Planned veterans center faces opposition in Woodbridge
A nonprofit that serves military veterans is facing not-in-my-backyard resistance from some of its potential neighbors in Detroit’s Woodbridge District. The Michigan Veterans Foundation sold the site that serves as its headquarters in the city’s Cass Corridor last year to make way for the state-of-the-art Red Wings arena and the Wayne State University business school. The veterans group wants to relocate and build on an empty triangular lot where Grand River Avenue, West Forest Avenue and 14th Street intersect. But some residents of the Woodbridge District, a neighborhood west of Wayne State University where property values are steadily rising, are balking. The strength of the opposition is unclear. During each of the three public meetings, fewer than a dozen residents have spoken against the idea. Much of the opposition is focused on the building’s design, which is a one-story, pentagon-shaped structure, with a fence and a grass hill that buffers the facility from the street. The clock is ticking for the foundation. It must move out of Cass Corridor soon to make way for massive new buildings planned by the Ilitch family and Wayne State University. The Red Wings are to move into a $627 million new venue being built now in 2017. The arena site is right across the street from the veterans center’s current location. The Wayne State University Mike Ilitch School of Business, which was announced earlier this month, is expected to open in 2018.