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DETROIT-The city of Detroit has reached a deal with a local cement company to moveto make room for a planned development along the Detroit River.Lafarge North America has agreed to move from its site just south of themain downtown area to an area east of Zug Island, said Will Tammingo of theDetroit Economic Growth Corp.

The company will move thanks to an incentive payment of more than $30million, Tammingo told GlobeSt.com. He said he could not be specific on theamount of the payment, but said it’s lower than $38 million.

The company will begin work on about 18 acres at its new site along theriver in July, Tammingo said.”We’re trying to create a different kind of development opportunity, andpublic space, on the east side of downtown Detroit,” he noted.

The city already reached an agreement with Holnam Inc., another cementcompany, to move from the area. A third cement company, CEMEX, is now beingcourted to make a similar move.”We’re still in the negotiating process,” said Tammingo.

The city wants to get the three cement companies out of the way to make roomfor a planned $500 million development.The project would include a new port facility to welcome cruise and diningships, 1,000 residential units, a state park along the river and acontinuous public walkway stretching along the Detroit River from Joe LouisArena to the Belle Isle Bridge.

The funding for the redevelopment comes from many public and privatesources, including the city, the Downtown Development Authority, WayneCounty, General Motors and the Kresge Foundation.Planning was undertaken by the 34-member East Riverfront Study Group in a90-day process under the direction of co-chairs Derrick Miller, chiefadministrative officer to Kilpatrick; and Matthew Cullen, general manager ofeconomic development and enterprise services for GM.

Kresge will spend $50 million to build the three-mile public pathway. TheDetroit/Wayne County Port Authority will spend $8 million to build the newport facility.The state has committed to build a 25.5-acre park with $10 million, with aplanned future expansion to 40 acres. Phase One is 16 acres and includes theincorporation of the existing St. Aubin Marina. Phase Two includes removalof the existing LaFarge cement plant. General Motors is continuing its plan to build a plaza and promenade,complete with a mixed-use building offering eight levels of parking,ground-level retail space and a fitness center.

LaFarge is moving to the former 80-acre Detroit Coke Corp. plant site, ownedby Wisconsin Energy Corp, Tammingo said. The city wants to move all threecement plants there. The energy company also plans to build a glassaggregate recycling facility at the former site.

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