Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2007 Most Valuable Land in Detroit Previous Next
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Lvnthed
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Username: Lvnthed

Post Number: 64
Registered: 03-2007
Posted on Sunday, March 25, 2007 - 3:02 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Looking at a satellite View of Downtown, I realized that the City/County Building was sitting on a prime piece of land.
I got me to thinking; Would the city be better served buy moving and consolidating all City, County and Justice Departments to the old 25 acre Greektown site on Gratiot & 75. Turn it into one massive Department of Commerce.

I would hate to see the current buildings go, but think of the potential for developement on the current City/county site. Developers would be fighting over that unobstructed view of the river. We could build the building that we thought we were getting when the Ren Cen was built.

Any other thoughts would be welcomed.
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Johnlodge
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Username: Johnlodge

Post Number: 268
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Sunday, March 25, 2007 - 3:06 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Tear down the County building? Ahahahaha oh you're gonna get it now. Run, and don't look back!
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Psip
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Username: Psip

Post Number: 1626
Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Sunday, March 25, 2007 - 3:11 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

one of the plans floated (in 95?) when GM bought the RenCen was to move city government into the old GM building. The existing CCB was to become offices for vendors and support divisions.
There was even talk about putting a light rail line down the Dequinder cut connecting the 2 areas.
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Lvnthed
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Username: Lvnthed

Post Number: 65
Registered: 03-2007
Posted on Sunday, March 25, 2007 - 3:16 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It was to damn hard NOT to think of the potential for that site.

All emotions aside; I am thinking about the Future of Detroit! And this site has IT.
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Mbr
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Username: Mbr

Post Number: 117
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Sunday, March 25, 2007 - 3:18 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

There is zero potential in the plan you have presented, politically or financially. There is already an abundance of undeveloped parcels with unobstructed river views. The city would never sell it, there's no demand for office space, and the construction costs associated with a high rise residential building would require unit prices far above the market range.
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Lt_tom
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Username: Lt_tom

Post Number: 175
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Sunday, March 25, 2007 - 3:30 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Lvn I say go for it. Put your proposal together and present it to the city and county. Once they take the time to approve the idea and figure out how they will pay for the move (maybe you can chip in a few mil), you can then in the meantime line up financing and a developer (maybe you could even have your own development company) for the demolition of the old building and construction of the new one. It will probably only cost a few hundred million to do the whole thing. They dont exactly do "no money down" for those sorts of loans either.
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Lvnthed
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Username: Lvnthed

Post Number: 66
Registered: 03-2007
Posted on Sunday, March 25, 2007 - 3:36 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Look, I love the city and everything about it.

I just feel that all options should be on the table. People always complain about wasteful and bloated Government. Well, here is a way to streamline the bureaucracy and cut costs at the same time. The land is a parking lot, so developement costs have got to be cheaper than a re-developement project. We could take that savings, Clear those sites and sell them to potential builders for developement.

If packaged correctly I think the Mayor could win enough support on the council to get it done.
The problem would be potential greed by Greektown (I think they own all of the land)and the County, who might resist such a plan.
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Gannon
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Username: Gannon

Post Number: 8767
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Sunday, March 25, 2007 - 3:38 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The most valuable land in Detroit is our urban prairie...a resource we're wasting the longer we delay it returning to farmland for local independent farming and organic livestock!


Heck, mobile pens of sheep, lambs, and goats alone could save the city boatloads of cash from not having to mow the stuff...better if we can get a few cows and chicken for 'renewable' nutrition, too!!
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Mbr
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Username: Mbr

Post Number: 118
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Sunday, March 25, 2007 - 3:51 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

That sounds like some fuzzy math Lvnthed.
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Lt_tom
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Username: Lt_tom

Post Number: 176
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Sunday, March 25, 2007 - 3:58 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Lvn, the good news is that the land you are talking about is a parking lot. The bad news is that its still going to cost a few hundred million dollars to build a high rise tower. There is no way for such a project to be profitable, or even break even with the current situation in the city. Maybe someday an idea like that will become feasible. Why dont you spend the time now putting yourself into a position so that when that time comes, you can be the person to make it happen. Id suggest you try to work on things that can actually come to fruition and make life better for people in the city. Why not buy a small apartment building and try running it? that would be a good start.
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Lvnthed
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Username: Lvnthed

Post Number: 67
Registered: 03-2007
Posted on Sunday, March 25, 2007 - 4:07 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Lt_tom,

Going to the city in a few minutes to do just that.

Headed to Capital park
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Gistok
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Username: Gistok

Post Number: 3900
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Sunday, March 25, 2007 - 10:40 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yes in the mid 1990's Mayor Archer proposed moving City Hall to the former GM HQ in New Center. However, the "hidden agenda" scare mongers in City Council and some city workers thought it was a ploy to get blacks out of downtown, and Archer had to scrap that idea.

Instead the State of Michigan took the space, and got a world class office building in Cadillac Center.
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Fareastsider
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Username: Fareastsider

Post Number: 268
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Sunday, March 25, 2007 - 11:03 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I dont understand this idea as mentioned before there are acres of empty land and open space in and around downtown. If this was such a VALUABLE piece of property dont you think that there would be an insane demand around it. Yes it is a nice piece of land but not to the point of selling it off the city has plenty of development ready property around that it can get rid of first.
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Lilpup
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Username: Lilpup

Post Number: 1921
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Sunday, March 25, 2007 - 11:07 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

you want to evict Spirit?
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Ndavies
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Username: Ndavies

Post Number: 2496
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Monday, March 26, 2007 - 12:05 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

If you hadn't noticed, the building directly across Woodward from the CAYMC is empty. There are no tenants in it. If you can't fill the building directly next to it, what good would emptying another downtown building do?
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Fareastsider
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Username: Fareastsider

Post Number: 271
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Monday, March 26, 2007 - 12:09 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I was wondering if the Consolidated Gas Co. Bldg was empty it sure looks it. is it for sure?
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Johnlodge
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Username: Johnlodge

Post Number: 278
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Monday, March 26, 2007 - 12:12 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'm surprised that none of you, given this forum's passion for historic preservation, didn't object to this idea on the simple point that it would involve tearing the cit-county building down. Am I missing something? I mean, not only is the building completely beautiful, it's inhabited and somewhat maintained.
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Johnlodge
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Username: Johnlodge

Post Number: 280
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Monday, March 26, 2007 - 12:30 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Ahhhh, I see. Well in that case, TEAR THAT SCHITT DOWN! It's like someone made a personal goal to create the ugliest building ever.
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Leland_palmer
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Username: Leland_palmer

Post Number: 261
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Monday, March 26, 2007 - 12:33 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I got caught up in the confusion too. He is talking about the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center (former City County Building) as opposed to the Wayne County Building on Randolph.
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Gistok
Member
Username: Gistok

Post Number: 3904
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Monday, March 26, 2007 - 12:50 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Johnlodge, go and reread my post... nothing is going to happen to the CAY Building, and no one is moving out of there, so there's no reason to get up in arms about it...
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Johnlodge
Member
Username: Johnlodge

Post Number: 281
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Monday, March 26, 2007 - 12:54 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'm not up in arms about that. I was up in arms because he originally said, in the opening post, the City-County building. I could care less about the CAY building.
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Gistok
Member
Username: Gistok

Post Number: 3905
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Monday, March 26, 2007 - 1:03 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

John, I am now confused by your comments.

From 1955 (when it was built) until some point in the last 10 years the Woodward/Jefferson complex was known by the name "City-County Building". Then its' name was changed to the "Coleman Alexander Young Building". They are the same building.

If you are talking about the COUNTY BUILDING, that 1902 Beaux Arts structure on Randolph, then that building is NOT known as the City-County Building. It has usually been known as just the "County Building", although I remember it was "Traffic Court" before the 1980's restoration.
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Jt1
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Username: Jt1

Post Number: 8642
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Monday, March 26, 2007 - 1:05 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Parking lots.
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Johnlodge
Member
Username: Johnlodge

Post Number: 282
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Monday, March 26, 2007 - 1:07 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

You're right Gistok. I got confused because a response to one of my previous posts got deleted after I responded back to it. I think they realized they were confusing the two buildings, thus confusing me, and deleted it. But you're also right in the fact that it's a moot point, since neither of them are going anywhere.
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Swingline
Member
Username: Swingline

Post Number: 755
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Monday, March 26, 2007 - 1:39 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

I would hate to see the current buildings go, but think of the potential for developement on the current City/county site. Developers would be fighting over that unobstructed view of the river. We could build the building that we thought we were getting when the Ren Cen was built.

Lvn, your creative exploration of new ideas to improve the city is a good thing. But this one is a non-starter on too many levels. Most importantly, your idea is based on the assumption that there is some kind un-met demand for office or residential space on the CCB site. This assumption is simply not true. For the very reasonable lease rate of approx. $25 per sq. ft., a large company could get well over 80,000 sq. ft of space across Woodward in the landmark Yamasaki Michigan Consolidated Gas Building at One Woodward Ave. That space has remained vacant for over two years. (I don't think that the building is entirely empty.) The cost of new construction on the Greektown site would result in far greater costs to the city and county for office space than they pay now to the DBA for space at the CCB and to other landlords around the CBD. It will be a much different economy in Detroit before your idea could ever pan out.
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Lilpup
Member
Username: Lilpup

Post Number: 1925
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Monday, March 26, 2007 - 2:49 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Wasn't there an announcement that Ford was cutting funding for, or moving, the National Programs Center, leading to some speculation that the Veteran's Memorial Building might go vacant, too?
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Royce
Member
Username: Royce

Post Number: 2145
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Monday, March 26, 2007 - 3:01 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The most valuable land in Detroit is the land held by a private citizen who wants three times its worth when a developer needs it to build a sports arena or casino.

(Message edited by royce on March 26, 2007)
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Buddyinrichmond
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Username: Buddyinrichmond

Post Number: 138
Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Monday, March 26, 2007 - 8:24 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I think we should eliminate the land from the equation and build housing on boats in the river. What do you think about that?
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Skulker
Member
Username: Skulker

Post Number: 3708
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Monday, March 26, 2007 - 8:39 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Aside from swinglines astute comments about market demand....

1. Building a new requires a cash stream for debt service and operating. The City and County do not have the resources other than a bond issue to pay for land and a new building. Odds of a bond issue are somewhere between zero and a cold day in hell.

2. The cash from sale of the existing building will not finance anywhere near the costs associated with such a move. If you think the land is that valuable, you are sadly delusional, especially after the abatement and demolition costs are factored in...partially because the PM track will have to be protected, adding signficantly to the cost of demo and construction.
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Bumble
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Username: Bumble

Post Number: 50
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Monday, March 26, 2007 - 8:51 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Skulker, you obviously just don't love Detroit enough.
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Fareastsider
Member
Username: Fareastsider

Post Number: 272
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Monday, March 26, 2007 - 9:09 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Oh yea that valuable piece of land is just so perfect the city should sell it NOW! Once that is done some smart investor will surely build a nice tall building to add to our SKYLINE which we SO desperately need. Yes Detroit has such an awesome piece of land and it can become anything. Of course once it is bought residents and businesses will flock to downtown. What is the city waiting for!!!
Obviously I love Detroit because I see what the land can be with out any real thought or consideration
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Swingline
Member
Username: Swingline

Post Number: 756
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Monday, March 26, 2007 - 9:22 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Fareastsider, maybe a triple espresso isn't the best way for you to start a Monday.

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