2-story house near Little Caesars Arena coming down

Louis Aguilar
The Detroit News

Demolition of a 136-year-old house in the shadow of Little Caesars Arena began Tuesday — part of the flurry of construction being done two weeks before the debut of the sports and entertainment complex.

Crews on Tuesday morning began to dismantle the empty two-story house at 2720 Cass Ave., near the corner of Temple. The home borders the western edge of the $862.9 million Little Caesars Arena complex.

The facility opens Sept. 12 with a Kid Rock concert. A series of sneak previews begin next week with a ribbon-cutting ceremony next Tuesday.

The house on Cass being demolished was sold in 2009 for $210,000 to a limited liability company that later transferred the property to Olympia Development of Michigan. It sits next to a fire-damaged two-story house at 2712 Cass Ave. that is listed for $4.9 million.

There are no immediate plans for the land, said Ed Saenz, an Olympia Development spokesman in a Tuesday email. “This vacant structure, which is not designated as historic, has been considered by a variety of developers and found to lack viable redevelopment potential.”

Saenz added: “These cleanup efforts will create fully abated, infilled, seeded and safe land suitable for future development.”

The 20,000-plus seat arena will be home to the Red Wings and the Detroit Pistons. The arena also is expected to become the top concert venue in the area. It will be surrounded by two new buildings filled with offices, stores and apartments. The site plans also include plenty of new outdoor space such as Chevrolet Plaza.

Construction of the arena complex is being overseen by the Ilitch’s Olympia Development, the real estate arm of Ilitch Holdings Inc., the family-run enterprise that owns the Red Wings and Little Caesars pizza. The city-owned Little Caesars Arena will be operated by the Ilitch’s Olympia Entertainment once the facility opens.

More than 1,000 workers are on hand completing the arena construction site as well as road work and major renovations of nearby surface parking lots controlled by holding company.