If the new arena development is ever going to happen, Ilitch needs land. Lucky for Ilitch, the Cass Corridor has plenty of land available, and 39 lots are owned by the City of Detroit or the Downtown Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC).
The Million Dollar Question, however, is how much Ilitch should pay for those 39 properties. A few million? A few hundred thousand?
The current proposal has Ilitch paying just $1.00.
To be fair, the properties we're talking about aren't exactly landscaped beauties—most are vacant, overgrown, and strewn with all sorts of garbage. And the practice of handing over blighted properties to developers is nothing new.
But, while the city prepares to hand over 39 lots for about 2.5 cents each, the Free Press confirms what everyone already knew to be true: private land owners in the area are cashing out for millions. Here's a sampling of what some property owners have earned for relatively tiny lots.