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New Red Wings arena plans unveiled

Olympia Development of Michigan unveiled new Detroit Red Wings arena plans that would also feature the development of a Sports and Entertainment District along Woodward Avenue.

The plan would feature downtown and midtown Detroit development along Woodward Avenue with five walkable, livable mixed-use District neighborhoods.

“It’s always been my dream to see a vibrant and energized downtown Detroit,” said Mike Ilitch, chairman, 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.”

Development in the District will be integrated with existing sports and entertainment venues in or adjacent to the space, including the Fox Theatre, Comerica Park, MotorCity Casino Hotel, Ford Field, the Detroit Opera House, the Fillmore Detroit and more.

We’ve done business in Detroit for nearly 50 years, and this is our most significant and ambitious project here yet,” said Christopher Ilitch, 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 family is already invested heavily in downtown Detroit; the family runs several of the aforementioned venues, including Comerica Park and MotorCity Casino Hotel. A new Red Wings arena would tie together many of those holdings. The family estimates a $200-million investment, which in turn could attract additional investment in the area.

New Red Wings arena development

The plan is for five neighborhood developments, including a new unnamed neighborhood as part of the arena project.

The construction of the District, including the arena, is expected to create approximately 8,300 construction-related jobs and 1,100 permanent jobs in Detroit. Dozens of community meetings relating to jobs have taken place already, with many more planned as groundbreaking occurs in the fall and full construction begins next year. The project will spur at least $1.8 billion in economic impact for the city, region and state.

“The expanded vision for this important project will immediately begin building on the success of other investments along Woodward Avenue,” said Governor Rick Snyder. “This is a powerful example of how public-private partnerships have multiplier effects that benefit the city, the region and the state.”

There are some interesting parts to this development, which takes place in one of the most historic areas of the city. There’s the potential of renovation of the Hotel Eddystone and Hotel Park Avenue, two grand dames from the 1920s adjacent to the hotel site. While there’s no firm commitment to renovate either, both hotels are still in the development plans.

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