Wayne County jail project down to 2 proposals, decision expected in July

Two final proposals have been submitted Thursday to decide once and for all what to do about a Wayne County jail.

One comes from Walsh Construction. They want to complete the unfinished jail project at Gratiot and St. Antoine near Greektown and I-375.

In that proposal, they listed two options: a finished jail with 1,608 beds at $269 million or a jail with 2,200 beds at $317.6 million.

The other proposal is from Dan Gilbert's Rock Ventures LLC. The plan is to construct a new Criminal Justice Center on 13 acres of land the City of Detroit already owns, currently being used by DDOT.

You may recall Rock Ventures wanted to construct a criminal justice center on East Forest Avenue, east of I-75, approximately 1.5 miles north of the Gratiot Avenue Site.


This new proposal is to build that center on that 13-acre site just adjacent to that. It's bounded by the Chrysler Service Drive, Russell, East Warren Avenue, East Ferry and Frederick.

That criminal justice complex would have a jail with 2,280 beds, a juvenile detention facility with 160 beds, 25 courtrooms, five hearing rooms, and offices for the sheriff and prosecutor.

The county would pay $380 million of the total $520.3 million cost.

Wayne County Executive Warren Evans is expected to evaluate and recommend one of the two proposals by late July.

"We'll work diligently to move this forward as quickly as we can," he said in a release. "Just like everyone else in Wayne County, I'm tired of talk. I want the jail project resolved."

Rock Ventures has expressed interest in gaining control of the land on Gratiot where the half-built jail lies and transform it into a billion dollar mixed use development likely including a Major League Soccer stadium.

In February, Evans said the county was leaning toward continuing constructing the jail that's half-finished.
"I'd like to see the deep details, which aren't included in the proposal. Are they going to build an X number of courtrooms? How big will those courtrooms be?" Gary Woronchak said back then -- the chair of the Wayne County Commission.

Now they'll be taking a look at these t