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(Another) Cobo Hall expansion plan proposed - 1Apbest103112-12-0611:58pm
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Eric
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Username: Eric

Post Number: 642
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Saturday, December 16, 2006 - 2:43 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Cobo deal requires grand compromise

http://detnews.com/apps/pbcs.d ll/article?AID=/20061215/OPINI ON03/612150362/1003/METRO

A good column by Daniel Howes. Gotta love how Patterson admitted to being full of BS every time he complained about Cobo's taxes being unfair to OC residents


quote:

I understand it's not coming from you or me," he said of Ficano's proposal to extend hotel and liquor taxes. "But the public has a perception that we're being taxed" to support expansion of Cobo. "I'm a politician. I do have a constituency to respect."


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Lmichigan
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Username: Lmichigan

Post Number: 4902
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Saturday, December 16, 2006 - 3:56 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

One respects their constituency by being up front and honest with them. If this is not a tax on the metro resident, then what's your problem, Patterson? Are you blatantly misrepresenting the plan simply to be the quintessential metro obstructionist and attention whore?
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Royce
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Username: Royce

Post Number: 1978
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Sunday, December 24, 2006 - 6:57 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Build a brand new Cobo on the east riverfront, north of Atwater between Rivard and Chene. Nothing going up in the area any way and plenty of city-owned land following the riverfront casino debacle.
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Rbdetsport
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Username: Rbdetsport

Post Number: 198
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Sunday, December 24, 2006 - 9:25 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Good Idea. Never thought about that!
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Southen
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Username: Southen

Post Number: 60
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Sunday, December 24, 2006 - 12:04 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Why ruin the east riverfront the a convention center? That area is primed to become a great residential district, we dont need to build a convention facility there.

If there are issues with getting funding to update and expand our current facility where are we going to find funds to build an entirely new building?
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Jjw
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Username: Jjw

Post Number: 212
Registered: 10-2005
Posted on Sunday, December 24, 2006 - 12:14 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I say free up the riverfront and use one of those auto factories for the center. Expand the unused factory if necessary. I imagine a lot of people, worldwide, would be impressed with that concept. And... tear Cobo down--it's ugly and blocks the riverfront to the south.
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Erikd
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Username: Erikd

Post Number: 789
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Posted on Monday, December 25, 2006 - 2:28 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Moving the convention center out of downtown is a terrible idea.

Large convention centers are mostly built and supported with public funding, because they are not usually profitable by themselves. The real benefit of a large convention center like COBO is the spin off business for local hotel, retail, and service businesses.

Moving the convention center out of downtown defeats the purpose of having it in the first place.
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Jjw
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Post Number: 213
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Posted on Monday, December 25, 2006 - 7:18 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

my bad--i just thought there may have been some unused factory near the downtown area that could fit the need. i didn't suggest taking it to troy. to bad there wasn't one close to downtown. i really think it would be a creative plan and bring detroit to a spotlight. plus, that waterfront cobo is using would be a great park and residential area, helping to connect the riverfront
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Royce
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Post Number: 1981
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Posted on Tuesday, December 26, 2006 - 7:11 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

OK, Erikd, you didn't like my last idea. How about this one? Build a new convention center west of Joe Louis Arena/Riverfront Condos on the land south of the U.S. Post Office, including the Free Press warehouse land, and you've got your one million square feet. Tear down the post office and the Salvation Army building and build over Jefferson and you'll have your two million square feet. You'll also have frontage on a major street, Fort. Build a hotel connected to this new convention center and your problems are solved.
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Detroitplanner
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Username: Detroitplanner

Post Number: 623
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Tuesday, December 26, 2006 - 8:19 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Royce,

How do you propose we pay for this? The Salvation Army has just finished dropping a ton of money into that building to renovate it. I doubt they want to move. Do you realize how expensive and complicated it is to move a post office? Would you want the Salvation Army or the Post office to build their next HQ next to your house? Both of these are largely NIMBYs.

Your proposal sounds incredibly complicated and expensive. It does not utilize the hotels or the people mover we already have.
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Royce
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Post Number: 1983
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Posted on Tuesday, December 26, 2006 - 1:31 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Detroitplanner, I didn't suggest that it would be a cheap endeavor. However, it can't be any more expensive than the plan that Ficano is suggesting. Also, my original thought was that they could build a new convention center south of the post office and stretch it west using the Free Press property and any land west of it. The problem with not using the post office property and the Salvation Army property is that you end up having a very long and narrow convention center that still might not give you the desired square footage.

Again, I'm throwing out ideas that are alternatives to what's being proposed. Some of my suggesting may cost more or cost less. I'm really suggesting the areas that I have mentioned because of space concerns. If they want a hugh convention with over a million square space today, who's to say that they're not going to want two million square feet tomorrow? This issue of convention space would no longer be an issue with my proposals.

Now, I have one more proposal which I'm not particularly crazy about, but it would give the Cobo folks the space they want and would be close to the downtown hotels. My proposal is that they build a new convention center over the Ford Auditorium site and Hart Plaza and ,if need be, connect it to the old Cobo, and tear down or build around the Veteran's Building. Just think, the "moving skywalk" would only have to go over or pass the tunnel area and bam!!! you're right there at the RenCen.

(Message edited by royce on December 26, 2006)
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Detroit_stylin
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Username: Detroit_stylin

Post Number: 3452
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, December 26, 2006 - 3:15 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Royce...

You are being facetious ri....?
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Detroitplanner
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Username: Detroitplanner

Post Number: 625
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Tuesday, December 26, 2006 - 3:35 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

hmm it seems to me that to buy those huge buildings and demo them would be $100 million alone. You would also have to deal with the movement of sewers and other utilities ($10-20 million), and of course demo the existing Cobo and rework the street network ($100 million minimum). Those are the costs before construction begins! You also risk disenfranchising the Ponchartrain Hotel, and all the other businesses that get a piece of Cobo because of its current location.
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Jasoncw
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Username: Jasoncw

Post Number: 312
Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Tuesday, December 26, 2006 - 3:47 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

How about just adding another floor or two to Cobo? I personally like the idea of it going verticallly, because then instead of walking across an entire convention center to get to a different area I could just take an elevator or an escalator to the next one.

Or having a basement level or two that extends under Hart Plaza? That would also fix the Ren Cen pathway problem.

Or even just extend the basement down another floor or two in the current location?

idk
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Detroitplanner
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Username: Detroitplanner

Post Number: 627
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Tuesday, December 26, 2006 - 3:56 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I don't understand why they just don't put huge insulated tents on the roof for space during the auto show. Building more makes little sense. No one is going to go to Detroit for a convention when they can go to Vegas.
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Royce
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Username: Royce

Post Number: 1984
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Tuesday, December 26, 2006 - 4:12 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Well, Detroit Planner, Ficano is talking about $960 million to retro Cobo. A new conference center on either the Ford Aud/Hart Plaza site or the site south of the post office, according to your numbers, still appears to be a cheaper proposition and offers more square footage.

Actually, the Ford Aud/Hart Plaza site would be the ideal site for a new convention center. Although it sounds unpopular, consider this. It would save the city a lot of money(city owned-land) and be near the downtown hotels.

Now, since Campus Martius Park is the new gathering spot for Detroiters, isn't Hart Plaza really obsolete? Are people really flocking to Hart Plaza like they used to? Any activities scheduled for Hart Plaza like the fireworks can still be done along the riverfront. There are areas along the river that were used for viewing the fireworks long before Hart Plaza was built.

The Jazzfest has essentially been moved to Woodward and Campus Martius Park. As a result, you don't need Hart Plaza. So, there you have it. Now, what do you have to say, Detroitplanner?
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Detroit_stylin
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Username: Detroit_stylin

Post Number: 3455
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, December 26, 2006 - 4:49 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Technofest
Motown Hoedown
african world festival
African American festival
carribean festival
ribs and soul food festival
other ethnic festivals that run through out the summmer...

and Hart Plaza was still the biggest, easiest acessible, and popular place for people to watch the Fire Works...
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Royce
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Username: Royce

Post Number: 1986
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Tuesday, December 26, 2006 - 5:00 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Detroit stylin, those events can be moved elsewhere. Many of them existed long before Hart Plaza was built. The African World Festival could be accomplished in and around the museum itself. Technofest and the Hoedown could be conducted at Chene Park. Those other ethnic festivals are essentially the same thing just with a different name on a different weekend. I wouldn't miss them.

Again, there are other locations along the riverfront where these events could still take place. Just east of the RenCen these events could continue. If a deal was made with GM to sell the land to the city, then the city could have its Hart Plaza-like space and the new convention center could be built on Hart Plaza.

BTW, there has been talk for some time now among forumers that the city is considering revamping Hart Plaza. The last I heard, they want to grass in a lot of the surface of Hart Plaza.

(Message edited by royce on December 26, 2006)
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Southen
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Username: Southen

Post Number: 63
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Tuesday, December 26, 2006 - 6:21 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I cant believe we are actually discussing putting the convention center in Hart Plaza. Its an absolutely horrible idea.

Curious though. If the new plan is for 960 and just retrofitting Cobo, wasnt the Mayors original estimates of a completely new building at 1 billion? Seems like a new facility makes more sense in terms of bang for your buck.
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Apbest
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Username: Apbest

Post Number: 378
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Tuesday, December 26, 2006 - 6:30 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

the 960 figure includes buying cobo from the city and establishing a public/private partnership to run it

the actual construction/rennovation costs are something like 450ish I think
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Detroitplanner
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Username: Detroitplanner

Post Number: 634
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Wednesday, December 27, 2006 - 12:49 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The point I'm trying to make is that spending major money just because the place is not big enough for one event is just a bad idea.

Let the room tax and rental car tax increase lapse for this project. We are already paying an increase that is dedicated to the stadii, and probably to Metro Airport too.

We should not unload all of our costs onto the cost of the business or vacation traveller. It just makes us less competitive and seem greedy.
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Kathleen
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Username: Kathleen

Post Number: 1855
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Monday, January 08, 2007 - 7:37 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Detroit Free Press Editorial 1/8/07:

"In 2007, Detroit and its surrounding counties need to solve the Cobo conundrum -- as the North American International Auto Show will demonstrate again when it kicks off Friday. How to make the downtown convention center better has been lingering too long. While it will surely have an auto show as its signature annual event as long as Ford, GM and Chrysler Group remain in the region, there is a real risk that it may become a second-tier show, that the manufacturers will in the near future opt for the larger space at Chicago's McCormick Place for their really big show. There's no telling what other events or development a larger, more efficient and more modern Cobo may be able to attract until it exists."

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs .dll/article?AID=/20070108/OPI NION01/701080309/1069
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Detroitbill
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Username: Detroitbill

Post Number: 139
Registered: 09-2006
Posted on Monday, January 08, 2007 - 12:45 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Detroit cannot underestimate the power of having superior convention facilities. It has taken years but finally they are on the verge of having ample hotel space downtown, entertainment, Casinos, restaurants and other attractions necessary to hold major events properly, Its not just a matter of keeping the Auto Show but rather gaining other major events. The possibilities are quite impressive, How area residents would balk at that is unusual. This benefits the whole area , especially in a time when economic injections are needed.
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Taj920
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Username: Taj920

Post Number: 167
Registered: 01-2004
Posted on Monday, January 08, 2007 - 5:39 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Detroitplanner: no local taxes are dedicated to Metro Airport operations; all airport revenue derived from landing fees, concession, and a passenger facility charge. Stadium tourist tax on hotel rooms and rental cars technically should not impact locals
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French777
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Username: French777

Post Number: 63
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Monday, January 08, 2007 - 7:41 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

the hotel tax is hardly noticable and people don't half to stay in hotels or eat out at restaurants
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French777
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Username: French777

Post Number: 64
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Monday, January 08, 2007 - 9:04 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Even though I live in OAKLAND county like everyone here hates paterson!!!!!!well atleased in ROCHESTER HILLS
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Scs100
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Username: Scs100

Post Number: 167
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Monday, January 08, 2007 - 9:12 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Maybe in Troy and Madison Heights they like him?
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Detroitplanner
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Username: Detroitplanner

Post Number: 706
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Monday, January 08, 2007 - 11:21 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"Detroitplanner: no local taxes are dedicated to Metro Airport operations; all airport revenue derived from landing fees, concession, and a passenger facility charge."

If I fly a plane, a passenger facility charge is a user tax! Again, I think its foolish that we charge business and vaction travellers these taxes yet give them cuts elsewhere. I do understand the metro airport tax, but a convention center tax? thats an indirect cost to doing businesses yet not much of our business is centered around going to Cobo.
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Smak
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Username: Smak

Post Number: 1
Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Wednesday, January 10, 2007 - 10:49 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Ficano's Plan does not pass the smell test unlike Daley's expansion plan for McCormick in Chicago

With the cost involved (over 900 million dollars) for over 300,000 square feet, this does not pass the smell test.

Detroit / Cobo - $900,000,000 / 300,000 square feet
Chicago / McCormick $900,000,000 / over 2,000,000 square feet

What's wrong with the west riverfront plan, it's sound good use of the land (without touching Main PO, or S). At McCormick there is only 1 hotel attached to the center, the rest are in Downtown Chicago. Thus the difference in mindset between the two cities.......

The SMAK!!!!!
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Apbest
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Username: Apbest

Post Number: 392
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 10, 2007 - 11:49 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

welcome, you're signature is quite unique


the 900,000,000 figure includes purchasing cobo and establishing a private/public partner ship to administer it, construction costs are around 450,000,000 I think, there was a breakdown in one of the articles
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Detroitman
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Username: Detroitman

Post Number: 1036
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Friday, January 12, 2007 - 6:51 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Cobo plan a reality in 6 months?
Ficano says it could happen
January 12, 2007

BY TOM WALSH

FREE PRESS COLUMNIST
http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs .dll/article?AID=/20070112/COL 06/701120445
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Upinottawa
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Username: Upinottawa

Post Number: 697
Registered: 09-2005
Posted on Monday, January 15, 2007 - 3:44 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Crazy idea, but why don't they demo Cobo Arena, leave the space open and then build a massive temporary structure complete with bubble roof ( la indoor/outdoor tennis courts) for use during the autoshow. After the show the temporary structure would be packed away for next year.
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Southen
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Username: Southen

Post Number: 77
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Monday, January 15, 2007 - 4:13 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

If your gonna do that forget tearing down the arena and bubble the roof of Cobo.
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Upinottawa
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Username: Upinottawa

Post Number: 699
Registered: 09-2005
Posted on Monday, January 15, 2007 - 4:15 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

but what about the parking??? :-)
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Scs100
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Username: Scs100

Post Number: 233
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Monday, January 15, 2007 - 4:19 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The way parking garages are being built, it won't be a major problem. Plus, people might actually learn to take the bus or the people mover instead of drive right down there. Or, they can walk there.
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Detroitplanner
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Username: Detroitplanner

Post Number: 751
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Monday, January 15, 2007 - 7:02 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Ficano's plan includes paying off Detroit and finish paying off the Cobo bonds from 20 years ago. In a sense there is interest built into his plan.

The cost of adding the extra square footage alone is about half the cost. Add interest to that over another 30 years.. hmm and you get back to 900 million again! Plus the cost of paying off the city and the current bonds.

Fiscally it is a very silly thing to do in my opinion. Detroit or Wayne County cannot afford that much debt. Whats going to happen when the Joe needs major work or to be replaced? You know that they will be asked to kick in for that too.

Once the new hotels open up there will be more convention space downtown. Much of the current extracurricular parties and schmooze events can be moved over to one of several hotels, allowing the current schmooze space to be used for the smaller displays, or heck you could even use the ballrooms for showspace and get a nice premium for the window view!

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