County to Weigh Offer for Proposed Detroit MLS Stadium Site

Proposed Detroit MLS stadium

With an offer from Dan Gilbert‘s Rock Ventures on the table, Wayne County is looking to settle the fate of a proposed MLS stadium site in Detroit in two weeks. 

In order to obtain the Gratiot Avenue site that he and Tom Gores have pitched for an MLS stadium, Gilbert made an offer to Wayne County to acquire the property. The county has indicated that it would like to resume construction of an unfinished jail at that site, so Gilbert’s proposal included the development of a criminal justice complex–which consists of a court house, along with adult and juvenile penitentiaries–at East Forest Drive.

At this point, the county says that it is reviewing the proposal, and could reach a decision in two weeks. More from

The Wayne County Commission and County Executive Warren Evan’s office are in the process of exploring the proposal.

“Since Day One we’ve put the interests of our residents, communities and taxpayers first,” Evans said in a statement Tuesday.

“We’ve spent two years getting our fiscal house in order. This allowed us to be in position to finish the Gratiot jail. Four days before my deadline, Rock has submitted an alternative proposal that is much better than their previous offer. It is unlikely this improved offer would have come without all the fiscal progress we’ve made in Wayne County. Working with the County Commission, we’ll vet the offer thoroughly. We will take the same thoughtful, measured approach in vetting this proposal as we’ve done in every step in dealing with the County’s fiscal crisis.”

County Commission Chair Gary Woronchak told WJR’s Frank Beckmann on Tuesday that he’s studying whether county taxpayers would benefit from the deal, and expects the county to come to a decision within two weeks.

For both sides, there is an incentive to review the proposal in timely fashion. The county previously indicated that it would issue a request for proposal to finish jail construction by February 10 if an offer for alternate use for the location was not on the table. Gilbert and Gores, meanwhile, have to determine whether their efforts can continue to be focused on the Gratiot site, or have to be shifted elsewhere in the city. The pair submitted their bid for an MLS expansion franchise at the end of January.

Images courtesy Rosetti.

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