Letter to Detroit City Council re – 550 W Fort

Detroit Saturday Night Building - 550 W. Fort, Detroit, MI 48226

Detroit City Council:

Ten days ago, a group of Detroit residents and organizations gathered on Cadillac Square to announce a new initiative, Detroiters for Parking Reform. We came together to call for greater accountability and important changes to policies that govern parking in downtown Detroit. Changes that would make unnecessary demolitions for surface parking a thing of the past.

We have more parking spaces downtown than ever before, with nearly 40 percent of land in downtown Detroit devoted to this use. But somehow, we are convinced we need 12 more spaces where the historic Detroit Saturday Night Building stands today. This is a building that might otherwise be redeveloped for housing, business, and retail space. World-class cities are not defined by how much parking they have.

We need change, including a moratorium on new surface lots. Until we remove parking minimums, so developers are not compelled to build even more parking we don’t need. Until we start collecting data on parking, so we can get smarter about how to better manage the parking infrastructure we have. And until Detroit finishes its comprehensive zoning rewrite, which is looking to address parking as one of its areas of focus.

It is hard for us to rationalize the proposed demolition, especially in light of the thousands of parking spaces within a couple of blocks of 550 West Fort (see attached images). We believe a better solution is possible, and therefore support the proposed interim historic designation. Thank you for your consideration.


Detroiters for Parking Reform
[email protected]

A view of 550 W. Fort from the south, showing parking facilities on three sides of the building.

Images show two views of the Detroit Saturday Night Building/550 West Fort (shaded in green): looking north (right), and looking south (below). It is across an alley from the Historic Fort Shelby Hotel, and is surrounded on three sides by parking lots/parking structures (shaded in red).

A view of 550 W. Fort from the north, showing parking facilities on three sides of the building.