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Are the Woodstock Apartments next in line for demo?

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Photo by Mark Hall

Another Cass Corridor building may be in danger of demolition for—you guessed it—another parking lot. The Woodstock Apartments, built in 1914 and currently in decent condition, are next in the Cass Corridor preservation battle.

The Detroit Free Press published an investigative report earlier this month about the Ilitches and their parking lot empire. The article has a map of current and future lots in Cass Corridor and downtown, around the Little Caesars Arena. On that map, a future lot is planned on the 400 block of Peterboro, where the Woodstock Apartments stand. (The map can be accessed here.)

While there is a lot of empty land around that area, the apartments are just down the street from the Peterboro restaurant and more businesses on Cass Avenue, and around the corner from the new Founder’s Brewing Co.

Preservation Detroit has sent a formal letter to the city’s Department of Planning and Development, the City Planning Commission, and City Council requesting to amend zoning laws at the site. In the letter, Preservation Detroit states:

Demolishing intact structures ripe for rehabilitation to create additional surface parking directly contradicts the plan developed by the City of Detroit Planning Commission and Planning and Development Department to support density and create walkable and welcoming neighborhoods for Detroiters. The removal of the Woodstock Apartments to increase parking opportunities for short term visitors to the city is shortsighted, particularly when low-rise residential developments are currently being constructed elsewhere to fill the city’s need for “missing middle” units.

A current zoning ordinance states that, “no commercial parking lot shall be located within one thousand (1,000) radial feet of any stadium or sports arena except on land that, on August 13, 1999, was vacant, or 2) for which the most recently recorded permitted use was for parking purposes.” Preservation Detroit is requesting to amend that ordinance and extend the distance to 2,000 feet.

A petition has been started to send to City Council to create a historic designation for the building.

We’ll update with more information as this develops.