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Allan

Engineering study to look at Cobo price tag

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It would cost $665 million to EXPAND Cobo? Geez, who came up with that figure, Boss Tweed? You'd think they'd be able to demolish it and start from scratch with that kind of money.

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You'd think they'd be able to demolish it and start from scratch with that kind of money.

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You'd think so, but apparently not. The estimates I've seen have put the cost of a new convention center at $1B+. I think it is worth the cost just to get that monstrosity off of the riverfont. Cobo & JLA cut off downtown from the river. It would be so much nicer if downtown could be completely open to the riverfront.

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You'd think so, but apparently not.  The estimates I've seen have put the cost of a new convention center at $1B+.  I think it is worth the cost just to get that monstrosity off of the riverfont.  Cobo & JLA cut off downtown from the river.  It would be so much nicer if downtown could be completely open to the riverfront.

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I hadn't looked at it that way...it is true though that Cobo and JLA do cut off the riverfront which could be utilized in a much better way. There really was no point in placing an indoor hockey arena on such prime waterfront real estate. However, 665M alone is a LOT of money!! It seems like with that sum, so many other things could be done...for example how much would it take to renovate and restore the Book-Cadillac? Somewhere in the neighborhood of $180-190M? If its possible to find 665M to renovate Cobo, why is it so hard to find a fraction of that amount to take care of some of the other buildings downtown?

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Your Book-Cadillac estimate is fairly accurate. I know that to make the Statler redevelopment financially feasible the city would have to put at least $80 Million towards the renovation. This is why the building is being demolished. It is my understanding that both the Lafayette and Vinton buildings both have developers lined up, although I won't believe it until I see activity at the sites.

Let's see....vacant buildings downtown....

600 Woodward (Vinton Building)

Book Cadillac Hotel

Broderick Tower

Capitol Park Building

Charlevoix Apartments

David Stott Building

Detroit Life Building

GAR

Farwell Building

Film Exchange Building

Fine Arts Building/Adams Theater

Free Press Building

Lafayette Building

Hotel Vermont

Madison Lenox Hotel

Metropolitan Building

National Theater

Olde Building

Park Avenue Building

Pick-Fort Shelby Hotel

People's Department Store

United Artists Theater

Wurlitzer Building

$655 Million would fix up a few of those buildings. I suppose the problem then becomes "who will fill up these buildings?". Most of the older buildings downtown have very low occupancy rates. The Penobscot Building is only 20% occupied, the Dime is 25%, and only the 16th-32nd floors of Stott Tower have any tenants on them. The buildings would have to be residential. Even then attracting buyers/renters will be no easy task, since downtown Detroit can only absorb a few hundred residential units per year for the time being.

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