The site of a new Wayne County jail, where construction has stopped, may soon be sold to developers.
Local 4 Defenders have learned that a review board on Tuesday will look at five different proposals from developers who want to purchase the site. They will then make a recommendation to county leaders.
Jeff Hillman, a real estate expert, said it would be no surprise if developers would want to tear down the work that has already been done on the jail project and build something to add to downtown's growing entertainment district.
"It's got great visibility from the highway, it's got great access to the highway in addition to access to other areas of downtown. It's in the middle of everything. It's close to the stadiums. It's close to Foxtown. It's close to Campus Martius," Hillman said.
The real estate development arm of Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert is among those seeking the site. The Gilbert group is not only interested in the jail site, but also the old jail, two courthouses and a juvenile justice center.
Matt Cullen of Rock Ventures suggested the new jail, as well as the courthouses and juvenile center, would be better relocated to the now-vacant state-owned Mound Road Correctional Facility.
"Are we better off as a city and a community having all of that aggregated in an existing criminal justice complex on Mound Road and moving it out of the heart of downtown and allowing for the real booming development market in downtown Detroit and take advantage of this great site," Cullen said.
Work on the unfinished jail at Gratiot and Madison Avenues was stopped with county commissioners learned the project was over budget.