Half of the construction workers who build Detroit’s $450 million hockey arena will be city residents, or the developer — Olympia Development — will face stiff penalties, a government human rights executive said this week.
The project’s development agreement stipulates that at least 51% of the 5,500 construction workers must be “bona-fide Detroit residents” and 30% of the total value of construction contracts must be awarded to businesses in the city.
The executive told The Detroit Free Press that the arena’s developer “so far” has met hiring goals, but noted, “It’s early.” Construction began two months ago.
Because 58% of the funding for the new Red Wings’ arena — which will open in 2017 — will come from state tax revenue, government officials have insisted that tax-paying citizens receive a substantial share of the work the project creates.
And the city's not taking the developer’s word about compliance: Two compliance officers will be stationed at the job site to verify that the bulk of employees are Detroit residents.