Plans for $650M Wings' Arena, Entertainment District Unveiled


DETROIT — The City of Detroit Downtown Development Authority Board of Directors today approved the Memorandum of Understanding between the DDA, Olympia Development of Michigan, and Wayne County that provides the framework for the private and public financing of the catalyst development project comprised of residential, retail, office facilities and events center in downtown Detroit.

The sum of the total mixed-use development in the district, including residential, retail, office facilities and events center, 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, this public-private partnership took a significant step forward in laying the groundwork for a 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.

Summary of the Memorandum of Understanding // Click Here

George W. Jackson Jr., president and CEO of Detroit Economic Growth Corp. said, “This project will leverage more than $360 million in private investments, create thousands of new jobs, revitalize a significant area along Woodward Avenue to help connect the Central Business District to Midtown, and concentrate Detroit’s major league sports and entertainment venues in a way that is unique among urban centers anywhere in the world. We have a significant amount of work to do to realize that vision, but the DDA has certainly taken an important step today.”

The memorandum of Understanding is a non-binding document entered into by the DDA, Wayne County and ODM. The State of Michigan, through the Michigan Economic Development Corp., actively participated in the negotiations of the MOU, in support of the project, and in keeping with the new DDA legislation (Public Act 396) established in December 2012. 

In addition to the financial framework, the MOU provided an exhibit describing the proposed site of the catalyst development project North of I-75 and West of Woodward. “There has been tremendous progress made throughout Detroit over the last decade,” said Christopher Ilitch.  “The location of the events center district will not only help to rebuild this neighborhood, but will also serve as a vital connector, bringing together the many efforts completed or underway from the riverfront to midtown and beyond.”

The building of the new district is anticipated to create approximately 5,500 jobs for the construction of the events center alone and approximately 8,300 jobs for the construction of the entire residential and commercial mixed-use district, with more than half of those 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.