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After missing deadline, Olympia and city agree to new terms for Eddystone redevelopment

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The new plan will be submitted to the DDA for approval on May 22

A tall, vacant stone building in front of a cement parking lot. There’s graffiti around the first floor.
The Eddystone Hotel
Photo by Michelle Gerard

Olympia Development and the Ilitch family that runs it have faced a growing chorus of criticism about its lack of development around District Detroit.

Perhaps they’ve been listening.

The company says it’s agreed to new terms with the city of Detroit about redevelopment of the Eddystone Hotel, and will submit a proposed amendment to its original agreement to the Downtown Development Authority on May 22.

When Little Caesars Arena was announced and received $300 million in public subsidies, in turn, Olympia Development guaranteed millions of dollars in spinoff development.

One of those promises was about the Eddystone Hotel, an abandoned hotel near Woodward Avenue built in 1924. Plans called for the 13-story building to be converted into 96 apartment units, 20 percent of which would be designated as “affordable.”

But the company missed its deadline to begin work on the building in August 2018. It also demolished its larger neighbor, the Hotel Park Avenue, in 2015. The city of Detroit was considering legal action and other options, but news about the building went silent until recently.

According to a release by Olympia Development, the amendment will “provide a letter of credit or performance bond to ensure the project meets certain milestones within specific timelines and that the project is completed.”

Kraemer Design Group has been selected as architect for the project.

Olympia has declined to release other details of the new agreement, telling Curbed Detroit, “We look forward to offering more details about Eddystone redevelopment, including the timeline, after the DDA board has had the opportunity to consider our proposed amendment.”

Update: Crain’s Detroit Business got their hands on the 12-page agreement and has reported some of the details: the mixed-use project will have an unspecified number of apartments and cost $40.9 million.

In exchange, the city of Detroit demanded a $33 million performance bond in case the project isn’t completed. Though Olympia requested additional tax incentives, none were given.