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  1. #201

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    Quote Originally Posted by Downriviera View Post
    I think many fans will still enjoy the ambiance of the lower division teams. The Jr Wings packed the Joe. Sure many of the tix were giveaways but fans still came there and spent money to park, eat and drink. Plymouth Whalers did well as did the Detroit Vipers. In fact, the MLS team may spark an interest in the lower level teams. I will attend both MLS and Detroit FC if given the opportunity.
    The Plymouth Whalers DID NOT do well, financially anyway. The arena in Plymouth holds nearly 4000 people, and most nights had less than 2000, by the time they moved. Even in the better days in the early 2000s, it rarely surpassed 2500. That's a big reason why the arena and team were sold, and the team was relocated to Flint. Before they were sold, a friend with the organization told me they were hemorrhaging money, and had been for a few years.

    There is no denying the success they had as the Jr. Wings, however (before moving to Plymouth). They set a CHL record for attendance that I believe still stands. Being in Detroit, really opened them up to the Windsor market and the rabid Canadian hockey fans that would cross the border regularly to see any hockey game, even though they have the Windsor Spitfires who play in the same division in the OHL. An unfortunate fued between the Ilitch family and Peter Karmanos, led to their relocation to suburbia.

    The IHL was a dumpster fire of it's own...

    There is a certain draw to the lower level teams, but no one from the city is going to travel to the suburbs to see them. As long as they are in the city, they will draw a crowd, as DCFC does today.

  2. #202

  3. #203

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    Looks like the Fail Jail will become the Under Construction Jail, and not the site of the MLS stadium..


    Construction to restart on unfinished Wayne County jail site

  4. #204

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    RFP goes out in January and that is the point of no return. I'd bet that Gilbert and Gores make an offer before then to lock down the site.

  5. #205

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    Quote Originally Posted by southen View Post
    RFP goes out in January and that is the point of no return. I'd bet that Gilbert and Gores make an offer before then to lock down the site.
    I bet they are trying to work a deal out to announce at the same time as the Pistons moving downtown too. Sports and big news overload!

  6. #206

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    Wayne County just got a lot more leverage in the negotiation. It will be interesting to see which side blinks first.

  7. #207

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    Quote Originally Posted by EL Jimbo View Post
    Wayne County just got a lot more leverage in the negotiation. It will be interesting to see which side blinks first.
    I read this news as just the opposite. Stick a fork in the MLS plan, it's done in Detroit.

    Wayne County clearly doesn't want it if they have decided to move forward with putting a jail on the some of the primest real estate in the city. If the county is unwilling to stop this stupid idea when handed the chance to, how can you even negotiate with them? God forbid if they put some blue collar jobs out on mound road.

    MLS has 2 interested billionaire owners. I am quite sure that quickly other city's where the local government is eager to have them will be presented in detail.

  8. #208

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    Quote Originally Posted by EL Jimbo View Post
    Wayne County just got a lot more leverage in the negotiation. It will be interesting to see which side blinks first.
    DG could likely find a consultant who will 'certify' the jail is 'structurally deficient' and require demolition. no matter what, taxpayers will be anteing more money.

  9. #209

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    Quote Originally Posted by ABetterDetroit View Post
    I read this news as just the opposite. Stick a fork in the MLS plan, it's done in Detroit.

    Wayne County clearly doesn't want it if they have decided to move forward with putting a jail on the some of the primest real estate in the city. If the county is unwilling to stop this stupid idea when handed the chance to, how can you even negotiate with them? God forbid if they put some blue collar jobs out on mound road.

    MLS has 2 interested billionaire owners. I am quite sure that quickly other city's where the local government is eager to have them will be presented in detail.
    If the County is going to build a jail they need to go through this process regardless. There is no point in not pushing ahead as you lose your leverage in getting a more substantial and fair offer from G+G. The fact that they are saying that nothing is final until the RFP in January is a clear signal that if someone is going to happen it needs to happen now. It is actually smart for the County to keep moving forward and leaving the door open if the offer is sweet enough.

  10. #210

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    Quote Originally Posted by southen View Post
    If the County is going to build a jail they need to go through this process regardless. There is no point in not pushing ahead as you lose your leverage in getting a more substantial and fair offer from G+G. The fact that they are saying that nothing is final until the RFP in January is a clear signal that if someone is going to happen it needs to happen now. It is actually smart for the County to keep moving forward and leaving the door open if the offer is sweet enough.
    Under no circumstances would you want to give away the farm, for example the pizza arena, yet there would still have to be a willingness for cooperation on the land acquisition to make MLS happen on that site. How that should be done is under a binding purchase agreement and contracts with escrow for failure to excute within a certain time period. If Wayne County is hoping to apply pressure to better their position on the property instead of be a willing partner, that fact is pretty telling of where they stand on MLS.

  11. #211

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    Why wouldn't they be able to do both? The offer they received was so unbelievably low that I would proceed with other plan as well until I received something respectable. Bedrock has said they are working behind the scenes to come up with something that benefits both parties, that doesn't mean the county should stop looking at other options and simply looking at other options doesn't mean they wouldn't be a willing partner in the end.

  12. #212

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    Gilbert and his team made a play in the media before securing anything to get the public on their side. I am sure the county is playing the same game in the media.

  13. #213

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    It appears Gilbert is going to make a final pitch soon.

    http://www.freep.com/story/money/bus...vans/97258316/

  14. #214

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    Quote Originally Posted by ABetterDetroit View Post
    It appears Gilbert is going to make a final pitch soon.

    http://www.freep.com/story/money/bus...vans/97258316/
    I'm going to guess:

    Gilbert attempts to move heaven and earth to get that site. It is the one site he wants because of its proximity to his casino.

    Like the Ilitches, I believe he'll have to over pay for the land in his highly favored location (that's okay because he has gotten a lot of bargains in Detroit.) In a sense, he is a 'victim' of his own success, namely because of all that he has done in downtown, downtown land is much more valuable today than years ago.
    Last edited by emu steve; January-31-17 at 05:52 AM.

  15. #215

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    I really don't see why Gilbert wants that site badly enough to pay a couple of hundred million for it. It's far enough removed from his casino that I doubt it has any impact. Would any tourists even notice it exists? Does anyone feel less secure because they pass the courts on their walk to Comerica/Ford Field? If anything, the number of police cars on the streets is very reassuring. A big empty stadium, like Ford Field, will only kill pedestrian activity. I doubt there is enough demand for more hotels & restaurants. I would rather see existing retail spaces and empty lots between Greektown, downtown and the stadium district filled.

  16. #216

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    My thoughts:
    #1- There is no guarantee that Detroit will be selected for a MLS franchise. So even if Wayne County and Gilbert come to an agreement where Gilbert gets the jail site for $XXX million dollars, there is no guarantee there will be a team to play in the stadium if it were to get built. The decision of whether to build a jail or stadium on the failjail site has to be made (Feb 10?) before it is known if Detroit is awarded the new franchise (late 2017). I know Gilbert likes risks, but this one seems like the risk/reward ratio doesn't pan out.

    #2- The more I think about it, I think the best outcome for the city (at this point) is that Wayne County finish the jail, and a new soccer stadium get built elsewhere should Detroit win their MLS bid.
    I have several reasons for this conclusion:
    A- If Gilbert gets the jail site, he will have to spend several hundred million dollars to offset Wayne County's expenses. Granted it is his money and he can spend it as he chooses, but it would be better for the city if that money were spent instead on the Hudson block development, Monroe block development, or any other number of projects. Basically the $xxx million given to the county becomes "lost money".
    B- I actually think the jail is a better land use choice for the fail jail location then a soccer stadium. Though from Gilberts perspective, there really aren't any other large sites for a soccer stadium that are close to his developments.
    C- The jail site is a shovel ready "development". Construction jobs and future
    Criminal justice jobs will occupy that site immediately. Using it for a soccer stadium means we have to wait a year to see if Detroit gets a MLS franchise or not. And if not, we have vacant land still. Bird in hand better than two in bush.

  17. #217

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    Atticus, you make well reasoned points, but I disagree with you.

    First, I think Detroit, with a stadium plan, will almost surely win an MLS franchise. We're a very large market, both in terms of population and spending money. We also have a very robust local soccer community from little kids through college. And the success of DCFC I think is just the scratching of the surface for soccer fans. Mostly, though, we have potential owners (in MLS's structure, they're actually sort of licensed operators) with deep pockets, vested interests in this community, and big league sports franchise ownership experience. If you were going to award any expansion team from any league in any city, Gilbert-Gores is probably the best possible ownership team.

    Second, on the off chance Detroit doesn't land an MLS franchise, it is hardly a situation of Gilbert/Gores throwing away money. They will have possession of a very large piece of land in a booming downtown. The immediate plans wouldn't materialize, but I am fairly certain they would make profitable use of the land. And with Gilbert especially, sooner rather than later.

    Third, the county (and city) would benefit immensely from having that site become a large commercial project. Even Warren Evans has admitted that he doesn't want the jail project there. His support for restarting the jail is pegged only to his dual responsibilities of expanding/modernizing county jail capacity and doing so at the minimum possible cost to taxpayers. A soccer stadium with additional apartment, hotel, office & retail components would pay direct property taxes, as well as generate income and sales tax revenue. Much more than keeping all that valuable property in government hands would. I am fairly certain Warren Evans goes to bed and prays every night that G&G present him a plan that gets that white elephant out of downtown and off his to-do list.

    I think the best possible scenario for all parties goes something like this:

    -Wayne county agrees to move new jail plus associated court and support facilities to the state's Mound Rd facility & vicinity. Gilbert-Gores will construct/renovate all needed space, per negotiated specs with the county. GG team picks up the entire tab for that. ------------Meanwhile, GG team gets immediate possession of jail site for $1, and possession of surrounding buildings (FMHOJ, etc) as they complete replacement space at Mound Rd. No property taxes charged to the property until the first fiscal year that it is entirely in their possession, and full taxation phased in over a period of 10 years.
    -City of Detroit agrees to a very broad development plan for the site, allowing for the stadium & associated buildings, and also for changes to future building plans within a very broad parameter, so as to allow G&G the flexibility to spend all that money upfront.

    In this scenario:

    -The county gets its needed space for no additional taxpayer dollars. It also will see future taxes generated it would not have otherwise had. And it gets rid of the embarrassing eyesore, once and for all.

    -Gilbert & Gores get the space for their development. Although they will be paying for the criminal justice space, they will at least get to control the construction and costs themselves, and not need to worry about government contractors or corruption (how we got into that mess in the first place). They get to offset the construction costs with a phase-in of property-tax payments, which would save them millions of dollars, all the while generating more every year than the $0 the space is currently sending into city and county coffers. And they get the city's commitment to allow for design changes to reflect the possibility of not getting an MLS franchise or adjusting plans (bigger or smaller) to market conditions.

    -The city gets major new development downtown. This includes perks like more residents, workers, jobs & foot traffic, but also additional revenue from parking garages, income & property taxes.

    There are no losers in this scenario, in my opinion.

  18. #218

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    Clearly the losers of a Mound Road location would be all those employees-police, lawyers, admin. staff, jailers, cleaning staff, etc. plus visitors, witnesses, etc. who must trek out to Mound Road. It would be particularly tough for those using transit. As someone stated, it makes far more sense if relocation is necessary to find something near downtown such as the former Federal Building near Police HQ.

  19. #219

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    Quote Originally Posted by 401don View Post
    Clearly the losers of a Mound Road location would be all those employees-police, lawyers, admin. staff, jailers, cleaning staff, etc. plus visitors, witnesses, etc. who must trek out to Mound Road. It would be particularly tough for those using transit. As someone stated, it makes far more sense if relocation is necessary to find something near downtown such as the former Federal Building near Police HQ.
    Your post makes the assumption that most of the mentioned people live in or near downtown. I doubt that. Transit is an issue, but not a terrible one. I have no idea what kind (if any) transit service is out there, but that could certainly be planned for and expanded over the several years it would take for that plan to come to fruition.

    One thing I think is important to remember about jails or other such government operations: they should never be placed, in my opinion, in places where the land might otherwise be valuable. In addition to being a waste of money developing there, it might crowd out future economic growth. Now, of course, that was hardly an issue for 40 years in downtown Detroit. There was just constant decline. But nowadays, it would foolhardy to assume anything remotely near downtown doesn't have a viable developable future.

  20. #220

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    Put the courthouse next to the police HQ preferably on the vacant space directly in front of it then there is no need for property acquisition and design daytime holding facilities into it. There already is excess parking in the old MGM garages. Police officers time is far more valuable than prisoners. Transport the prisoners from Mound Road for the day with bag lunches as they have nothing but time on there hands. Utilize video conferencing as much as possible. Law firms stay downtown, jail jobs are in a neighborhood on a parcel that has nothing but space for free parking and future needs. Everybody wins except prisoners who don't get a shiny new jail.
    Last edited by ABetterDetroit; January-31-17 at 05:13 PM.

  21. #221

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    Quote Originally Posted by Atticus View Post
    My thoughts:
    #1- There is no guarantee that Detroit will be selected for a MLS franchise. So even if Wayne County and Gilbert come to an agreement where Gilbert gets the jail site for $XXX million dollars, there is no guarantee there will be a team to play in the stadium if it were to get built. The decision of whether to build a jail or stadium on the failjail site has to be made (Feb 10?) before it is known if Detroit is awarded the new franchise (late 2017). I know Gilbert likes risks, but this one seems like the risk/reward ratio doesn't pan out.

    #2- The more I think about it, I think the best outcome for the city (at this point) is that Wayne County finish the jail, and a new soccer stadium get built elsewhere should Detroit win their MLS bid.
    I have several reasons for this conclusion:
    A- If Gilbert gets the jail site, he will have to spend several hundred million dollars to offset Wayne County's expenses. Granted it is his money and he can spend it as he chooses, but it would be better for the city if that money were spent instead on the Hudson block development, Monroe block development, or any other number of projects. Basically the $xxx million given to the county becomes "lost money".
    B- I actually think the jail is a better land use choice for the fail jail location then a soccer stadium. Though from Gilberts perspective, there really aren't any other large sites for a soccer stadium that are close to his developments.
    C- The jail site is a shovel ready "development". Construction jobs and future
    Criminal justice jobs will occupy that site immediately. Using it for a soccer stadium means we have to wait a year to see if Detroit gets a MLS franchise or not. And if not, we have vacant land still. Bird in hand better than two in bush.
    I would rather have a soccer stadium than another jail built there and being so close to and developing downtown

  22. #222

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    Quote Originally Posted by stasu1213 View Post
    I would rather have a soccer stadium than another jail built there and being so close to and developing downtown
    In theory, I would too. But I look at it from the economic perspective of what makes sense given where we are now.
    1. If the soccer stadium goes on the fail jail, there is $200m-$300m (depending on who you ask) being spent to relocate other perfectly good facilities. This money could be better spent on any number of things.
    2. From a functional standpoint, a soccer stadium is a mini Ford Field (aka dead zone most days of the year). Yes a jail is by no means sexy, but it is not a dead zone. It draws in police, lawyers, judicial jobs, and other individuals to the site 365 days a year.
    3. The fail jail site is surrounded by other deadzones on 2.5/4 sides. The north side (Ford Field) is a dead zone most of the year, the east side (I-375) is a boundary and a deadzone, and the south side (Greektown garage) is 0.5 a deadzone with the only onstreet activity occuring closer to the hotel entrance.
    4. In addition to the jail being a "draw", it is a "forced draw". If a restaurant "normal draw" is in a bad location, it won't draw in customers and the site won't work. That's why businesses don't work near dead zones. But forced draws near deadzones can work. The jail is a "forced draw" because many of the people on the jail site are forced to go there for various reasons. Thus the force draw will bring in actual people even though it is bordered by a dead zone on 2.5 sides. Putting in a soccer stadium just makes even more of the downtown a deadzone.

    My feeling is keep the $200m-300m it would cost to move the jail, and put it toward building a privately funded soccer stadium on the northwest corner of the I-75/I-375 interchange.
    Last edited by Atticus; January-31-17 at 10:03 PM.

  23. #223

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    No surprise, but Gores and Gilbert put in their formal bid yesterday before the deadline.

    http://www.detroitnews.com/story/bus...-bid/97305502/

    Interesting though, they list the jail site as the prospective site of a new stadium:

    http://www.freep.com/story/sports/nb...sion/97303110/
    Last edited by emu steve; February-01-17 at 05:32 AM.

  24. #224

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    Quote Originally Posted by emu steve View Post
    No surprise, but Gores and Gilbert put in their formal bid yesterday before the deadline.

    http://www.detroitnews.com/story/bus...-bid/97305502/

    Interesting though, they list the jail site as the prospective site of a new stadium:

    http://www.freep.com/story/sports/nb...sion/97303110/

    Well, if the soccer bid is jail site or bust, then it is what it is. We should know by the end of the month whether the county agrees to Gilberts bid for the jail site. My assumption is then is if Wayne County says no, the MLS bid is dead.

    The other question becomes if Wayne County says yes to selling to Gilbert, then what happens to the site should the bid not win a MLS team?

  25. #225

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    Quote Originally Posted by emu steve View Post
    No surprise, but Gores and Gilbert put in their formal bid yesterday before the deadline.

    http://www.detroitnews.com/story/bus...-bid/97305502/
    Not the only city vying for a MLS team

    http://fox5sandiego.com/2017/01/30/i...-to-san-diego/

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