Dan Gilbert, one of the men behind Detroit’s MLS bid, has made an offer on the site of an unfinished jail in downtown Detroit where he wants to build a soccer stadium and entertainment district.
Gilbert’s Rock Ventures has offered to build Wayne County a new criminal justice center and a new criminal courthouse in exchange for the site of the unfinished jail on Gratiot Avenue, $300 million and a credit to be paid for the savings a new consolidated criminal justice complex would bring the county.
According to the Detroit Free Press, Rock Ventures said that the new criminal justice complex, which would include new adult and juvenile detention facilities as well as the new courthouse, would be worth an estimated $420 million. The company said in a press release that Wayne County estimates that the completion of the jail on Gratiot Avenue and renovations to the current criminal courthouse would cost $300 million.
Should the county accept the deal, they would become the owners of the new justice complex. Rock Ventures wants an answer from Wayne County by Feb. 20. The new justice complex would be built about 1.5 miles north of the Gratiot Avenue site.
If the deal moves forward, Gilbert’s group intends to build a 23,000-seat soccer stadium and office, commercial, hotel and residential space at the Gratiot Avenue site.
Gilbert, who owns the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores are the leaders of Detroit’s MLS bid, which was formally submitted to league officials last week. They’re one of 12 ownership groups in 12 different cities that entered expansion bids to MLS last week ahead of the Jan. 31 deadline. The league will select two new expansion clubs from the group of 12 in 2017, with those teams set to begin MLS play by 2020. Two more expansion teams, taking the league to 28 total clubs, will be announced at a later date.