Residents are still trying to get over the recent demolition of the Charlevoix Hotel, near Grand Circus Park, but should get ready to move on again. Recent news has emerged that the historic Park Avenue Building, designed by Albert Kahn, will be demolished soon. This new space will be a part of the new Detroit Red Wings colossal venture to expand upon the city, and will help motivate the 45-block district for further renovations. This space will be utilized for new living spaces, offices, and other mixed live-work use.
Albert Kahn planned the Park Avenue Building for construction in 1922, and set his sights for the northwest corner of Park and West Adams Avenue. Unfortunately, due to the economic downturn of Detroit, the building has been vacant for nearly 25 years.
Detroit city officials and law departments alike describe the Park Avenue Building as, “vacant, open, and dangerous.” Further readings on the court filing in Wayne County Circuit Court explain that the Park Avenue Building “is the very definition of irreparable harm to the public.”
With a damaged fire exit, brick veneer that is not holding up, and other foundation issues, many worried about the Park Avenue Buildings’ stability for quite sometime. Likewise, the doors to the building are sometimes swung open, offering critters and other animals to venture into the building, also making it an unsafe area to wander.
City officials are urging Judge Robert Colombo Jr. to mark the site as a public safety hazard, and create a preliminary injunction against the current owner, Robert Sachs, of the Park Avenue Building. Overall, everyone is looking for a quick and safe demolition. This swift process in the justice system have left many wondering why the Michigan Train Depot, also owned by Sachs, has been sitting around unattended to, for many years.
Sachs was also once the owner of the Charlevoix Hotel, before it was demolished in 2013. Over several legal issues with the state of the building, Sachs eventually gave into the building being destroyed.
The area surrounding the Park Avenue Building is slated to become “Columbia Park,” a new residential area for Detroit. Columbia Park has been described as a breath of fresh air and green space for Detroit.
While many landmarks are falling down after years of crumbling, it’s hopeful to see that the spaces they once occupied will be home to a thriving business, yet again.