Demolition permit issued for former Park Avenue hotel

Christine Ferretti
The Detroit News

Detroit — Plans to tear down a historic hotel in the footprint of the new Detroit Red Wings arena are advancing.

The city’s Buildings Safety Engineering and Environmental Department on Monday issued a demolition permit that will allow the Italian Renaissance-inspired Park Avenue Hotel to come down, the mayor’s office confirmed.

The permit approval comes after the city’s Historic District Commission voted earlier this month in favor of the Ilitch organization’s controversial request to raze the long-vacant hotel. Demolition of the Park Avenue has been a been a key goal in the building of the $450 million arena.

Olympia Development of Michigan has said that the Cass Corridor building needs to be demolished because it is in a high-security zone of the proposed arena.

In its place, an underground loading dock would be built to ensure the multipurpose venue can accommodate major concerts and other events.

Some preservation groups protested the tear down and were frustrated with the decision.

Detroit’s City Council formerly approved an ordinance for the rezoning of the project and several requirements that the company had to meet before the permit could be issued.

On Thursday, Mayor Mike Duggan’s spokesman John Roach confirmed all requirements had been satisfied.

Among them: Legally enforceable and binding documentation committing to the redevelopment of the Eddystone Hotel, a second historic hotel in the arena footprint. That structure is slated to be converted for commercial and residential use.

Roach added that a permit to make changes to the Eddystone will be required prior to its redevelopment, not prior to the Park Avenue demolition taking place.