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DETROIT-The city council and Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick have finally come to an agreement to allow permanent casinos in the city. Three casinos are operating in temporary facilities in the Downtown area.

Plans were to allow the three to build permanent sites, but a deal was held for some time while alternate permanent locations were hammered out.

Friday, the city officials voted to approve the permanent plans. The vote for the Greektown Casino site was approved 8-1, with a no-vote by council president Maryann Mahaffey. She also rejected the plans for the MGM Grand Detroit and MotorCity casinos, and was joined in her rejection by Councilwomen Sharon McPhail and Barbara-Rose Collins. Those two plans passed by a 6-3 vote.

The deal was delayed for a few months. It brings $102 million to the city in the next two years and other perks, in exchange for expansion plans for the three casinos into permanent sites.

The owners of the MGM Grand Casino have presented a new $500-million permanent casino/hotel plan to the city council, for 25 acres on the intersection next to the Lodge and I-75 freeways. MGM Mirage has purchased the land.

The MotorCity Casino has announced plans to expand at its present site at the Lodge Freeway and Grand River Avenue, on 23 acres of adjacent land. The casino will build a 16-floor hotel with the required 400 rooms, an 800-seat showroom, new restaurants and lounges, a 50,000-sf convention center area, a spa and fitness center along with additional retail outlet space.

With the new expansion, the casino also will grow its 68,000 sf of gaming space to 100,000 sf.

The Greektown Casino claims to have mapped out a 40-story tall, 400-room hotel for a site bordered by the I-375 service drive, Clinton Street, St. Antoine Street and Gratiot Avenue. It’s to be supported by 4,655 parking spaces, a 1,500-seat theater, a spa, pool and fitness center.

The city-casino agreement requires the expansions to be completed by the time of the Super Bowl, to be held at Detroit’s new Ford Field in early 2006.

The casinos were supposed to have expanded their three temporary sites to an area along the Detroit River, with about $2 billion in construction plans. The land required couldn’t be purchased due to ownership lawsuits and river plan died.

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