In 2013, the Downtown Development Authority and Ilitch-owned Olympia Development revealed details of a $650 million plan (which would eventually reach $862.9 million) to build a new arena for the Detroit Red Wings. Public funding for the development would reach $324 million.
As part of that agreement, the Ilitches agreed to spend hundreds of millions of dollars in spinoff development to create a vibrant, 50-block district around the arena. In 2017, Olympia unveiled grand plans for the area it called “District Detroit,” which would consist of five vibrant, mixed-use neighborhoods.
Fast forward to today and only a handful of buildings have actually been built or redeveloped. Instead, you’ll find mostly surface parking lots and vacant buildings. Olympia has also missed numerous development deadlines, interfered with nearby small businesses, and actively fought against the creation of the Cass-Henry Historic District.
That said, there’s been more movement lately in the district.
Here’s a map of all the proposed developments, and their current state, around Little Caesars Arena.
- All the latest news around District Detroit
- Mapping Detroit's construction boom
- Ilitches preside over second vacant district around MotorCity Casino