Plans to demolish The Palace of Auburn Hills are taking shape, as the former home of the Detroit Pistons will be razed to make way for a redevelopment project.
Home to the Pistons from 1988-2017, The Palace of Auburn Hills has sat largely idle in recent years. Its last public event came in the fall of 2017, with more recent uses limited to office space for the Pistons’ business operations. However, with the organization’s business operations set to relocate to an upcoming training center in Midtown Detroit, The Palace will soon become completely obsolete.
On Monday, it was announced that Pistons owner Tom Gores is teaming up with Livonia, MI-based developer Schostak Brothers & Co. on a joint venture to redevelop the roughly 100-acre site into a mixed-use office park and will demolish The Palace as part of those plans. Schostak Brothers will serve as the lead partner and manage the future mixed-use development, which is expected to include corporate office, research & development, and technology companies. The arena is expected to be demolished sometime this fall, though an exact demolition process has not been determined, according to the Detroit Free Press.
“Auburn Hills has been a great home to our franchise for a long time,” Gores said via press release. “This investment will allow us to stay connected in a way that will create new opportunities for people who live and work in the area.”
A specific timeline for the development has not been announced, and neither were financial details of the deal. According to a press release, the Pistons organization is preparing to move its remaining team and business operations from The Palace to the new Henry Ford Detroit Pistons Performance Center in Detroit, which is on schedule to be completed this fall.
Notably, this could mean that two former major sports and event arenas in the Detroit region will be demolished within a short time of one another. Joe Louis Arena in downtown Detroit—the former home of the NHL’s Red Wings—is currently in the process of being demolished, with its site expected to be cleared late this year or early in 2020.
Located in suburban Auburn Hills, The Palace of Auburn Hills opened in 1988 after its $90 million construction cost was privately financed by then Pistons owner Bill Davidson. The Pistons would play there through the 2016-17 season, their last before moving into the brand-new Little Caesars Arena in downtown Detroit, which they share with the Red Wings.
That move has ultimately paved the way for a strategy that has seen the Pistons continue to concentrate their operations within the city of Detroit. The new training center, the Henry Ford Detroit Pistons Performance Center, will open later this year, while plans are taking shape for a Pistons’ affiliate in the NBA Gatorade League to begin play at an upcoming Wayne State University arena when it is completed in 2021.
Image courtesy Detroit Pistons.
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