Howes: Gilbert bending over backwards to acquire Wayne County’s failed jail site

Feb 9, 2017

The unfinished Wayne County Jail site along Gratiot between Downtown Detroit and the Eastern Market. Quiken Loans CEO Dan Gilbert wants to develop a residential and entertainment district there.
Credit Wayne County

In his column for the Detroit News this week, Daniel Howes analyzed an interesting proposal offered by billionaire Dan Gilbert to Wayne County officials. Gilbert wants to secure a Downtown Detroit site where an unfinished jail currently stands.

The Quicken Loans leader says he will build Wayne County a brand new jail and court offices just east of Midtown in exchange for the site. Wayne County officials are currently vetting the offer. 

Under the proposal, Gilbert would then build a mixed residential and entertainment district on the unfinished jail site which could include a soccer stadium.

Howes said it is important to consider that the proposed private development would generate tax revenue for Detroit and Wayne County. The County is currently paying $1.2 million per month in debt service for the unfinished jail. 

For more on the proposal, listen to Stateside's conversation with Daniel Howes above.

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