Rumors and hearsay is just about all a Detroiter can hope for when it comes to the proposed new arena for the Detroit Red Wings.
Mike Ilitch, owner of the Wings – and a plethora of other Detroit institutions – announced in December plans to build a $650 million mixed-use entertainment district, including a new home for the Red Wings, office, residential, and retail space.
Fantastic news for proponents of Detroit’s comeback, but we have yet to determine where the new metropolis will be located.
Curbed Detroit offered this speculative article about likely locale candidates, and the buzz around town seems to be that the wasteland north of Downtown’s Fox Theater and south of Midtown’s MLK Jr. Boulevard would be the perfect fit.
Crain's Detroit reports on some hints about the development with a look at last summer's refinancing of Comerica Park, another Ilitch commodity.
According to the Detroit News, Olympia Development has said that “the district ‘will be strategically located to serve some of the most underutilized areas in Detroit’s downtown core.’” That narrows down the possibilities considerably.
If the new arena is placed in that abyss, Detroiters will have their beloved Downtown and Midtown neighborhoods linked. Right now, that stretch isn’t exactly the most appealing of walking distances, adding to the divide between neighborhoods, the public transportation issue within the city, and the safety concerns among Detroit’s pedestrians.
This arena has the ability to offer much more to the city than simply a new home for the Red Wings.