Detroit City Council unanimously approves Wayne County jail site land swap deal

City leaders approve plan to swap land with Wayne County

The site of a failed Wayne County jail project in Detroit. (WDIV)

DETROIT - Detroit City Council members have unanimously voted in favor of swapping land with Wayne County to move the failed jail site out of Downtown and into Midtown. 

Under the agreement, Wayne County would acquire part of the Detroit Department of Transportation property bounded by the I-75 Service Drive and East Warren Avenue. That's where Dan Gilbert's Rock Ventures would build a $500 million jail complex in exchange for the Gratiot Avenue site where the county's jail construction failed.

Rock Ventures proposal for new Wayne County Criminal Justice Center. This would be built at the DDOT property at I-75 and East Warren Avenue.

Rock Ventures proposal for new Wayne County Criminal Justice Center. This would be built at the DDOT property at I-75 and East Warren Avenue.

In exchange for the DDOT property, Detroit would acquire the former American Motors Corp. (AMC) headquarters near Plymouth Road and Schaefer Highway on Detroit’s west side, which is currently owned by the Land Bank. 

Gilbert had plans for a soccer stadium on the Gratiot Avenue site, but those plans have gone away. However, his team still sees a mixed-use development in the future. 

Wayne County, however, has not discussed this deal. Tuesday's Detroit City Council vote is just one piece of the puzzle. 

The city did have another option on the table: City Council could have said no to the swap and instead plan to sell the land to the county. The price tag is about $757,000.

The Wayne County Commission now has to review the issue and make a decision. 

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