Revitalizing the city with District Detroit
BY ALEXUS BOMAR
OU News Bureau
Downtown Detroit will be the new home for all four of the city’s professional sport teams beginning in September 2017 because of the newest investment known as The District Detroit.
The 50-block entertainment and sports district features five neighborhoods, six theaters, four sports teams and more than 40 restaurants all within walking distance of each other.
“Detroit is one of the hottest cities in the U.S. right now,” said Renee Monforton, marketing director for the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau.
The Ilitch organization and Olympia Development play a huge part in this investment for the city as it shares a commitment to develop and revitalize the city.
Michael and Marian Ilitch established Ilitch Holdings Inc. in 1999 to provide services to all of the Ilitch-owned businesses, including Little Caesars, Olympia Development, the Detroit Tigers and MotorCity Casino Hotel.
Olympia Development, which is a subsidiary of Ilitch Holdings, was created in 1996 to focus on all of the projects within the city, according to the Ilitch Holdings website.
The organization is behind the city’s entertainment district, including Comerica Park, which is home to the Detroit Tigers, Ford Field, which is home to the Detroit Lions, and its newest investment, The District Detroit.
“This type of investment spurs more of an interest by people to come to Detroit to live, work and visit,” Monforton said. “That generates a greater tax base for the city, more jobs, more business for local shops and restaurants, etc.”
Within The District Detroit are five neighborhoods — Columbia Street, Columbia Park, Woodward Square, Wildcat Corner and Cass Park Village — with the shared goal of connecting downtown Detroit and Midtown along with providing opportunities for people to work, play and relax.
In the center of The District Detroit is the Columbia Street neighborhood, an area filled with shops, boutiques, galleries and cafes. It’s home to the Fox Theatre and the Fillmore Detroit.
Columbia Park started off as an industrial center but is being transformed into green space with offices, retail shops and loft-style condos.
The creative, artistic and entrepreneurial side of Detroit will be on display in the Cass Park Village. Featured in this neighborhood are shops, markets and galleries, Cass Technical High School and the Masonic Temple. Nearby is Wayne State University.
Wildcat Corner, home to the Detroit Tigers and Detroit Lions, is the neighborhood for baseball and football.
Woodward Square — home to Little Caesars Arena where the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Pistons will play — is the central core for the District Detroit. It will include restaurants, shops and public space for events and activities. The arena opens in September.
Money and jobs
“Little Caesars Arena is a Michigan-made, Detroit-built project with more than $345 million in contracts awarded to Detroit-based businesses, representing nearly 60 percent of total contracts, and more than $575 million, or 90 percent of contracts, awarded to Michigan businesses,” said Ed Saenz, communications manager for Olympia Development. “This is a sports and entertainment district that will draw visitors from around the region.”
According to Saenz, this investment will have an economic impact of more than $2 billion and will create more than 12,500 construction and construction-related jobs along with 1,110 permanent jobs.
He added that there are approximately 1,200 people working on the construction sites and about 200 apprentices have worked or are working on the arena.
Monforton said, “More than $11 billion of new investment has been pumped into the local economy, including investments that draw tourism, such as our revitalized riverfront, the Q-Line rail system, new retail like Nike, Under Armour and more than 100 new restaurants in just a couple of years.”
“If you haven’t been to Detroit in the past five years, then you really haven’t been to Detroit,” she said
Short URL: http://www.ounewsbureau.com/?p=11325