Commission approves hotel demolition for Detroit hockey arena

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DETROIT (AP) – A Detroit commission has approved plans to tear down a vacant historic hotel as part of construction of a new Detroit Red Wings hockey arena north of downtown.

The Detroit Historic District Commission voted 3-1 Wednesday in favor of razing the Park Avenue Hotel, which was built in the 1920s. Olympia Development of Michigan has said demolition of the hotel is needed in order to build a high-capacity loading bay for the arena.

Olympia Development is owned by Red Wings’ owners Mike and Marian Illitch. City Council members approved rezoning property for the arena project in April. The $450 million arena with 20,000 seats is expected to open in 2017.

The Red Wings currently play at Joe Louis Arena, which opened in 1979.

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