bets big on Detroit: $765 million, 1,000 new jobs
by Detroit Free Press
- MGM Grand Detroit Casino's permanent complex has a $765-million
price tag, making it Michigan's largest current construction
project and dwarfing the price tags of both of Detroit's new
pro sports stadiums and Compuware's downtown headquarters.
casino complex will combine modern elements like a golden glass
hotel tower with an art deco façade on the main building,
according to a rendering the casino released Thursday. It gives
the first glimpse of what will result from the busy construction
on 25 acres at Bagley and the Lodge Freeway.
spokesman Bob Berg said the 17-story casino complex would create
an additional 1,000 permanent jobs for workers in the hotel,
restaurants and retail stores that are expected to be part of
the development. The casino already employs 2,500 workers.
building will include a 100,000-square-foot casino,
spa, shops, restaurants and other amenities.
Casino, which has revised its plans several times, is in the
midst of getting city approvals to build its permanent facilities.
On Thursday, it presented its plans for a 33- to 35-story garage
and hotel tower in the heart of Greektown to the City Planning
Commission as part of its rezoning request.
expects to vote on the proposal by May 4.
still needs other city approvals to begin construction.
to increase spending on the casino complex by $190 million reflects
the company's confidence that the region has a strong market
to support it, Berg said.
this will be the pre-eminent facility in the region," Berg
said, noting that MGM is spending more than the other two casinos
price tag surpasses the $275 million MotorCity Casino plans
to spend to build a hotel tower and add on to its temporary
casino, as well as the $200 million Greektown Casino expects
it will pay to build a hotel tower and garage.
Ford Field cost $500 million, Comerica Park cost about $360
million, and Compuware's headquarters cost $550 million.
in 2005 for the three casinos were $460.7 million for MGM, $335.6
million for Greektown and $432.2 million for MotorCity.
MGM's original plans for the hotel, casino and a 5,000-space
parking garage remain intact. But it will spend more on amenities
and upgrades, he said. He would not provide any details, citing
competition from the region's three other casinos, including
deco style building of steel, stone and glass evokes Hollywood's
heyday of the 1920s and 1930s.
goal is something distinctive, but that fits in with its surroundings,"
for Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick said Thursday that MGM's
massive investment is exactly what the city needs as it tries
to rebuild itself.
recognizes that the city of Detroit is on the verge of being
a destination location," said spokesman Jamaine Dickens.
"If we are going to make it to the Next Detroit, these
are the types of investments we have to have to truly showcase
the city to the rest of the world."
will the city benefit financially from the three new casinos,
he said, but the additional hotel and conference rooms also
will put the city in a better position to lure major conventions
such as what MGM is bringing in is the type of thing people
talk about when they leave the city," he said. "It
gives people another reason to come here."
Casino, which has revised its proposals several times, now plans
to combine a 3,100-space parking garage topped with 20 to 22
stories of hotel rooms. The structure would go up at St. Antoine
and Monroe on the site of a parking deck the casino plans to
buy from the city for $32 million.
City Council plans a vote on the land sale today.
and parking garage structure would connect to the casino on
the other side of Monroe by elevated moving sidewalks.
Casino originally planned to build a $450-million casino and
hotel complex on seven acres at Gratiot and I-375. In September,
the casino announced it was in negotiations to buy parcels in
Greektown for the hotel and parking structures.
approvals are obtained, Greektown expects to begin demolishing
the garage and an adjacent apartment building it already purchased.
If all goes as planned, the parking garage could be built late
next year with the hotel completed by mid-2008.
plans to add 25,000 square feet of new gaming space with an
addition to stretch over half of Lafayette Boulevard. The plans
also call for a spa and a 1,200-seat theater.
third casino, MotorCity Casino, started work on its casino hotel
and conference center last fall. The complex, near the Lodge
Freeway and Grand River, is expected to take 18 months to two
years to complete. The 17-story, 400-room hotel will rise on
a surface parking lot adjacent to the casino's parking deck
and should be up by late 2007.
expects its hotel to be ready in 2008.