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Detroit plans for former state fairgrounds call for Amazon distribution center

City of Detroit

The city of Detroit has announced plans to have investors re-develop 142 acres of the former Michigan State Fairgrounds at 8 Mile and Woodward.

The first phase of that development is expected to be an Amazon distribution center.

Real estate developers Hillwood Investment Properties and the Sterling Group will lead the redevelopment effort. They’re in talks with Amazon to serve as their first and largest tenant.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said the $400 million center and all future development on the site will not be financed with any tax breaks or incentives.

“This city has never had a new building built for $400 million without tax breaks or incentives,” Duggan said. “This is groundbreaking territory for the city of Detroit.”

Duggan said the Amazon center would bring in up to 1,200 new jobs.

“At a time when the city unemployment rate exceeds 30 percent, which is where it stands today, getting these kinds of jobs that Detroiters can fill promptly is a high priority,” he said.

Part of the agreement includes plans for the investors to also build a new $7 million transit center on the site.

The deal isn’t final. It needs various city approvals, and signoff from the Detroit City Council. Duggan said he hopes to get those approvals within the next couple of months.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Radio in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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