February 9, 2017
Billionaire businessman Dan Gilbert’s company, Rock Ventures LLC, submitted a proposal to Wayne County, MI to build a 1,600-bed county jail, which would also include a juvenile detention center, a courthouse and offices for the county prosecutor and sheriff.
Gilbert is willing to build the $420 million complex on county-owned land east of Interstate 75 between Warren and East Forest Avenues, in exchange for the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice, two county jails and a juvenile detention center. Gilbert’s goal is to demolish the jails, hall of justice and detention center to build a $1 billion mixed-use development and Major League soccer stadium.
But some Wayne County Commissioners aren’t buying it. One had reservations about tearing down the juvenile center, which was paid for with $45 million in construction bonds issued in 1996. “Common sense tells you don’t put a wrecking ball on a perfectly good building,” Commissioner Ilona Varga told Crain’s Detroit Business.
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