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  #61  
Old Posted Oct 15, 2014, 3:53 PM
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Originally Posted by animatedmartian View Post
http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20140905/BIZ/309050103/1361/Launch-of-$650M-Detroit-development-plan-expected-to-begin-Thursday
I find it hard to believe that this massive development will only cost $650 milllion. There is a similar sized development in Pittsburgh called ALMONO that is going to cost nearly $1 billion, and it's a flat blank industrial site nearly 3 miles from downtown with no arena included in the plan.
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  #62  
Old Posted Oct 24, 2014, 6:14 AM
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Quote:
3 sites holding out in Red Wings arena district
Louis Aguilar, The Detroit News, 10-24-2014




To accumulate blocks of land needed to build a sports/entertainment arena amid a planned upscale neighborhood, the Ilitch organization spent nearly $50 million and years secretly buying 56 properties from dozens of private owners.

Still, two party stores and a fire-damaged rental home along Cass Avenue remain the last three holdouts in an eight-block area described as "the soul" of the entire $650 million entertainment district expected to be created over the next five years.

"We've tried. We've talked, but no," said Richard Heapes, a key planning consultant to the Ilitches. He made the comment recently to the city of Detroit Planning Commission during a public hearing, when asked whether the Ilitches had all the land needed for the development.

The Ilitches do have all they need, Heapes said, but had made bids on other properties and were still deciding whether they would continue to pursue them. He didn't name the properties, but said they were located on Cass near Clifford Street.

Those land owners are hanging tough.

"We haven't talked in weeks. The last time, they hung up on us," said attorney Alan Ackerman, who represents the owners of Paul's Place, a party store at the corner of Cass and Henry. Multiple offers have been made by the Ilitches and all have been rebuffed, he said.

"The Ilitches have a terrific plan. Where we fit into it, still not clear," Ackerman said. Somehow two party stores that sell plenty of booze and lottery tickets don't seem to fit into the grand plans to overhaul a desolate stretch of Detroit into a fashionable district full of teeming streets. Nor does a rental home whose entire rear is charred-black from a fire.

The owners of a home on Cass near Clifford say they haven't talked to representatives of the Ilitches in more than a year. The Ilitches made an offer nearly 10 years ago for $350,000 that was turned down, the owners said. The home is owned by a group of Detroit-area investors who paid $25,000 for it 12 years ago, according to Wayne County property records.

The house has been subdivided into several rental apartments. It's a dull yellow, with a front porch that sags in the middle.

The owners often pay just enough of their property taxes to prevent tax foreclosure, according to county property records.

"In light of the groundbreaking ceremonies, parties and new activity in the vicinity of our home, it amazes me that you are the only person that has reached out," Norma Schropshire, one of the owners of the home, told a reporter. She also praised the Ilitches' grand plan.

About a block from the rental home, the owner of a squat building on Sibley got a whopping $20 million, according to city and Wayne County property records. Just east of the home is the hulking shell of the former Park Avenue Hotel, for which the Ilitches paid $2.6 million. The deal also included several adjacent parcels.

.....



A spokesman for Ilitch Holdings Inc. said Heapes was referring to the two party stores, but not the house, when discussing properties the Ilitches may pursue. But the owners of the home say they still have hope the Ilitches will pick up talks again.

To be clear, the holdouts only involve one of the five new "neighborhoods" planned in the 45-block district. The three properties are in the eight-block area that's being renamed Woodward Square.

It's not known if the Ilitches are still attempting to buy private land in the other areas outside Woodward Square.

But Woodward Square is the linchpin of the whole district. It is the zone where the Ilitches spent millions buying land. The city and its economic development council also collected 54 parcels in that eight-block area that will be used for the arena and ancillary development.

The area runs from the Fisher Freeway service drive from the south, Woodward Avenue to the east, Temple Street to the north and Cass Avenue to the west.

Based on renderings of Woodward Square, the home is next to one of the parking garages on the drawing board. But the rendering doesn't really show what could be at the site of the holdout house. It looks to be a small building that vaguely resembles the existing home.

Renderings are also vague on what is envisioned for where the party stores are located, but it is expected to be retail or housing.

...

An estimated 12 million people a year could visit Woodward Square, officials contend.

The holdouts still have plenty of time to determine whether they should stay or go.
Semi-related image that was found by HistoricDetroit.org that shows construction plans for other properties in the area. Park Avenue and Hotel Eddystone are apparently getting abatement only treatment in this first phase. Doesn't quite rule out a demolition just yet.


https://www.facebook.com/HistoricDet...8123171921107/
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  #63  
Old Posted Oct 24, 2014, 6:46 PM
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I'm sad to see Comet Bar going. I wish there were some way to integrate some of the old with new.
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  #64  
Old Posted Oct 24, 2014, 7:35 PM
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Pre-Construction Photos

Back in July I went to the site with my father and photographed the future site of the arena. It was honestly so easy just to walk around and snap pictures only a few months before the groundbreaking. Being 19 and not remembering what Foxtown looked liked without Comerica Park and Ford Field, I wanted to take as many photos as I could before any construction started on the new arena. I'd like to share them on this thread when the district is set to open in 2017. With the new bridge, M-1 Rail, and now all of this, it's an exciting time for the city.
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  #65  
Old Posted Oct 24, 2014, 8:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Detroit1995 View Post
Back in July I went to the site with my father and photographed the future site of the arena. It was honestly so easy just to walk around and snap pictures only a few months before the groundbreaking. Being 19 and not remembering what Foxtown looked liked without Comerica Park and Ford Field, I wanted to take as many photos as I could before any construction started on the new arena. I'd like to share them on this thread when the district is set to open in 2017. With the new bridge, M-1 Rail, and now all of this, it's an exciting time for the city.
Looking forward to it (both your pictures and all the development).
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  #66  
Old Posted Oct 25, 2014, 12:01 AM
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Originally Posted by animatedmartian View Post
Looking forward to it (both your pictures and all the development).
Thanks! It's going to be an exciting next couple of years.
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  #67  
Old Posted Oct 27, 2014, 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by big W View Post
May I ask why the height restriction that low?
They won't have any problem with the height restrictions. I think it will be just fine.
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  #68  
Old Posted Nov 15, 2014, 5:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Innsertnamehere View Post
Edmonton arena is easily the coolest arena I know of.
Hear, hear! I have to say though, that this is a close second. I used to live in Detroit and just catching up on a lot of this today, and must say I am beyond blown away by everything that is happening downtown.

Here's a link to the arena project happening in my current home - http://www.rogersplace.com/gallery/
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  #69  
Old Posted Nov 16, 2014, 7:13 AM
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Park Avenue Hotel, aka Harbor Lights, is currently in limbo.

Quote:
New Red Wings arena plan raises preservation concerns



....

The rezoning request on City Council's plate concerns a four-block area between Woodward Avenue and Cass Avenue that will include: the arena itself, two above-ground parking garages and mixed-use space connected to the arena.

The Hotel Park Avenue sits just within the northern boundary of the rezoning request. By notching out the building, the Ilitch-owned arena development company, Olympia Development of Michigan, doesn't have to explain to the city how it plans to use it.

.....

However, a contractor on the project recently told a city council committee that the Hotel Park Avenue was carved out of the rezoning because federal homeland security guidelines make redevelopment of the structure difficult.

"We're trying to figure some things out. I'll be very honest, we're not having a lot of good results," Olympia contractor Richard Heapes told the council committee on Nov. 6. "It's not so much the cost. But then, what do we put in there?"

Heapes said protective measures would have to be taken for any privately owned residential or office structures within a "required security zone" that forms a halo extending 100 feet around the arena's exterior. The halo directly intersects the Hotel Park Avenue. As a result, a three-foot-thick concrete wall would have to constructed to follow the homeland security guidelines, Heapes said. The wall would make at least one side of the building appear blank, with no window frames.

Heapes said "a federal homeland security guideline that the NHL has adopted and has been applied to all their other facilities" requires adherence to the security zone during the arena's design.

....

Tim Boscarino, a zoning specialist for the city of Detroit, told the council committee at its Nov. 6 meeting that the regulations appear to be flexible.

Councilman Benson agreed: "It's a recommendation. It's not a law. It's not a requirement."

Benson said carving out the Hotel Park Avenue from the rezoning request "could be seen as an intent to create an argument for the demolition of the property in the future."

The fate of the Hotel Park Avenue and the Eddystone have been a point of intrigue since plans for the arena unfolded last year. The graffiti-covered buildings now stand as eyesores in an underdeveloped part of the Cass Corridor. Built in the 1920s, they are on the National Register of Historic Places, which qualifies them for redevelopment tax credits.

....

Already, the City Council is taking steps to protect the Hotel Park Avenue. On Thursday, the planning and economic development committee unanimously supported a recommendation to include the Park Avenue in the arena rezoning request. The amendment would push Olympia to find a purpose for the building, or to come out and say they plan to tear it down.

"If it's not in the (rezoning), it doesn't support its future redevelopment. Being placed in puts it in a stronger footing," Benson said. "Right now, I don't support the demolition of the property."
Other pictures of the buildings.


Hotels No More by cman710, on Flickr


Photo 20131122. This is ZOMBIELAND. Park Avenue in Detroit, MI. by Vik Pahwa Photography, on Flickr



View from the 26th Floor of the Fisher Building. by raeann.canterbury, on Flickr


You can see Hotel Eddystone on the far right and it's pretty obvious how ill-advised it would be to demolish either of these two buildings. While the immediate blocks around them are currently no-mans land, it's right between two growing neighborhoods, Downtown and Midtown, plus whatever new development will be built by Olympia. It's pretty incomprehensible how they could argue for demolition.
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  #70  
Old Posted Nov 17, 2014, 12:50 AM
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Hopefully they will be saved. Take s cue from Chicago's arena plans and integrate large historic buildings and move the small ones to another place.
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  #71  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2014, 6:30 PM
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I've been away at school in Chicago since September so I haven't had a chance to visit the arena site for awhile. How come there aren't any construction photos yet?
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  #72  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2014, 8:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Detroit1995 View Post
I've been away at school in Chicago since September so I haven't had a chance to visit the arena site for awhile. How come there aren't any construction photos yet?
Construction on the arena itself won't start until next spring. For now there has just been demolitions of small buildings that have been in the footprint of the building.

Actually, the only demolition that's already occurred are some properties a block north of the arena site behind a DTE substation. All 100-year old buildings. Not sure what, if anything, is going to replace them when construction on the arena starts.









Pictures from Curbed Detroit.
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  #73  
Old Posted Nov 21, 2014, 12:06 AM
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[QUOTE=animatedmartian;6815229]Construction on the arena itself won't start until next spring. For now there has just been demolitions of small buildings that have been in the footprint of the building.

Actually, the only demolition that's already occurred are some properties a block north of the arena site behind a DTE substation. All 100-year old buildings. Not sure what, if anything, is going to replace them when construction on the arena starts.

Thanks for clearing that up!
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  #74  
Old Posted Nov 26, 2014, 2:23 AM
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http://www.freep.com/story/news/loca...elay/70125306/

Olympia requested City Council to delay the request on zoning changes. Right now there seems to be a tug-of-war on how much influence the city government will have on the development.

In addition to adding Park Avenue Hotel to the development site and potentially used for affordable housing, the city council also suggested that the number of parking spaces be halve the amount of parking spaces from 1,200 to 600 after concerns that the increased traffic would disrupt planned bike routes on Cass Avenue. There was also a request by the council for outdoor public seating around the arena site.

The delay will put off the decision until January when the City Council returns from winter recess.

Last edited by animatedmartian; Nov 26, 2014 at 3:15 AM.
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  #75  
Old Posted Dec 10, 2014, 5:09 PM
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Quote:
Little Caesars to build 8-story downtown HQ next to Fox
By Tom Walsh and By John Gallagher, Detroit Free Press, December 10, 2014





A quarter century after moving its corporate hub from the suburbs to the Fox Theatre building in downtown Detroit, the Ilitch family is unveiling plans this morning for a new 8-story office tower next door, more than doubling the size of the Little Caesars pizza headquarters campus.

Company executives, including founders Mike and Marian Ilitch, are sharing the news with employees in a theatrical presentation today in the Fox Theatre and lobby.

Along with a new arena for the Ilitch-owned Detroit Red Wings hockey team, the new 205,000-square-foot Little Caesars structure will be one of 14 new buildings in the Ilitches' expansive $650-million arena district development, which aims to transform dozens of underutilized blocks between downtown and Midtown into a world-class sports and entertainment district.

...

The new Little Caesars tower on Woodward Avenue and across from Comerica Park will be Detroit's first new corporate headquarters building in more than a decade: The Compuware building was finished in 2003 and the American Axle and Manufacturing headquarters at I-75 and Holbrook Avenue was erected in 2004.

The new tower, slated to be completed by December 2016, will be smaller than the Fox Office Center building, which houses both the iconic Fox Theatre and 186,000 square feet of office space for Little Caesars and other Ilitch-affiliated ventures. The two buildings will be the same height, but the new tower will be just eight stories — versus 10 for the Fox — because it will have higher ceilings.

"We are bursting at the seams," Scrivano, president of Little Caesars, said of the pizza firm's current cramped and scattered quarters. With no room to expand in the old Fox building, for example, Scrivano put a new pizza innovation center and test kitchen inside Comerica Park a few years ago.

"We've had people in temporary space at our sister companies, some people are working out of their homes, we keep doing meetings out by the airport," Scrivano added, noting that the new building will solve those problems and provide room for future growth.

....

Little Caesars' new headquarters

Details of the project, slated for completion in December 2016, include:

■An overhead bridge and walkway over Columbia Street, connecting the Fox with the new Little Caesars Global Resource Center

■Space for 600 additional high-skill jobs to be brought to Detroit in the next decade

■A flagship Little Caesars Pizza storefront on Woodward Avenue

■A Columbia Street neighborhood to be activated with retail and green space

■Innovation kitchens

■An auditorium, meeting rooms and child care facility

■Training facilities for franchisees, crew and employees
http://www.freep.com/story/money/bus...alsh/20184917/
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  #76  
Old Posted Dec 24, 2014, 12:42 AM
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No signs of construction yet, although numerous buildings have some sort of activity apparent with them as well as a large amount of graffiti painted over.

Photos by Tanya Moutzalias from Mlive. The "before" pictures are from a year ago.








This is the same block as the photos in post #72.




The few businesses that were in the area have been vacated.






Plenty of road construction signs sitting around likely waiting to be used on the surrounding streets and freeways.

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  #77  
Old Posted Dec 24, 2014, 6:06 PM
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[QUOTE=animatedmartian;6855056]No signs of construction yet, although numerous buildings have some sort of activity apparent with them as well as a large amount of graffiti painted over.

Great pic as usual animatedmartian! I went with my dad to the site in July this past Summer, and it's amazing to see that all the graffiti has been cleaned up.

I hope they preserve these two hotels, because I feel like a good amount of Detroit architecture has been destroyed in my 19 years of life.

These two are not as important as Old City Hall, Hudson's, or even the Hammond Building were, but any buildings in Detroit that pre date WW2 should be made a priority to save IMO.
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  #78  
Old Posted Dec 25, 2014, 8:35 AM
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I support the new arena but seeing demolition of those 100+ year old homes makes me mad. What a waste. Especially the one with the turret.
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  #79  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2015, 11:04 PM
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Debate still ongoing over the vacant hotels. Recent proposal has been for Illitch to sell the properties to a private developer and use federal money to finance rehabs for senior or moderate income housing (basically, anything other than luxury apartments).

http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/c...marks/30975356
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  #80  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2015, 10:38 PM
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Any reason why they haven't started actual construction on the arena yet? I know that they said it would begin this spring but why wait? I don't mean to be impatient but if you're going to do a groundbreaking ceremony, then at least follow it up with progress a month later. It's been four months that this project has "officially" been under construction.
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