Thursday, June 12, 2008

State Establishes Web Page to Host Documents on Removal Proceedings

Kilpatrick Clan Involved in Belle Isle Land Grab

Mayor Kilpatrick's aunt State Rep. Marsha Cheeks and his cousin Patricia Peoples are spearheading a plan to privatize a swath land on Belle Isle's north shore to build a Maritime Academy.

This charter school would be a residential high school open to past-risk students across the state. Under the plan, land from the Detroit Boat Club to Inselruhe Rd. would be used for a multi-acre complex of classrooms, dormitories, gymnasium, pool and other facilities. A parking lot would be created in the interior of the island for hundreds of cars, paving over additional green space.

The plan calls for the Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority to help finance construction by issuing bonds for the school. The foundation already has received a $160,000 grant from the state to help develop the complex, which would open in 2010.

The cookie the mayor's family is giving us is a restored Boat House that would be used as marina and restaurant as an additional source of money for the school. As an added bonus, the school's gymnasium, swimming pool and other facilities could be open to the public during the summer and the dormitories might be used as rooms for visitors during the Grand Prix or other events.

We have already lost 10 acres of green space to the Grand Prix paddock. How much more development can the Belle Isle take? Would this project open Belle Isle to more development in the future? Should public parkland be given to a private entity? If you oppose this development please let the Detroit City Council know your feelings. Also, contact the Friends of Belle Isle and lend your support.

8109 East Jefferson
Detroit, MI 48214
Phone: (313) 331-7760 Fax: (313) 331-1500

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Watermark Treading Water *UPDATE*

Dave Bing's $60 million condominium project recently received a $700,000 loan from the city's Economic Development Corporation. The development is struggling due to the downturn in the housing market. Lenders have imposed a 65% pre-sale requirement on the 112 unit project before releasing construction funds. To date Watermark has only sold 22 units, with another 12 units in the pipeline.


Plans have been revised by Dave Bing for his Watermark condominium project. In the new plan a row of homes facing Atwater have been eliminated because they failed attract any buyers. The number of penthouse units have been increased in the nine story tower and the number of town houses have been decreased in number, but increased in size.

The new Watermark will contain 98 units instead of 112. It is hoped that these changes will help the development meet the sales benchmark established by the banks. Bing must pre-sell two-thirds of the units before the banks will release construction money.