Proj Overview


The had been vacant since the 1970s except for a parking structure. Due to its downtown location in the Heartside Historic District, it offered a lot of potential for a mixed-use project. A diverse team crafted a solution for the site that is bringing more traffic to the area: a 13-story Marriott Residence Inn® with 146 rooms and retail space on the ground level.

The Residence Inn needed to comply with the requirements of the historic commission for certain features such as massing and height, although it didn’t have to look like a period piece.

Read more about this project in the Winter 2021 issue of Ascent.


It was determined early on that the hotel would be a total–precast concrete structure, partly because of the geometry of the site, which is triangular with a heavy slope. Cast-in-place concrete or structural steel connections would have been complicated and expensive, and the steel solution required a higher floor height, which meant an increase in façade cost as well.


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Project Team



Structural Engineer

DCI Engineers


Wolverine Building Group


Hinman Co.
Dakota Legacy Group

Precast Concrete Producer


Precast Concrete Specialty Engineer

PTAC Consulting Engineers

Key Project Attributes

  • The unique shape of the building presented the opportunity to create custom forms. The exterior has three separate radiused pieces: the nose at 13 ft, 1 in., the corners at 8 ft, 4 in., and the back wall at 115 ft, 11 in.
  • Kerkstra coordinated the design with building information modeling (BIM) to ensure proper geometry, including the triangular core. BIM was also used to review and coordinate the steel formwork in the hybrid framing system, which was used for the first time in Michigan to build the Marriott.
  • Szantner feels that total–precast concrete had a positive impact on the economics of the project, because it enabled reducing floor heights as well as the amount of wall-to-floor ratio.

Project/Precast Scope

  • 1703 total precast concrete pieces
  • 99,000 sf of 8-in. hollow-core slab; 1900 sf ft of 10-in. hollow-core slab
  • 17,500 sf of 8-in. solid slab   
  • 159 pieces of 10-in. shear walls