DETROIT (WJBK) – It’s out with the old Joe Louis arena and in with a $650 million state-of-the-art multi-purpose events center for downtown Detroit coming from the Mike Ilitch organization.
The news breaking at the state capitol today and FOX2 political correspondent Tim Skubick was the only TV reporter in the room when the announcement was made.
For years the Ilitch organization has talked about getting rid of ‘The Joe,’ but replacing it with what? The ‘what’ was laid out for a legislative committee being asked to give a special tax break to the Ilitch family.
Olympia Development’s Erick Larson said, “Michigan can expect an economic impact of $1.8 billion from the build-out anticipated. The Ilitch organization, a home-grown, deeply-rooted Michigan organization is prepared to make another significant investment in a new mixed use district in downtown Detroit, comprised of residential, retail and office space, anchored by a new state-of-the-art multi-purpose events center.”
If and when the skyline of Detroit sees this new events center, it will also have a huge economic impact on the city. Larson said, “each year the new event center will produce over 1,000 jobs and $210 million in economic impact. This will represent an almost 70% increase in impact over the existing downtown arena.”
Representative John Walsh (R-Livonia) introduced a bill clearing the way for this project and was eager to announce the possibility of more jobs. Senate GOP leader Randy Richardville was also eager to embrace this state, local and public private partnership calling it, “a really big deal.”