Downtown Development Authority Board Of Directors Approves Concession Management Agreement For $650 Million Downtown Detroit Events Center District

Major Detroit catalyst development project takes another step forward

Olympia Development of Michigan and Detroit Downtown Development Authority develop partnership that will create approximately 8,300 jobs and spur long-term economic development

Dec 13, 2013, 19:55 ET from Ilitch Holdings, Inc.

DETROIT, Dec. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The City of Detroit Downtown Development Authority (DDA) Board of Directors today approved a Concession Management Agreement (CMA) between the DDA and Olympia Development of Michigan (ODM) that provides terms for the construction and operation of an events center in downtown Detroit which is the centerpiece of the Catalyst Development Project that includes residential, retail and office facilities. 

The sum of the total mixed-use development in the district is approximately $650 million, which incorporates approximately $367 million or 56 percent in private investment and approximately $283 million or 44 percent in public investment through existing economic development funds requiring no new taxes.

"Today marks another significant step forward for this major catalyst development which will create approximately 8,300 jobs, stimulate economic activity and have a positive and lasting impact on our community," said Christopher Ilitch, president and CEO, Ilitch Holdings, Inc.  "We would like to thank the DDA Board, George Jackson and his team for their efforts in developing and approving this agreement."

The building of the new events center district is anticipated to create approximately 5,500 jobs for the construction of the events center alone and approximately 8,300 total jobs for the construction of the entire residential and commercial mixed-use district, with more than half of those construction jobs being filled by Detroit residents.  Once the new events center opens, there will be a projected 58 percent increase in the number of permanent jobs from Joe Louis Arena to the new events center.  It is estimated that this project will have a $1.8 billion economic impact on the city, region and Michigan.

This project will be the next major investment in Detroit made by Mike and Marian Ilitch since they began operating their businesses in the city 46 years ago. This ongoing commitment has positively influenced additional development and investment in downtown Detroit, including the development of Ford Field next to Comerica Park, and the opening of several theatres, hotels, restaurants, residential developments and other new businesses.

History of Ilitch Organization in Detroit

Milestones over the 46 years include: Little Caesars, a company founded by Mike and Marian Ilitch in 1959 opens its first restaurant in Detroit in 1967;  purchasing the Detroit Red Wings in 1982 and turning the then-struggling franchise into four-time Stanley Cup champions and one of the most respected franchises in professional sports; purchasing and restoring the historic Fox Theatre and adjacent Fox Office Center in 1987; moving their Little Caesars world headquarters from the suburbs to downtown Detroit in 1989 during a time when most businesses were leaving the city; purchasing the Detroit Tigers in 1992 and providing the majority of funding to build Comerica Park in 2000; purchasing the abandoned Hughes and Hatcher clothing store in 1987 and renovating it into what is now the Hockeytown Cafe and City Theatre; and opening MotorCity Casino in 1999 followed by expansion to include the MotorCity Casino Hotel in 2007.  All totaled, the Ilitches have invested more than $800 million in brick-and-mortar projects in downtown Detroit, employ over 7,500 full and part-time colleagues in the city of Detroit, and annually attract more than 10 million visitors to their downtown venues.

About Olympia Development of Michigan

Olympia Development of Michigan is a Detroit-based full-service real estate company owned by Detroit entrepreneurs Michael and Marian Ilitch. The company is responsible for developing and investing in some of Detroit's most recognized and visited venues, including the nationally acclaimed Comerica Park.  Other Ilitch companies in the food, sports and entertainment industries include: Little Caesars Pizza, Blue Line Foodservice Distribution, the Detroit Red Wings, Olympia Entertainment, Little Caesars Pizza Kits Fundraising Program, Champion Foods, Ilitch Holdings and Uptown Entertainment. Michael Ilitch owns the Detroit Tigers. Marian Ilitch owns the MotorCity Casino Hotel.

SOURCE Ilitch Holdings, Inc.