DETROIT (AP) – A real estate firm is hoping to preserve the front of a historic theater building in downtown Detroit as groundbreaking nears for an area development project.

The Detroit News reports that Bedrock is planning to break ground on the Monroe Blocks project in the first half of 2018. The more than $800 million project is expected to take almost three years to complete, and will include an office tower and four residential buildings.

Conceptual drawings released by Bedrock propose to incorporate the facade of the National Theatre within the project. The drawings show the white-glazed terra-cotta facade used as a gateway to a pedestrian walkway.

Some preservationists have expressed frustration with the plan to demolish the 106-year-old theater, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.


(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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