Wayne County Won't Finish Jail, Paving Way for Gilbert Development

The stalled Wayne County Jail.

The news comes as no surprise.

Wayne County announced Friday that it won't complete the unfinished jail on Gratiot Avenue in downtown Detroit, paving the way for Dan Gilbert's Rock Ventures to develop the site.

It also helps move along a proposal for a new criminal justice center near I-75 and Warren Avenue in Detroit.

A county press release said negotiations for the property continue, which tentatively include having Rock Ventures pay a $500,000 stipend to Walsh Construction, which had submitted a response to the Request for Proposals (RFP) to finish the partially constructed jail.

"As we dug into the project with an actual proposal, the more we recognized it had too much inherent risk for the county at too high a price," Wayne County Executive Warren Evans said in a statement. "We're negotiating a deal with Rock that caps the county's costs and creates the best solution available to our jail problem."

Gilbert had been eyeing the jail site for years, and more recently wanted to build a soccer stadium there for a Major League Soccer team.

The plans are now to have the team -- should Gilbert and Tom Gores get a franchise -- play at Ford Field.

Developing the Gratiot site would help Gilbert connect with properties he owns,m including the Greektown casino. 

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