Red Wings announce plans for new arena, development project in Detroit

The Red Wings took another step towards a new building Wednesday afternoon. (Michael Caples/MiHockey)


By Michael Caples –

The Red Wings and Olympia Entertainment have released an official statement about today’s big arena news.

The development project – both a new arena for the Detroit Red Wings and other business and residential space – is estimated to have a $1.8 billion impact on the city, region and the State of Michigan.

The City of Detroit Downtown Development Authority (DDA) Board of Directors approved today a Memorandum of Understanding between the DDA, Olympia Development of Michigan and Wayne County that “provides the framework for the private and public financing of the catalyst development project comprised of residential, retail, office facilities and event center in downtown Detroit.”

The Wings’ press release says that the sum of the mixed-use development in the new project is approximately $650 million, 56 percent of which ($367 million) will be from private investment, and 44 percent of which will be through public investment ($283 million).

The public investment will come through existing economic development funds requiring no new taxes.

“Today, this public-private partnership took a significant step forward in laying the groundwork for a major catalyst development which will create approximately 8,300 jobs, stimulate economic activity and have a positive and lasting impact on our community,” said Ilitch Holdings, Inc. president and CEO Christopher Ilitch in the release.

The Momorandum of Understanding is a non-binding document. According to the release, the State of Michigan, through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, “actively participated in the negotiations of the MOU, in support of the project and in keeping with the new DDA legislation (Public Act 396) established in December 2012.”

“This project will leverage more than $360 million in private investments, create thousands of new jobs, revitalize a significant area along Woodward Avenue to help connect the Central Business District to Midtown, and concentrate Detroit’s major league sports and entertainment venues in a way that is unique among urban centers anywhere in the world,” said George W. Jackson, Jr., president and CEO of Detroit Economic Growth Corp., in the release. “We have a significant amount of work to do to realize that vision, but the DDA has certainly taken an important step today.”

The release also confirmed that the location for the new development will be north of I-75 and west of Woodward Avenue.

“There has been tremendous progress made throughout Detroit over the last decade,” Christopher Ilitch said. “The location of the events center district will not only help to rebuild this neighborhood, but will also serve as a vital connector, bringing together the many efforts completed or underway from the riverfront to midtown and beyond.”

An estimated 5,500 jobs will be created for the construction of the events center alone, and 8,300 jobs for the construction of the entire residential and commercial mixed-use district. More than half of the jobs are expected to be filled by Detroit residents. The release also said that there is an expected increase of 58 percent in permanent jobs from Joe Louis Arena to the new events center.


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