June 30, 2014 at 4:41 pm

Historic Michigan Theatre, Detroit Club go up for public auction

Cars park in what was once the Michigan Theatre in 2009. (Brandy Baker / The Detroit News)

Detroit — One of the downtown’s most photogenic ruins — the former Michigan Theatre, turned into a parking garage — is among two historic buildings up for public auction in July.

Auction.com lists the Michigan Building, 220 Bagley, as up for bid from July 15-17. Bidding starts at $1 million. The once-grandiose Michigan Theatre, opened in 1926, is now the parking garage connected to the 13-story Michigan Building. The website states the sale is “of stock in a single asset corporation” that owns the building.

The other building up for auction is the Detroit Club at Cass and Fort. The auction takes place July 28-30. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places. Bidding starts at $950,000.

In its prime, the club was visited by the likes of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Empress Zita of Austria and the Duke of Windsor, as well as John Rockefeller, Lee Iacocca and Henry Ford II.

The 35,000 square-foot Detroit Club was bought by Emre Uralli, a Florida-based developer, in December.

The owner of The Michigan Building is listed as Bagley Acquisition Corp., according to the commercial real estate database CoStar.

The Michigan Theatre closed decades ago but the faded structure still remains in the parking garage and has been featured in several films and television series. That includes “8 Mile,” “Alex Cross,” “Transformers: Age of Extinction” and multiple episodes of the television show “Detroit 1-8-7.” The garage’s most recent film appearance may have been in 2013’s “Only Lovers Left Alive.”




Michigan Theatre

238 Bagley Avenue
Built: 1925
Opened: 1926
Size: 13 stories
Height: 154 feet
Capacity: 5,000
Style: French Renaissance
Architect: C.W. and George L. Rapp
Built by: Balaban & Katz of Chicago, Kunsky Corp. of Detroit

The interior of the Michigan Theatre, date unknown. (Detroit News archives)
The Detroit Club at Fort and Cass is seen circa 1900. (Detroit News archives)
Architectural details on the Detroit Club include dental molding, ... (Robin Buckson / The Detroit News)