Ilitches buy another Cass Corridor building near arena
Detroit — Owners of the Detroit Red Wings have added to their collection of Cass Corridor properties near their new $450 million sports/entertainment arena, this time buying the headquarters of the Michigan Chronicle building.
The two-story building with an Art Deco design was sold earlier this year for an undisclosed price to an entity linked to an executive of Ilitch Holdings Inc., which is controlled by members of the Ilitch family, according to filings at Wayne County Register of Deeds.
The Chronicle and its parent company, Real Times Media, are moving to 1452 Randolph. The Real Times Media family of companies includes the nation’s largest African-American owned and operated newspapers.
The current Chronicle headquarters is at 479 Ledyard, less than two blocks west of the 650,000-square-foot sports and events center slated to open next year. The arena is expected to be the spark for 45 blocks of new development, amounting to at least $200 million in investment in new offices, retail and residential.
Neither officials for Chronicle nor the Ilitch organization could be reached for comment Friday afternoon.
Over the years, the Ilitch organization spent nearly $50 million secretly buying 56 properties from dozens of private owners in Cass Corridor. It turned out much of that property was on 13 acres of land needed for the arena.
The Chronicle building is beyond the arena footprint, but is in one of five “new neighborhoods” the Ilitches and city officials are working to create around the arena, which is north of downtown between Cass and Woodward avenues.
The Chronicle building, which opened in 1904, is within one block of Cass Technical High School, the square Cass Park and the Masonic Temple.
At least two other buildings have been recently purchased on the same block of Ledyard as the Chronicle, including the 37-unit Cass Park Apartments.
Ledyard street is starting to be marketed as “Cass Park Village,” one of the five new neighborhooods. “Part entrepreneurial, part punk, this neighborhood has been conceived with individuality and expression in mind,” reads the description on DistrictDetroit.com. The website is the public face of the development plan.