Friday, August 24, 2012

Demolishing the State Savings Bank in Downtown Detroit - Or Not

Andreas Apostolopoulos of Triple Properties in Toronto wants to demolish the historic State Savings Bank building because he says there's no parking near the Penobscot Building, which his firm also owns. His proposal has infuriated more than a few people in Detroit.

I thought I'd save him hundreds of thousands of dollars by posting this.

Parking for the Penobscot Building
The yellow circle is the Penobscot Building in downtown Detroit. All of those blue shapes on the map?

Those are parking lots nearby.

Triple Properties could almost certainly buy one of those surface parking lots for less than the cost demolishing the State Savings Bank. One could then build a parking structure on that land for the same costs and without infuriating so many people.

This would leave the State Savings Bank available for him to do something else with that would likely make as much money, if not more, than would a parking structure. Penthouse, for example, used that building for a rather spectacular party during Super Bowl XL. The building is also a prime location for a variety of retail and other adaptive reuses.

The real estate market in Detroit isn't quite ready for a return of many of the things that we saw during Super Bowl XL. However, at rate Dan Gilbert is buying up buildings and converting them into profitable ventures, we'll be there fairly soon. If the State Savings Bank is demolished then so are the opportunities that it represents.

You're welcome, Mr. Apostolopoulos.

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