- Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert has upped the ante on his quest to build a 23,000-seat, $1 billion soccer stadium complex on a downtown Detroit jail site by offering to help construct a $420 million, high-tech criminal justice center in another part of town, according to MLive.
- Wayne County experienced budget overruns on its planned $300 million adult corrections facility and had to stop construction, with a reboot planned for this year. Gilbert said his company, Rock Ventures, would kick in $120 million to the already-budgeted amount and deliver a better, more high-tech facility about a mile away.
- In the place of the original jail plan, Gilbert has offered to build a multi-use compound that would include a 1,600-bed adult facility, a juvenile detention center and a criminal courthouse, as well as to assume project risk.
Last year, Gilbert and Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores announced that they would pursue a Major League Soccer franchise for Detroit and expressed a desire to build a massive mixed-use stadium development on the jail site after construction had been halted over money concerns. At the time, Wayne County officials denied there was a deal in place, but the idea reportedly received a positive response from the MLS, as the organization has expressed a fondness for more urban locations.
If the soccer project moves forward, the cost of just the stadium is forecast to be in the $225 million to $250 million range but will also include a hotel, office building and residential tower, with retail, dining and entertainment thrown into the mix.
This is just the latest proposed development in the continuing narrative of growth in downtown Detroit. The Ilitch family, owners of Little Caesars Pizza, are building a new hockey arena at the center of a massive $1 billion-plus District Detroit redevelopment that will see 50 blocks infused with both residential and commercial projects in an effort to transform the area. The Ilitch family's personal investment into the project has been significant, and they have said that 75% of the development will be funded by private money.