Friday, December 12, 2008

$2.5M taxpayer subsidy so Ilitch can demo its decaying structures in west Foxtown

First, recall the dashboard graphic published in the Detroit News on 9.23.08 to demonstrate the uparralled decline of Michigan's economy and that the week before on 9.17.08 Forbes ranked Michael Ilitch #301 on its annual list of the "400 Richest Americans."

And now, in an article published 12.11.08 in Crain's Detroit Business it has been disclosed that various Ilitch Family-owned entities (Olympia Development of MI LLC, Olympia Entertainment LLC, Elizabeth Street Properties LLC, etc.) will receive $2.5 million from taxpayers to demolish six strucutres that Ilitch boarded up and then left decaying during the last decade. Ilitch purchased these devalued properties with intention or in some cases was nearly gifted them by the Wayne County Treasurer; and now he wants another handout?

Capping the demolition list is the historic Fine Arts/Adams Theatre Building located on W. Adams Ave. in Grand Circus Park.

In the 12.11.08 Crain's story, Fred Beal of J.C. Beal Construction Inc. reports the facade of the Fine Arts Building will remain intact echoing a previous promise by Ilitch spokeswoman Karen Cullen. (Fine Arts is coming down; Ilitch Lifts City Hopes; Ilitches Downtown Power Play)

Included among the other buildings that would be demolished are West Grand River Lofts at 2030 W. Grand River Ave., and the Ancient Egyptian Arabic Order of Noble Mythic Shrine at 2203 Cass Ave.

This is yet another of the Ilitch Family's taxpayer subsidized demolition plans. It will level all but two major structures from property controlled by Ilitch-owned entities in the west end of Detroit's Foxtown -- an area in downtown Detroit that's home to the headquarters of Ilitch Holdings, Inc., and where various Ilitch enterprises are dominate property owners. If this latest round of demo goes forward as planned, left standing on Ilitch owned property in the near vicinity would be just two pre-existing structures: (1) the former Chin Tiki Restaurant building featured prominently in Eminem's 2002 feature film "8 Mile;" and (2) the historic Moose Lodge Building which Ilitch acquired from promoter Blair McGowan.

At a time when working men and women in Michigan are facing some of the most desperate economic times in their adult lives, one of the richest men in America is asking for several million dollars in taxpayers handouts so he can demolish structures he let decay throughout the last decade. Is that just how rich guys in Michigan do it; spend their money flying around on corporate jets and other luxuries while they watch their business enterprises decay and then ask taxpayers to bail them out?

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detroit area said...

Demolishing a building, but leaving the facade? Really? How does that play out?

Do you have pictures, or links to pictures of the other buildings about to be demo'ed with corporate welfare money?

Verifiable said...

Detroit area,

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certainly must reads!

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