Ilitch Announces More Than Just a New Rink for Detroit

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Windsor Star/Jim Parker

Olympia Development of Michigan announced plans Sunday for more than just a new home for the National Hockey League’s Detroit Red Wings.

The announcement calls for $200 million for new mixed-used development to occur concurrently with the construction of a new $450 million arena that will seat 18,000.

The new project will connect existing and new development efforts in downtown and midtown Detroit along Woodward Avenue with five walkable, livable mixed-use neighbourhoods transforming dozens of blighted blocks.

“It’s always been my dream to see a vibrant and energized downtown Detroit,” said Red Wings and Detroit Tigers owner Mike Ilitch, who is chairman of Ilitch Holdings Inc.

“I want people to look at Detroit’s new sports and entertainment district and see what I see: the potential for something very special. I couldn’t be more excited and proud to bring this vision to life.”

The new district will integrate with existing sports and entertainment venues in or adjacent to the space, which includes the Fox Theatre, Comerica Park, Motor City Casino Hotel, Ford Field, the Detroit Opera House and the Fillmore among others.

“We’ve done business in Detroit for nearly 50 years and this is our most significant and ambitious project here yet,” said Christopher Ilitch, who is president and CEO of Ilitch Holdings Inc. “Our great city is home to some of the world’s most legendary people teams and venues in sports and entertainment.

“Detroit deserves no less than the best – a world-class sports and entertainment district we can all be proud of and that’s exactly what we will build.”

The Ilitch organization will expand its investment in the district to include millions of dollars in neighbourhood public infrastructure such as lighting, sidewalks, green spaces and streets.

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