Massive tower planned for former Joe Louis Arena site


A developer proposed a concept for a massive tower of 500 apartments to be built on the site of the demolished Joe Louis Arena.

The Detroit-based Sterling Group, owner of the former arena site, submitted a “conceptual site plan” to the city in July showing a 25-story, 290-foot-tall residential tower called “The Louis” where the old Red Wings arena was in use. be by the river west of the Renaissance Center.

The 500 apartments would be a mix of one bedroom and studio apartments, including penthouses.

If built, the tower would be the largest new high-rise housing development in downtown Detroit since the three Riverfront Towers opened in the 1980s.

However, the concept submitted to the city does not appear to be a real construction proposal – or at least not yet.

The Sterling Group could not be reached for comment on Friday evening. News of the concept tower design was first reported by Crain’s Detroit.

Joe Louis Arena closed in the summer of 2017 and has been completely demolished for over a year.

The Sterling Group acquired ownership of the five-acre arena site, as well as the 3,000-space parking lot near the Joe Louis area, in a complex $ 14.1 million deal with the city ​​at the end of 2019 which included payment of the city’s demolition costs.

A concept for a 25-story, 500-unit residential tower on the site of the demolished Joe Louis Arena.

The deal bought out New York-based bond insurer Financial Guaranty Insurance Corp., which had secured future development and ownership rights to the arena site during the Detroit bankruptcy in 2013-14 in exchange for ‘Significant losses for a $ 1.1 billion claim against the city.

The bond insurer was supposed to build a hotel with at least 300 rooms on the site, but withdrew from the plan.

The Sterling group have yet to make a public announcement on their plans or visions for the former arena ground.

Following:The demolition of the Joe Louis Arena continues and is expected to be completed at the end of the summer

Following:Detroit Grand Prix to return to downtown in 2023 under contract approved by city council

In March, the developer sold the arena’s parking garage at 900 W. Jefferson Ave. to Grosse Pointe-based Foster Financial Co. for $ 36 million.

President Brad Foster said on Friday his team had turned the garage into a “Joe Louis Mobility Hub” and had recently completed renovations of half of the 3,000 spaces, with the rest to be ready in the spring.

“Before COVID, there was a 19,000 parking space deficit,” Foster said. “Obviously that has changed a bit since COVID arrived, (but) we imagine there is still a need for it.”

Foster said the Sterling Group had not said anything about the design of the tower, but that his garage would be available to tower residents if the project was built.

“We understand that there is no parking included in the development of Sterling,” he said. “So we are delighted to partner with them to provide a parking option for their apartments – if that is what ends up happening.”

ContactJC Reindl To313-222-6631 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @jcreindl. Learn more about the companies and subscribe to our business newsletter.