DETROIT-State officials in Lansing now must rethink plans to sell the Michigan Executive Plaza Building in Detroit after MGM Casino, which had bid on the property, gave up its interest and went elsewhere to expand. The casino is one of three in the Downtown area to recently announce expansion plans.

It had been expected that MGM would move into the state-owned Plaza, which had been the home to most of the state workers in Detroit.

State officials went out for bids for the Plaza early this year. It did not need the Plaza because it had purchased the former General Motors Corp. headquarters complex in the New Center area.

By March, MGM was the only bidder for the Plaza, at $12.5 million, reports Penny Griffin, spokeswoman for the state department of management and budget. Most people expected the casino to expand to the Plaza, as all three Downtown casinos were announcing expansion plans.

However, the casino shocked the state and most others Downtown when it announced a $500-million permanent facility expansion plan on 25 acres owned by Detroit Edison on the intersection next to the Lodge and I-75 freeways. The 500,000-sf, 34-year-old Plaza was again left without an buyer.

“It’s still pretty recent. We’ve got no ideas yet how we’re going to market the building,” Griffin tells “We’re going to reassess our options.”

Most of the employees have been moved out of the Plaza and into the GM complex, she says, which will eventually hold 2,500 workers. Only a state police post in the bottom level floor remains at the Plaza, Griffin adds.

The state would like to get rid of the property, she says, because it is costly to maintain with no tenants.

“We’re still having to provide security, electricity and other systems. We’re putting in capital without any return,” Griffin says.

The state will get to keep a $250,000 deposit that MGM put down on the Plaza, which was stipulated in the request for proposals that the casino answered, Griffin says.

Alan Feldman, senior vice president of public affairs for MGM Mirage, tells the company had considered spending $4.5 million for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers building next door on Abbott Street. Both properties sit on more than 12 acres. However, Feldman says there were always two proposals under consideration.

“The Detroit Edison site is the best location for us,” he notes.

Feldman says MGM’s final details of its new casino will be presented in 90 to 120 days. Current plans include a 400-room, five-star hotel, convention space, more casino gaming space and other amenities, he adds.

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