Detroit City Council approves historic designation to save apartments near Little Caesars Arena

DETROIT – The Detroit City Council voted to designate the area near Cass Avenue and Henry Street a historic district. 

Olympia Development owns many of the buildings in the area, and some council members feared the buildings would be torn down to make room for parking lots and office space.

Detroit City Council voted unanimously to approve the historic designation on Tuesday.

Since the area is now a historic district, the apartments can only be renovated, not taken down.

"I don't think anything should be knocked down. I think it should be renovated," Sydney Suzmanski said.

Suzmanski has lived in the Berwin apartments since 1997 and he doesn't want to leave his home, especially because the neighborhood near Little Caesars Arena now looks so nice.

Historic preservationists agree.

“As the city said with its historic district study, this is one of the last intact apartment blocks in the Cass Corridor,” Mark Hall said.

"I would really hate to see this building go because, for one, a lot of people who live here are on Social Security and have limited incomes," resident Brooks Harris said.

Olympia Development responds

Olympia Development offered the following statement on the City Council's decision: 

"We have a long history of supporting historic redevelopment in the city, with ten important and celebrated buildings in The District Detroit either already completed or in the planning, financing, or leasing stage, including 1922 Cass, 2110 Park, 2210 Park, 100 Sprout, 150 Bagley, 408 Temple, and 100 Temple. We will continue to pursue options for this part of the city that generate density, lead to successful development, and grow the city’s tax base in support of the long term goals of the city, its residents and The District Detroit."

About the Authors:

Ken Haddad is the digital content and audience manager for WDIV / He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013. He enjoys suffering through Lions games on Sundays in the fall.