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The Malik Report

Detroit’s City Council plans on waiting until the last minute to vote on Wings’ JLA lease

Detroit's City Council has until April 1st to determine whether they will approve the new lease for Joe Louis Arena which happens to include a down-payment against any possible liabilities owed, and while WWJ reports that the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the Michigan Strategic Fund have approved $6 million to cover Joe Louis Arena's demolition, the AP reports that the City Council plans on milking the "old" rink's dramatics for all they're worth by meeting not this week, but instead, on the last day of March:

The Detroit City Council has scheduled a special meeting March 31 to vote on a new lease for Joe Louis Arena, which is slated to be replaced as venue for the National Hockey League's Detroit Red Wings.

Councilwoman Brenda Jones announced the meeting Monday at a meeting of the council's Health and Safety Standing Committee.

The proposed lease with Olympia Entertainment would expire on June 30, 2015. It would be retroactive to 2010 when the old lease expired.

As the Free Press and MLive reported, the 39-block land transfer previously approved by the City Council doesn't happen without a new JLA lease, so the City Council's acting like...Itself.

Here's more about Tuesday's events from the Free Press's John Gallagher:

The Michigan Strategic Fund voted Tuesday to approve $6 million in demolition funds to raze Joe Louis Arena once the Detroit Red Wings move into a new arena on the north end of downtown.

Under terms of the agreement for the demolition funds, the new arena must be built before the demolition money would be freed up for use. The demolition funds would eventually be repaid to the Strategic Fund through new tax revenues captured by the city in the downtown district.

The exact cost of the demolition is not yet known. The $6-million estimate approved Tuesday could go as high as $10 million, although MSF staff said the cost is expected to be closer to the $6 million or even less than that.

After the MSF meeting at Next Energy in Detroit, Michael Finney, president and CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and chairman of the strategic fund board, said that the state funding for demolition is worth it because the new arena and related entertainment district around it will produce huge new investment in the city.

“We do expect that this project will serve as a catalyst,” he said of the arena project. And noting the Ilitch family, owner of the Red Wings, has pledged to invest $200 million in spin-off developments near the new arena, Finney added, “The project only works if the private development happens, so we think it will be a catalyst, and the way that the deal is structured really helps to ensure that that development happens.”

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Comments

Rumbear's avatar

Politicians have made careers out of screwing up Detroit.  No need to hurry now…....

Posted by Rumbear from Top O the Hasek, doing the prospect shuffle.... on 03/25/14 at 11:03 PM ET

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About The Malik Report

The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.