Note: This article has been updated since first published on Monday.
Another now-vacant building in Olympia Development’s “District Detroit” may be demoed due to neglect. The Alden Apartments—which now sits in between a new parking structure and what looks to be a start of a parking lot—could be coming down soon to likely make way for more parking.
This has been a widely-known trend in the Ilitch family. They’ve bought numerous properties in Cass Corridor, let them rot away without protecting them, and then tear them down for lucrative surface parking lots near their new arena.
Crain’s reports that Olympia intends to demolish the building at 145 Temple Street, even though it sits in a historic district. Olympia calls the building “structurally unsafe and not viable for redevelopment.”
Since this was first published, the city’s Building, Safety Engineering and Environmental Department has inspected the exterior of the building, and according to Crain’s, they say the building is not “in imminent danger of collapse.” Olympia would have to go through the Historic District Commission to demo the building, but that has not happened yet.
Olympia has previously announced many redevelopments of properties they own, including the Eddystone. Crain’s reports that they are behind schedule, and could be installing windows in the building soon. Olympia is supposed to redevelop the Eddystone in a deal that allowed them to demolish its neighbor—the Hotel Park Avenue—so the Little Caesars Arena could have a bigger loading dock. The developer that was announced to partner with Olympia on residential developments has bailed on the project.
Olympia recently announced that some developments slated for residential use were going to instead be developed into office space. Plans for residential redevelopment of historic buildings—including the Alhambra Apartments, Hotel Fort Wayne, and the Eddystone—are vague at this point.
The Ilitch family repeatedly points to their renovation of the Fox Theatre as an example of their family’s commitment to historic redevelopment. It remains the only building where they’ve completed a renovation, and that was in the late 1980’s.