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DETROIT-The Madison-Lenox Hotel will be demolished with the help of the city. The hotel, built in the early 1900s, has sat vacant for more than six years.

Originally two separate buildings–Madison on the left, Lenox on the right–the properties merged to become one hotel, say local residents.

Ilitch Holdings Inc. owns the property, and plans a development on the site. The property sits on Madison Avenue in the Downtown area, near the Detroit Athletic Club, in the Harmonie Park area.

The company is the land ownership arm of Little Caesar’s Pizza, owned by the Ilitch family, which also owns the Detroit Tigers and their new ballpark, Comerica Park, as well as the Detroit Red Wings and their home, Joe Louis Arena.

The family has not announced what the development will be. Brian Holdwick of the Detroit Economic Growth Corp. says the Ilitch family says it hopes to have a plan for the site by 2005.

The city’s Downtown Development Authority agreed to loan the Ilitch family $700,000 to destroy the 120,000-sf hotel. “The loan was approved to destroy the facility by next year,” Holdwick tells GlobeSt.com. He adds the DDA invested a significant amount of capital into Harmonie Park area for the last decade.

“The Madison-Lenox is the last piece of property to have something done with it,” Holdwick says. “We need to continue the growth in Harmonie Park, and the hotel is one of the worst buildings. Ilitch acquired the property several years ago (from SVM Development Corp.) and we’ve been waiting for something to happen.”The building is not salvageable, Holdwick claims, and this would be the best approach to rebuilding the property. He says after demolition, the land will become a parking lot until 2005, when the payment of the loan is due.

He says the DDA will have a chance to decide the design of the parking lot, and to review the development plans when they are proposed by Ilitch Holdings.

An Embassy Suites hotel was discussed for the property a couple years ago, but the plan failed to bring interest.

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