There's not much else that can be said for the massive failure that has been District Detroit, the proposed massive residential development initiative around the brand new Little Caesars Arena that was also to include bars, restaurants, and retail outlets in the 50 blocks around the venue.
Not a single residential or retail project has been completed for what Ilitch Holdings, Inc. President/CEO and Detroit Red Wings/Tigers owner Chris Ilitch promised would be "Detroit’s largest single announcement of residential development in more than 20 years". Meanwhile, the promises of five distinct neighborhoods that were to be called Columbia Park, Columbia Street, Woodward Square, Wildcat Corner and Cass Park Village are now nowhere to be found on the District Detroit website.
But now, new plans have been announced by Olympia Entertainment for a 14 story hotel adjacent from Little Caesars Arena has been announced with a projected completion date for 2026. Yeah, you can go ahead and excuse us if we don't exactly take them at their word.
“The hotel, food and beverage and other amenities proposed will create a wide variety of good jobs and attract people from the region, state and beyond to The District Detroit,” said Keith Bradford, President of Olympia Development of Michigan and The District Detroit. “We’re excited about the immense opportunity this new development, along with the Detroit Center for Innovation and new housing under development such as The Residences@150 Bagley and the Henry Street project, represents for continuing our progress on this unique live, work and play destination.”
Since it's opening in 2017, not a single NHL or NBA All-Star game or Draft has been hosted by Little Caesars Arena, an unthinkable stat for a brand new venue in one of America's biggest sports cities.
According to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, Detroit would be a great host for an upcoming NHL All-Star game - but only after the "District" was completed.
"I'd like to see the District finished," Bettman explained at the time. "So that when we bring guests in from all over the world, they can see what the entire vision was and how it's played out."
"Whether that's two, three, or four years, when all the construction's done, we will be here with the big events, I have no doubt about that."
Of course, District Detroit is nothing but a collection of tarps and parking lots, so it looks as though the Motor City will have to continue to wait for such an event.