Lions preparing to break ground on office building

The Detroit Lions, in conjunction with a local developer, plan to annouce a $40 million office and retail complex adjacent to Ford Field in an area just southwest of the stadium in what is now a surface parking lot.

The complex is expected to house retail shops, office space and a 1,000 space parking deck. In addition, the team is expected to announce that they will host a small upscale boutique hotel within what was once the old Hudsons warehouse area of the Ford Field property.

The hotel is expected to house approximately 100 rooms and cater to guests visiting the area. Detroit hopes to have both properties completed in time for the Super Bowl at Ford Field in 2006

The office/retail complex already has its first tenents - 400 workers from the accounting firm of Price, Waterhouse, Cooper - signed to occupy the building which will be located in what is now a parking lot on Ford Field property at the intersection of I-375 and Madison.

Tom Lewand, executive vice president and C.O.O. of the Detroit Lions said the development adds to the "critical mass" of the district which encompasses theatres, hotels, an athletic club and several concert halls.

The project was first rumored to be in the offing in a copyrighted story that appeared in the Detroit Free Press in February 2004. That story cited reports that a House of Blues restaurant/concert hall and a Ruth's Chris Steak House could eventually become part of the complex.

While those are still possibilities, nothing has been confirmed at this time except that the Lions were at one point negotiating with those firms as well as other restauranters.

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