If you wondered why some downtown properties the Ilitch family owned remained vacant for so long, here's a pretty good explanation.
Louis Aguilar of the Detroit News writes that Ilitches needed to keep some of its downtown properties empty for years because they didn't want to spark a pricing frenzy for the surrounding private land needed to buy for their $650 million plans of a new arena and 45-block entertainment district.
“It’s been painful to not be able to develop some of that property because every time we made a move, the price for other property would shoot way up,” said Christopher Ilitch, president & CEO, Ilitch Holdings, on Monday, according to the News report.
“But we had to wait and that hurt. It took us 15 years to accumulate the property so we can achieve this transformative project,” Ilitch said. “Now we really have been unharnessed, unleashed,” he said.