The Malik Report
by George Malik on 12/13/13 at 01:45 AM ET
Okay, so the Free Press's John Gallagher reported that the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation's Downtown Development Authority and Olympia Entertainment were going to get down to brass tacks regarding the arena agreement which will govern the lease between the Ilitches and the organization that will ultimately build, own and lease the follow-on rink to the Wings--because that agreement needs to be hashed out before Detroit's City Council will approve an expansion of the DDA's footprint to help fund the rink's construction...
But WXYZ's Julie Banovic (via RedWingsFeed) reports that the agreement between the DDA and Olympia won't come without some negotiations with the residents of the Cass Corridor and the Foxtown area:
We found a group of residents who live around the park making a list and checking it twice to make sure that the public tax dollars for the proposed new hockey arena will be spent real nice.
“We’re trying to open up the process. We’re trying to make the process more transparent because it really hasn’t been very,” said Francis Grunow. Grunow represents the Cass Park area around where the proposed entertainment district will be built. "We’re talking about what the residents want and in this case it’s a litany of things,” said Grunow.
The group said since 58 percent of the arena is being funded by tax payers, residents should be able to get things out of the deal too, like job training programs, construction jobs, environmental considerations and more.
“That means more taxpayer tax dollars shifted away from our schools away from our public services and city services that we really need,” said State Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit). Rep. Tlaib has been hearing concerns from residents.
The group is bringing their wants and needs to Detroit City Council on the December 17, the same day council is expected to talk about how the project will benefit Detroit before they finalize legislation to approve the new arena and entertainment district.
“We want development in Detroit. This area has suffered from decades of disinvestment but there are people here and there are businesses here. And we want these people and these businesses to thrive and not be displaced,” said Grunow.
Here's a video version of the report:
This isn't surprising. The City Council isn't going to approve the expansion of the downtown footprint without assurances that the residents' concerns will be met and that both the rink's construction and the $200 million in "surrounding economic development" will be built by a certain number of City-sourced employees and will involve a certain amount of long-term investment in the area's residents' best interests.
It's part of the game, as it were.
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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.