More clues are emerging about where a $650 million, 35-acre entertainment district that includes a new arena for the Detroit Red Wings could be built.
The hints point to a swath of blighted land north of the Fox Theatre in Detroit where at least 22 secretive land deals have taken place since 2008.
House Speaker Pro Tem John Walsh, R-Livonia, who sponsored legislation that would make the Ilitch organization — whose businesses include the Red Wings, Detroit Tigers, Fox Theatre and Little Caesars Pizza — eligible for $13 million a year in Detroit tax money, said Monday that Ilitch representatives indicated they are looking to Wall Street for financing and labor unions to invest in the project to secure some of the construction work.
The taxpayer-supported Michigan Strategic Fund also may provide state taxpayer incentives for the project if Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch applied, Walsh said.
Crain's Detroit Business reported this week that lobbyists and lawyers for Ilitch have approached state officials about the state owning the arena, which would be similar to the Red Wings' current arrangement in which the city of Detroit owns Joe Louis Arena and the Red Wings lease it.
State economic development officials were noncommittal Monday.
"As a standard practice," MEDC President and CEO Michael Finney said in a statement, "we do not discuss projects that may or may not be under discussion until they come for consideration by the Michigan Strategic Fund board."
Land deals suggest new Red Wings arena may land north of Fox Theatre
Detroit News | Jan 29