July 29, 2009

Detroit agrees to Cobo Center expansion

The Detroit City Council accepted a deal that will allow expansion of the Cobo Center, home of the North American International Auto Show.

The Council, in effect, passed on an opportunity to reject the deal approved by state lawmakers, which gives $300 million in hotel and liquor taxes to the project and transfers management of the conference center to a regional authority, the Detroit Free Press reported Wednesday.

The deal gives the City of Detroit $20 million to make up for lost revenue it would have earned operating the center's parking facilities.

In February, the council rejected an expansion plan on grounds it would lose control of a huge city asset and on fears Detroit contractors would be left in the cold.

With the deal reached, now it's about focusing on the expansion, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing said.