Mar 28, 2023 - News

Demolishing an eyesore along the Joe Louis Greenway

The La Choy building is demolished on March 27, 2023.

An excavator demolishes the crumbling La Choy building. Photos: Joe Guillen/Axios

Demolition started Monday on the decayed former La Choy food plant along the planned route of the Joe Louis Greenway.

Why it matters: Blighted, vacant properties like La Choy must be torn down for the greenway to maximize its goal of beautifying the city.

  • The list of other planned demolitions includes at least two other commercial buildings — 8020 W. Chicago and 10670 Grand River — and 33 abandoned houses within 300 feet of the greenway.

The big picture: The greenway will be a 27.5-mile recreational path connecting 23 Detroit neighborhoods with trails like the Dequindre Cut, along with Dearborn, Hamtramck and Highland Park.

  • It's expected to cost at least $240 million and be finished by 2030.

Driving the news: Excavators began ripping through the dilapidated La Choy building yesterday, destroying large walls within minutes. Built in 1937, the crumbling 145,000 square foot complex at 8100 Schoolcraft St. is near a west side neighborhood.

  • Demolition will take about 10 days.
  • The city is paying the Adamo Group $1.6 million in federal pandemic relief dollars for the job.

What they're saying: This was long overdue, Littlefield Community Association president Sandra Pickens said at the demolition's news conference.

  • "I'm really so excited to see that the Joe Louis Greenway is coming our way," she said. "It's going to bring a lot of beautification into our area."

Between the lines: The Joe Louis Greenway Partnership, a new nonprofit supporting the project, hired Leona Medley as executive director last week.

  • Medley was Bedrock's director of strategic community partnerships and DEI efforts.
  • The nonprofit is involved in fundraising and ongoing development of the greenway.

What's next: Removal of dumped tires and other debris around the trail's segment near La Choy continues through at least the rest of the year. Then amenities like green space and lighting will be added.

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