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Detroit rejects redevelopment plan for Tiger Stadium site

The Tiger Stadium site will remain empty for the foreseeable future, as the Detroit Economic Development Corporation rejected a $65.3 million redevelopment proposal for the site that could have brought innovation to the 9.4-acre site while maintaining the ballpark’s playing field as a community resource.

The proposal would have brought two local nonprofits, a charter school, retail shops and housing to the Tiger Stadium site; the former playing field would be maintained as a community resource. It was pitched as a plan for a “living building” for the area.

Why the rejection? Because, said Detroit Economic Development Corporation officials, the plan was speculative and didn’t have every last dollar lined up. The proposal called for two local nonprofits to relocate their headquarters to “living buildings”: building that exceed LEED building standards and generate more power than they consume. The plan also called for a charter school from Cornerstone Charter Schools, a established and respected charter-school operator in Detroit. Also in the mix: McCormack Baron Salazar, an established St. Louis developer, would build 68 housing units as well as first-floor retail space. The former playing field would be maintained as a community green space and potentially hose youth baseball games and tourneys. We’re talking four entities — three nonprofits and a commercial developer — with an established record of success. And while no Detroit development is ever a sure thing, there was no indication the group was looking for city aid for the project.

Now, it’s not as though developers are lining up for a crack at the site: though Detroit Economic Development Corporation officials claim there are other developers interested in the site, no one has actually stepped forward with one, and when the future of Tiger Stadium was being debated, the likes of George Jackson were arguing that big-box retailers were lining up to develop the site. But those developers never appeared, and Tiger Stadium was torn down so the residents of Corktown could enjoy yet another Detoit empty lot. (H/T: Rod Nelson)

Photo of the original Tiger Stadium by John Moist.

RELATED STORIES: Old Tiger Stadium Conservancy: Demolition of Tiger Stadium was unlawful, reckless; Tiger Stadium demolition resumes; Old Tiger Stadium Conservancy “shocked, dismayed” about decision to tear down Tiger Stadium; Detroit commission votes to tear down Tiger Stadium; Federal money for Tiger Stadium receives initial approval; Tiger Stadium preservation takes another step forward; Tiger Stadium preservationists: We have the money

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