First look at The Z: It’s not your typical Detroit parking deck

When is a parking garage a destination?

When it is an art gallery, too.

A 10-story parking garage soon to open in Detroit’s central business district will blend 1,300 parking spots with the work of 27 mural artists from across the globe.

Called The Z (because it zigzags the corners of Broadway and East Grand River, and Library and Gratiot), the garage is a collaboration between Bedrock Real Estate Services and Library Street Collective, a fine art gallery connected to the garage. The parking garage will open in December.

The Z is a 500,000-square-foot project, which includes 34,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space that will start to fill in the spring, said Dan Mullen, Bedrock’s vice president of development. Tenants have not been determined, he said.

Mullen, along with Matthew Eaton, a partner at Library Street Collective, gave members of the media a sneak peak at the artwork on Friday.

They said the 130-foot-wide murals inside the garage were meant to turn the parking garage into a Detroit destination. The artwork is diverse: In a mural inspired by a lazy day in the tropics, a giraffe takes a nap in a windowsill; in a mural meant to symbolize Detroit’s rebirth, a tiger chases a baseball.

“This is about different experiences you can’t get anywhere else,” Mullen said. “We really wanted to blow people away.”

Southfield-based Neumann/Smith Architecture is architect on the parking project, and Rich & Associates Inc. in Southfield is consulting on the structure’s design. Colasanti Construction Services Inc./Sachse Construction, a joint venture of Detroit-based Colasanti and Birmingham-based Sachse, are the construction managers.