The City Council procedural delay to postpone the vote jeopardizes the $1.5 Billion, 10 building, shovel ready economic expansion of the District Detroit and with it, places an unprecedented $167 Million Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) in peril. This CBA exceeds the collective value of the previous eleven CBA’s. This was accomplished in less than two months, swiftly and deliberately with the understanding that any delays would serve to undermine the project’s success. City Council apparently doesn’t share that same sense of urgency and responsibility. That is why I am disappointed to see Council taking just as long to act on a single vote. Having now served on four NAC’s (Neighborhood Advisory Committees), I can assure you that this is the best work we’ve done to date. All stakeholder interests have been represented in compliance with the ordinance. If positive action to approve this project is not taken on Tuesday next (March 28), the development is
poised to miss its first deadline to secure $400 million in state funding. Meeting this timeline is essential to triggering the release of subsequent funding to initiate construction in a timely manner, so as to maximize the full benefits of a complete construction season.
This development represents 18,000 jobs, 12,000 of which are construction; $100 million in disadvantaged business opportunities; over $1 million in skilled trades and apprenticeships training; Cass Tech improvements; resulting in $21 million in annual revenue for the city as opposed to $250,000/yr. in its present form, an 8,400 % return on investment just in city tax revenue. Add affordable housing, subsidized parking, green space enhancements and a commitment to historical and cultural arts inclusion makes for a comprehensive package of benefits that warrants the support of every Detroiter, especially those of us who reside in District 6.
There is not one adverse or negative impact that will result from approval of this project. There is nothing in this deal that constitutes a hand out or give away to any party. If anything, it represents a hand-up for all stakeholders representing the true essence of community self-determination. A city investing its assets in itself, represented by a citizen-led seat at the table, giving voice to community
concerns, resulting in tangible results.
As Vice-Chair of the District Detroit NAC, I am asking you as a constituent of District 6 to reach out to our Council member Gabriela Santiago-Romero and encourage her to lead the support on council to vote YES on the approval of this project. This project meets all of her listed policy priorities e.g., 1.) Equitable and Sustainable Economic Development.
Phone: (313) 224-2450
To not support this project without an immediately viable replacement or substitution that provides at least, if not greater economic impact would be unconscionable.
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