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Dan Gilbert’s Rock Ventures makes an offer for fail jail site

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They’ll build the criminal justice center off 75

Courtesy of Rock Ventures

As expected, Dan Gilbert and Rock Ventures made an offer for the fail jail site. But this is bigger than what we thought.

According to a press release from Rock Ventures, they “submitted an offer to Wayne County for a new, state-of-the-art, consolidated criminal justice center that includes the construction of new adult and juvenile detention facilities (divisions 1 and 2) and a new criminal courthouse (replacing the current Frank Murphy Hall of Justice). The proposal also calls for the transfer of the Gratiot Avenue Site to Rock Ventures for a planned $1 billion commercial development.”

The proposed criminal justice center will include:

  • Three new state-of-art buildingso 1,632-bed Adult Detention Facility
  • 160-bed Juvenile Detention Facility
  • Criminal courthouse with 29 courtrooms and five hearing rooms
  • Sherriff’s Office
  • Prosecutor’s Office
Courtesy of Rock Ventures

Financially, Wayne County estimates the cost to complete the current county jail at Gratiot Avenue is $250 million, with an additional $50 million for renovations to the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice. Rock Ventures would build the county a new criminal justice complex (estimated value of $420 million) for $300 million plus conveyance of the Gratiot Avenue Site and an Operational Savings credit.

Wayne County released this statement in response: “Today, the County received a proposal from Rock Ventures as an alternative to completing the jail at Gratiot. We will withhold further comment on the offer until we’ve had the opportunity to review it.” Jim Martinez, director of communications, Wayne County

The $1 billion development would be, as we’ve previously discussed, a soccer stadium and more. According to the release, the development would be a “combination of office, commercial, hotel and residential space, parking and potentially a Major League Soccer stadium in conjunction with Tom Gores and Platinum Equity. Preliminary estimates show this scale of development could produce up to $2 billion in economic impact, as estimated by the University of Michigan Center for Sport and Policy.”

Dan Gilbert and Tom Gores bid for an MLS team last week.

The county was going to request a proposal from the one team that could take on the fail jail site on February 10.

Some questions as we move forward in what looks to be a busy week:

  • Could the county say no to this and why would they? This keeps the justice center close to downtown, and shifts the responsibility for building to Rock Ventures.
  • Have we seen the last of the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice? Say what you will, but that’s a great Brutalist building.
  • How much can Dan Gilbert do in the next few years? Between this project, the Hudson’s site, Book Tower, the proposed Monroe Block, and more, that’s an unparalleled amount of redevelopment in the works.

We’ll let you know more when we know.

Fail Jail

Gratiot at St Antoine, Detroit, MI