from Kirk Pinho and Bill Shea of Crain's Detroit Business,
In May 2017, six men took turns speaking before a wide patchwork of building renderings.
The key speaker, Christopher Ilitch, boasted of a half-dozen new and rehabilitated buildings intended to bring nearly 700 apartments to downtown Detroit in coming years.
Ilitch was speaking at a press conference about the residential launch of his family’s District Detroit project, the sprawling sports and entertainment development unveiled in July 2014 and anchored by a new hockey arena that would be surrounded by what were branded as five distinct new neighborhoods to be created concurrently. They would be robust new residential, retail and office developments.
“The District Detroit will be one of the most unique and exciting places in the country to live,” said Ilitch, scion of the powerful billionaire family that owns the Little Caesars pizza chain along with a casino and the Detroit Tigers and Detroit Red Wings. Ilitch and his family’s Detroit-based Olympia Development of Michigan real estate company had teamed up with a pair of developers on the projects, three of which were to begin in 2017 and three in 2018 for a total of 686 new apartments.
Today, more than 18 months later, there are no shovels in the ground, and it’s unclear if there will be any time soon.