UPDATE (6-29-13): The Ilitch organization now denies any solid plans to demo, saying no decision has been made on the two buildings.
Our fears have been confirmed: Olympia Development has plans to demolish the Eddystone and the Park Avenue Hotels, clearing the land for the new Red Wings arena development.
The news of the demolition isn't surprising—this is an Ilitch production, after all—but we'll admit to hoping at least one of the vacant buildings would be incorporated into the development as hotel or residential space. Assuming they're structurally sound (and buildings like these usually are), it is our humble opinion that preserving the buildings would do wonders to anchor the new Arena District, which many fear won't be a "district" at all.
What's really disturbing, however, is how little the public has been informed of the development's details. This is millions of dollars in public money going towards a development that'll be downtown Detroit's gateway for the next century. Can't there be some public input? Some transparency? Is announcing the demolition of two historic hotels really only worth a photo caption in the Detroit News?
· New Red Wings Arena Revealed, Massive Development Planned [Curbed Detroit]
· Are the Eddystone and Park Avenue Hotels Doomed? [Curbed Detroit]
· Arena plan one more change for Cass Corridor area rich with history [Det News]