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  This project was undertaken by Southwest Detroit Business Association with the assistance of the National Trust for Historic Preservation as a pilot project in a community-initiated development program. The project converted a 1920s-era neighborhood retail building with second floor residential into office use.

Elisabeth Knibbe Architects (EKA) was an integral member of the project team that included economic development consultants and consultants from the National Trust. EKA evaluated the existing condition of the building and presented alternative rehabilitation stategies to the development team. The team selected a strategy and invited a class of students from the architectural schools at University of Detroit-Mercy and Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, to conduct a design/build class in the spaces that were planned for use by SDBA as its offices. The students creatively incorporated a variety of recycled materials into the interior rehabilitation.

After completion of the students' work, EKA edited the work, retaining those elements of the student projects that could successfully be incorporated into usable office space. The resulting space is dynamic while meeting the day-to-day needs of the SDBA.