Detroit Council Approves Financing For District Around New Red Wings Arena
The Detroit City Council on Friday approved "two major aspects of a deal to make way" for a planned $650M entertainment district in an area of the city "that's been blighted and empty for decades," according to Nichols, Aguilar & Daniels of the DETROIT NEWS. The deal is expected to include $200M in "new projects -- retail, residential, hotel and parking facilities -- intended to be built" around the new $450M Red Wings arena. City officials are "facing an April 1 deadline to resolve all the outstanding issues," but the council is "fighting to strengthen benefits to the community that will ensure Detroit residents and businesses are included in the development process." About $367M (56%) of the entire project would be "paid by private investors," while the remaining $283M in public money would "come from existing economic development funds, requiring no new taxes" (DETROIT NEWS, 12/21). In Detroit, Joe Guillen noted the council "only partially approved a package of legislation needed," meaning the new council that takes office Jan. 1 "will take up the arena project next year." The proposed settlement that the city "revealed on Friday related to the team's lease of the Joe Louis Arena" includes a $5.2M payment to "resolve a dispute over cable TV revenues owed by Olympia Entertainment." The cable TV settlement would "resolve a longstanding disagreement over a debt some city officials have estimated" to be $50-80M (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 12/21).