Bailey Building Redevelopment Underway
On October 26th, construction began on an ambitious rehabilitation of the Bailey Building. Using a 126 ton crane, crews have been systematically removing 16,000-pound concrete panels to restore the classic brick and stone of the original Bailey Building.
At the urging of the Department of Planning and Development, and incentivized through a loan from City’s Economic Development Fund, the building is going to be restored to its original 1930’s grandeur. Coupled with significant improvements on the building’s interior, it will be an asset to efforts to attract new businesses to Lakewood. Updated office spaces are needed to compliment the new retail and other development recently prevalent in Downtown Lakewood.
“Even in these tough economic times, development in Lakewood is thriving, especially downtown. This project is one of many rehab and new construction projects underway on Detroit Avenue right now,” said Lakewood Mayor Ed FitzGerald. “The visibility and scale of this project, in the middle of downtown, lets visitors know what Lakewood residents already know: we’re back.”
The Bailey Department Store opened in 1930 at the corner of southeast corner of Warren and Detroit. The three story brick and stone building was a retail icon in Lakewood for decades with its wide storefront windows, big green awnings and large selection of clothing and accessories.
In the 1960’s the building was radically modified and “modernized” to keep up the changing cultural and architectural styles, a concrete façade was placed over the brick and Bailey’s became Neville’s Department Store. Since then, the architecture of that corner—the busiest in our city—was an uninviting, dark corner at Warren and Detroit that did nothing to welcome pedestrians, visitors or businesses to our city.
In January, the building was purchased by a local property development and ownership company. They committed to purchase and rehabilitate the INA and Bailey buildings with the intent to rehab the 14701 block of Detroit Avenue. The building owners, Kowit & Passov, Then Design Architects and the City of Lakewood have been working together since January to develop a rehabilitation and development strategy to energize the important and under-used corner in Downtown Lakewood.
The proposed renovation was approved by the Architectural Board of Review in August and includes a restoration of the upper stories to clean and repair the brick and install new windows. The street level that has been solid brick walls for years will be opened up to reveal new storefronts with big windows and a variety of new stores and restaurants.Together, the INA Building and Bailey Building represent the second largest office complex in Lakewood. The site has great views, open floor plans, and—among the most coveted assets in the city—has its own 400 car parking facility. New ownership has gotten off to a great start. They’ve already completed renovation of the INA Building’s lobby, attracted new retail tenants like Panera Bread (opening this November) and participated with the city in attracting high-end office tenants, even before building improvements have been made.