Il­itches

The Detroit News - - Front Page - Laguilar@de­troit­news.com Twit­ter: @LouisAguilar_DN

rage rock re­vival scene. The White Stripes, which con­sisted of Jack and Meg White, made their de­but at the small club in 1997.

The Gold Dol­lar shut down in 2001 and the build­ing has been empty and fallen to dis­re­pair since. The roof in the back of the struc­ture is gone. Plans for the pur­chased prop­er­ties have not been re­vealed.

The newly re­ported ac­qui­si­tions join the dozens of prop­er­ties — from empty lots, shabby homes and va­cant build­ings — that en­ti­ties linked to the Il­itches have spent mil­lions as part of a long-rang­ing plan for the area around their newly opened Lit­tle Cae­sars Arena.

The Il­itches have been the driving force in the ef­fort to over­haul more than 50 blocks of Detroit into dense up­scale neigh­bor­hoods full of new res­i­dences and busi­nesses. The de­vel­op­ment plan, known as The Dis­trict Detroit, is fo­cused on the north­ern edge of down­town.

Lit­tle Cae­sars Arena, the $863 mil­lion sports and en­ter­tain­ment com­plex that opened this fall, is ex­pected to be the an­chor of the de­vel­op­ment plan. The “LCA” is home to the Il­itch’s Detroit Red Wings. Its Olympia En­ter­tain­ment man­ages the city-owned arena, which is ex­pected to be­come the top con­cert venue in the re­gion in the wake of the re­cent clos­ings of Joe Louis Arena and

Max Or­tiz the Palace of Auburn Hills.

The Il­itch fam­ily’s host of busi­nesses in­clude the Lit­tle Cae­sars Pizza chain, the Detroit Tigers and Red Wings. Mar­ian Il­itch and her hus­band, Mike, who died in Fe­bru­ary, co-founded Lit­tle Ceasars Pizza in 1959. The global fran­chise re­ports $4 bil­lion in an­nual sales.

Mar­ian Il­itch owns the Mo­torCity Casino Ho­tel. The Detroit Tigers are now in a fam­ily trust. Chris Il­itch, the son of Mike and Mar­ian, is pres­i­dent and CEO of Il­itch Hold­ings Inc. Their com­bined busi­nesses em­ploy 23,000 peo­ple, ac­cord­ing to the com­pany. Forbes es­ti­mates the fam­ily’s net worth at $5.8 bil­lion.

/ The Detroit News

The newly re­ported ac­qui­si­tions join dozens of prop­er­ties that en­ti­ties linked to the Il­itches have ac­quired.

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