If any city needs renovating it’s Detroit, so this is pretty awesome. We’ve seen what AT&T Park, which opened in 2000, has done for the China Basin/SoMa neighborhoods of San Francisco, and this looks even more full of potential.
Here below please check out the new sports and entertainment district at the site of the new Detroit Red Wings arena, combined with existing and new developments in five neighborhoods. Mike Ilitch has owned the Red Wings since 1982, and his Olympia Development, a subsidary of Ilitch Holdings, Inc., will be in the charge of the arena construction. It’s a big, far-reaching project, however — including as many as 2,000 new residential units, plus shops and “walkable European-style streets”, among other features.
The centerpiece of this district would be the new home of the Red Wings.
“It’s always been my dream to see a vibrant and energized downtown Detroit,” said Ilitch in the announcement. “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.”
How to pay for this? That’s somewhat of a controversy. Estimated cost of the project is $650 million, of which Ilitch Holdings will put up a little more than $200 million. The rest would come from public funds, according to reports.
Last July, the Michigan Strategic Fund board, which is part of the state’s economic development agency, approved up to $450 million in state-issued bonds to help finance the project that would include the new Red Wings’ arena. Considering severe economic woes of Detroit and the state of Michigan as a whole and the Ilitches personal riches, there’s reason for the uneasiness.
Recap: Det giving Red Wings $270 mil for new arena, Wings owe the water dept $80k, which is shutting off water for 7k residents due to debt.
— Aaron Gordon (@A_W_Gordon) July 20, 2014
Let’s take a look around and see if any of it strikes you as European. If so, perhaps they can convince Woody Allen to film his next movie there. Slideshow:
Images via Detroit Free Press.