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In October of 2004 the Owner of Re/Max Home Sale Services of Plymouth were working out of an old 1200sheldon1bank building on a prime parcel of land on Sheldon Road in Plymouth Township, Michigan. The building was obsolete and the land it sat on was large enough to build a much bigger building. The owners came to Maltese Construction LLC to discuss what could be done with the existing site. D. J. Maltese inspected the existing building and reviewed various options including renovation and additions to the building and a new development. It was decided that I new building was the most cost effective solution. The driving force was the return on investment of a larger building properly located on the site to maximize parking and exposure of the building. The existing building was a single story building about 1,800 SF on a site of about 36,000, way under utilizing the land.

The site could accommodate a two story building of about 14,250 SF on two floors (7,125 SF per floor) and a full basement could be included for equipment and storage. The next issue was that the owners only needed about 7,000 SF. D.J. Maltese recommended a partnership be formed between the current building owner and the owners of D.J. Maltese. The owners agreed and further recommend a third partner that would have an interest in ownership and leasing the balance of the building. After only a few meetings in January of 2005 a new LLC was formed by the three entities: the builder and two groups that would also be the tenants for the new proposed building. During the next few weeks concept plans were prepare and the final design concept including a clock tower was submitted to the Township for site plan approval. Over the course of the next few months Township approvals given and the working drawings were completed.

A ground breaking ceremony took place on May 22, 2005 and the project mobilization began with the demolition of an existing building on the site and preparation for the new building. Building permits were issued in late June and excavation and underground utility work began.

Construction continued with completion scheduled for completion targeted for May of 2006.

The building exterior is structural steel with wood frame infill, brick and stone veneer window and door surrounds and accent walls of synthetic plaster. The fascia boards, gutters, downspouts and scupper boxes are copper. The roof in a lifetime asphalt shingle on the pitch roof areas and a rubber membrane roof on the flat roof area in the center of the building area and this is where the a/c units are installed. The exterior entry doors and windows are commercial aluminum sash and insulated glass. The wall insulation is blown-in fiberglass. The building interior includes 2×2 acoustical ceilings with drywall soffits and a drywalled barrel ceiling in the open plan area. All the cabinet and millwork is custom made cherry with granite counters. The interior doors are 3’x 8′ solid core two panel MDF, all the trim is large profile poplar. The elevator is a three stop 3,000 lb capacity. The building is fully sprinkled including a dry system in the roof truss area. The original plan was to use steel trusses to eliminate the cost of a dry system in the roof area. However, the cost of the wood trusses and dry system was about thirty percent less than the cost of the steel trusses. In addition to the fire protection system the building includes a fire alarm system.

Other features include a heated walkway at the entry of the building for snow removal with a metal marquee canopy and a 50′ flag pole. One of the main focal points of the building is the clock tower which has two 6′ diameter clocks with GPS for accurate time keeping. The cost for the GSP was about 5% more than the cost of the clocks.

The building layout includes a main first floor foyer entry and a second floor foyer. Each tenant area has its own restrooms and kitchen allow with conference rooms, private offices and open plan area.

The basement area of about 7,000 SF includes a mechanical room, an elevator equipment room, a lobby area, two rest rooms and a large conference room.


The Whitney Restaurant project was an adaptive reuse of a 40,000 SF mansion into a world-class restaurant. The mansion was completely011renovated and restored (interior and exterior) within a 6-month period. The exterior work included restoration of slate, copper and stone. The 68-room mansion was adapted to accommodate dining rooms and three commercial kitchens. This restaurant has many unusual features.

Because its original design was intended for residential occupancy, the restaurant has several unique “nooks.” These nooks have been transformed into secular dining rooms to give not only privacy, but a cozy feeling as well. Every room has its own individual personality and charm. The constant theme throughout the restaurant is detailed craftsmanship.

Features of the restoration include decorative interior mosaic tile, ornamental plaster and painting, beautiful woodwork, 47 fireplaces and Tiffany glass.

The biggest challenge of this project was the installation of new mechanical and electrical systems in the existing structure. D.J. Maltese replaced the “knob and tube” electrical wiring, installed a heating and cooling system with a chiller for increased load, and added a complete fire protection system.

D.J. Maltese was pleased to complete a project which has since become one of Detroit’s finest landmarks.