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Plans for new $650m Red Wings Arena and entertainment venue unveiled

Image: AP

 

Detroit’s Downtown Development Authority (DDA) have this week announced a plan and approved an MoU to build a new home for the Original Six hockey club, the Red Wings, owned by Olympia Entertainment founder, pizza magnate, and Detroit Tigers’ owner, Mike Ilitch.

The new 18,000-seat arena will offer some 650,000sqft of total event centre space, north of Comerica Park and Ford Field, in the area long rumoured to be eyed for a new hockey stadium.

“We will have incorporated all three of our major league sports venues into an exciting, walkable sports and entertainment district that will rival anything in the world,” said George W. Jackson, Jr., President and CEO of Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, which managed negotiations on behalf of the DDA.

The construction area lies along Woodward Avenue, between Temple Street and the Fisher Freeway. The district will include a US$450m sports and entertainment centre and US$200m in new residential, retail and office development in an area stretching from Grand Circus Park to Charlotte Street, according to a statement released by the DDA.

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing expressed excitement about the plans: “I’m extremely pleased that a framework has been established for the development of a new downtown arena and a commercial, entertainment and residential district that will continue to add momentum to the transformation of our city.”

The new arena will offer smaller capacity than the existing 20,058-seat Joe Louis Arena – which opened in 1979 and is currently the National Hockey League’s fourth-oldest hockey venue – and will be owned by the DDA, managed by Olympia Development, and funded with US$285m of public money.

“A project of this scale requires strong commitments from both private and public partners,” said Jackson. “That’s exactly what this agreement represents.”

Plans for an entertainment district, mentioned under the MoU, include the following options, included in the DDA statement and as reported in the Huffington Post:

  • A 140,000sqft new mixed office and retail development on Woodward at Sproat St.
    • A 25,000sqft office and retail development along Woodward
  • Several parking structures with a total of 25,000sqft of retail
    • Renovation of the Detroit Life Building at 2210 Park Ave. for 3,645sqft of retail and 35 residential units
    • Renovation of the Blenheim Building at 81 W. Columbia St. for 1,833sqft of retail and 16 residential units
    • Renovation of the building at 1922 Cass for 70,000sqft of office space
    • A new hotel-retail development with a 20,000 sqft ground floor
    • Parking lots and other amenities

“This is more tangible proof of the very real business and employment opportunities in Detroit’s future, which is important to highlight as the city works through its financial challenges,” said Detroit Regional Chamber President and CEO Sandy K. Baruah.

Source: Huffington Post