The Free Press’s J.C. Reindl reports that the end is coming for Joe Louis Arena:
he City of Detroit has until May to start demolition work for now-empty Joe Louis Arena with a goal of getting the land ready for a new, large hotel that would reshape the downtown riverfront.
That deadline is laid out in a 3-year-old agreement between the city and one of its former bondholders, which received future ownership and development rights to the arena property in exchange for accepting big losses during Detroit’s 2013-14 municipal bankruptcy.
The deal requires the city — which built and still owns The Joe — to begin the demolition process within 90 days of the expiration of the arena’s long-term lease with the Red Wings and the Ilitch family’s Olympia Entertainment.
The lease was initially expected to end by mid-September 2017, according to the agreement and city documents, yet didn’t expire until Wednesday because Olympia exercised options for time extensions. Work crews were spotted in recent weeks removing material from the 38-year-old, windowless building.