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Ilitch proposes $650M project housing Red Wings

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Photo -   This photo taken Thursday June 14, 2012 shows an aerial view of downtown Detroit shows parking lots behind The Fox Theatre and the State Theatre. Detroit Red Wings and Fox Theatre owner Mike Ilitch said Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012, that he plans a $650 million multiuse development in the area that will include a new venue for the NHL club. (AP Photo/Romain Blanquart, Detroit Free Press)
This photo taken Thursday June 14, 2012 shows an aerial view of downtown Detroit shows parking lots behind The Fox Theatre and the State Theatre. Detroit Red Wings and Fox Theatre owner Mike Ilitch said Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012, that he plans a $650 million multiuse development in the area that will include a new venue for the NHL club. (AP Photo/Romain Blanquart, Detroit Free Press)
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DETROIT (AP) — Detroit Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch is planning a $650 million multiuse development in downtown Detroit that includes a new home for his hockey team, it was announced Tuesday.

Ilitch said he's proposing a "substantial investment in the development of a new residential, retail, office and entertainment district in downtown Detroit."

Ilitch long has said he wants to build a new downtown home for the Red Wings, who now play at Joe Louis Arena, and spokeswoman Sandra van Meek said the proposed development would include a replacement for Joe Louis, which was built in 1979.

Ilitch said the focus of the district would be a "state-of-the-art, multipurpose events center."

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing said he was "very pleased the Ilitch organization is exploring another significant development project that would continue the ongoing transformation of Detroit's downtown and Midtown communities.

"A development of this magnitude, anchored by a world-class, multipurpose events center, would be a vital contribution to a more vibrant downtown and the strengthening of our city's economy."

Ilitch also said Tuesday that he is backing a state House bill that allows Detroit's Downtown Development Authority to continue capturing tax revenues to further growth programs. The measure is now before the state Legislature.

His family also owns Little Caesars Pizza and downtown Detroit's Fox Theatre. He said the new project would add to the "more than $1.9 billion the Ilitch companies have already invested."

Eric Larson, non-executive president of Olympia Development, told the Senate Government Operations Committee the project would create more than 8,000 construction jobs. He provided no timetable for getting the project under way.

The committee was considering legislation that would enable Olympia to apply for Downtown Development Authority funds to support the project.

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