Conceptual rendering of the former Detroit Life Building (Photo courtesy Olympia Entertainment)

Olympia Entertainment Announces Phase Two Of District Detroit

Six new projects are planned in the $200-million job

April 30, 2018 - 5:12 pm

DETROIT (WWJ) - Six new projects will bring more than 400,000 square feet of new office space to the District Detroit, Olympia Entertainment announced on Monday.

Among the six planned projects are three new buildings and three existing buildings that will undergo complete renovations. The project, dubbed as "phase 2" of District Detroit -- the areas surrounding the new Little Caesars Arena downtown -- is set to cost nearly $200 million as a whole.

In addition to office space, more than 70,000 square feet of street-level retail space will be added, with hopes of drawing new businesses and even more visitors to the area, according to Ilitch Holdings, Inc. president and CEO, Chris Ilitch. 

“This new investment puts the focus on the redevelopment of historic buildings while bringing high-demand retail and office space that will contribute to Detroit’s economy,” Ilitch said in a press release.

Among the renovation projects are the former Detroit Life Building at 2210 Park Avenue, a six-story building a block down the street at 2110 Park, both set to be designed by Detroit-based Kraemer Design Group.

The former Detroit Life Building project will cost $17 million, while the second building will cost $25 million. 

Additionally, an historic Albert Kahn-designed building that has stood in the 1900 block of Cass Avenue will be renovated for $23 million by the same Detroit-based company that built it. The site once included a carriage and wagon shop and later, a machine and engine shop, according to the release.

A $65-million proposed new building would go between Little Caesars Arena and Wayne State University's Mike Ilitch School of Business along Woodward. That bulding would be the biggest of all the proposed projects, holding more than 100,000 square feet of office space and 17,000 square feet for retail.

The two other buldings would be located in the 100 block of Henry Street, totaling $68 million. One building would be adjacent to Chevrolet Plaza at the LCA, while the other one would be on the other side of the street. 

These two buildings would be at a site previously designated as residential. Olympia says "this property is now envisioned as office space to meet surging demand for Class A office space in Detroit."

In addition to the six planned projects, Olympia is exploring the option of renovating a seventh building on Park -- the historic Blenheim Building. It is under early feasibility study for potential redevelopment into residential units with street-level retail space. Feasibility studies are also underway for additional hotel and entertainment developments, several of which will take the place of existing surface parking lots, according to Olympia.