DETROIT (WWJ) – There could be a delay in the construction of the new Detroit Red Wings arena in the city’s Cass Corridor.

Olympia Development (Ilitch Holdings, Inc.) pulled their request for zoning approval from the city council table after some council members sought modification on the approval reports WWJ’s City Beat reporter Vickie Thomas.

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The council had been expected to vote on the zoning request but some committee members pushed to modify the zoning to include the two historical hotels; The Park Avenue and the Eddystone Hotel on the outer edge of the $650 million project area – they also included a provision preventing Olympia from demolishing the hotels without city council approval.

John Love spoke against the project during a public hearing on the issue.

“It’s going to destroy the whole area of the Woodward traffic and the Masonic Temple – the parking is a total disaster, this makes the county jail look good,” said Love.

A number of preservationists during the public hearing for the zoning issue.

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“These buildings are significant historically and architecturally to the city and its residents, that is evident by their listing on the national register of historic places and local designation. But Detroiters are not the only ones eyeing the future of these buildings, the nation is watching Detroit to see what we do. People around the country don’t understand why Detroit seems so willing, even eager, to demolish its history in the name of moving forward,” noted one woman during the public hearing.

Jerry Ballenger owns the Park Bar and Elizabeth Theater in downtown Detroit and told WWJ that he feels that the

“If the city of Detroit just puts enough brakes on the deal, because … I think this ship has sailed,” said Ballenger. “I don’t think there is any pulling back — the DEGC (Detroit Economic Growth Corporation)    and the DDA  (Downtown Development Authority) have spent 15 – 17 years orchestrating this.”

The public hearing came as the council prepared for a vote on modifications to the plans proposed by the Ilitch family.

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The vote could be postponed until members return from winter recess in January.