The Detroit Free Press is reporting that Mike Ilitch and family will give Wayne State University $40 million for a business school facility near the new arena district. The donation, which includes both cash and land by the arena site, will earmark $35 million for the new building and $5-million to create an endowment. The new building will house the Mike Ilitch School of Business, to be named after the Red Wings, Tigers and Little Caesar's magnate.
The new arena district, located at the just north of downtown, has come under fire recently, most notably from HBO host John Oliver. The new arena, part of a $650-million development plan, aims to create not only a new home for the Wings, but a greatly expanded entertainment district. Critics say that these projects rarely create permanent jobs or revitalize an area, but the Ilitches insist that their project will be different.
The Free Press says an official announcement of the gift is forthcoming, perhaps as early as this week. While the arena plan is going full steam ahead, much to the chagrin of those who mourn the demolition of historic buildings like the Hotel Park Avenue (newly leveled to make way for a loading dock), there's at least one person yet to cash in on the project. A speculator who bought a dilapidated Victorian near what will be the arena parking lot is still asking $3.5 million for that fire damaged house. If they pull that off, it'll be a coup worth studying. Perhaps in the newly-constructed Mike Ilitch School of Business at Wayne State.
·Ilitch family to give $40M for new WSU business school [Detroit Free Press]
·Detroit Rink City: Ilitches' grand plan [Crain's Detroit Business]
·Red Wings Arena Holdout House Demands $3.5 Million [Curbed Detroit]
·Exclusive Look at the Hotel Park Avenue Implosion [Curbed Detroit]