Olympia Development of Michigan has announced plans for a transformation of dozens of under-utilised blocks between downtown and midtown Detroit into a sports and entertainment district that will feature a new arena for the NHL Detroit Red Wings.
The district will encompass dozens of blocks along and near Woodward Avenue. Development 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. The project will connect existing and new development efforts in downtown and midtown Detroit along Woodward Avenue with five walkable, livable mixed-use District neighborhoods.
The Red Wings have been playing their home games at Joe Louis Arena since 1979. Their new, world-class arena will be built concurrently with the District and will be a model of innovation for such a facility in a downtown setting. It will serve not only as a powerful, continual generator of activity, but also as a good urban neighbour.
The revolutionary design will focus the arena on its most fundamental elements, while concurrently building and integrating a new, mixed-use neighbourhood surrounding it. As the design is scaled and planned to fit with both new and existing development, it will also offer a dynamic urban environment that is uniquely ‘Detroit’.
Red Wings owner and governor, Mike Ilitch said:
It’s always been my dream to see a vibrant and energized downtown Detroit. 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.
Christoper Ilitch, President and CEO of Ilitch Holdings, Inc., added:
We’ve done business in Detroit for nearly 50 years, and this is our most significant and ambitious project here yet. 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.
Our vision for the new arena is for a one-of-a-kind facility that fits in with its neighbourhood, that is authentic to our Detroit roots and offers an unmatched fan experience. We will build a revolutionary venue for hockey, music, entertainment and community events, and at the same time, a vibrant mixed-use neighbourhood surrounding it.
The Ilitch organisation has expanded its planned investment in the District to include tens of millions of dollars in new neighbourhood public infrastructure improvements, such as lighting, sidewalks, green spaces and streets. These investments will occur concurrently with the development of the new District neighbourhoods and arena.
Groundbreaking is expected to commence this autumn/fall, with the Red Wings new arena expected to open in 2017.
About Olympia Development of Michigan
Olympia Development of Michigan is a Detroit-based full-service real estate company owned by Detroit entrepreneurs Michael and Marian Ilitch. The company is responsible for developing and investing in some of Detroit’s most recognized and visited venues, including the nationally acclaimed Comerica Park. Other Ilitch companies in the food, sports and entertainment industries include: Little Caesars Pizza, Blue Line Foodservice Distribution, the Detroit Red Wings, Olympia Entertainment, Little Caesars Pizza Kits Fundraising Program, Champion Foods, Ilitch Holdings and Uptown Entertainment. Michael Ilitch owns the Detroit Tigers and Marian Ilitch owns the MotorCity Casino Hotel.