The wait is over! Today, the Ilitch organization declared that a new Red Wings arena is planned north of I-75 and south of Temple Street. But there is more. The new Arena District is giant, spanning both of the sites we were originally watching for arena development. Much has been revealed about what is likely to come, including renovations for some Ilitch-owned buildings. Also: massive new retail/hotel/office space, much of its location unknown. Here's what we know.
Arena Zone Revealed
The new, 18,000-seat arena will be built along Woodward Avenue between Temple Street and I-75. Our guess remains south of Sproat Street. A new arena zone encompassing a huge swath of downtown was revealed, though exactly what that means is unclear.
· New retail/office space at Woodward and Sproat, to the tune of 140,000 square feet. Speculation: This may very well be part of the arena structure itself.
· Construction of a new hotel with 20,000 square feet of ground floor retail, location unknown. That's huge!
· Parking garages and parking lots galore, with 20,000 square feet of retail.
Renovation of the Detroit Life Building: Vacant since 1977, Ilitch bought the Detroit Life Building along with the Fox Theatre in 1988. There will be some retail on the ground with 35 apartments up top.
? Renovation of the Blenheim Building: More retail below, 16 new apartments up top.
Renovation of 1922 Cass Avenue: While vacant, this one never looked like it was in bad shape. We'll get 70,000 square feet of office space. Just across the street from the GAR, this will definitely make this area more lively.
How we got here:
· Signs of Ilitch Arena Development Spotted Just off of Woodward
· Building by Building, Potential Arena Site Mysteriously Sold
· Ilitch Consultant Basically Reveals Desired Arena Site
· After Years Of Stalling, Ilitch Organization Sets Arena In Motion