Saturday, November 27 2021


Over the past decade, the Ilitch Group promised that by the time the LCA opened in 2017, “five new neighborhoods” would be created. The Ilitches name the plan The Detroit District. Replenishing the area with new offices, shops, and apartments was the linchpin in the Billionaire Group’s reasoning as to why they needed $ 324 million in tax dollars to help build the vast arena.

“We’re just getting started,” Chris Ilitch, President and CEO of Ilitch Holdings Inc.said the crowd at the opening ceremony of the $ 863 million sports, entertainment, office and retail complex on September 5, 2017.

Things didn’t go as planned.

Dominant landowner

The long-delayed promises show how much the plan depends on the Ilitch organization.

That’s because Ilitch affiliates own or control at least 60% of the real estate in the 50-block Detroit district, according to real estate records. The properties add up to any area larger than the city’s central business district, which is downtown between the freeways and the Detroit River.

Much of the Detroit district is in the Cass Corridor, one of the poorest and most desolate parts of the city. But now it’s surrounded by affluent neighbors – Midtown, Downtown, Brush Park, Woodbridge, and North Corktown – where house prices are often much higher than the rest of the city.



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