DETROIT -

A sign that has been an icon along Detroit's Lodge Freeway for decades is coming down to make room for a new project aimed at helping get the city's homeless off the streets.

The 32-feet-by-48-feet sign sits atop the former Michigan Bell Telephone Co. Building, which opened in 1929. Now, the Neighborhood Service Organization is undertaking a $50 million project to build 155 apartments for the homeless.

Sheilah Clay, the president and CEO of NSO, said the project has been under way for a couple of years and will open in phases before its completion in late 2012.

She said the building won't only provides homes. Mental health services, addiction treatment, a fitness center and a computer lab will also be available, Clay said.

Clay said the Yellow Pages sign can't stay because of structural concerns. She said the NSO has tried to find a new owner for the sign, but no one has taken up the challenge of trying to house it.