Michigan State Plaza Building site, according to documents circulating in construction circles.

While MGM stresses that it hasn’t made a final decision on where to build a permanent gambling parlor featuring a hotel and additional amenities, documents show it has hired general contractors Perini Building Co. and L.S. Brinker to solicit bid proposals from subcontractors to do work at the site, across the Lodge Freeway from its existing temporary casino.

When the state of Michigan’s management and budget department auctioned the nearly vacant property in April, MGM was the only bidder, offering $12.5 million. A “request for proposal” circulated last week by Perini and Brinker refers to the state plaza site as the “project description” and “planned project location.”

The deal with the state, however, hasn’t closed, and MGM continues to eye other sites, including its existing location and land on the west riverfront.

The state building is “where we have a lot of focus,” John Redmond, chief executive officer of MGM Grand Resorts, said Thursday. “But we haven’t completely decided on it,” he insisted.

The project will consist of a 400-room hotel, a 135,000-square-foot casino, 169,000 square feet of restaurants, food courts and back-of-house operations and a 4,000 space parking garage, according to documents circulated among potential subcontractors last week. Space devoted to actual gambling is limited to 100,000 square feet in permanent casinos.

Construction should be completed no later than fall 2005, the document says.

MGM Grand Detroit, as well as rivals MotorCity and Greektown casinos, must finish their 400 room hotels by December 2005 so they’ll be ready in time for the 2006 Super Bowl, according to a proposed deal between the gambling halls and Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

MotorCity has announced plans to expand at its existing site.

Greektown has land sewn up on two adjacent blocks in Greektown, but is also considering an alternative site near the entertainment district.

The sense of urgency for picking sites and getting work under way has lessened, however, since the city last week extended the current development agreements with the casinos until July 31.


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