In a long, tumultuous meeting on Tuesday, Detroit's City Council approved the massive tax incentives and community benefits package for the $1.5 billion District Detroit development.
The approval is for $616 million in tax capture; an additional $133 million will be up for discussion later this spring. Olympia Development and Related Companies are leading the development.
The lone vote against the package came from City Council President Mary Sheffield. In a statement issued after the vote, she notes Olympia's past with development and benefits, the amount of office space included, and inequity in the package.
"The developers have not committed to, nor can they guarantee, Detroiters will receive any percentage of the post-construction jobs. Additionally, the number of projected post-construction jobs are a combination of unspecified amounts of full-time and part-time jobs with most being low wage hospitality jobs making as low as $28,000 annually for some full-time positions.
The developers, unlike other recent major developers such as the Pistons, Bedrock and Michigan Central, have made no agreement to follow executive order 2014-5 and commit to spend at least 30% of the total value of all contracts with Detroit Headquartered and Detroit-based business."
Some concessions were made by the developers on Tuesday, including giving $350,000 per year for 10 years to affordable housing and prioritizing residents who have lived in Detroit for 10 years for the affordable housing they're building.
Dozens of residents showed up virtually and in person for public comment in the meeting (you can catch up on a lot of the details and comments at Detroit Documenters on Twitter).
The next step for the 10-building plan, which includes new construction and adaptive reuse, is the Michigan Strategic Fund for their late-April meeting. Olympia Development and Related Companies are aiming for a mid-summer groundbreaking on the project.