Media Mentions & Recognitions

 The greenest buildings in Detroit, mapped

April 22, 2019 | By Aaron Mondry | Curbed

The first major green renovation in the city, the Green Garage has been an example for other builders in the city about how to do a responsible green redevelopment.

Alley revolution: How Detroit rethought and repurposed its alleys

November 27, 2017 | By Patrick Dunn | Model D

That was a major focus for the Green Garage-Motor City Brewing Works alley, where permeable pavers allow rainfall to filter directly into the ground, rather than into storm sewers where it may contribute to sewer overflows during heavy rains. Pooling and flooding after storms has also been greatly reduced in the alley since it was converted.As one of the first such projects in the city, Brennan has answered countless questions and led countless tour groups for those considering redoing their own alleys—as well as those learning about green infrastructure.

 The Greenest Garden

September , 2017 | By E.M. Sommervile | TBD

   The flowers and basil were grown just around the corner on the rooftop of the Green Garage, a Midtown coworking community, business incubator and living laboratory for green business practices. Solar thermal heating keeps the building warm, and employees are encouraged to save food scraps and paper waste for composting. The building — a former Model T showroom — uses about a tenth of the energy and water of a traditional office building and produces about a tenth of the waste.

How Green Is Your Alley?

April 15, 2017 | By Lynn Freehill-Maye | Sierra

“That first Detroit Green Alley has become a model for “living alleyways”—which offer both sustainability and community-building attractiveness—locally and beyond. Following in the leafy footsteps of community gardens and pocket parks, many urban planners see these revived, greenified alleyways as the next great possibility in citizen-driven sustainable urbanism.”

A Workspace with a Heart: A Look at Detroit’s sustainability leader

February 15, 2017 | By Will Stewart | The Michigan Daily

“In a time where things seem to be so divided, it feels special that we’re bucking that trend and finding ways to be accepting and welcoming to one another,” he (Matthew Piper) said. “We have a place where people of all different backgrounds come together to work and be intentional about the fact that they accept one another. We start everything with the idea that we are more than just an office building and find ways to help people grow.”

Green Garage Detroit: Pioneering a Sustainable Future for Business

October 5, 2016 | By Jessica Malen | Motivate Health

Green Garage is continually interested in welcoming new businesses and nonprofits into their community. There are several different levels at which businesses can join based on their needs and budget. Instead of having to rent or buy a traditional workplace, Green Garage residents can pay as low as $65 per month for the first year for the basic workspace.

Preservation, Business, and Sustainability Mark Detroit’s Green Garage

June 8, 2016 | By Dedria H. Barker | Preservation Magazine

The couple also used repurposed material to construct a handsome indoor greenhouse that serves as a foyer. The walls are made of window frames discarded from a power plant refurbishment. (The Brennans were on a bike ride when they spied the frames in a pile and begged to have them.) All told, the rehabilitation generated only two dumpsters’ worth of refuse.

Green Garage turns five: How a business incubator created a lasting model for sustainability

June 13, 2016 | By Aaron Mondry | Photos by Marvin Shaouni | Model D

The event, the day, the people, the atmosphere, all encapsulate what works so well at the Green Garage, now in its fifth year of operation. An ethos of sustainability imprints itself on every feature—the building’s design, the operation of resident businesses, its management structure, waste disposal.

A green building culture is emerging in Detroit

September 23, 2014| By Aaron Mondry

The Green Garage is part of a growing green building culture in Detroit. Those who advocate sustainable design cite a number of potential benefits — protection from extreme weather being one of them. The most salient effect of green renovation, however, is reduced energy consumption, which results in lower utility bills.

In Detroit, the Green Garage Is a Different Kind of Incubator

June 24, 2012 | By Maeghan Quimet | Inc.

While a number of start-up incubators are making a splash in the Midwest, and in Detroit, Garage creator Tom Brennan tells The New York Times that his program isn’t a traditional accelerator. Rather than rush the companies who come through the Garage into the marketplace, he plans to help the entrepreneurs cultivate a lasting and profitable idea–no matter how long it takes.

In Detroit, the Green Garage Is a Different Kind of Incubator

June 21, 2012 | By Jessica Bruder | Photos by Marvin Shaouni | New York Times

Mr. Brennan says he believes that traditional incubator and accelerator programs extrude entrepreneurs through a mechanized, one-size-fits-all process, sometimes spurring founders to charge ahead without first finding clarity on what they want to do, or why. Instead of focusing on acceleration, he’s working to build a start-up culture that’s a rough analogue of the slow-food movement: intimate, deliberate, unhurried.

NY Times Meets Detroit’s Best Office Renovation Ever: Former Model T Showroom Now Called The Green Garage

June 21, 2012 | By Sarah Cox | Curbed Magazine

If you have not been to the Green Garage building, a small business shared-office space in Midtown, you might not be a real fan of Detroit architecture. Seriously. The former Model T showroom has been impeccably renovated for the sort of “wow factor” familiar on Dwell Magazine page spreads but rarely seen in this city. And nowThe New York Times has visited. They spoke to the owners, Tom and Peggy Brennan, about the renovation process as well their goals as a small business incubator.

Green Collaboratory

May 25, 2012 | By Detroit Jewish News

Think of it as one of Detroit’s little ironies: an ecologically sound, environmentally sustainable hub for start-up businesses housed in a former Model T Ford showroom. The Green Garage, located on Second Avenue in Midtown Detroit, is trying to pave a new way of developing socially conscious business in a building that once helped give birth to the automotive revolution.

Green Team

April 26, 2012 | By Brendan Losinski | dBusiness

Aptly named the Green Garage, the venture by Tom and Peggy Brennan, launched last October, offers office and workshop space to entrepreneurs who are developing sustainable business ideas. The Brennans and numerous volunteers also provide access to business plans, funding sources, and community connections — all while developing and promoting environmentally friendly practices.

“There is, in society, an idea that business and the environment need to be on two ends of the spectrum,” says Tom, a former management consultant. “You’re helping the environment or you’re making money, but you can’t do both. We reject that philosophy.”

Detroit’s Brand Is More Than The Sum Of Its Advertising

January 18, 2012 | By Erik Proulx | Forbes

The Green Garage, which what was once an abandoned Model T showroom, has been reinvented into a collaborative workspace for sustainable Detroit entrepreneurs.

Detroit Green Garage looks for the meaning of “green”

December 15, 2011 | By Sarah Cwiek | Michigan Public Radio

Now that the building itself is functional, the Green Garage is just now moving into its main role as a green business incubator. There are two businesses there already, and Brennan says they have room for up to 15.

Can Motor City restart its engines?

November 20, 2011 | By David Usborne | Independent

A few blocks from 71 Pop stands the soon-to-open Green Garage, an incubator for new small businesses with eco-friendly credentials. It is situated in what was once the first ever Model-T showroom, a building dating from the 1920s but which in recent decades was either a warehouse or was abandoned and bricked up. “This building to me represents everything that has happened in the city and what’s changing about it,” says Peggy Brennan.

Office Envy: Lucky Tenants Begin Moving Into the Green Garage

November 18, 2011 | By Sarah Cox | Curbed Detroit

We’ve been enjoying The Green Garage‘s facebook and Flickr updates for a while, but now that the first two tenants have taken office space, we just can’t get enough. (As in: that conference room looks gorgeous and we’ve never had need for one in our blogging life but are tempted to rent it just for bragging rights!)

From Model Ts to Green Start-ups

November 17, 2011 | By Peggy Brennan | Huffington Post

I’m sitting in a beautiful 1920s-era building in Midtown Detroit, a former Model T showroom, that two years ago was an unsightly warehouse. In two years’ time it has been transformed into a net-zero energy building that houses green start-up businesses. I’m in a small meeting room that’s filled with natural light, typing this on an old refinished teacher’s desk that has come from the U.S. waste stream, sipping a cup of organic, fair-trade coffee.

Detroit Pushes Back With Young Muscles

July 1, 2011 | By Jennifer Conlin | New York Times

In addition, Green Garage Detroit, an incubator for environmentally friendly companies, plans to open its doors in August to lend support to at least a dozen start-ups.

Cup 37

May, 2011 | By Megan Gebhart | 52 Cups of Coffee

It wasn’t until I crowded around a table of volunteers happily spending their lunch break in an unfinished building amongst the company of like minded individuals that I realized belief in a vision creates meaning.

Whether we are conscious of it or not, we are all chasing meaning. We’re all looking for proof that the ups and downs of life–the challenges, setbacks, heartbreak–are worth something. We want to know our lives mattered, that we made a difference.

Progress Report: Green Garage’s visible evolution continues, targeting April completion

January 11, 2011 | By Kelli Kavanaugh

In 2009, the Green Garage teamed up with its neighbors, including Motor City Brew Works, to complete the way-cool Green Alley. This year is looking to be the one that their main project, the garage itself, will be ready to serve its intended purpose as a green business incubator. Significant strides have been made to that end since Model D last reported on it in April 2010, so we thought we’d check in with Peggy and Tom Brennan, the couple behind the project.

Group to build incubator for sustainable technology

August 23, 2009 | By Gabe Nelson

More than 40 volunteers, many of them professional engineers, are working to renovate a former Model T showroom near Wayne State University into an incubator for sustainable technology. The garage, on Second Avenue between Canfield and Prentis streets, will provide office space and resources for green businesses, said owner Tom Brennan, a former partner at the Southfield office of Chicago-based Accenture Ltd.


Green Garage Detroit