The Comerica Park area in downtown Detroit is chock full of construction equipment and plans for development.
Just north of the stadium, is the area slated for the new hockey arena and Brush Park where Dan Gilbert is expected to announce plans today for developing housing. Construction workers have also been working on the M-1 rail.
And now Louis Aguilar of the Detroit News writes that the Ilitch organization is close to finalizing a deal to make way for a five-story apartment complex a few steps from Comerica Park.
The structure, whose early plans called for up to 300 apartments, would be built on what are now surface parking lots along Woodward Avenue and Montcalm Street. The proposed building will be a few hundred yards from Comerica Park, across the street from the Fox Theatre and Hockeytown Cafe, and three blocks from the new home ice for the Red Wings. The hockey arena is expected to open in 2017.
The Tigers and Wings are part of the billion-dollar empire controlled by the Ilitch family, whose holdings also include Little Caesars Pizza, entertainment facilities, including the Fox Theatre and Hockeytown Cafe, and other Detroit property.
The parking-lot-turned-apartment house deal is being negotiated between the Ilitches' Olympia Development of Michigan and St. John's Episcopal Church. The historic church on Woodward and the I-75 service drive owns part of the parking lots on Montcalm and Woodward. The church is negotiating the long-term lease of that land to Olympia, said the Rev. Steven J. Kelly, pastor of St. John's.