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PONTIAC, MI-The city has set a deadline of Dec. 13 for the submittal by four bidders for plans to redevelop the Pontiac Silverdome site. The covered stadium, now vacant and rarely used for local events, was the former home of the Detroit Lions football team before they moved down to Ford Field Downtown in 2002.

The city purchased the 127-acre property from the Silverdome’s former owner, the Pontiac Silverdome Authority. A first round of bidding failed a few years ago, but nine individuals and companies presented plans to the city this summer. According to CB Richard Ellis, the city’s hired real estate counsel, five of the nine bidders–Robert Thomas Properties of Auburn Hills (with a $27-million event hosting proposal), Stuart Frankel (which reportedly wanted a convention center, retail, and an office/flex park), Dr. Horace J. Davis, Raul Walters and Uptown Village LLC –have since dropped out of the running.

Proposals are still in the running from Inspire Vision, Slade Properties, local attorney H. Wallace Parker and Danou Development. Danou had been one the top bidders years ago with a $440-million hotel, retail, office and convention center project, but had pulled out citing economic problems.

The city council stipulated in a recent resolution that the four developers submit their best and final offers, with supporting financial documents, for review and consideration at the council’s Dec. 13 meeting. “There will be two public hearings before the selection is final,” says council president pro tem Joe Hanson in a statement. “We want to be able to share solid information with the public as well.”

Most of the recent proposals have not been revealed by the city, but the ones that are known include ideas for light industrial, offices, hotels and entertainment/retail uses. The city has made it known that heavy industrial plans will not be accepted. Retail and hotel uses are saturated in the area, and office users have preferred to locate in adjacent Auburn Hills, as Pontiac is seen as a city with high crime and red-tape encumbered city processes.

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