Category: Business - Original Written by Michigan Chronicle
Detroit Downtown Development Authority approves $650 million framework for downtown events center and entertainment district.
The Detroit Downtown Development Authority (DDA) has approved a memorandum of understanding (MOU) among the DDA, Olympia Development of Michigan (ODM) and Wayne County that describes the proposed public and private financing and location for a new sports and entertainment district downtown.
The district would include a $450 million sports and entertainment center and $200 million in new residential, retail and office development in an approximately 45-block area that generally reaches from Grand Circus Park to Charlotte St. between Woodward Ave. and Grand River Ave.
The multipurpose event center is anticipated to be an approximately 650,000 sq. ft. facility with 18,000 seats that can accommodate Red Wings hockey games, as well as other sports and entertainment events year-round. It will also include premium seating and amenities of a contemporary first-class professional sports and entertainment complex.
The new district anticipates expanding the boundaries of the DDA several blocks north of I-75 and west of Woodward Ave. to accommodate the center, redeveloping several properties, building new parking decks and mixed-use developments.
DTE Energy chairman, president and CEO Gerry Anderson said, “This is a catalyzing step for the city. This area, much of which is underdeveloped, is now within easy walking distance to three major sports venues, the Theater District and two casinos and it is minutes from the Business District. This area should be incredibly attractive for businesses, retail and residential development.”
DTE Energy, which employs 10,000 people including 3,000 at its downtown headquarters, is part of a neighborhood revitalization campaign that is adjacent to where the proposed development is to be located. DTE Energy recently acquired several properties in the area with a goal of helping to spur the pace of redevelopment in this area. “We’re proud to be a part of downtown Detroit’s redevelopment, and we support public-private initiatives like the one announced today that would accelerate that,” said Anderson.
The new development is anticipated to create approximately 5,500 jobs for the events center alone and approximately 8,300 jobs for the entire residential and commercial mixed-use district. Michigan can anticipate an estimated economic impact of $1.8 billion from the completion of this project.
“We have outlined a deal that will do far more than build new home ice for the Red Wings. When it’s done, it will redefine Detroit’s downtown. We will have incorporated all three of our major league sports venues into an exciting, walkable sports and entertainment district that will rival anything in the world,” said George W. Jackson, Jr., president and CEO of Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, which managed negotiations on behalf of the DDA. “A project of this scale requires strong commitments from both private and public partners, and that’s exactly what this agreement represents.”
Other projects that could be part of the $200 million additional development named in the MOU include:
• A 140,000 sq. ft. new mixed office and retail development on Woodward at Sproat St.
• A 25,000 sq. ft. office and retail development along Woodward
• Several parking structures with a total of 25,000 sq. ft. of retail
• Renovation of the Detroit Life Building at 2210 Park Ave. for 3,645 sq. ft. of retail and 35 residential units
• Renovation of the Blenheim Building at 81 W. Columbia St. for 1,833 sq. ft. of retail and 16 residential units
• Renovation of the building at 1922 Cass for 70,000 sq. ft. of office space
• A new hotel-retail development with a 20,000 sq. ft. ground floor
• Parking lots and other amenities
The primary public funding mechanism for the $450 million center is a continuation of a projected $12.8 million-per-year property tax capture authorized by the State Legislature last December. The DDA is also expected to contribute an average of just over $2 million per year. Olympia Development is expected to contribute $11.5 million per year. All three of those commitments would be used to retire 30-year private activity bonds issued through the Michigan Strategic Fund.
Additional private sources are expected to fund the remainder of the $650 million total investment anticipated for the entire district. Overall, approximately 56 percent of the total development costs of the district would be privately funded and approximately 44 percent would come from public economic development funds requiring no new taxes.
The DDA would own the events center and Olympia Development would manage it under a long-term contract. Before that concession management agreement (CMA) can be finalized, the City of Detroit has to approve the expansion of the DDA boundaries and other matters related to the development.
Mayor Dave Bing appears to be amenable to the deal and said, “I’m extremely pleased that a framework has been established for the development of a new downtown arena and a commercial, entertainment and residential district that will continue to add momentum to the transformation of our city.”
The Economic Development Corporation of the City of Detroit has to review and amend plans for the area and transfer property it owns. Wayne County, the State of Michigan Strategic Fund and others also have to approve aspects of the development plan before construction can begin.
Jackson added, “Today’s agreement represents one step among many that all the partners have to take together, but it is a very significant step.”
Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 June 2013 13:33
Category: Business - Original Written by Amber Bogins
Robert L. Johnson, founder and chairman of The RLJ Companies and Dr. DeForest B. Soaries, Jr., senior pastor of the First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in Somerset, New Jersey, announced their alliance to reshape the national financial lending climate and help Americans, particularly minorities, pay down consumer debt, increase household savings, and overcome a cycle of short term and emergency borrowing caused by the excessive use of payday lending.
Nearly twelve million Americans turn to payday loans annually when faced with financial challenges in order to cover emergency expenses and meet cash shortfalls. Forty-one percent of borrowers have needed a cash infusion to pay off a payday loan and many ultimately turn to the same options they could have used instead of payday loans to finally pay off the loan. As a result and because of current high interest lending rates, many borrowers are unable to pay back loans in a timely manner and find themselves in a cycle of borrowing and debt. (Payday Lending in America: How Borrowers Choose and Repay Payday Loans, published February 2013).
Johnson announced earlier this year his financial awareness campaign to "end payday lending as we know it today" and has designated Dr. Soaries and his dfree® program as the financial literacy arm to change the lending climate and help minority consumers overcome recurring debt and achieve financial stability. By encouraging lending institutions to create lower interest borrowing solutions and making consumers more aware of the financial options available to them prior to going into debt, today's collaboration will offer the tools and resources consumers need in order to make better and more informed financial decisions.
Founded by Dr. Soaries in 2005, dfree® (www.mydfree.org) is an enterprise that creates solutions for individuals and organizations pursuing financial freedom and economic self-sufficiency. The dfree® strategy begins with the elimination of debt and addresses the root causes of chronic indebtedness. dfree® stands for "Debt, Delinquency and Deficit Free" and the program has reached thousands of consumers nationwide by challenging them to take control of their finances by setting debt reduction goals, paying off debt, increasing awareness and changing behavior as it relates to money and borrowing.
"Dr. Soaries and the dfree® program has been highly successful in its mission to help consumers gain financial literacy and save for their financial future," said Johnson. "I am delighted that Pastor Soaries has agreed to work collaboratively on my campaign to bring about an end to payday lending as we know it today. He has been a national leader on educating consumers about the need to live debt free, and I believe that together we will bring about a significant change and provide valuable information on improving the lives of millions of working class Americans, particularly minority Americans," he concluded.
"I am thrilled to join Bob Johnson and his financial initiative to end payday lending and am proud to be a part of the efforts through dfree®. Our mission is to help consumers nationwide achieve debt free living, economic capacity, and to rely less on borrowing, particularly from high interest payday lending institutions. Providing individuals and families with the tools to address financial needs on a consistent basis, helps them to better manage their finances and achieve financial freedom," noted Dr. Soaries.
Last Updated on Monday, 24 June 2013 15:17
Category: Business - Original Written by Amber Bogins
The Regional Transit Authority (RTA) of Southeast Michigan Governing Board is seeking to hire its first Chief Executive Officer. The job posting period will be open from June 17, 2013 until July 19, 2013.
The Regional Transit Authority (the “RTA”) of Southeast Michigan was created through state legislation on December 19, 2012 (MI P.A. 387, 2012). The RTA service area is comprised of the counties of, Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw, and Wayne. It is governed by a ten member board with two representatives from each of the participating counties, one representative from the City of Detroit, and one non-voting member appointed by the governor who serves as the chair. The purpose of the RTA is to coordinate the activities of the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority (AATA), the Detroit Department of Transportation (DDOT), the Detroit Transportation Corporation (DTC), and the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART) and secure funding to improve and enhance public transportation within the four county area and the city of Detroit.
Last Updated on Monday, 17 June 2013 12:10
Category: Business - Original Written by Mario Williams
General Motors today appointed Gerald Johnson as North America Manufacturing Vice President, effective July 1. He will lead a team of more than 74,000 employees who work in 56 facilities including assembly, stamping, powertrain and component operations in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
“Gerald’s proven leadership, experience and passion for product quality will serve him well in this role,” said Tim Lee, GM vice president, Global Manufacturing and president, GM International Operations. “He leads by example as a mentor and strong communicator, engaging his full team to ensure we build only the best for our customers.”
Johnson’s most recent role was executive director of Global Program Quality and Launch, where he led several key quality initiatives to improve global product launches. His 33-year GM career has included many leadership positions in labor relations and manufacturing, including an overseas assignment in Zurich.
Johnson holds a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Administration from Kettering University and a master’s degree in Manufacturing Operations from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He succeeds Diana Tremblay, who was named vice president of GM’s new Global Business Services group.
General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world's largest and fastest-growing automotive markets. GM’s brands include Chevrolet and Cadillac, as well as Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Isuzu, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 June 2013 14:55
Category: Business - Original Written by AJ Williams, Chronicle Web Editor
If you missed this year's Michigan Chronicle's Men of Excellence, don't fret. Here are the highlights from this year’s award ceremony.
Last Updated on Friday, 14 June 2013 13:14
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