The Malik Report
by George Malik on 02/04/14 at 06:32 AM ET
WDIV's Mara MacDonald reported that the deal that will expand the Downtown Development Authority's footprint by forty blocks to accommodate the Ilitches' follow-on rink replacing Joe Louis Arena will probably be approved by Detroit's City Council today (at 10 AM), but she also reported that it will likely pass by a narrow 5-4 vote.
When the council meets with representatives from Olympia Entertainment and Ilitch Holdings this morning, the members of the council who either expect more concessions from the Ilitches or those who plan on voting "no" on principle (and/or out of personal interest) may be a little more obstinate after reading the Free Press's front-page story.
According to Joe Guillen and JC Reindl, the proposed deal on the table involves the City and Downtown Development Authority transferring the remaining 27 properties which encompass the proposed arena's footprint to the Ilitches for the pricey sum of one dollar--after various Ilitch companies have spent almost $50 million gaining control of the majority of the real estate in the area:
After weeks of debate and public meetings, the Detroit City Council is expected to decide today whether it will transfer land along the desolate streets of the Cass Corridor for the Red Wings’ new $650-million arena district.
The proposed deal — 39 vacant parcels just north of downtown for $1 — would be the city’s chief contribution to the proposed arena, a joint venture between companies controlled by Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch and the Detroit Downtown Development Authority, an agency which promotes development with tax breaks and other incentives.
Some city officials say they’re concerned about the deal and think the city should get more for the land. A Free Press analysis of city records shows that several private landowners succeeded in netting millions for themselves by selling similarly situated land in the arena’s footprint to Ilitch-controled corporations.
But others, including several council members, say the city should give the land because the new arena district will bring jobs, increase property values and rejuvenate an area mired in crime and blight for decades.
Guillen and Reindl continue and reiterate the proposed benefits and terms of the proposed arena and surrounding economic development, as well as what might happen if the city council nixes the agreement.
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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.