DETROIT (WWJ) – The Detroit City Council got an earful Tuesday about a revised plan for a new Red Wings hockey arena and sports complex in the Midtown area.
Olympia Development has changed its proposal since its last attempt to get the council’s approval for rezoning for the project, now agreeing to try to save the historic Eddystone Hotel. However, under the new plan, the historic Park Avenue hotel across the street will be demolished to make room for arena parking.READ MORE: Study Suggests Replacing Michigan's Fuel Tax With Mileage-Based User Fees
The plan is now on hold, however, with council members postponing a vote on zoning after listening to pros and cons as voiced by some area residents.
“I’m not against the development per se,” said one man in attendance at Tuesday’s meeting. “I think that we’ve had the public debate about whether it should be funded; we already did all that. You know, I think that if we’re gonna move forward and do this, let’s just do it the right way, and there’s just no reason to tear down these buildings.”
Rich Eteu, who lives in the planned development zone, told WWJ’s Mike Campbell that, while he’d like to see both hotels saved, he thinks this is a start.READ MORE: Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy Seeks Additional Funding To Investigate LGBTQ Hate Crimes
“I’m for saving the Eddystone; I’d like to see the hotel Park Avenue saved…However, I’m a realist,” Eteu said. “There are dozens of other historic buildings that I’d much rather fight for.”
“For the cost of restoring the hotel Park Avenue they could restore a dozen other historic structures that would fit very well into the project,” he said.
The Detroit Free Press reported documents required for the zoning approval weren’t ready Tuesday. City Council is expected to take up the zoning issue again sometime next week.
The project includes a total of $650 million in arena costs and retail, residential and restaurant development around the arena on 45 acres. Ilitch family has said the new arena will open in 2017 and stands to have an $1.8 billion economic impact in the area, including 8,300 construction jobs and 1,100 permanent jobs.MORE NEWS: First Monkeypox Case Confirmed In Michigan: How To Keep Your Family Safe
Once rezoning is approved, Olympia is expected to begin construction.