Vote unanimously approved to move ahead with new Entertainment District, Red Wings Arena in Detroit

DETROIT (WXYZ) - A vote passed unanimously to move forward with plans for an Entertainment District that would include a new Red Wings arena in the city of Detroit.

This puts the proposal one step closer to reality. The deal is not yet completed.

The meeting was held Wednesday at the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation's offices in the Guardian Building.

The unanimous vote between the DDA, city of Detroit, Wayne County and the state of Michigan sets the framework to move the process forward on the tentative "Entertainment District" which would be located just north of I-75 and west of Woodward.

The Entertainment District would cost $650 million and would include an 18,000 seat arena, retail, residential and parking.

The Downtown Development Authority would own the events center. Olympia Development and the Red Wings would manage the arena under a contract once the final deal is approved.

"We have outlined a deal that will do far more than build new home ice for the Red Wings. When it's done, it will redefine Detroit's Downtown. 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. "A project of this scale requires strong commitments from both private and public partners, and that's exactly what this agreement represents."

The new development would create approximately 5,500 jobs for the events center alone and another 8,300 jobs for the commercial and residential section of the Entertainment District.

READ THE ENTIRE PRESS RELEASE FROM THE DETROIT ECONOMIC GROWTH CORPORATION: 

The Detroit Downtown Development Authority (DDA) has approved a memorandum of understanding (MOU) among the DDA, Olympia Development of Michigan (ODM) and Wayne County that describes the proposed public and private financing and location for a new sports and entertainment district Downtown.

The district would include a $450 million sports and entertainment center and $200 million in new residential, retail and office development in an approximately 45-block area that generally reaches from Grand Circus Park to Charlotte St. between Woodward Ave. and Grand River Ave.

The multipurpose event center is anticipated to be an approximately 650,000 sq. ft. facility with 18,000 seats that can accommodate Red Wings hockey games, as well as other sports and entertainment events year-round. It will also include premium seating and amenities of a contemporary first-class professional sports and entertainment complex.

The new district anticipates expanding the boundaries of the DDA several blocks north of I-75 and west of Woodward Ave. to accommodate the center, redeveloping several properties, building new parking decks and mixed-use developments. 

The new development is anticipated to create approximately 5,500 jobs for the events center alone and approximately 8,300 jobs for the entire residential and commercial mixed-use district. Michigan can anticipate an estimated economic impact of $1.8 billion from the completion of this project.

"We have outlined a deal that will do far more than build new home ice for the Red Wings. When it's done, it will redefine Detroit's Downtown. 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. "A project of this scale requires strong commitments from both private and public partners, and that's exactly what this agreement represents." 

Other projects that could be part of the $200 million additional development named in the MOU include:

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

The primary public funding mechanism for the $450 million center is a continuation of a projected $12.8 million-per-year property tax capture authorized by the State Legislature last December. The DDA is also expected to contribute an average of just over $2 million per year. Olympia Development is expected to contribute $11.5 million per year. All three of those commitments would be used to retire 30-year private activity bonds issued through the Michigan Strategic Fund.

Additional private sources are expected to fund the remainder of the $650 million total investment anticipated for the entire district. Overall, approximately 56 percent of the total development costs of the district would be privately funded and approximately 44 percent would come from public economic development funds requiring no new taxes.

The DDA would own the events center and Olympia Development would manage it under a long-term contract. Before that concession management agreement (CMA) can be finalized, the City of Detroit has to approve the expansion of the DDA boundaries and other matters related to the development. The Economic Development Corporation of the City of Detroit has to review and amend plans for the area and transfer property it owns. Wayne County, the State of Michigan Strategic Fund and others also have to approve aspects of the development plan before construction can begin.

Jackson added, "Today's agreement represents one step among many that all the partners have to take together, but it is a very significant step."

IF YOU COULD NAME THE NEW ARENA, WHAT WOULD YOU NAME IT? LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW.

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