Detroit Collision Works is a 36-room hotel under development that will be built out of shipping containers adjacent to the Eastern Market—America’s oldest continuously operating farmer’s market district—with completion scheduled in 2014. But CEO/Founder Shel Kimen is building more than a hotel. Collision Works is also a collaborative community space to bring locals and visitors together through the power of storytelling to discuss the future of American cities.
On Wednesday, Kimen launched a Kickstarter fundraising campaign to build a test prototype for the hotel called FIRST CONTAINER: Collision Works Story Box, developed in partnership with the Eastern Market and Detroit Collaborative Design Center. In effect, the pop-up venue is designed to get the Collision Works conversation started now.
FIRST CONTAINER will be located near the proposed permanent site for six months beginning May 18 on Flower Day, an annual event in the Eastern Market attracting over 200,000 visitors. The facility will operate like a hotel lobby with communal tables, free WiFi, comfy couches and a rooftop terrace. Each month, FIRST CONTAINER will feature a different theme revolving around the arts, alternative transportation, food production and community building, among others. After that, the prototype moves to the permanent site.
If you’re a meeting planner or hospitality executive who loves travel and believes in the power of one individual to change the world, then this is an excellent way to help rebuild an American city that basically imploded during the last decade.
“It just makes sense to build a prototype, no matter what your project is,” says Kimen, a resident of Detroit’s East Side and former advertising executive. “The sooner you can invite people into the process the better. Now is a great time to collaborate with the community to create quality programming and creative experiences around storytelling. What we learn here we will take with us to the hotel.”
We here at Prevue love this project because it brings together everything that we’ve always triumphed from the start. Most importantly, it’s a venue that will inspire planners and their attendees to see the world in a new perspective. FIRST CONTAINER also puts a priority on sustainable, ultra cool design, while delivering a CSR message that makes a serious commitment to giving back to the community. And the ROI and ROE are sky high, making it a win-win for both attendees and company/client stakeholders.
“A part of the business model we’re really excited about focuses on corporate retreats and events,” says Kimen. “Storytelling has made its way to all dimensions of the corporate world, from marketing and branding to executive leadership. We’re creating a space that is perfect for small teams to connect with each, work collaboratively to solve their most pressing challenges, and engage a greater community at the same time. It’s active learning and teambuilding at its finest.”
We’re not the only ones excited about Detroit Collision Works. The mayor of Memphis wrote to Kimen last month requesting that she build the same thing in his city after the Detroit project is up and running.
Watch the Kickstarter video below with Kimen explaining the project further. Her clear vision and passion are in stark contrast to some of Detroit’s distressed urban landscape in the background. If you’re unfamiliar with how crowdfunding via Kickstarter works, click here.
To support the initial design and building stage of the project, Kimen is aiming to raise $37,000 by Friday, April 19 to get this this project off the ground. If you’re interested in helping make this awesome dream a reality, join us over at Kickstarter!