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DETROIT-MGM Detroit Casino officials won’t say where they’d like to be, but have expressed frustration at the city’s bungling of the riverfront casino plans. Three casinos had been scheduled to begin building three permanent sites along the Detroit River under an agreement with Mayor Dennis Archer and the city council.

The project, which would have included large casinos, hotels and restaurants, was to total about $2 billion.

However, city officials tasked with condemning or buying up the 40 acres of riverfront land could not secure enough of the property, even with a year-long extension. In April, Archer announced the deal had faltered, and only MGM Grand was to build a permanent casino on the site.

Since then, there has been no further announcements by Archer, who’sstepping down in November, or by the council.

“We’re in limbo,” says Alan Feldman, chief spokesman for MGM Grand Inc.

He tells the company is looking forward to some kind of resolution. However, with the mayor and council races heating up, no decision on the casino land seems likely before the election in November.

Until then, the old contract stands, Feldman says.

“Our plans have always been to leave our temporary site and build a much larger, more impressive and expensive permanent casino with hotels, restaurants and shops,” he adds.

However, the old contract still binds all three casinos to move to theDetroit river site. Greektown Casino and MotorCity Casino both say they wantto stay at their temporary locations. Greektown has pledged to make $500 million new investment on its property on Lafayette. MotorCity, owned by Detroit Entertainment, will invest $600 million to stay at its property along M-10.

Feldman says because no new agreement has been officially announced, the other casinos should also be made to move as well. The whole project concept is twisted and confused, however, as the city readies itself to have to fightlawsuits filed by riverfront property owners.

The city council must agree to amend the contract. A few council members have already said they are unhappy with the changes, and will not sign.

“There’s been a lot of speculation, but nothing’s happened. We’re waiting for the city to make a decision about what it wants,” Feldman says.

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