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Controversial Detroit businessman Matty Moroun buys former McLouth Steel complex in Trenton

TRENTON, Mich. – The family who owns Michigan Central Station and the Ambassador Bridge has purchased another historic Metro Detroit structure.

Wayne County Commissioners voted Thursday to transfer the former Trenton McLouth Steel property to controversial Detroit businessman Manuel “Matty” Moroun's company, Crown Enterprises Inc., to redevelop the area into new facilities.

The $4 million deal covers the $3.88 million owed in unpaid property taxes, and requires the demolition of the contaminated site within two years, with $20 million worth of development within six years. Sixty percent of the jobs updating the site are required to be filled by Wayne County residents.

Not everyone is sold on the deal to renovate the property that has been vacant for nearly a quarter of a century.

"It's not good," said Trenton native Gus Barretto. "Most of the property he takes over, they don't fare well."

Updates to the property are expected to include auto manufacturing and a logistics park, but no plan has been decided on yet. 

McLouth Steel built the Trenton building in 1948 and was the largest of the defunct steel company's three Metro Detroit properties. A series of bankruptcies ended the reign of what was once the ninth-largest steelmaker in the country.

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