Site work underway for apartments on former Joe Louis Arena site

Candice Williams
The Detroit News

Site work has begun to prepare for the construction of a high-rise residential building on the former site of Joe Louis Arena.

Detroit-based Sterling Group is working on a multi-residential complex with studio and one-bedroom units, according to plans submitted to the city of Detroit in the fall.

Site work for an apartment tower has begun on the property where Joe Louis Arena once stood.

Heavy duty equipment was seen at the site at 600 Civic Center Drive this week, first reported by Crain’s Detroit Business. Signage at the site displays the name of Macomb Township-based Colasanti Construction Services Inc.

Representatives with Sterling Group were not immediately available for comment Thursday.

According to a building permit issued by the city of Detroit on Feb. 3, work would involve site preparation and foundations for a future multi-family dwelling with 25 stories.

A separate permit for construction of the building would be issued at a future date, according to the city.

Sterling Group acquired the property in a $14 million deal in 2019 that moved control of the arena and parking deck from bond insurer Financial Guaranty Insurance Co. to the developer. In early 2021, Sterling Group sold the parking deck to Grosse Pointe-based Foster Financial Co.

According to plans submitted to the city, the development would feature about 500 studio and one-bedroom apartments. Apartment sizes range from 259 square feet for a studio apartment to 653-772 square feet for a one-bedroom unit.

Joe Louis Arena was closed in July 2017 after hosting its final event and was demolished in 2019-20. The arena opened in 1979 and was the home of the Detroit Red Wings until April 2017 before the team moved to Little Caesars Arena on Woodward for the 2017-18 season.

Twitter: @CWilliams_DN