Learning Hub | Content Marketing

Verde Media Tours The Russell Industrial Center

February 17, 2015 | Jon Teodoro

Although we love our cozy office out here in the metro Detroit suburbs, we could only dream about having a wide-open space with floor-to-ceiling windows within the bounds of the actual city of Detroit that didn’t require each one of our team members to sell an organ.

Today, we found that dream place. It was inside of the Russell Industrial Center.

During our tour today, we learned that the Russell Industrial Center was comprised of seven buildings that spanned a total of 2.2 million square feet. The gigantic facility houses over 150 businesses and sees over a thousand visitors per day. Not bad for a seemingly desolate looking building.

Upon arrival we randomly walked into Building Three, which was labeled as the Art section of the Russell Industrial Center. We took a self-guided tour of the second floor and discovered a furniture company and a few photography studios. The hallway was ridden with art work, posters and photography. At the beginning of the hallway there was a very interesting mural which was a diagram that outlined the connectedness of Existence and Non-Existence. It’s hard to explain – you would just have to see it for yourself.

russell industrial center office space

One of the vacant spaces inside the Russell Industrial Center

We were liking the semi-isolated, creative vibe of the rustic building and we wanted more. So we called over to the main leasing office to check out the newly constructed spaces and the manager made himself instantly available to schedule a more formal tour. Upon entering the main office, we were greeted by a security guard and noticed lots of cameras throughout our visit. We also noticed that there was only one entrance which is also where the main office is located. The rest of the perimeter is blocked off by barbed wire fences.

The new office spaces were impressive. Most were wide open layouts with very high ceilings and equally large windows. The spaces on the north side of the hallway had decent views of the Detroit-Hamtramack border whereas the spaces on the south had views of other buildings within the Russell. Regardless of which side of the hallway they existed on, each space had something unique about it to give it it’s own personality. One space had a floor-to-ceiling sliding door which revealed an additional room with a window which would have been perfect for a conference or meeting room. Another room had what appeared to be a small stage, conveniently located right next to a 20 x 20 foot window. This space would’ve been great for a company that relies on natural lighting, like a photography or videography business.

The hallway that joined all of the offices together was newly constructed as well, with drywall and conduits running everywhere. You can definitely tell they put a lot of work into this section of the Russell, however, it does look like there is lots more that needs to be done. Despite this, there is definitely tons of potential within that single floor alone.

The Russell Industrial Center is a much like the dichotomy that many agree also describes the city of Detroit. From the exterior, the old factory looks dead (besides the Chimera mural and various advertisements). But once you enter the parking lot and explore the inside of the facility, there is a lot of activity going on here. There is a lot of creativity flowing throughout the hallways. In a metaphorical sense, it’s a large, empty planet with a small community of builders, creators and entrepreneurs within its atmosphere.

And it’s definitely on our list of possible places to move to in 2016.