Wayne County is looking for new ways to cut its $72 million deficit. Part of the effort will inevitably include selling off Detroit's iconic art deco Guardian Building. In the meantime, the county is bringing in a new management company, 400 Monroe Associates, to fill the space and make it more attractive to investors, MLive reports. Part of the management team's job will be to devise new ways to generate revenue, which might include "transforming the Guardian Vault — an actual Union Trust Bank vault in the building's basement — into a restaurant," a county release states. Eater has reached out to Wayne County for more details. Stay tuned for updates.
Update, 07/29, 11:04 a.m.: James Canning, a representative for Wayne County, tells Eater via email that developing the Guardian's vault space into a restaurant is a strategic move. The 20,125-square-foot vault already has infrastructure including a kitchen and café set up that "could easily be transitioned into a functioning restaurant" seating roughly 150 diners. "A restaurant in that area of the building will provide an improved service to our existing tenants and those who work and live in downtown Detroit and the surrounding area," he says. "Given the Guardian Building's location, we anticipate that a restaurant would be a highly sought after lunch and dinner spot," with 921 people working in the building by early August.
The county is currently consulting its new management company, which has experience developing restaurants, for insight into what types of concepts would prove most successful in the space. If Wayne County chooses to move forward with the plan, a Request for Proposal would likely be issued for restaurant themes and operators.