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Greek-Canadian Billionaire, Owner of the Silverdome, Passes Away at 69

Greek-Canadian Billionaire
The Pontiac Silverdome, which was purchased by Andreas Apostopoulos before it was razed. Credit: Ken Lund, CC BY-SA 2.0/ Wikimedia Commons

Andy Apostolopoulos, the Greek-Canadian business magnate who was the owner of the Silverdome in Michigan passed away on Monday at the age of 69.

The Chairman and CEO of the Triple Group of Companies passed away peacefully, according to a statement released to the press by his family.

According to a press release, the Greek-Canadian billionaire was “best known as a modest businessman who revitalized properties in struggling business areas and communities, redeveloping them into useful, income-producing assets.”

In 2009, Apostolopoulos made international headlines when his investment company purchased the iconic Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan.

Apostolopoulos agreed to pay $583,000 for the stadium, which had been built by the city in 1975 for $55.7 million. He promised at the time of the sale that he would visit Pontiac soon to see his new property and introduce himself to residents.

“We want to have sporting events there,” Apostolopoulos said, adding that he would also like the Silverdome to host music concerts, as it had in the past.

Property razed; Now Amazon center

However, his legacy in the Detroit area is clouded in controversy, with his Michigan properties, which also included the iconic Penobscot building in downtown Detroit, falling into disrepair.

The Silverdome itself became an eyesore under his ownership and the city ultimately sued his company over violations of building and safety codes.

The 80,000-plus-seat stadium was eventually razed to the ground and the land was used for a new, 3.5 million-square-foot Amazon distribution center.

The family later purchased Detroit’s Penobscot Building in 2012; ever since, the edifice has collected a series of code violations for blight and threats of lawsuits from the city regarding the failure to maintain the building.

Casino complex in Ontario

In 2015, the real estate family, led by Apostopoulos and his three sons, announced a visionary casino and entertainment complex in Pickering, Ontario, to be known as Durham Live. The project is still in development at the present time.

Apostopoulos immigrated to Canada as a teenager in 1969 from Messini, Kalamata. He began at the bottom of the ladder, working as a laborer, but his keen business sense led him so soon start up his own office cleaning company, and he then branched out into the manufacture of plastic bags.

Along with his three sons, Apostopoulos built one of Canada’s largest privately-held real estate corporations into a multi-billion dollar empire — form the ground up. Today the Triple Group owns and manages commercial and industrial real estate internationally.

“Relentless drive”

The family’s statement praises Apostopoulos as a soft-spoken man who yet had a “relentless drive” and his innate “dare-to-dream” mentality paved the way for commercial real estate development and investment.

The family says that the Greek immigrant’s ability to inspire, encourage and support those around him to achieve their dream best defines the legacy of the great man. In addition to his phenomenal business achievements, Apostopoulos received an honorary degree and was a noted philanthropist.

He was also a proud Greek-Canadian, along with being a passionate businessman, but above all, his family said, he was a deeply devoted family man. Apostopoulos is survived by his wife as well as their sons Jim, Peter and Steve and their spouses, and five grandchildren.


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