'Transforming the skyline': Inside Detroit's Exchange Tower - a building made from the top down

A new building in Detroit is lauded for its innovation - Exchange Tower was built from the top down.

"Basically they loaded all of the materials on a floor plate. Each floor plate was about a million pounds each, and they basically lifted them up off of two spines," relator Hannah Hoppough said. "It's the first of its kind."

Each floor was assembled at ground level and lifted at a speed of roughly 20 feet per hour. The liftbuild team said their technology is safer, 30% faster, and 10-20% cheaper than average construction.

"It's something they definitely want to do in other locations, so this was a test for sure," Hoppough said. "I think this building is a huge win for the city."

The 16-story, $64 million project on Gratiot showcases the first application of the liftbuild approach to high-rise construction and comes two years after its groundbreaking, where Mayor Mike Duggan said the project would meet the need for more residential space downtown.

"Exchange specifically, is the first new construction in the central business district in the last several decades. It's definitely transforming the skyline," Hoppough said. "It's definitely amazing to see and bringing new residential opportunities to people who are looking for stuff in the city."

The tower includes 153 apartments, 12 condos, a gym, rooftop deck, and a clubhouse that provide views of the city. The ground floor also includes room for retail and hospitality.

One bedroom condos start at $530,000 to purchase, while penthouses start at $1.4 million. Apartments are available to rent. Rentals range from $1,800 to $4,000.

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