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DETROIT-MGM has hired general contractors to build the new $300 million permanent MGM Grand Casino in Downtown Detroit – L.S. Brinker of Detroit and Perini Corp. of Framingham, MA, to form a joint venture to build the complex, said Ben Mammina, MGM Mirage VP of construction. Perini will have a 60% share and Brinker will have a 40% share of the building responsibilities.

Mammina said the project, which includes a new casino with 100,000-sf of gaming, retail and a 400-room hotel, is now moving through the government channels. “The site plans have been submitted to the city for approval,” Mammina told GlobeSt.com. “We had a public hearing last week, but there wasn’t a quorumfor a vote, so they’re going to discuss the plan again at a meeting Nov. 7. We’re just waiting to hear their comments.”

MGM Mirage has already purchased 25 acres on the intersection next to the Lodge and I-75, a couple blocks away from its current temporary casino. Mammina said the company can’t begin construction until a lawsuit is decided.

The LacVieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Indians, casino owners based in Watersmeet, MI, won a recent victory when the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to enjoin the three casinos from starting construction on their permanent sites. The tribe filed the case in 1997 after its unsuccessful bid on building a casino in Detroit.

The Court of Appeals has ruled the ordinance that allowed Detroit officials to pick three casino developers was invalid because it relied on preferential treatment. Now, because the casinos stand a chance of winning the case, the court has issued an injunction to bar the City of Detroit from issuing any building permits for the three casinos.

“We have to wait, right now we’re just doing the engineering, planning and architectural work,” Mammina said. “We’re hoping to begin construction next month.”

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. Perini is a well-known casino developer, while Brinker builds entertainment and other ventures. Both companies helped build the temporary MGM Detroit Casino. Altogether, the three temporary casinos in Detroit have proposed plans to build permanent sites at more than $1.5 billion.

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