More details of the ultra-secret new arena plan have surfaced. Like most news related to this project, it involves acres of city-owned land being transferred to Olympia Entertainment in return for millions in vague "development" promises. This time, however, it's not just vacant land, but historic Cass Park. According to the Detroit News, the city plans to "hand over" the park to Olympia, which agreed to maintain it as park space. Wow.
That's not necessarily a bad thing for the park itself, and the plan hasn't yet been approved by City Council. Campus Martius isn't publicly owned, and it's still a highly functional public space. Plus, Cass Park is in miserable shape and the city of Detroit is unwilling to maintain it. But simply gifting this giant park to Ilitch seems like an unnecessary concession. Cass Park was once among the city's best, most beautiful public squares. At the very least, let's hope Ilitch brings it back.
· Detroit to turn over park as Ilitch project fuels land rush [Detroit News]