Way cleared to begin Canfield Arena re-development

By ZEINAB NAJM
Times-Herald Newspapers

DEARBORN — The City Council signed a contract to redevelop the vacant Canfield Arena, 2100 Kinloch, after an agreement was reached with Elite Sports Training.

Councilwoman Lisa Hicks-Clayton posted the news on her Facebook page saying, “very pleased to announce the contract between the city of Dearborn Heights and Elite Sports Training has been signed, Wednesday, August 29th.

“The building will be demolished and a new state-of-the-art sports training facility will be developed starting September 1, 2018. The new facility will bring many opportunities and stimulate the local economy. Local residents and students alike will benefit from the services offered.”

The city council unanimously approved a 15-year lease agreement with Elite Sports Training during an Aug. 14 study session.

Under the agreement, Elite will control the ice arena property for 15 years with two options to extend and run the baseball diamond for 12 years with an option for the city to extend for three years.

Elite Sports Training Co-Owner Mike Makki won the bid to develop the arena in February and will start with demolition on Sept. 4. The original plan was to develop the current building by bringing it up code and adding new features, but in June Elite Co-owner and General Manager Rob Fay presented the idea of tearing down the building and starting from scratch to create a new facility.

The cost to construct the new building and make improvements is roughly $790,000, and the building is scheduled to go up in January, according to plans.

During construction of the building, Makki will not pay rent through December which was agreed on at the council’s study session.

Other changes were presented at the study session by Corporate Counsel Gary Miotke after Makki indicated he had additional needs.

The changes were extending the construction site on the south side where the arena currently sits to make the building bigger by 17 feet and also designating up to 25 parking spaces for use and allowing signs to be created and installed at Makki’s cost.

Elite will demolish the current ice arena, construct a new building, improve the baseball field, and add batting cages, golfing and new artificial turf. Youth athletic programs and other organizations will be able to rent time at the facility.

The baseball fields at the new building site and baseball field at South End Swapka Park, 5499 McKinley, will be improved to become playable.

During the study session, Fay said planned upgrades to the fields are making the ground level, adding capping on top of the fencing, dugout improvements, fenced-in bullpens and an irrigation system.

The city-owned Canfield Arena was condemned in 2017 and has remained vacant since then due to rodent, electrical and exit issues along with late payments from the former tenant.

(Zeinab Najm can be reached at zeinabnajm92@gmail.com.)

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