Photos: 50+ vacant Cass Corridor buildings whose fate likely will be determined in 2016

By Steve Neavling
Motor City Muckraker

No area of Detroit is changing as rapidly as the Cass Corridor.

The construction of a new Red Wings arena and entertainment district has attracted developers who are converting long-abandoned buildings into apartments, restaurants and retailers.

The arena is expected to be complete next year.

Here are more than 50 buildings in the Cass Corridor whose fate likely will be determined this year. Click on the address to learn more about the buildings via Loveland Technologies.

Cass Corridor Alhambra Apartments temple_2190

Address: 1oo Temple
Status: Recently painted and boarded up.
Owner: Hass Systems LLC
Background: Built in the late 19th century, the upscale, six-story Alhambra Apartments originally attracted wealthy residents, including Harvey Firestone, founder of Firestone Tire Company. The Romanesque Revival building is one of the last structures on the two-block stretch of Temple between Cass and Woodward. Two years ago, the adjacent Temple Hotel and three century-old homes were demolished.


Address: 145 Temple
Status: Red Wings representatives want to demolish the building.
Owner: TSD Solutions
Background: The Alden Apartments closed in 2008, and a year later a fire damaged some of the interior, chasing out squatters. Bricks were placed in the windows to prevent trespassing in 2009, and the building has been vacant since.

Cass corridor 131 temple_6055

Address: 131 Temple
Status: Red Wings representatives want to demolish the building.
Owner: TSD Solutions
Background: Former Wil-Mar garage.

cass corridor cole_2150

Address: 2753 Park
Status: Red Wings representatives want to demolish the building.
Owner: Smithwick Company LLC
Background: Less than a block from the stadium, the former Cole apartments is nearly a century old.

Cass Corridor temple and cass_1875

Address: 2900 Cass 
Status: Recently painted and boarded up.
Owner: Temple Commons LLC
Background: The vacant building next to the Temple Bar at Cass and Temple was once a drug store and food market with more than a dozen apartments. The LLC, which bought the vacant building about six years ago, has done little with it. The investor or investors have hidden their identity behind a corporation that also owns the vacant hotel and an abandoned lot across the street. No plans have been announced for any of the properties.

American cass apartment

Address: 408 Temple
Status: Secured, but no plans announced.
Owner: Temple Commons LLC
Background: Built during the hotel boom of the 1920s, the former Hotel Fort Wayne shares the block with the historic Masonic Temple. The building was renamed the America Hotel and has been vacant for years. The owner has cleaned up graffiti and secured the first floor.

Cass Corridor Charlotte Lounge_4553

Address: 3107 Cass
Status: For sale
Owner: Bakers Corner
Background: The former Charlotte Lounge was open to trespass until last year. It is now secured and has been repainted.

mansion cass corridor_8472

Address: 81 Peterboro
Status: Plans to renovate
Owner: 81 Peterboro Limited Partnership
Background: The 139-year-old James Scott mansion has been abandoned since the 1970s, and a body was found in an outside stairwell in 2008. Owner Joel Landy, who also redeveloped the nearby Addison Building and Burton Theatre, plans to spend about $7 million to convert the crumbling building into lofts, just three blocks from the Red Wings arena. But his plans have stalled for unknown reasons.

cass corridor hotel eddystone_2175

Address: 110 Sproat
Status: To be renovated.
Owner: Euclid Enterprises
Background: Designed by famed architect Louis Kamper and operated as a hotel in what is now the shadow of the new Red Wings arena, hockey representatives plan to convert the historic building into mixed-income housing. The building’s neighbor, the Hotel Park Avenue, was demolished. 

Cass corridor cass and mlk_1787

Address: 3550 Cass
Status: Under renovation
Owner: Cass Plaza Apartments Limited
Background: The six-story Cass Plaza was built in 1924 in the Italian Renaissance style and housed 78 units. Originally the Naomi Apartments, Cass Plaza is being converted into 39 apartments and a coffee shop and is expected to open later this year. The apartments will be for lower-income people.

Cass Corridor Stream in the Desert_1037

Address: 2952 Cass 
Status: For sale
Owner: Man-Sun Wong
Background: The former Stream in the Desert has been long abandoned in the former Chinatown neighborhood. The building was for sale last year for $375,000.

Cass chinese restaurant_5354

Address: 3175 Cass 
Status: Unknown
Owner: 3175 Cass LLC
Background: A former Chinese restaurant, the building has been deteriorating for years at the corner of Cass and Peterboro, the heart of former Chinatown. But across the street on Peterboro, a similar building has been converted into a beer retailer and a tattoo parlor, giving life to a long-abandoned area.

Cass Corridor 2930 Cass_2155 (1)

Address: 2930 Cass 
Status: For sale
Owner: Skyline Partners LLC
Background: The three-story brick building is for sale for $399,900 and includes indoor parking. “Make it your home or convert it into condos!” the advertisement boasts. The building appears to be secure and structurally sound, and graffiti was recently removed.

Cass Corridor Cass ave_2192

Address: 2949 Cass
Status: Unknown
Owner: Masonic Temple Association of Detroit
Background: This warehouse was for sale, but it was damaged by a fire last year, and the realty signs have been removed.


Cass Corridor houses_1853

Address: 3113 Cass
Status: Unknown
Owner: Richard Ratkus
Background: These beautiful homes are in bad shape and have been abandoned for a long time.

cass corridor_2153

Address: 3129 Cass
Status: Unknown
Owner: Urban Horticulture LLC
Background: The former Gold Dollar, a former rock venue, closed in 2001. The White Stripes was among the bands that played at this cozy dive. Before it served as a rock venue, the building served a predominately gay clientele. The once-graffiti strewn building has been painted over.

Cass Corridor houses_1854Address: 3143 Cass
Status: For lease 
Owner: Urban Horticulture LLC
Background: The building is owned by the same group that has the former Gold Dollar. The building has been painted and sealed off to trespassers.

Cass Corridor woodstock_2193

Address: 475 Peterboro
Status: Being renovated.
Owner: Urban Horticulture LLC
Background: Built in 1914, the twin three-story apartment buildings, the Woodstock, are under renovation. The ornate apartment once attracted wealthy residents but has become vacant.

Cass Corridor Peterboro and Fourth_2181

Address: 830 Peterboro
Status: Unknown
Owner: George McMahon
Background: Built in 1885, this multi-family house was once attracted affluent residents. It’s now boarded up and in fair but deteriorating condition.

cass corridor on cass_2177

Address: 201 Sibley & 2520 Cass
Status: Unknown
Owner: Gateway Gardens LLC
Background: Both buildings were painted gray last year and boarded up. They are less than a block from the new arena.

cass corridor baptist center_2174

Address: 2700 Second
Status: Unknown
Owner: TSD Solutions
Background: TSD Solutions, which is linked to Red Wings representatives, purchased the vacant New Hope Baptist Center for $475,000 in 2014. The building is in the proposed Cass Park historic district.

cass corridor michigan chronicle_2173

Address: 479 Ledyard
Status: Unknown
Owner: Ledyard Enterprises
Background: The Michigan Chronicle building was purchased for $1.6 million in 2015. It’s in the proposed Cass Park historic district.

Cass Corridor heritage senior living_2199

Address: 2560 Second
Status: Unknown
Owner: Stanne Consulting LLC
Background: The former nursing home, Heritage Senior Living, is now vacant. It’s in the proposed Cass Park historic district.

Cass corridor mlk and cass_6863

Address: 3475 Cass
Status: For lease
Owner: Ray Swann
Background: This former automative center has been painted and closed off to trespassers at the corner of Cass and Martin Luther King.

Cass Corridor MLK and Second_1843

Address: 480 Myrtle
Status: Unknown
Owner: Calvin Bruning
Background: Volunteers boarded up the long-abandoned home in 2013. Behind the house is a drug and prostitution den that has been open to trespass for years.

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  • Godfather 065

    I lived at 624 W. Alexandrine in 1968 and ’69 while attending Wayne State university. I had I think a second floor one room apartment with a private bath down the hall. I was on the Cass Avenue side of the building. The roaches were numerous I used raid my the gallon. That was my 1st apartment and time away from home. I was on academic probation and went home to care for my ill mother. She died in 1970 from complications due to cancer.

  • christina

    Best article you’ve ever posted, thank you! I really appreciate that you shared the addresses, the history, AND the photos. I’m so excited to see what changes will happen in the near future!

  • ChrisC801

    Great job on this one Steve! It is definitely important that this list exists and is brought to the public’s attention. 🙂

  • ChrisC801

    Great job on this one Steve! It is definitely important that this list exists and is brought to the public’s attention. 🙂

  • Wdm test3
  • snwrider2007

    I want to say the 3711 Second property is in the process of having redevelopment designs drafted. If need to check with who told me, but this might be it.

  • snwrider2007

    I want to say the 3711 Second property is in the process of having redevelopment designs drafted. If need to check with who told me, but this might be it.

  • Ann Farnell

    Thanks for the great photos!

  • Ann Farnell

    Thanks for the great photos!

  • Russell Johnson

    what is about 445,457 ledyard st?

  • oldcarman

    So many speculators, so many buildings…. so sad!

  • Donna2016

    Your story gives a snapshot of the Corridor – very important right now.

  • Donna2016

    Your story gives a snapshot of the Corridor – very important right now.

    • muckraker_steve

      Thanks, Donna. I think it’s important to document this time in history in the Corridor because it will look a lot different in a few years.

  • RE

    Another in a series of poorly researched articles about the lower Cass Corridor and new Red Wings Arena Catalyst development district. j appreciate a lot of your reports Steve N. But you clearly don’t communicate with the local community regarding what’s happening where they live. You also don’t communicate with local community leaders who have been involved in the monitoring the aquisition of property in the arena district for close to 10 yrs. For example: Line Rock LLC, Hass Systems LLC, TDS Solutions, Temple Commons LLC, Sorin Ent LLC and Gateway Gardens LLC are all controlled by Illich Holdings either by direct ownershi pm or via the D.D.A. Most of those connections were clear back to 2009, including several of the false LLC fronts to keep real estate prices down sharing the same street address on Grand River Ave in Lansing, just separate suite numbers in the same bldg. Also with the exception of about a half a dozen of the buildings on your list the rest are owned by by the Bat Crap Crazy Joel Landy, who while having some positive developments, his personality has driven out most of the sucessful businesses in his realm. I.e. Burton Theater and Cass Cinema as well as Atlas Global Bistro. Other than those properties minor positive impact on the neighborhood in short spurts, most of Landy’s properties sit in disrepair at best. The capper was this reporter being under the impression that 2540 Park is still standing, which is clearly not true to anyone who has been within 3 blocks of the site within th last 10 months. There is a 40 ft hole being filled in by concrete and steel where it used to stand. Standing up for the community would be great if you talked to the community instead of relying on out dated property records as the basis of the story.

    • muckraker_steve

      This is the first in a series of articles about properties in the Cass Corridor. I am well aware of the ties to Illich Holdings. The point of this one story was to show the buildings that are currently vacant. That’s it. Future stories will tell a lot more. Not sure why you feel I don’t have my pulse on the community. I live in the Cass Corridor and share a lot of your concerns. And all of that will be addressed in future stories. This was simply a story showing the vacant buildings in the Cass Corridor. Nothing more. Nothing less.

      • Donald E. Hodge

        Who was that Steve? your old Boss from the Free Press ? lol ! What a wind bag!

    • lewiston59

      You are right. Joel Landy owns half of these buildings.

    • lewiston59

      You are right. Joel Landy owns half of these buildings.

  • Donald E. Hodge

    The more investment groups can turn around and save these wonderful old properties, the better it is for our city. have at it people! keep up the good work. great story Steve.

    • muckraker_steve

      Thank you! It took some time, but I wanted to get an exhaustive look at most of the abandoned buildings left in the Corridor.