The Detroit News’s Louis Aguilar reports that the City of Detroit is trying to find ways to redevelop Joe Louis Arena, which isn’t easy given how isolated the site is from the rest of downtown Detroit:
A study done for the city and private land owners near the arena shows there are talks to find the money and create a consensus to tear down major structures, including a freeway exit, along with the vacant arena later this year. New pedestrian links to the West Riverfront area and possibly nearby streets would be created, according to a copy of the study obtained by The Detroit News.
“We are looking at the demolition of Joe Louis Arena as way of turning around the site, from what’s now considered the back door of everything, to the front door of the West Riverfront area,” said Maurice Cox, director of the city’s Planning and Development Department.
The city is in talks with major land owners — including the authority that controls the adjoining Cobo Center, the company that acquired the Joe Louis property during the city’s bankruptcy and DTE Energy — to come up with funding to “create a holistic development framework,” according to the study. The area being looked at is generally bounded by Cobo Center to the east, West Riverfront Park to the west, Lafayette Street to the north and the Detroit River to the south.
Joe Louis Arena is slated to be razed later this year. There also is an effort to get rid of some of the infrastructure around the 5.1 acres of land occupied by the arena.