Ilitch Organization Achieves Zoning Approval On Transformational Project For New Detroit Events Center Area

Detroit City Council approves planned development zoning, clears the way for full construction to begin on future home of Detroit Red Wings.

Detroit Events Center and The District Detroit projects poised to produce 8,300 construction and construction-related jobs, 1,100 permanent jobs.

Ilitch Organization, Detroit City Council and administration reach common ground on development plans for Eddystone Hotel that preserves overall project schedule.

DETROIT, MICH. – Detroit City Council members today voted to approve a Planned Development rezoning application that includes the new Detroit Events Center, residential, office and retail space, as well as community greenspace and a piazza. Work will accelerate this week on the site west of Woodward and North of I-75, including the continuation of site preparation, light demolition and the start of mass excavation.

“The vision for a connected, dynamic District Detroit where our community can live, work and play will begin in earnest in the coming weeks as we mobilize on the site, bringing new activity, jobs and investment to Detroit, the region and the state,” said Christopher Ilitch, President and CEO of Ilitch Holdings. “We’d like to thank the Mayor and administration, members of the City Council and their staffs, as well as the public supporters of this transformational project, for their dedication throughout this process.”

“Affordable and market-rate housing, jobs and historical preservation are all part of this development project,” said Mike Duggan, Mayor of Detroit. “This type of investment is what we need – investment that preserves the old, invites the new and continues to move Detroit forward.”

The new Detroit Events Center, slated to be completed in 2017, will be the home of the Detroit Red Wings, as well as world-class entertainment, music and community events. It will be a model of innovation for such a facility in a downtown setting, serving not only as a powerful, continual generator of activity, but also a good urban neighbor. Detroit residents are expected to earn more than $100 million in income from the Events Center project alone, with significant additional income to be created through future private development.

Wide-ranging Positive Community Impact From The District Detroit Initiative

Among the benefits that city, region and state residents will receive from this transformative project are:

  • Jobs and Opportunity for Detroiters and Detroit-Based Businesses: Construction of the events center and surrounding District Detroit is expected to generate at least $1.8 billion in total economic impact for the city, region and state, 8,300 construction and construction-related jobs, and 1,100 permanent jobs. Olympia Development has set aggressive goals of 30 percent Detroit business participation and 51 percent Detroit resident workforce in construction of the Detroit Events Center.

    Of the initial contract awards Olympia Development recommended for approval to the City of Detroit Downtown Development Authority for the Detroit Events Center, more than 80 percent – or $25 million of the $30 million total – will go to Detroit businesses. Each of the bid winners has committed to Olympia’s 51 percent Detroit resident workforce target. More than 7,000 Detroit residents have attended Olympia Development-led workforce outreach events for the project already, and more than 15,000 businesses have participated in construction bid outreach opportunities.

  • Historic Development: Olympia will revise its Master Development Agreement with the Downtown Development Authority to redevelop the former Eddystone Hotel in the spirit of its original design. The Eddystone, located near the new events center, was designed by Louis Kamper and opened in 1924. The Eddystone will include market-rate and affordable housing along with first-floor retail space.

  • Affordable Housing: Olympia Development has also announced its goal to create affordable housing across the entire District Detroit development project. Twenty percent of new housing units, including those in the historic Hotel Eddystone building, will be targeted as affordable.

  • High School Internships: Ilitch Holdings, Inc. has created an internship program for students at Detroit Public School’s Cass Technical High School. This new, paid internship program will provide Cass Tech students with hands-on experience at the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Red Wings, Little Caesars, Olympia Entertainment and other Ilitch companies.

  • Mixed-use Development Including Little Caesars Headquarters Expansion: As part of The District Detroit’s additional mixed-use investment, Little Caesars is building a brand-new 200,000- square-foot global resource center and expanding its world headquarters campus in Detroit. The new building will be connected to the Fox Office Center by a pedestrian bridge and include a flag-ship Little Caesars store.

  • Other Benefits Under Development: Dedicated incubator support of minority entrepreneurship in the District; dedicated support of innovation space in the District and more.

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.

Explore the District