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Governor Snyder Praises Ilitch's 'Arena District' Plans

DETROIT (WWJ) -- Details were announced over the weekend for a sprawling new development that will spread from Downtown to Midtown.

The development includes a new stadium for the Detroit Red Wings along with residential and commercial offerings. Governor Rick Snyder said that it's a very exciting time in Detroit.

"When you look at a project like that, what I find so exciting is that the Ilitch's are moving ahead very aggressively -- not just with the arena, but with additional development," Snyder said. "Where this project is going I think is really exciting because it would be the connector between Midtown and Downtown and we could really create something special through a much longer corridor than we have today with these two somewhat separate areas."

Snyder, speaking before the Detroit Economic Club, said this is the type of development that might draw foreign investment to Detroit. He and former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson spoke to the Economic Club about trying to attract such investments in Michigan.

The massive entertainment complex surrounding the new Red Wings arena will cost around $650 million, $283 million, of which, will come from taxpayers. But as Ilitch Holdings CEO Chris Ilitch explains, the project is expected to create many permanent and temporary jobs.

Red Wings Arena rendering 2 (Ilitch Organization)
Digital rendering of the new Red Wings arena.

Ilitch Holdings Inc. chairman Mike Ilitch said in a statement Sunday that it's long been his dream "to see a vibrant and energized downtown Detroit."

He says the new sports and entertainment district "will encompass dozens of blocks along and near Woodward Ave."

"By accelerating our investments in important neighborhood infrastructure and new mixed-use development, we will stabilize and develop dozens of underutilized blocks, create more jobs more quickly and allow the city to spend public funds on other priorities," added Christopher Ilitch president and CEO of Ilitch Holdings, Inc.

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