Large machinery and construction equipment has been spotted at the new site for the Detroit Red Wings arena. Work and breaking ground is expected to start in early April, in hopes of completion by the summer of 2017. While no specific date has been set for the beginning of construction, the $535 million arena and surrounding area is certainly going to keep things busy in Midtown for the next few years.
Why hasn’t the Olympia Development of Michigan started on this project until now? Due to frost laws, weight limits are restricted for roads and highways during the colder parts of Michigan months. If the ground is still frozen, heavy machines and equipment need to stay off the roads.
However, in the next few weeks, they anticipate the frost hold will be lifted. The new Detroit Red Wings Arena will take up nearly 12 acres of land, mostly located along Woodward Avenue. This vacant land was bought for nearly $50 million, by Olympia and the Ilitch Holdings, Inc.
The arena will hold 20,000 fans, is eight-stories tall, and contain a lower level that sits over 35 feet below the ground. This new arena will be built in replace of the Joe Louis Arena, where the Detroit Red Wings currently reside.
Additionally, many new businesses, storefronts, and restaurants are scheduled to reside along the new arena. Residential units and town homes are also being drafted and in the works of construction, and are scheduled to open before the arena.
The city of Detroit, the Downtown Development Authority, and Olympia Development have all come together to create this nearly $200 million renovation project. With new homes, offices, retail space, and restaurants, the hope is to invigorate new life and hope into the 5 surrounding neighborhoods along Woodward and Detroit.
However, not everything is set in stone quite yet. Olympia is still looking for more investors to make this project a reality. Additionally, zoning requirements are still in the preliminary discussions in Detroit, so that Olympia can make their dreams a reality. Decisions on these rezoning changes are expected to be decided by the end of April.
Want to know who is involved with every step of the Detroit Red Wings Arena process?
- Construction: Barton Malow Co., White Construction, & Hunt Construction Group
- Subcontractors: Not yet decided
- Design Consultant: Giffels Webster
- Traffic Engineer: Parson-Brinckerhoff
- Landscape Design: SmithGroup JJR
- Urban Planning: Street-Works
- Economic Development: Heritage Development Services LLC & The Diggs Group Inc.
- Designer of the Arena: HOK