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State Senate Approves Ilitch ‘Events District’ Plan

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View of Detroit from the Greektown Casino parking deck. (WWJ Photo/Mike Campbell)

View of Detroit from the Greektown Casino parking deck. (WWJ Photo/Mike Campbell)

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DETROIT (WWJ) - Just a day after being introduced, a proposal presented by the Ilitch organization for a new downtown entertainment complex, including an arena for the Red Wings, has gained Michigan Senate approval.

WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick said there was some objection on the blue side of the aisle, including from State Democratic leader Gretchen Whitmer.

“… The Democratic leader said, ‘Hey what we’re doing in the project — we’re taking money away from the school kids and giving it to a millionaire,’” Skubick said.

The legislation now goes to the Michigan House where it is expected to be approved.

While the exact location of the proposed district has not been determined, the Ilitch team says it will be “strategically located to serve some of the most underutilized areas in Detroit’s downtown core, strengthening the link between Detroit’s existing assets through a continuous, walkable environment connecting one district to the next and serving to improve the quality of life for residents and visitors alike.”

This would be another substantial investment by Ilitch, adding to the more than $1.9 billion the Ilitch companies have already invested.

In a release out Tuesday, the Ilitch organization said the project is anticipated to create thousands of jobs.

MORE: Ilitch Proposes New ‘Events District’ In Downtown Detroit, Could Be New Red Wings Home

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