300 attendees from Detroit-based-and-headquartered businesses joined together yesterday, August 29, at MotorCity Casino Hotel to learn first-hand about job and business opportunities through participation in the construction of the Detroit Sports and Entertainment District and its new arena.
Christopher Ilitch, President and CEO of Ilitch Holdings, Inc. welcomed attendees, outlining the organization’s aggressive goals for local business participation in this transformational project. “Detroit is our hometown. We’ve done business in Detroit for nearly 50 years, and we’re based and headquartered in the city, like all of you …. kicks off a process to ensure Detroit-based and -headquartered firms get an opportunity to participate in this amazing project. And ultimately, this will lead to ensuring that Detroit residents get to participate and benefit financially by filling over 51% of the construction jobs.”
At the event, Olympia Development detailed the organization’s plan for working with its partners to achieve 30 percent Detroit business participation and 51 percent Detroit resident-worker jobs for construction of the new Detroit arena. Additionally, representatives from other key stakeholder organizations explained how Detroit-based companies can pursue upcoming construction opportunities and also provided resources to help those businesses participate.
“This outreach summit was the first step in preparing Detroit businesses for construction opportunities district-wide. From our aggressive participation goals to investment in apprenticeship programs, we are committed to ensuring that Detroit businesses have the resources and support they need to succeed,” said Doug Diggs, President of Heritage Development Services, the organization that assisted in developing the workforce inclusion and business participation plan for the project.
Olympia Development and its partners will host additional outreach events in the coming months to ensure Detroit-based and -headquartered businesses, Detroit workers, state of Michigan contractors and Michigan-based suppliers all play a major role in, and financially benefit from, construction of the District and arena.
The next event, for contractors and suppliers state wide (including those from Detroit), Michigan-wide Contractor and Supplier Summit – Michigan Made, Detroit-built will take place on September 9 at 10:00 a.m. at the MotorCity Casino Hotel’s Sound Board venue in Detroit. Businesses should register for the event at http://www.DistrictDetroit.com/. This event will connect statewide contractors and suppliers with Detroit business owners and project leadership for construction opportunities. The event is also intended to ensure that the new arena is built primarily with materials made in Michigan, financially benefiting companies from all parts of the state.
Groundbreaking for the District will occur this fall. Office, retail and residential buildings – as well as the new arena – are scheduled to be complete by the summer of 2017. Construction of the arena and surrounding District is expected to generate at least $1.8B in total economic impact, 8,300 construction and construction-related jobs and 1,100 permanent jobs. More than $100M in income from the arena project alone is expected for Detroit residents, with significant additional income to be created through future private development.