The Palace of Auburn Hills, the home court of three Detroit Pistons NBA championship teams and an equal number of Detroit Shock WNBA title celebrations, will face the wrecking ball this fall as part of a mixed-use redevelopment announced today by Pistons owner Tom Gores and Schostak Brothers and Co., a Livonia-based real estate firm.
Gores and Schostak have formed a joint venture that will redevelop the Palace and surrounding land, which has been rezoned as a technology and research district. Gores sold the Palace to the joint venture for an undisclosed price. Work is expected to begin as soon as the Pistons complete their move to the Henry Ford Detroit Pistons Performance Center in Detroit’s New Center this fall.
“We promised the people of Auburn Hills and Oakland County that we would find a solution that would be good for the community and make a positive economic impact,” says Gores. “Partnering with a proven, well-respected developer like Schostak Brothers is an important step in delivering on that promise.”
Gores, who bought the Pistons and The Palace in 2011 for $325 million and spent another $40 million in arena upgrades, adds that he retained a vested interest in the project because he believes strongly in the potential of the site and the future of the region.
“Auburn Hills has been a great home to our franchise for a long time,” says Gores. “This investment will allow us to stay connected in a way that will create new opportunities for people who live and work in the area.”
Schostak Development President Jeffrey Schostak says he views The Palace property as one of the premier parcels of real estate in metro Detroit based on its location in a growing area of northern Oakland County and its accessibility to I-75.
“Schostak Brothers is ready to take the lead and use our expertise in complex redevelopments to create a new and exciting next chapter for The Palace and its surrounding property,” says Schostak. “We are looking forward to working with Tom Gores’ organization and our partners at the city of Auburn Hills, Oakland County, and the state of Michigan on this project.”
Auburn Hills Mayor Kevin McDaniel says the sale and subsequent partnership as a “win-win-win” for the city, its business community, and its residents.
“There has been great cooperation and collaboration with the Pistons organization since the team announced it was moving to Detroit,” says McDaniel. “Recognizing the probability that the property would not continue as an arena, an internal planning activity took place within the city to establish the highest and best use for the land. News of this joint venture with Schostak Brothers aligns with a future for the property that is beneficial to the city while fostering innovation and job creation.”
The late former Pistons owner William Davidson built The Palace of Auburn Hills with several partners. The venue opened in 1988, and cost $90 million. The team played its last game at the arena in the spring of 2017.