Deal Advances Plans For Detroit Soccer Stadium, Justice Complex

DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – A tentative deal is advancing businessman Dan Gilbert’s plans for a downtown Detroit soccer stadium and a new $520 million criminal justice complex.

Wayne County Executive Warren Evans on Thursday announced a new agreement. Wayne County would acquire some Detroit Department of Transportation property, bounded by the I-75 service drive and E. Warren Ave., and the city would acquire the county land bank-owned former American Motors Corp. headquarters on Detroit’s west side.

“We’ve arranged for the land sale, which was one of the big hurdles,” Evans told WWJ’s Vickie Thomas.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan says the deal will allow the city to speed up potential redevelopment of the American Motors site.

Perhaps more significant: The agreement gives Wayne County enough land for the criminal justice center if a deal can be reached with Gilbert’s Rock Ventures to construct it on E. Forest Ave. near I-75.

In return, Gilbert wants to use the site of a suspended jail project — on Gratiot Ave. near I-375 — for a $1 billion commercial development, which would potentially include a Major League Soccer stadium. [More details].

Over the summer, Evans announced that he would pursue the a deal with Gilbert, rather than accept a bid from Walsh Construction to finish the jail where it sits, partially finished and long-delayed.

The county’s unfinished 2,000-bed jail remains an eyesore across from the county courthouse in Detroit. Construction stopped in 2013 because the project was wildly over budget, with cost overruns totaling more than $90 million.

© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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