Restoration at Woodward and Baltimore in Detroit
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  1. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by emu steve View Post
    Okay, GP, I'll reveal my method for forecasting the two weeks:

    Normally, D.C. cherry blossoms are expected peak bloom roughly April 1.

    This year the forecast is April 15.

    Based on that bit of datum, I surmised that mother nature would be two weeks behind in D.C. and by extrapolation to Detroit also.

    Bingo...
    And then, hooray! After decades of scorched-earth destruction, Ilitch's--er, DDA's--vacant lots will be filled with this miraculous shopping/parking/hockeyplex:

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    Maybe even one of them fancy Gordon Biersch beer places will open there too!

  2. #27
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    GP, is your mind conflicted?

    I assume you want spring to arrive yet, spring will bring the arrival of the heavy equipment to...

    While you lament, others are singing the praises of a "New Detroit":

    "The final [Hudson's site] project could create a new postcard image for the city that combined with the Ilitch family's planned hockey arena and entertainment district on the north end of downtown would give the city a blockbuster pair of nationally significant architectural icons."

    Freep
    Last edited by emu steve; March-05-15 at 05:24 AM.

  3. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by emu steve View Post
    GP, is your mind conflicted?

    I assume you want spring to arrive yet, spring will bring the arrival of the heavy equipment to...

    While you lament, others are singing the praises of a "New Detroit":

    "The final [Hudson's site] project could create a new postcard image for the city that combined with the Ilitch family's planned hockey arena and entertainment district on the north end of downtown would give the city a blockbuster pair of nationally significant architectural icons."

    Freep
    No, I'm not conflicted. I'm just saying that:

    1. The arena district is not going to be the God-send that some (including you, emu steve) think will be a kickstarter to saving downtown Detroit. It's going to be a hockey arena, with enormous parking garages and maybe a few blocks of restaurants, bars, small offices and retail. See also: Columbus.

    I would not be surprised if it were designed to be psychologically cordoned-off from the rest of downtown, as the primary goal of this project is to make money for Olympia (not revitalize the rest of downtown). In fact, I expect this area to function more like a suburban subdivision or shopping center than an urban neighborhood.

    2. For the length of time that these properties sat vacant (and all the destruction that was necessary to create these vacant lots), one questions whether or not Detroit would be better off had the properties been developed instead of sat-upon by their owner.

    3. Same goes for your comment regarding the Hudson's site. By the time a new building opens, it will have only been 18 years since that building was speculatively demolished "to spur renaissance in downtown". Totally worth it, right? Never mind that redevelopment has taken place *everywhere but* this lot--you know, in those "old obsolete dinosaur" buildings that our old friend Rasputin wanted to tear down so many times over.

    4. There is nothing "architecturally significant" about the new arena. And regardless of what the media says, odds are that a new building on the Hudson's site will not be architecturally significant, either. I mean, what are they going to do--add a ton of pointless cantilevers and clad it in glass, like every other architecture firm on earth does? Oooooh--how revolutionary! This, like much modern architecture, will at best be a high-concept sculpture that fails to act as a reasonably-performing building.

    "Decide how the storefronts will interact with Woodward"? It's laughable. You put the damn storefronts right at the edge of the sidewalk, and then add your artistic embellishments--you know, architecture. I didn't realize that fundamental concepts of design required so many meetings.

    The saddest part is that Detroit has gone well out of its way--and spent millions of dollars--to DEMOLISH ACTUAL SIGNIFICANT ARCHITECTURAL ICONS. So please, spare me the crap.

    And yeah--Dan Gilbert (as much as I admire the development he's doing)--the guy who wanted a public sculpture of dice and casino chips in downtown Cleveland--is the one who's going to insist on a world-class design for the Hudson's site. I'll believe it when I see it.
    Last edited by ghettopalmetto; March-05-15 at 08:35 AM.

  4. #29

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    I have to go along with the previous post. Why should this new arena be a national icon? It's a hockey arena, just like 10 others built in the past few years. They're spending 2 billion on new football stadiums so another 350 million dollar arena will hardly get the nation buzzing. Also, we have yet to hear of any developers partnering with Ilitch on any development in his new area.

  5. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by 401don View Post
    I have to go along with the previous post. Why should this new arena be a national icon? It's a hockey arena, just like 10 others built in the past few years. They're spending 2 billion on new football stadiums so another 350 million dollar arena will hardly get the nation buzzing. Also, we have yet to hear of any developers partnering with Ilitch on any development in his new area.
    There's nothing wrong with a perfectly functional building. Not every new building has to be--or should be--a piece of haute sculpture.

    They say the greatest chefs excel because they know when to exercise restraint.

  6. #31

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    An arena/stadium can surely inspire and be an icon for a city, but even the best generally remain a mere footnote, something that is great to see a big game or event at, someplace that you remember when you see images of its exterior on TV (which will generally account for 1/1000th of the TV imagery given that, in sports, the cameras are focused on the ice/court/field, which is the same everywhere).

    The Barclays Center is the most advanced and all around best modern arena. It's rightfully acclaimed. It always catches my eye when I walk down Atlantic/Flatbush Avenues. It's a validation on Brooklyn's return as a glorious city center. But, in reality, it's just a place to watch a ballgame or a concert once you've saved up enough money. Thankfully, it has outstanding sight lines and acoustics, and kind of reinvented what the interior space of an arena is supposed to look like. That said, you can only take that so far. And the arena, though a spectacle, can only do so much (really, not that much) to change the on-the-ground realities of Brooklyn. There's still underutilized space, there's still violence, there's still outrageously conceived housing projects, just blocks away. So I'm glad that the world has a new image (among many) to remember Brooklyn and NYC by, but I'm willing to admit that the primary benefit, in reality, is 1) it's cool to look it; 2) it's awesome to watch a game at when you can afford it...and 3) it employs people.

    Guess what, #2/3 are true of even the Joe Louis Arena, and at least in the case of Brooklyn #3 was a big deal because there was no arena there previously. Detroit is not growing the employment pool by moving from the riverfront to lower Midtown, except in ancillary development we hope for (and frankly, the retail and hotels and residential that are being promised may already have been there, today, at least on a level comparable to the rest of Midtown, had Illitch not cockblocked the district for the last decade-ish). And, circling back to #1, JLA is kind of iconic for other reasons: it's name, it's location, and the amazing sports and entertainment that has occurred there.

    I'm excited about the best-case scenario potential for the new arena. If the design is as grand as Barclays, and if the ancillary development all occurs in short order, there will be nothing but applause and satisfaction from me. But if there are defects a la Comerica Park (poor seating arrangement, bland design), and if Illitch fails to create an atmospheric urban district (i.e. removes historic buildings and replaces them with plazas and garages), I will be completely disappointed, except for the part of me that will eventually settle with it and say (well, at least my out of town guests don't need to see post-apocalyptic moonscape anytime we head from downtown to midtown). Oddly enough, Comerica Park has a nice nationwide reputation (it's pleasing to view on the TV, overlooks downtown nicely, and is hospitable to the first-time visitor) but obviously isn't iconic....Ford Field too, and for some better reasons such as outstanding interior design and historic rehabilitation. It's a solid facility built to last, but not landmark.

    All I can say is we better get a fucking icon that blows away all other hockey facilities and Detroit's other stadia: I frankly cannot think of any architecturally iconic NHL rinks (except Barclays effective next year). All are basically boxes or faux replays of the actual traditional icons of the original 6 era. There are a couple of subtly iconic college rinks, i.e. Yost, but really not pro rinks that offer unique architecture. At this point, your best currency for being recognized is reputation/name and history: MSG, JLA, etc. So if we are giving up on JLA and its identity and history, we need something beyond best in class...the hockey version of the best modern sports facilities you've ever been to or seen on TV (Seattle's football stadium? Arlington's oversize stadium? the under-construction football stadium in Minneapolis?). If Minneapolis is somehow going to have the coolest football stadium in the world, Detroit better get the best hockey arena.

    ...In closing let me fit this rant into the context of this toe-tapping thread: I don't mind if they take their time. Get it right. Convert those blurry-eyed, press-release conceptual renderings into an even better real blueprint. Get the best materials. Hire the best people. Put our public financing to work now that you've plundered it.

  7. #32

  8. #33

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    Mackinaw.... for all the beauty that the Barclay Center has on the outside to look at... it reminds me of the Sydney Opera House... it looks great on the outside... but just as the Sydney Opera House cannot actually hold Grand Opera (some serious design flaws mean large operas have to go elsewhere).... so too does the Barclay Center have some serious design flaws.... nearly 4000 seats cannot see one of the two goal zones for hockey games....
    http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2014/09/...y-at-barclays/

    So much for physical beauty....

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by innercitydoc View Post
    Very good article with some 'new' news (or things I didn't or at least wouldn't be expected to know):

    1). the heavy equipment needs to be on site before the thaw begins per law. (didn't know that).

    2). "Rezoning isn't required to begin the major earth-moving, such as excavation and site prep work. " So while local government leaders, Ilitches, preservationists, etc. debate the workers will be busy at work. Time won't be lost.

  10. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mackinaw View Post
    The Barclays Center is the most advanced and all around best modern arena.
    https://thenypost.files.wordpress.co...9/barclays.jpg
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BUuFi-XCAAA9q83.jpg
    http://cdn.newsday.com/polopoly_fs/1..._960/image.JPG

    The Barclays Center is so advanced and modern that it's only good for basketball. Almost anything inside the blue line is considered to have limited view seats for hockey. Most of the fans in that zone can't see any action from the faceoff circles on in, while many of the folks along the sides will have to turn their heads past 45 degrees. Did I mention the railings obstructing views as well? It's the absolute worst for watching a hockey game.

    The new Detroit Arena has a deconstructed design with the first ever glass-covered interior streetscape, plus an LED-lit roof. I like the fact that they went with something unique and not the usual cookie-cutter setup. They have also hired Rossetti(who worked on the Palace) to make sure it has the best sighlines for hockey. Bringing in Tom Wilson was huge because he has plenty of experience with building something that has never been done before. After all, he was Davidson's right-hand man when the Palace was built with the suite setup which all new arenas replicated thereafter.
    Last edited by teague; March-16-15 at 10:03 AM.

  11. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by emu steve View Post
    1). the heavy equipment needs to be on site before the thaw begins per law. (didn't know that).
    Never knew that either. The warmer weather probably helped with getting this project started on time. If it was still below freezing who knows how long they would've had to wait for the snow to melt.

  12. #37

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    It's not like they designed it for hockey and just messed up. It was only designed for basketball and it seems to work fine for that, so I don't know what the complaint is. Should they have made it more versatile? probably, but they were hired to design a basketball arena and that is what they did. I'm sure the new Red Wings arena will offer a full view of the rink.

  13. #38

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    Yeah I was just complimenting Barclays as the only real arena that contributes to cityscape in a 'wow' sort of way, in response to some earlier comments. As to interior layout, I didn't aware that it sucked for hockey (has it hosted hockey yet? I thought that started next fall). I think you all got my drift in mentioning Barclays though, in relation to our hockey arena. Part apples to apples, part apples to oranges.

  14. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gistok View Post
    Mackinaw.... for all the beauty that the Barclay Center has on the outside to look at... it reminds me of the Sydney Opera House... it looks great on the outside... but just as the Sydney Opera House cannot actually hold Grand Opera (some serious design flaws mean large operas have to go elsewhere).... so too does the Barclay Center have some serious design flaws.... nearly 4000 seats cannot see one of the two goal zones for hockey games....
    http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2014/09/...y-at-barclays/

    So much for physical beauty....
    Just looking at some of the other pictures, the seating in there looks clumsy regardless of what sport would be played. it looks like there should be a stage at the one end - like Cobo had.

  15. #40

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    I was looking around... and this was the best I could find.... this puts basketball vs. hockey seating into perspective....

    http://www.du.edu/ritchiecenter/even.../diagrams.html

  16. #41

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    HOTEL PARK AVENUE DEMOLITION OFFICIALLY PROPOSED

    ...EDDYSTONE PRESERVATION PLANNED.

    http://www.detroitnews.com/story/bus...sing/70470290/

    You know, can't save 'em both, 'cause of the terror'sts and .... 'cause we need a loading dock for rock concerts.

    LOL whatevs, Olympia.

  17. #42

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    I fear that batting 1 for 2 will be good enough for city council to approve the zoning request. The 10am should shed light on the actual reasoning why the Park Ave building can't be saved and costs to renovate the Eddystone. SHould be interesting.

  18. #43
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    Discussion of parking at the arena site.

    http://www.freep.com/story/news/loca...lans/70434020/

  19. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mackinaw View Post
    HOTEL PARK AVENUE DEMOLITION OFFICIALLY PROPOSED

    ...EDDYSTONE PRESERVATION PLANNED.

    http://www.detroitnews.com/story/bus...sing/70470290/

    You know, can't save 'em both, 'cause of the terror'sts and .... 'cause we need a loading dock for rock concerts.

    LOL whatevs, Olympia.
    You laugh at that, but the Department of Homeland Security is taking a VERY active role in working with college athletic departments and professional sports franchises in not only recommending particular design elements in new stadium construction or renovation of existing facility, but DEMANDING them.

    I know for a fact that several of the recent upgrades to improve Spartan Stadium in East Lansing included aspects that came straight from DHS safety requirements.

  20. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by EL Jimbo View Post
    You laugh at that, but the Department of Homeland Security is taking a VERY active role in working with college athletic departments and professional sports franchises in not only recommending particular design elements in new stadium construction or renovation of existing facility, but DEMANDING them.

    I know for a fact that several of the recent upgrades to improve Spartan Stadium in East Lansing included aspects that came straight from DHS safety requirements.
    Yeah, but if the design element is "no buildings allowed nearby", DHS should be laughed out of the room. And, honestly, who cares what they recommend? Have we been suffering a string of stadium-related safety crises or terrorist attacks? If Washington DC has a hockey/basketball arena (Verizon Center) totally surrounded by other buildings with no "buffer" at all, I bet Detroit can manage to do whatever works for Detroit.

  21. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mackinaw View Post
    HOTEL PARK AVENUE DEMOLITION OFFICIALLY PROPOSED

    ...EDDYSTONE PRESERVATION PLANNED.

    http://www.detroitnews.com/story/bus...sing/70470290/

    You know, can't save 'em both, 'cause of the terror'sts and .... 'cause we need a loading dock for rock concerts.

    LOL whatevs, Olympia.

    Ain't nobody gonna fix up these obsolete dinosaur buildings in Detroit! More parking = economic growth! Tear that schitt down!

  22. #47

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    Regardless of whether DHS holds a certain position or not, there are two realities. First, this is not law, but guidelines. Second, the position as applied here and as raised by Olympia is internally inconsistent and hypocritical. The very design of the arena structure, so highly touted by Olympia, includes offices retail and residential ON SITE and surrounding it across the street.

    So yeah, they can build new schlock right on top of the arena, but, as to comparable uses in an older building across the street, well, now, that just wouldn't be safe.

    The Free Press coverage of parking this morning is scaring the shit out of me. Sounds like "THE DISTRICT" is primarily going to be a surface parking district. I don't understand why Olympia is not providing more structure parking or underground parking on site, or why they aren't being forced to. Alternatively, they should be forced to choose 2 or 3 of their, what, 50 vacant blocks nearby and develop a few mega-garages. Problem solved. If the City council acquiesces to a plan that continues to lock up that whole area for parking rather than neighborhood development, we've got big problems.

    I wish the Freep and others would more intelligenty raise and ask questions about surface v. garages/underground. Only a consolidated approach will leave room for the developers to develop actual buildings. This, more than anything, calls into question whether a neighborhood will be built. And the same article that covers this needs to examine Olympia's pattern with Comerica-- again, under-provision of garages and over-provision of surface lots which have made our cityscape look like shit and which have cockblocked any potential development of those sites. It is the SINGLE most unintelligent thing about these stadium developments.

  23. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mackinaw View Post
    So yeah, they can build new schlock right on top of the arena, but, as to comparable uses in an older building across the street, well, now, that just wouldn't be safe.

    The Free Press coverage of parking this morning is scaring the shit out of me. Sounds like "THE DISTRICT" is primarily going to be a surface parking district.
    I don't know why this is a shock to anyone at all.

    From the Freep article:

    Doug Kuiper, a spokesman for Ilitch Holdings, said the surface lots will be "high-quality, landscaped, paved surface parking lots to support the Detroit Events Center and businesses in the District Detroit." "Over time, many of these lots will evolve to become new developments that benefit our community," Kuiper said in a statement.
    Where have we heard this load of crap before???


    Red Wings owners Mike and Marian Ilitch control companies that operate several surface lots around the arena site. The area where surface lots are anticipated to be needed stretches along Woodward Avenue from the Masonic Temple to the north, down to the Grand Circus Park area to the south.


    The study estimates more than 6,600 cars will arrive on game nights. Including spaces at several surface lots, there are 4,200 spaces within 1,000 feet of the arena and an additional 20,000 parking spaces within a 10-minute walk of the arena, according to a planning document Olympia Development submitted to the city.
    Only in Detroit can you have 20,000 parking spots within a 10-minute walk, yet still be concerned about providing sufficient parking. Boy oh boy, I can't wait to go park my car down by the new hockey arena!!! Don't know if I can handle this much excitement.
    Last edited by ghettopalmetto; March-26-15 at 09:08 AM.

  24. #49

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    Landscaped to boot! That way, we can fit even fewer cars per blocks and jam up the entire district...for parking. A parking district! "EPIC plans", says the Detroit News!

  25. #50

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    I am very disappointed in the Free Press and Detroit News coverage of this project.. They are not writing as journalists.. All hail the mighty Mike Ilitch, whom no one can doubt because he knows best.. This parking issue is ridiculous. The only issue we have here is that there are too many surface lots and not enough deck parking. All the naysayers were absolutely right, this project is going to look and feel just like Comerica Park. Mediocre at best.

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