DETROIT (WWJ) – The Detroit City Council has again postponed a vote that would pave the way for construction to begin on a new Red Wings arena and downtown entertainment district.
The council voted 6-to-3 to delay the vote until next week.READ MORE: Michigan Matters: Helping Young Folks & Cancer Patients
Council President Brenda Jones says she wants some reassurances first before approving a rezoning of the land where the arena will be built.
Among those reassurances, Jones said she wants to know just how many Detroiters who will be hired for the project.
“Detroit has one of the highest unemployment rates, and I need to make sure that Detroit residents are hired past this executive order that says you have to hire a certain percentage of Detroit resident in order to build it,” Jones said.
Jones said she also wants to know what would happen if the arena or the team were sold.
“I have been here ten years, I have seen trust come and go…And it’s not that I don’t trust you; it’s not that I don’t trust the young lady that’s standing there,” Jones said, addressing representatives of Olympia Development present at Monday’s meeting. “It’s not that I don’t trust Chris Ilitch, it’s not that I don’t trust Mr. Ilitch; but what I do trust is something in writing.”READ MORE: Meet These Two Bear Cubs Who Have Become Inseparable At The Detroit Zoo
Council members say, also, there are still some legal issues pending.
“Last week we asked the law department to go back and they had to resolve some things,” Councilman Andre Spivey said, “and it seems we’re still in a bit of a quagmire here, and everything’s not done yet.”
This latest comes after council members failed to take action April 7 on the rezoning, after they heard comments from local residents concerned about the preservation of some historic buildings.
Doug Kuiper, Vice President of Corporate Communications for Ilitch Holding, released the following statement to WWJ regarding the delay:
“Olympia Development of Michigan stands ready to bring jobs and opportunity to Detroit and Detroiters like the dozens who so passionately and eloquently supported the Detroit Events Center project at yesterday’s City Council meeting. We’re eager to get started on this transformational initiative that will bring $1.8 billion in economic impact to our city, region and state. We will continue to work with Council, staff and the administration to move forward.”MORE NEWS: Delta Wants Other Airlines To Share ‘No-Fly’ Lists To Help Stop Unruly Passengers
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.