Detroit dishonest about blight, Gilbert sells casino, Ben Carson: Your Wednesday briefing

Photo by Steve Neavling

These are the top stories  for Wednesday:

Duggan’s administration underestimates level of abandonment in Detroit

Mayor Duggan’s administration has understated the level of abandonment in Detroit, according to an investigation by the Metro Times.

Investigative reporter Violet Ikonomova’s well-researched report examined abandonment in the city and found that the Land Bank and city officials “grossly underestimated the problem” with blight.

“Based on a nine-month survey of more than 400 randomly selected vacant houses classified by the Land Bank as ‘unlikely to be blighted,’ the city could be dealing with about 40 percent more abandoned houses than it believes.”

Read the entire story here.

Gilbert reaches agreement to sell Greektown Casino

Billionaire Dan Gilbert has reached an agreement with two firms to sell his Greektown Casino in Detroit for $1 billion.

Penn National Gaming and VICI Properties Inc. are buying the casino, which has a $400 million debt.

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Gilbert told the Free Press that he wants to use the money from the sale to boost his investments in Detroit.

“It frees up significant capital to invest in our large developments that we’ve started and some are about to start soon,” he said. “We’re going to focus on business development and technology, start-up scene in Detroit and things like StockX and other exciting businesses that will create jobs and excitement and attract people to the city from all over.”

The sale must first pass regulatory review and is expected to be complete in 2019.

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Ben Carson’s name could soon be removed from Detroit school

Ben Carson

Ben Carson, the Detroit native who became the secretary of HUD, may soon have his name removed from a public school in the city.

The Detroit school board voted Tuesday to rename several buildings in the district, including the Benjamin Carson High School of Science and Medicine.

The school was named after Carson while the district was under the control of a state-appointed emergency manger.

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Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.