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  1. #1
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    Default Detroit State Savings Bank Owner Wants to Demolish Historic Structure, Build Parking

    That's the headline on the Freep front page.

    This can't be allowed.

    This is the idea of the new owners of the building.

    http://www.freep.com/article/2012082...text|FRONTPAGE

  2. #2
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    Hell no. Hell no. Hell no.

    There is so much space downtown to build a damn garage. Surface lots galore. If they were to let this happen I'd be so pissed and lose so much hope for downtown's future. It would be positively sickening.

  3. #3
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    Just great.....parking garages as far as the eye can see.

  4. #4
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    Well... on the bright side it's better than Illitch just bulldozing and doing surface parking...

  5. #5
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    Soon there will be no reason to head downtown.
    Totally stupid to tear down buildings like this for a parking garage.
    The Penobscot building has been around nearly 100 years, has parking been an issue for that long?

  6. #6
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    I liked this guy when I first read about him. No so much anymore. It makes me wonder if he's walked more than a block from the Penobscot. There's plenty of parking nearby, and as stinkytofu says, many surface lots if he really feels a need to build. It sounds to me like he just wants something adjacent to his building. Does anybody have stats on downtown garages? How much of capacity is used?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by stinkytofu View Post
    Hell no. Hell no. Hell no.

    There is so much space downtown to build a damn garage. Surface lots galore. If they were to let this happen I'd be so pissed and lose so much hope for downtown's future. It would be positively sickening.
    This is idiotic. One of Downtown's greatest selling points is the historic property. There are tons of parking lots down there that should have parking garages on them. This is ridiculous.

  8. #8
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    “Detroit needs parking,” he said. “If we don’t have parking people won’t come downtown… We tried to bring some tenants downtown and the people are not coming because there is no parking.”


    Detroit needs a way for people to go downtown without requiring 3 parking spaces per person.

  9. #9
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    He acknowledged that the bank building is listed on the city, state, and federal registers of historic places. The city designation in particular offers significant protection against demolition.
    Sounds like it is going to be very difficult to actually raze the building. Thank God.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexasT View Post
    Sounds like it is going to be very difficult to actually raze the building. Thank God.
    If it became anything like the Michigan Theatre I'd be super pissed as well. What a disgrace that is.

  11. #11
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    Apostolopoulos estimated he would spend $20 million on a parking garage and create “lots of jobs.” -free press

    Total BS
    I would be amazed if this happens.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by stinkytofu View Post
    If it became anything like the Michigan Theatre I'd be super pissed as well. What a disgrace that is.
    Oh wow, just googled and read about that. Awful.

  13. #13
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    Off the top of my head there are two surface decent size surface parking lots within one block of the Penebscot (the lot on the northeast and the lot on the northwest intersection of Larned/Shelby). Those seem large enough for a garage. Hell, there is even that little inlet by the salad place on Congress (though that must be too small for garage).

    Maybe this owner should spend a little more money purchasing lots to make his investments worthwhile before he decides to destroy our history.

  14. #14
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    What is the solution, though? The problem is that there aren't really better alternatives.

    Given present market conditions, there are two outcomes- First option is the building is demolished for Penobsot parking, and the Penobscot is a competitive building with a future. Second option is that no parking is added, and the Penobscot continues to wither away.

    Downtown Detroit office space needs adjacent (preferably attached, with direct access) parking. Absent this amenity, the building isn't worth much, and usually eventually abandoned.

    Obviously there are ideal situations that would both preserve the old bank building and allow the Penobscot to thrive. The problem is that none of these solutions are within striking distance of present reality.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bham1982 View Post
    What is the solution, though? The problem is that there aren't really better alternatives.

    Given present market conditions, there are two outcomes- First option is the building is demolished for Penobsot parking, and the Penobscot is a competitive building with a future. Second option is that no parking is added, and the Penobscot continues to wither away.

    Downtown Detroit office space needs adjacent (preferably attached, with direct access) parking. Absent this amenity, the building isn't worth much, and usually eventually abandoned.

    Obviously there are ideal situations that would both preserve the old bank building and allow the Penobscot to thrive. The problem is that none of these solutions are within striking distance of present reality.
    Walking one block to a structure is likely less walking then someone would do if they worked out in suburbia and had to deal with one of those sprawling corporate parking lots that goes on for ages.

  16. #16
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    Hell, build a damn structure on that stupid park they built where the Lafayette Building was. The city already completely f'ed up that whole situation...and that's also only a block from the Penobscot.

  17. #17
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    Anyone with half a brain and who has been inside the beautiful classic marble interior of this building would be appalled with this idea.

    This was designed by famous NYC architect Stanford White (see famous scandal of 1906) of McKim Mead & White (who designed NYC Pennsylvania Station and famous buildings around the country) and is downtown Detroit's only commission by that firm. The inside is a spectacular 2 story arched columned marble interior with a glassed in mezzanine along the 2nd story perimeter of the inside... the outside is a classic beauty.

    It was built so strongly that a 20 story hotel tower was at one time planned to be built on TOP of it. And one of the reasons was... because the lobby is even more sumptuous than the inside of the Book-Cadillac.

    When they brought the 2 solid marble 56,000 pound columns flanking the entrance in by barge in 1900, the weight of the columns collapsed a sewer line underneath it as horsedrawn teams were bringing them to the site.

    Here is a Wiki article on the building...
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Savoyard_Centre

    If I had to rate beautiful downtown lobby spaces... this building's would be #3... after the Guardian and David Whitney Buildings...
    Last edited by Gistok; August-23-12 at 04:15 PM.

  18. #18
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    Not enough parking in Detroit?? Am I missing something?

  19. #19
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    The Ford Building doesn't have dedicated parking and it's doing fine. Also, the Buhl Building, The Guardian Building, One Woodward Avenue, 211 West Fort Street, Chase Tower...

    They're all managing. And so was the Penobscot Building until the recent management problems.


    It's a shame that with the change in attitudes towards downtown that a guy like this is making decisions against the grain like this. It used to be that companies were downtown because they were always downtown and had just never moved. But nowadays, a company leases space in an office building downtown because they want to be downtown, in an urban environment. They choose to locate downtown, and they know that part of the deal is they have to walk a few blocks. I don't think this guy understands the strengths and weaknesses of this building and who he should be advertising it to.



    This building is connected to a building across the street by a skybridge. Does he own that one too?

  20. #20
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    se michigan seems to be stuck with this mentality of, "park my car for free and right through the front door". this is so delusional, and ultimately holding back the region. my company has a transit stipend, which covers most of my bus pass or 30% of monthly parking.

  21. #21
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    This guy has no connection to Detroit or Pontiac other than to make a quick buck so when potential tenants say they want cheaper rent than they're paying in the burbs and the same adjacent parking he tries any way possible to give it to them.

    I'm sure he could negotiate very inexpensive people mover rates for a period of a couple of years as was given to Blue Cross employees. He can certainly get creative if he looks around downtown but is probably doing these deals over the phone from Toronto.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    The Ford Building doesn't have dedicated parking and it's doing fine. Also, the Buhl Building, The Guardian Building, One Woodward Avenue, 211 West Fort Street, Chase Tower...
    I think every one of those buildings, except maybe for the Guardian (which is a govt. building, essentially) has dedicated parking.

    I know the Buhl does, as my dad works there. They have a tenant agreement with an adjacent garage. Chase Tower has parking, as does 211 and One Woodward. I would assume the Guardian has some arrangement with a parking operator too.

    I'm not saying a building has to have a direct in-house garage. Obviously the prewar buildings didn't have garages, since cars weren't the norm.

  23. #23
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    Come to think of it, 211 West Fort has like three parking facilities. They have a tenant garage, directly below the building, an on-site surface lot for overflow, and a huge garage across the street.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bham1982 View Post
    Come to think of it, 211 West Fort has like three parking facilities. They have a tenant garage, directly below the building, an on-site surface lot for overflow, and a huge garage across the street.
    ...so if parking was truly what made real estate in downtown Detroit worthwhile then these buildings that you named should be booming, no?

    I don't get Detroit's fascination with parking garages, especially in downtown Detroit. That's gotta be the absolute worse use of space in a region's core.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by iheartthed View Post
    ...so if parking was truly what made real estate in downtown Detroit worthwhile then these buildings that you named should be booming, no?
    I don't think anything is booming in terms of office space anywhere in MI. My point is that owners think that parking is an essential tenant amenity. It's probably fair to assume that owners have a decent idea of tenant preferences.

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