Detroit Businesses Win $25 Million of First $30 Million in Contract Awards for New Detroit Events Center

Detroit Businesses Participation Far Exceeds Targeted Goal; Reaffirms Ilitch Commitment to Michigan Made, Detroit Built Events Center and District.

DETROIT – The first four contracts for work on the new Detroit Events Center – future home of the Detroit Red Wings – will exceed promised targets for Detroit-based and -headquartered businesses participation, Olympia Development of Michigan announced today.

“We are committed to making the biggest possible impact for Detroit and Michigan through this transformative initiative.” said Christopher Ilitch, President and CEO of Ilitch Holdings. “Detroit is our home, and we are thrilled that this project is bringing jobs and opportunities to residents and local businesses.”

Olympia Development has set aggressive goals of 30 percent Detroit business participation and 51 percent Detroit resident employment in construction of the Events Center. Of the initial contract awards Olympia Development recommended for approval to the City of Detroit Downtown Development Authority, more than 80 percent – or $25 million of the $30 million total – will go to Detroit businesses. The bid packages award an array of projects including mass excavation, underground utility services and more.

“The new Events Center development is giving Detroit businesses a real and tangible economic boost, and we are proof of that,” said Kerlin Blaise, Owner and President of Blaze Contracting, Inc. “Olympia Development created an inclusion plan with ongoing opportunities for Detroit businesses to learn about bid packs and receive technical assistance to help ensure the participation of Detroit businesses like mine.”

Blaze Contracting, Inc. entered into a joint venture with Angelo Iafrate Construction Co., to form Blaze-Iafrate JV, LLC, which is being recommended as lead contractor on two of the four bid packages being announced today.

The contracts are the first announced for the Detroit Events Center, a key anchor in The District Detroit, which will transform an underutilized area of Detroit and connect the booming Midtown area with the city’s resurging downtown. Each of the winning bidders has also committed to Olympia Development’s goal that at least 51 percent of their employees on the project will be Detroit residents. Olympia Development of Michigan and Ilitch Holdings, Inc. have made it a priority to ensure the new arena and broader District Detroit development is Michigan Made, Detroit Built.

The following companies have been recommended for work through bid packs 1.01 Abatement & Demolition; 1.04 Abatement; 2.01 Mass Excavation/Earthwork; 2.02 Temporary Shoring/Earth Retention Systems; and 2.03 Site Utilities/Underground Utility Penetrations Thru Concrete Foundations and Earth Retention Systems.

  • Blaze-Iafrate Joint Venture LLC*
  • Brooks Lumber*
  • Cadillac Asphalt
  • Detroit Dismantling Corporation*
  • DMC Consultants, Inc.*
  • Dore & Associates Contracting
  • FMG
  • Giffels Webster*
  • Hardman Construction
  • HD Supply
  • Lois Kay
  • Lowe Construction
  • McCoig Concrete Company*
  • Mersino
  • Michigan Mechanical Abatement
  • Motor City Electric Co.*
  • Neverweld
  • Parlay Unlimited
  • Poco
  • Republic Services
  • Superior Materials*
  • Testing Engineers & Consultants*
  • TKMS
  • Waterfront Petroleum Terminal Co.*

*Indicates registered Detroit-Based or -Headquartered Business

About The District Detroit

The District Detroit will transform 50-blocks in downtown Detroit into a world-class sports and entertainment district where people will live, work and play in five distinct neighborhoods. Office, retail and residential buildings – as well as the new arena – are scheduled to be complete by the summer of 2017.

Construction of the arena and surrounding District is expected to generate at least $1.8B in total economic impact, 8,300 construction and construction-related jobs and 1,100 permanent jobs. More than $100M in income from the arena project alone is expected for Detroit residents, with significant additional income to be created through future private development. Learn more at

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. Marian Ilitch owns the MotorCity Casino Hotel.

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