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Detroit's Masonic Temple: Big Bucks Reno Deal in the Works?

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The Masonic Temple could be getting a pile of money for renovations, but like other LoMidTo property deals, the details are cloaked in secrecy! The Detroit News reports that in the lower Midtown area (Masonic's home) there have been 22 property deals under confidentiality agreements. Which translates to the fact that the News is not super-sure what is going on but it is not for a lack of calling. (The article mentions twice that no one returns phone calls to the News. Maybe they should try texts?)

What they do know:

· The figure floating around would be $38 million for the Temple and surrounding area. The source of the info was a memo by the Magnet Fund (a super-committee!) which was posted online, but has since been removed. Another Magnet Fund project is the David Whitney Building, which is being converted into hotel/condos this year.

· Where would they find such funds? It would be a combo of tax credits, state grants and loans along with $20 million from a "qualified equity investment." (That means private donor! Paging Dan Gilbert? Or Ilitches? Do we know anyone else rich and interested in Detroit?)

· Well it would not be a Detroit project with out a parking garage! The plan is to spend $9.3 million on parking, $5 million to upgrade the Temple interior, and $4 million for outdoor public lighting and improvements to Cass Park.

· The deal is "being driven by a team of state and city economic power brokers who are working on the financing and declare the deal could be done by year's end."

· The area just east of the Masonic Temple is rumored to be a possible location for a new Detroit Red Wings hockey arena. (Illitch-ville ExpansionWire!)

So there you have it. We may soon have a reason to call that area between Midtown and Downtown across from Brush Park a real hood. Welcome to the game LoMidTo. It is about time you had a real estate attraction that trumps our weird interest in the Cass Tech High School demo from a few summers ago.

· Masonic Temple, Cass Park may get $38M renovation [The Detroit News]

Masonic Temple

500 Temple Street, , MI 48201 (313) 832-7100 Visit Website