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Another Suburban Anchor Development Doomed by Fate in the Detroit Region

The Detroit Pistons recently played their last game in the Palace of Auburn Hills.
April 19, 2017, 8am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Katherine Welles

"The closing of the Palace of Auburn Hills marks just the latest example of a major suburban anchor dying well before its time," according to an article by John Gallagher.

Gallagher counts the Palace of Auburn Hills, home of the Detroit Pistons, among a group that includes the Northland Center, Summit Place Mall, the Pontiac Silverdome, and the old Kmart headquarters in Troy, as formerly "cutting-edge" developments located in the suburbs of Detroit. Now, "all face either demolition or drastic overhauls."

Gallagher cites Edward Hustoles, a now-retired urban planner who was active in metro Detroit at the time, who says that planners and politicians got duped by a narrative of unfettered expansion in the Detroit metropolitan area.

"Back in 1965, Detroit Edison hired the noted Athens-based consulting firm Doxiadis Associates to map out the future of metro Detroit," explains Gallagher. "In a stunningly misguided bit of forecasting, the Doxiadis report projected that metro Detroit's population would more than double by 2000. Instead, the population fell several million people shy of that." Add the region's population losses with the contemporary taste for urban environments, and it's been a recipe for disaster for Detroit's suburban growth plans.

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Published on Friday, April 14, 2017 in Detroit Free Press
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