Detroit City Council has approved a request from Detroit Mayor Dave Bing to issue bonds for the purchase of the building that housed MGM Grand’s temporary Detroit casino.The council voted 5-4 Tuesday in favor of the mayor’s plan to renovate the former casino for the new Detroit Police and Fire Headquarters.
Deputy Mayor Saul Green told WWJ Newsradio 950 that the plans for the build out can begin and should be ready for move-in within 18 months.
“It really goes back to the 1990’s when we started looking at DPD headquarters, knowing and needing to try to do something new or renovate,” said Green. “So, finally with this vote we can move forward with putting the financing in place, purchasing the building, and then starting to build out,” he said.
Falling plaster, lead-based paint, water leaks, vermin and other problems have plagued the old police headquarters.
Green said the build out of the MGM Grand temporary casino should cost $60 million.
The plan initially caused concern for Detroit City Council members who were worried about the costs.
Council President Charles Pugh, last month, told WWJ that the council was being rushed to approve the proposal, after Mayor Bing said he wanted an answer by June 25th.
“This could cost 100 million dollars and we’re going to sell bonds for this — we’re going to be paying for this for generations,” said Pugh.
After deliberating, Green said the council’s approval for the build out also helps solve the problem of Detroit’s now shuttered crime lab.
“It will be a crime lab that will be operated by the State Police,” said Green. “So we’ve got the space to really put a state-of-the-art crime lab, which is another issue that is so important to public safety in the city, in this region, and the entire state.”
State police have been processing evidence for Detroit since the city’s crime lab closed in 2008 after authorities found dozens of cases with misjudged evidence.
(Copyright 2010 WWJ. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report)