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County favoring deal with Dan Gilbert for jail site

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Michelle & Chris Gerard

This could be a big turning point for the fail jail property at Gratiot and 375. With two proposals in front of them, Wayne County announced they’d focus on the bigger Dan Gilbert/Rock Ventures proposal, in which Rock Ventures would both build a criminal justice complex at another site, and eventually, build a soccer stadium at the fail jail site.

According to the Detroit Free Press,

“Wayne County Executive Warren Evans said much more work will be needed to propel the deal forward and so an offer from Walsh Construction to complete the unfinished jail on Gratiot remains on the table, if the deal with Rock Ventures can't be worked out.

According to Evans, his team will is working with Rock Ventures’ representatives to negotiate terms of a deal to create a new criminal justice center, but if negotiations with Rock don't result in a contract in the best interest of county residents and taxpayers, the county has 120 days from June 28, the date Walsh submitted its proposal, to restart negotiations to complete the jail at the Gratiot site.”

The fail jail saga has been going on for years. Last spring, Dan Gilbert and Pistons owner Tom Gores announced their plans for a soccer stadium at the location of the fail jail site. The county ran an assessment of the site to see if work could be continued on the project (it can). Rock Ventures submitted a proposal for the site in February, with the intention of building the criminal justice complex a short distance down I-75, at East Forest Avenue.

Walsh Construction is the only other proposal being considered, and they would finish constructing the jail site in its current location.

In April, we asked our readers what should happen with the fail jail site. 75% were in favor of the soccer stadium, and that Wayne County should take up Dan Gilbert on the offer.

According to the Free Press, Evans has directed his team to look closer into the Rock Ventures deal to see if they could reach a contract. This is not a done deal yet, but one step closer to knowing what will happen at the fail jail site.

Fail Jail

Gratiot at St Antoine, Detroit, MI