Detroit apartments near Little Caesars Arena to potentially receive historic designation

DETROIT – Several apartment complexes near Little Caesars Arena are one step closer to getting protection from being demolished.

Historical designations mean the buildings won't be torn down and replaced with parking structures, but it's not so easy to protect the people who live inside them.

At the corner of Cass Avenue and Henry Street, everything old is new again. A decades-old liquor store was recently rebranded "Detroit District Market" used to be a train station. Roadwork revealed the tracks where the train would travel through town, straight toward Little Caesars Arena.

The apartment complexes across the street from the liquor store are a little closer to getting historical building designations.

"If it gets historic district designation, then the buildings stay up," Preservation Detroit president Eric Kehoe said.

Inside the buildings, it becomes clear that the complexes haven't been preserved that well. One resident, Lomax Lagrand III, wants to know what the building's potential designation would mean for tenants like himself.

"What is the outcome for us?" Lagrand said.

If the building are deemed historic and receive the designation, the building owners will have to maintain the buildings, and with such prime real estate so close to Little Caesars Arena, it's important to not price the current residents out.

'The buildings that are being used for affordable housing," Kehoe said. "It's important that that stay down there in Cass Corridor."

"We need to know what our status is as residents," said Lagrand.

There has been no word yet from Olympia Entertainment regarding how a historical designation could affect the neighborhood.

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