History Moving Forward: Proposal for New Justice Center
When it comes to distinction, the old headquarters of Plymouth Road is recognizable to most Detroiters—thanks in part to its brick tower and vintage architecture. Built in 1927, the building has been home to several industries, such as the Nash-Kelvinator Corp, Hudson Motor Car Co, and American Motors.
When American Motors was bought out by Chrysler, the site was kept in operation as the manufacturing plant for all Chrysler’s trucks and SUVs. In 2009, Chrysler relocated their plant and sold the property to Plymouth Road One, LLC, owned by Terry Williams, a Detroit scrapper and hauler.
Unfortunately, just a year later, Williams was found guilty of violating the Clean Air Act and was sentenced to two years and three months in prison. During this ordeal, the property was foreclosed on by the county after $2 million in taxes went unpaid.
The property is currently held by the Wayne County Land Bank.
With a nod to the future, plans have begun to develop for the dilapidating site—thanks to a new deal being brokered between Wayne County and the City of Detroit.
According to this potential deal, Wayne County would swap ownership of the former American Motors headquarters for an 11-acre tract of land currently owned by the City of Detroit.
The deal would allow Wayne County to accept an offer from billionaire Dan Gilbert, CEO of Quicken Loans and Rock Ventures, to erect a criminal justice complex near the I-75 route. The $520.3 million venture would also pave the way for another deal Gilbert has under his sleeve.
Gilbert, partnered with Tom Gores, owner of the Pistons, wants to build a 23,000-seat stadium on the unfinished Gratiot jail site that would be equipped to host a Major League Soccer Team. The MLS league is currently accepting applications for new franchise locations and Detroit’s name has already been thrown in the ring.
News & Image Source: http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/detroit/2017/10/05/american-motors-ddot-gilbert-jail-proposal/688929001/