Gilbert and Wayne County Reach Deal for Criminal Justice Center

Schematic of the new facilities.

Wayne County on Wednesday announced a tentative agreement with Dan Gilbert's Rock Development to build a $533-million criminal justice center north of downtown. The site is between the I-75 Service Drive and East Warren Avenue.

The project calls for Rock Venture to provide four buildings "as a solution to its long-stalled Gratiot jail project," a county announcement says. Wayne will pay $380 millions, with Rock Development paying the remainder, including any overruns. 

The project will create a 2,280-bed jail, offices for the sheriff, prosecutors and administrative staff, a courthouse and juvenile detention facility. Completion is expected in 2022,

"We made the best of a tough situation and have a definitive path forward to address the failed jail project. It's been an albatross for the County for far too long," County Executive Warren Evans says in a statement. "At the end of the project we will have an entirely new criminal justice complex, and most importantly, the County's construction costs are capped. We now know what we are going to pay and can budget accordingly. That better positions us to tackle other facilities and infrastructure challenges beyond our jails."

As part of the deal, the County will transfer to Rock, the existing Division I and II jails, juvenile detention facility and Frank Murphy Hall of Justice. Those parcels will be leased back to the county for $1 a year until the county moves to the new site.

Wayne County Commission Chairman Gary Woronchak commented on the latest development with a statement: 

“Today the County Executive announced a huge step toward replacing outdated jails and courthouse facilities in what could be the best solution for both Wayne County taxpayers and the continued revitalization of downtown.

“The Wayne County Commission is prepared to carefully examine all aspects of this proposal and decide whether it is in the best interests of the people we represent. I am encouraged that an agreement finally has been reached between Rock Ventures and the county administration, and I appreciate the intense and detailed work it took to get us to this point.”

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