Detroit City Council Vote Continues Progress Toward $650 Million Downtown Detroit Events Center District

Public-private partnership will create approximately 8,300 jobs and spur economic development.

DETROIT, MI – The Detroit City Council today approved the transfer of land to the Downtown

Development Authority, allowing further progress for the development of a $650 million catalyst development project comprised of residential, retail, office facilities and events center in downtown Detroit.

“We would like to thank the City Council for their support today of this project that will create

$100M in jobs income for Detroit residents,” said Christopher Ilitch, president and CEO, Ilitch Holdings, Inc. “This progress moves the project even closer to realization. We look forward to continuing to work with our public partners in order to make a positive and lasting impact on our community.”

Approximately 8,300 jobs will be created for the construction of the entire events center, residential and commercial mixed-use district. The building of the new events center alone is anticipated to create approximately 5,500 jobs with more than half of those construction jobs being filled by Detroit residents. Once the new events center opens, there will be a projected 58 percent increase in the number of permanent jobs from Joe Louis Arena to the new events center. It is estimated that this project will have a $1.8 billion economic impact on the city, region and Michigan.


History of Ilitch Organization in Detroit

The catalyst development project will be the next major investment in Detroit made by Mike and Marian Ilitch since they began operating their businesses in the city 46 years ago. This ongoing commitment has positively influenced additional development and investment in downtown Detroit, including the development of Ford Field next to Comerica Park, and the opening of several theatres, hotels, restaurants, residential developments and other new businesses.

Milestones over the 46 years include: Little Caesars opens its first restaurant inside the City of Detroit in 1967; purchasing the Detroit Red Wings in 1982 and turning the then-struggling franchise into four-time Stanley Cup champions and one of the most respected franchises in professional sports; purchasing and restoring the historic Fox Theatre and adjacent Fox Office Center in 1987; purchasing the abandoned Hughes and Hatcher clothing store in 1987 and renovating it into what is now the Hockeytown Café and City Theatre; moving their Little Caesars world headquarters from the suburbs to downtown Detroit in 1989 during a time when most businesses were leaving the city; purchasing the Detroit Tigers in 1992 and providing the majority of funding to build Comerica Park in 2000; and opening MotorCity Casino in 1999 followed by expansion to include the MotorCity Casino Hotel in 2007. With the completion of the events center district, the Ilitches investment in downtown Detroit will reach approximately $1.2 billion in brick-and-mortar projects. Ilitch companies currently employ over 7,500 colleagues in the city of Detroit, and annually attract more than 10 million visitors to their downtown venues.


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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