Reporting Vickie Thomas
DETROIT (WWJ) – Detroit’s men and women in blue will be seeing a lot of green when they move into the new $60 million pubic safety complex.
The old MGM Grand Casino on Third off of the Lodge freeway in downtown Detroit has been transformed from a building with a lot of glitz and gold accents to one with bold green stripes, steel and concrete. Some people love it and others – not so much.
Detroiter Andre Buchanan strolled by the complex, which is nearing completion. “It looks nice.” And a far as the green stripes go, Buchanan said, “It brings it out. It looks good.”
Native Detroiter Trey Williams calls the colors, “lame.” As he walked by the complex, Clarence Burks was quick to share his thoughts as he chuckled, “It looks like something you can rent a room in don’t it?” He agreed that the color brings to mind California and sunny beaches.
C. Beth DunCombe, head of the Detroit Building Authority, says the complex does “Bring us sunshine.” She also said it’s not so much what you see but the building’s functionality. DunCombe said it’s high tech and highly secure. And she said public safety personnel deserve it. “They’ve been in an 80-year-old building for 80 years.”
DunCombe said the move in date is set for this summer. The over 400-thousand-square-foot complex will house police, fire, EMS, homeland security and a state police forensics laboratory.
Jeffery Hausman of The SmithGroup which designed the complex said, “I don’t really see it as edgy. I believe the building is in line with the new image being created for Detroit and with the new way public safety will be delivered in the city.” As it related to the color controversy, Hausman said, “If the design creates a reaction, then we’ve done our job.”