DETROIT (FOX 2) - Two Detroit sisters have transformed an 18th century mansion into an upscale overnight experience in the city.
Rodricka and Francina James purchased the historical building on Winder Street in the Brush Park neighborhood in 2012, and from there a full transformation began. Now the Cochrane House Luxury Historic Inn is a full service, private bed and breakfast - and one of the few that's owned and operated by black women.
"We had to do everything, from plumbing to studs to walls to electrical to HVAC. So it took a long time," Rodricka says. "We wanted the bed a breakfast not to be closed off; we wanted to have open spaces so people could have great exchanges."
"We pretty much let our guests interact with each other and if they need us, what they can do is they can always text us, let us know if they need anything. We'll come down because we're always available 24 hours," Francina says.
The inn is a stone's throw away from Ford Field, Comerica Park, and Little Caesars Arena. If you're stuck deciding between a B&B and a hotel for your Detroit visit, the sisters say there's nothing more customized than an overnight experience at the Cochrane House. And there's one thing that stands out: the personalized service.
"We're very hands on. If our guests need anything, we're right there," Rodricka says. "We want our guests to feel like they're part of our family. So I think that's the difference and we go above and beyond to try and make everybody that comes through here as comfortable as possible."
And after your night out on the town, you'll wake up to a hot, customized breakfast prepared by your innkeeper.
Business is going great for the family-owned inn, and it's gotten plenty of love from guests all around the world.
"We've had guests here from Argentina, who've come to see Jay-Z and Beyonce. Romania, for the techno fest. From everywhere!"
The James sisters are happy to be home, helping the economy in the city that raised them. And if home is where the heart is - then home is the Cochrane House.
"We are their first taste, in some cases, of the city of Detroit. So we kind of like representing where we've been born and raised and they get to kind of see real Detroit when they walk through our doors," Rodricka says.
In addition to helping the economy, the James sisters also help in the community. Cochrane House nonprofit is an educational and mentoring program for low income urban areas.
You can get more information on the inn online here.