HBO To Examine Empty Development Promises Of The District Detroit

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The District Detroit was supposed to be a 50-block development that was going to change the landscape of downtown Detroit near Little Caesars Arena.

Well, it has changed. It’s now a sea of $40 parking lots and beautiful architectural husks as development timelines get blown again and again.

Although there were a lot of promises made early on — and hundreds of millions in tax incentives given — the arena is complete and the projects nearby have, for the most part, not happened.

Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel is looking at the issue in a episode titled, “Motown Blues.”

According to a trailer for the show posted by HBO, “District Detroit has indeed failed to produce a single house, apartment, or hotel room to date. With little progress in sight.”

Many local voices have highlighted the lack of progress. From the Terrible Ilitches Facebook page, to a Crain’s story that showed how the Ilitch development plans may have been unattractive to outside investors from the start. We’ve talked about the lack of progress here and discussed how Olympia Development and the Ilitch organization have been poor communicators after taking so much in taxpayer subsidy.

The episode of Real Sports airs on HBO this Tuesday night (April 23) at 10 p.m.

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