DETROIT-A plan by Nonrahs-Sinacola Stadium Redevelopment for a $200-million project at the former Tiger Stadium has been turned in to the city’s planning and development department. Soon after the 89-year-old Detroit ballpark closed for good in September 1999, the city put out a request for proposals for the majority of the stadium to be converted into loft apartments, condominiums and retail space, with approximately 8,000 seats remaining.

The envisioned plans included recreation centers, a swimming pool and ice skating rinks. The new plan follows that request, says planning department spokeswoman Sylvia Crawford.

Carl Corlley of Nonrahs and David Sinacola of the Sinacola Cos. of Livonia, MI have told the city that they will acquire $200 million in financing from UBS Warburg with the help of financing consultant Macan USA Inc. of Houston.

“(We) confirm our intense interest in assisting you to finalize the financing of the former ‘Briggs Stadium’ project,” says Norman McCallum, chairman of Macan, in a letter to Sinacola. “We realize that is not the official name of the project, but to one who grew up watching George Kell, Al Kaline and Norman Cash, it will always be ‘Briggs Stadium’ in my heart of memories.”

The development is to be completed in phases over three years. The first phase will involve a pre-development process that will include a refined and thorough market study, McCallum says. The study will identify the current and projected demand for the residential, retail, office, entertainment, recreational and hospitality space, he adds.

McCallum said funds are available for the project, but his company is not fully committed. First, the market study must be completed to provide the projected cost and construction schedules. Also, a development plan and other diligence studies must be done.

The team would also include Steven Khalil as historical site consultant, Community Sports and Events as recreational sports consultant and F. Logan Davidson as the legal consultant. Construction, structural design and architectural design candidates are still being selected.

Crawford says her department will spend some time evaluating the proposal before it is brought to the planning commission.

The stadium is vacant now that the Tigers are playing at the new Comerica Park a few blocks away in Downtown.

There is another development proposal making the rounds at various city meetings. Michigan and Trumbell LLC, run by president Peter Comstock Riley, proposes to lease the field for a minor-league baseball team. The lease would be for $120,000 and a $1-cut from each ticket sold. Riley’s project is still just a proposal, says Crawford. Her department will continue to try to find a reuse for the stadium until the council says otherwise. If Riley’s company is successful at attracting City Council approval, then her department will back off and the city’s civic center department, which oversees management of city entertainment venues, would take over, she explains.

While the council has heard Riley’s idea, no action has been taken.

The city has now received figures for demolition of the stadium if no satisfactory reuse plan is adopted. Crawford says estimates to tear down the park are between $2 million to $6 million.

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