Ilitches buy Moose building
Downtown property is in area in which family is rumored to be considering building hockey arena.
Louis Aguilar / The Detroit News
The Ilitch family, owners of a downtown Detroit empire of professional sport teams and entertainment venues, have taken ownership of another empty building in an area of downtown being considered for a new home of the Ilitch-owned Detroit Red Wings.
In February, Atanas Ilitch, president of Ilitch Holding's Olympia Development LLC real estate arm, gained the deed for the empty Loyal Order of Moose building at Cass Avenue and Elizabeth Street along with John Kotlar, Ilitch Holdings vice-president, according to the Wayne County Register of Deeds.
Earlier this week, veteran music promoter Blair McGowan said he and fellow promoter Amir Daiza still owned the building and the Ilitches did not. Ilitch Holdings spokeswoman Karen Cullen said at the time she was unaware of the details of the building, a position she repeated Friday.
The warranty deed lists Moose Building LLC as the building owners. State records show the Atanas Ilitch and Kotlar are behind the Moose Building LLC, which the two formed in February.
McGowan did not return repeated phone calls Friday from The Detroit News. Daiza referred all questions back to McGowan.
The historic building is next to the former Chin Tiki, recently bought by Olympia for Ilitch Holdings, owners of the Little Caesars Pizza chain, the Red Wings, Detroit Tigers, Hockeytown Cafe and Fox Theatre.
The Moose lodge is three blocks west of the Fox Theatre headquarters of Ilitch Holdings in a blighted 15-block area the Ilitches view as a potential major hub of entertainment, sports and retail.
The Ilitches also recently won the right to renovate the city-owned Grand Army of Republic building, which is bounded by the three-way intersection of Cass, Grand River and West Adams. It's a block away from the Moose building.
The flurry of activity comes at a time when the Ilitch family is fast approaching a deadline on whether to build a hockey venue or renovate Joe Louis Arena.
The Ilitches' lease on the city-owned riverfront arena expires in 2009.
You can reach Louis Aguilar at (313) 222-2760 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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