Demolition begins on Detroit building featured in Kid Rock video

Louis Aguilar
The Detroit News

Demolition began Tuesday morning on an empty Grand Circus Park building that for decades was the offices of AAA of Michigan and more recently featured in a Kid Rock video.

The five-story building at 139 Bagley was the sole structure standing in a triangular block of land that is the site of a proposed $35 million to $40 million development that would include up to 250 new apartments.

Around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, excavators began to tear down the red brick wall with dozens of words painted in white, the largest of those words being “CARE.” In 2011, Kid Rock had the words painted on the building as the backdrop for a video for his song titled “Care.” By late Tuesday afternoon, most of the building was gone.

According to court filings, Kid Rock paid the building owners $5,000 to use the vacant structure in his video. Last year, the movie studio Paramount Pictures paid $35,000 to use the building for the filming of “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” according to court records.

The building is being demolished following a lawsuit filed by the city of Detroit against building owner Triple A Ventures. The city argued the building was in such bad condition that it was a public nuisance, according to court records.

Two weeks ago, a Wayne County Circuit Court judge agreed with the city and ordered the building be taken down.

The building used to house the offices of AAA of Michigan from 1926 until it was damaged in a 2005 fire, according to court records.

The empty land surrounding the building is controlled by the city of Detroit. In March, Farmington Hills-based Village Green Holding LLC unveiled plans for its Statler City Apartments project. Based on renderings, the project’s footprint will take up the entire block. In addition to the apartments, the Statler City project would also include ground-floor retail, underground parking and a large electronic screen facing Grand Circus Park. Village Green owns or manages more than 130 properties in 13 states, including the Detroit City and Renaissance City apartments downtown.

Village Green and the city’s Detroit Economic Growth Corp. are in the process of negotiating a development agreement. If things go as planned, the project could be finished in 2016.

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