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Developers Set Sights on Lee Plaza for Redevelopment

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[UPDATE: An earlier version of this article stated that Lee Plaza will be redeveloped into a green hotel. That was erroneous and we regret the error. The building will be developed into "around 200 units of luxury, market-rate apartments slated to open in fall 2017," reports The Detroit News.]

Lee Plaza will be redeveloped into a green building. The long-abandoned 1929 building will use zero-energy technology, according to a statement released by the West Grand Boulevard Collaborative. According to the Detroit News, Craig Susser, a managing partner with Moneta Energy, the project's developer, will discuss specifics at the WGBC's 11th annual Breakfast on the Boulevard today. WGBC president Mildred Hunt Robbins called the project a win for her neighborhood. "The families in the WGBC area welcome news of the redevelopment of the 17-story Lee Plaza icon, a jewel in the City of Detroit, which was in jeopardy of being lost by years of neglect and vandalism," Robbins said in a statement.

Designed by architect Charles Noble, perhaps best known for The Kean Apartments, the 17-story building has fallen into complete disrepair and was looted for some of its exterior sculpture. The structure was built by real estate magnate Ralph T. Lee, who Detroit Free Press called "Detroit's most spectacular real estate operator." Lee put up more than 30 hotels and apartment buildings, including Lee Crest, Wager Terrace, the Bohr Apartments and the Burlingame.

In its heyday, the luxury building operated as a kind of hotel/apartment combo, offering luxurious amenities including "a beauty parlor, a game room with driving nets for golfers and billiards; a white-walled playroom for children … and a meat market and grocer," according to Historic Detroit. The building entered the National Register of Historic Place in 1981, and features work by famed Detroit architectural sculptor Corrado Parducci, whose work also adorns the Fisher Building and the Guardian.

The building remains beautiful, even in its current state, as noted by many local Instagrammers. Photographers who've gained access in recent years—not to mention extreme sports athletes skateboarder Tony Hawk, how famously balanced his board on the edge of a parapet—have taken advantage of the building's great height and spectacular sightlines. While the timeline hasn't been announced, one thing for sure is that new development will have some of the best city views in Detroit.

Designed by architect Charles Noble, perhaps best known for The Kean Apartments, the 17-story building has fallen into complete disrepair and is missing almost all of its windows. The structure was built by real estate magnate Ralph T. Lee, who Detroit Free Press called "Detroit's most spectacular real estate operator" of the day. Lee put up more than 30 hotels and apartment buildings, including Lee Crest, Wager Terrace, the Bohr Apartments and the Burlingame.

In its heyday, the luxury building operated as a kind of hotel/apartment combo, offering luxurious amenities including "a beauty parlor, a game room with driving nets for golfers and billiards; a white-walled playroom for children … and a meat market and grocer," according to Historic Detroit. The building entered the National Register of Historic Places in 1981, and features work by famed Detroit architectural sculptor Corrado Parducci, whose work also adorns the Fisher Building and the Guardian.

The building remains beautiful, even in its current state, as noted by many local Instagrammers. Photographers who've gained access in recent years—not to mention extreme sports athletes skateboarder Tony Hawk, how famously balanced his board on the edge of a parapet—have taken advantage of the building's great height and spectacular sightlines. While the timeline hasn't been announced, one thing for sure is that new hotel will have some of the best city views in Detroit.

A photo posted by Jessy (@msjessykrueger) on

A photo posted by Tony Hawk (@tonyhawk) on

A photo posted by Jessy (@msjessykrueger) on

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·Lee Plaza hotel to be redeveloped [Detroit News]
·Lee Plaza [Historic Detroit]
·See Detroit Through The Lens Of Photographer Joe Gall [CBS Detroit]