Fox 2 General Manager on the development of the new arena in Det - FOX 35 News Orlando

Fox 2 General Manager on the development of the new arena in Detroit

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By: Fox 2 General Manager Mike Renda

Last week Fox 2 aired a news story that centered on the construction of an elaborate new Detroit red wings hockey arena and entertainment district on Woodward Avenue near Comerica Park.
 
The story examined the use of private and public dollars to finance the $450 million dollar arena and just how the land for this vast project was acquired.
 
After the story aired, we received specific feedback from Olympia Development, the real estate arm of the Ilitch family's business empire.
 
They wanted Fox 2 viewers to understand the Ilitch family's massive investment of their own money and their commitment to creating jobs and revitalizing the city.
 
Let's be clear -- while 58 percent of the arena will be publicly financed -- the remaining 42 percent will be paid by Olympia to the tune of 11.5 million dollars per year for 30 years.
 
The public money will come from the downtown development authority which will collect school property taxes within its district and divert them to the arena cost.

2.. but as stated in our prior story, these taxes will be made whole and guaranteed by the state of Michigan at no loss to the schools.
 
It is also important to note that the Ilitch family and other potential investors are kicking in up to 200 million dollars to build the entertainment district that will surround the arena linking this district with downtown to provide a vibrant and exciting part of our city.
 
Christopher Ilitch is the president and CEO of Ilitch Holdings. He talked about the district in an interview with Fox 2 saying, ""It's going to be transformational, in that it's going to take part of our city core today that's very blighted and it's going to convert it to an amazing development."
 
3.. in regards to the acquisition of the downtown lots, Olympia says while they did not necessarily improve the lots they did not neglect them and were focused on buying the land to achieve their vision of a new hockey arena.
 
One thing that cannot be argued is this - the Ilitch family has made a huge investment in the city of Detroit not only with the purchases of the red wings and Detroit tigers but in their efforts to bring new and vibrant businesses to a city that many had written off.

There is no doubt that a new arena and surrounding entertainment complex will contribute to the many revitalization efforts that are under way.
 
4.. in addition, the development can be a magnet for investors and create hundreds of millions of dollars in economic impact for a city that is starved for jobs and investment.
 
Ambitious projects generate strong opinions. Let us know what you think - go to our Fox 2 Facebook page and give us your comments.
 



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