Finley: Council fights comeback
Detroit’s City Council should not be a rubber stamp for development. It’s charged with protecting the public’s interest when major projects are proposed for the city.
Nor should it place unreasonable demands on developers whose investment is essential to the city’s comeback. That’s what is happening with the new Red Wings arena project proposed by the Ilitch family.
The $650 million development will transform the Cass Corridor and link downtown with Midtown. The Ilitches are on a hurry-up timetable to get the project underway, and that benefits the city.
But a vote on zoning requests was postponed until January after the council pressed the Ilitches to preserve a pair of vacant hotels, create more low-income housing and limit parking spaces.
Those demands aren’t supported by the market, and risk delaying the project, or sidetracking it altogether. That’s not the role council should play in the redevelopment of Detroit.