Midtown Detroit residents angry about deal to bring new Wayne County Jail to neighborhood

By Jermont Terry - Reporter , Amber Ainsworth

DETROIT - Residents of Midtown expressed frustrations Thursday about a deal that would bring the Wayne County Jail to their neighborhood.

READ: Land swap deal helps Gilbert's plan for Detroit soccer stadium

Wayne County announced Oct. 5 a tentative agreement with the city of Detroit for the acquisition of land needed to proceed with billionaire businessman Dan Gilbert's proposal to build a new criminal justice complex.

Under the agreement, Wayne County would acquire part of the DDOT property bounded by the I-75 Service Drive and East Warren Avenue, where Rock Ventures would build the jail. In exchange, Gilbert would get the site of the failed jail to build a soccer stadium.

Those who live in the area where the new jail would go are not happy, though. Residents feel that the city failed to get their input on the jail that would be close to their homes and schools.

"We're selling valuable real estate that belongs to the people to Dan Gilbert," Natalee Goto said.

The proposed jail site is in Councilwoman Mary Sheffield's district, and she's questioning how quickly the deal has moved.

"Who decided this area? Was [the] community ever at the table? I'm not confident they were," she said.

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