head Chef Jamie Miller, a
Michigan native with a distinguished culinary
career, including fine dining service at
exclusive country clubs across North America.
He is a member of the American Culinary
Federation and has contributed to some of
the country's most complex culinary events.

Catering services will be provided exclusively
by Centerplate, and all menus at Cobo will
include Michigan flavors and products.
The new atrium, which was temporarily
opened for the 2013 North American
International Auto Show (NAIAS), is currently
undergoing final construction and will reopen
this summer. The atrium will connect the
main concourse to the river and has already
received rave reviews.
"Visitors will see the new atrium, with its
Tara-like staircase that opens up to a wall
of windows giving a beautiful view of the
Detroit River and the Windsor skyline," said
Nolan Finley, editorial page editor for the
Detroit News, during the NAIAS.
A team of leading architects, including
Albert Kahn Associates and SDG Associates,
both from Detroit, along with TVSdesign from
Atlanta, worked on the new design. "The
architecture is dramatic, and the interior
finishes are spectacular," Connors said.
All phases of the renovation will be
completed by 2014. This will include the
renovation of meeting rooms on the south
side of the
building, in
the north wing
and along the
river. Exterior
renovations will
include a terrace
around the
outside of the
ballroom and a
landscaped event space along Jefferson. The
complex's covered parking will be expanded,
and the entire building will be reoriented to
the Detroit River.
Cobo Center is managed and operated
by the Detroit Regional Convention Facility
Authority (DRCFA). In 2010, the DRCFA
awarded the contract for operations
management of Cobo Center to SMG, a world
leader in venue management, marketing and
Visit www.cobocenter.com for renovation
updates and to see images of the new Cobo
Center. To reserve space at Cobo, contact
Sales Manager Jennifer Berkemeier at (313)
877-8204 or jberkemeier@cobocenter.com . ❑

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