Save The Historic Woodstock Apartments
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Join us in urging the Detroit City Council to pass historic designation to preserve the Woodstock Apartments. Olympia Development of Michigan (ODM) is preparing to demolish these historic buildings for a surface parking lot.
The Woodstock Apartments are located at 475 Peterboro and were built in 1914. The Beaux-Arts style buildings have 80 apartments in the center of Detroit's Cass Corridor. During the 1920s, Peterboro Street was home to 12 similar apartment buildings. Today the Woodstock Apartments are the only two such remaining buildings.
Olympia has allowed the the buildings to sit vacant since purchasing them in 2015. The Detroit Free Press recently reported that ODM took out a construction loan that lists 475 Peterboro as a future surface parking lot. 475 Peterboro is among five parcels that are listed under “LCA Surface Lot 7." The Free Press acquired this information from the Wayne County Treasurer.
In 2015, Olympia Development of Michigan (ODM) publicly committed to the rehab of 15 historic buildings throughout the arena district as part of their campaign for permission from the Detroit Historic Districts Commission to demolish the historic Park Avenue Hotel to make way for the new hockey arena.
ODM should honor their public promises to preserve historic buildings throughout the district. ODM has yet to redevelop any historic buildings in the district, and has demolished several additional buildings for surface parking lots. It should be noted that ODM received hundreds of millions of dollars in public funding for Little Caesars Arena on the premise that it would catalyze redevelopment of the surrounding area — not generate additional surface parking lots. Despite being the owner of the new arena, the city derives no direct revenue of any kind from the arena.
The area adjacent to the Woodstock has seen considerable economic activity in the last few years. Buildings that were considered too far gone have been completely restored such as the Cass Plaza and The Davenport. Many others are being renovated right now, including the once-collapsed Scott Mansion and Standard Accident Insurance Co. Building. New restaurants and retailers have opened just across the street and on the same block. This beaux-arts building is in good shape and could be restored with relative ease and returned to productive economic life.
We urge City Council to take action to protect these buildings and the unique economic opportunities they represent. Detroit's historic architecture is a major catalyst in its economic recovery, if not the single most important factor. These opportunities must not be discarded carelessly.
City Council should create a historic designation for the Woodstock and request that the Historic District Advisory Board document and study preserving these 20th-century historic apartment buildings.
Please hold Olympia to their promise to maintain the historic character of the Cass Corridor and renovate this and other buildings.
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