At least 15 buildings, houses razed near new Red Wings arena

Pistons banners are posted around the new Red Wings arena. All photos by Steve Neavling.

By Steve Neavling
Motor City Muckraker

Since the city of Detroit announced the location of the new Red Wings arena in June 2013, at least 15 houses or buildings have been demolished within three blocks of the site.

But since the June 2013 announcement, Olympia Entertainment has yet to deliver on its pledge to redevelop the vacant property around the arena. All of the apartments remain vacant.

Here are 14 of the buildings or houses that have been razed since May 2014:

1.

Temple Hotel
The Temple Hotel, which served low-income residents, shut its doors in May 2014 after DTE offered more than $3 million for the property at Temple and Cass. The energy provider is building a substation on most of the block.
The Temple Hotel was demolished.

2, 3 & 4.

Temple-Street_1809
This trio of abandoned homes at Temple and Cass was demolished in October 2014 by a mysterious developer. The house on the left was a servant’s quarters. The middle property, a blonde brick Romanesque house, was built in the 1890s. The house on the right was converted into apartments in the 1990s. The site is now vacant.
cass corridor temple street
The remains of Temple after three houses and an apartment building were demolished on a single block.

5.

Also on Temple near Cass. the former Wil-Mar garage was demolished in March 2017 to make way for a parking garage.
The Ilitch family made a deal with the city to save the building on the right.

6.

Another Fucking Bar was demolished. By Steve Neavling/MCM
Demolished in April 2015, the red brick building at the corner of Park Avenue and Henry Street was easy to miss, inspiring the name of its last incarnation – Another Fucking Bar. Formerly known as the “2500 Club,” the bar was the city’s “most dedicated punk rock venue,” The Detroit News wrote in 2006. In 2009, the bar was sold and became “Another Fucking Bar” with a marquee that read: “Just what Detroit needs.” Beer was served from urinals, and food came in a dog bowl.

7.

Hotel Park Avenue demolition_6984
After clashing with historians, Olympia Entertainment demolished the historic Park Avenue Hotel in July 2015 to make way for a loading dock. The 91-year-old building was designed by Louis Kamper and built alongside the Eddystone Hotel in the 1920s, when the lower Cass Corridor was teeming with fancy shops. But the area declined sharply after World War II, when white, middle-class residents began moving to safer neighborhoods and the suburbs. The few upscale apartments and hotels that weren’t demolished hung on by providing services to lower-income people. The Park Avenue Hotel became a senior complex and then a rehab center for drug addicts and homeless people.

8.

Comet Bar at 128 Henry St.
The Comet Bar at 128 Henry attracted loyal patrons who were enamored by the modest, no-frills environment and live music. The bar closed in October 2014 and was demolished.

9 & 10

Cass Corridor houses_1853
This pair of long-abandoned houses on Cass Avenue was demolished in early 2016. Next to the houses was the Gold Dollar, a legendary bar that is now vacant.

11.

TSD Solutions, which is linked to Red Wings representatives, purchased the vacant New Hope Baptist Center for $475,000 in 2014. The building was in the proposed Cass Park historic district.
The building was demolished in early March 2017.

12.

Less than a block from the stadium, the former Cole apartments was nearly a century old, but Red Wings representatives demolished the building in early 2017 over the objections of historians and preservationists.

13.

This building was demolished because it’s on the Red Wings arena property.14.

The historic and abandoned First Unitarian Church of Detroit on Woodward was gutted by a suspicious fire that is still under investigation nearly three years later. Before the fire, the owner couldn’t get permission to tear down the church because it was protected by the Detroit Historic District Commission. The Ilitch family has expressed interest in the property, which is across the street from the new arena. The church was demolished soon after the fire.

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Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.