In the first of what will likely be a series of important articles covering the redevelopment of a huge swath of downtown Detroit, the Detroit News this morning features a good read on the residents and history of the south end of the Cass Corridor. That area, which once included Detroit's original Chinatown, has seen a series of city-led condemnation and blighted property processes in recent years that made the Red Wings onslaught one of the region's worst-kept secrets.
Now, with the plan officially approved by the Detroit Downtown Development Authority, residents of the low-income sector of the city's downtown district see the coming change as a mixed blessing.
The News' Louis Aguilar suggests that similar combined sports and mixed-use developments in other major cities mean the area could soon see a slew of major chain restaurants popping up in unexpected places. A designer with the city planning firm that helped craft the 45-block redevelopment plan told MLive last week he might even expect a movie theater to make it in the final plan.
It's change that will help connect the downtown core with the seemingly distant Midtown reinvention story, and business owners like Sean Harrington of Park Avenue's Town Pump Tavern and Centaur Restaurants tells WXYZ that he's thrilled to get some publicity and sports sunlight with the incoming complex. But not all local establishments in the neighborhood feel the same.
The real kicker is a quote from Temple Bar bartender Larry McCloud, who thinks the change is unavoidable but troubling. "It's good, but it's kind of sad," he said. "It's good because all the investment is great for the city. But there were still great things in this neighborhood. Does that stay here, too?"
· Illitches Made Temple Bar the Mayor of Hockey Town [Eater Detroit]
· Arena plan one more change for Cass Corridor area rich with history [Det News]
· Video Update: Business Owner Upbeat About $650-Million Wings Arena Plan
· New Detroit Red Wings arena plan creates district where 'sky is the limit,' project architect says [Mlive]