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DETROIT-The Legal Aid and Defender Association may purchase the former Crains Communications. The non-profit agency has a tentative agreement with Crains for purchase of the company’s former headquarters building at 1400 Woodbridge, as well as nearby Crain properties on Franklin Street. A possible purchase price has not been released.

Legal Aid would renovate the 77,000-sf building, then build a two-story, 36,000-sf addition on the west parking lot. The group would begin to move in sometime in 2005, if the deal goes through. The list price was $6 million.

The majority of Legal Aid’s staff now occupies 80,000-85,000 sf on 5.5 floors in the Penobscot Building in the city, where they’ve been housed for more than 10 years.

The agency is the oldest and largest legal-aid organization in Michigan and closes more than 11,800 cases a year.

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