DETROIT - A groundbreaking was held Wednesday at Wayne State University in Detroit for a building that will be named after one of the city's top business leaders.
The Mike Ilitch School of Business is scheduled to open in 2018 to students and will be a part of Detroit's thriving Woodward Avenue corridor that will include a new professional hockey arena, entertainment district and light rail.
"Today's events represent the next important steps in bringing to life one of the most substantial demonstrations yet of my parents' love for Detroit and its people, and their hope and belief in its future," Ilitch Holdings President and Chief Executive Christopher Ilitch said.
Mike and Marian Ilitch last year announced a gift to help build the school near the new Red Wings arena and entertainment district now under development. The donation included $35 million and the use of the land for construction, as well as a $5 million endowment.
The family owns Little Caesars Pizza, the Detroit Tigers and Red Wings.
They founded the pizza chain in 1959. Little Caesars' headquarters and Comerica Park, where the Tigers play baseball, are along Woodward between downtown and Wayne State.
The new home of the Red Wings is under construction and will be called Little Caesars Arena. The 20,000-seat arena should open in 2017 after the Red Wings play a final season at Joe Louis Arena.
Construction is to start later this year on the business school, which will feature a glass facade, a cafe and indoor and outdoor spaces. It is expected to serve more than 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students.
"This new home for our business school will create a beautiful and accessible gateway connecting Midtown and downtown Detroit for students, faculty and the community alike," said M. Roy Wilson, Wayne State president. "It's a fitting and elegant design for a world-class business school made possible by entrepreneurs who throughout their career have been dedicated to opening up a world of opportunities for the people of Detroit."
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