DETROIT — Michigan's governor will travel Friday to the former Globe Trading Co. building on Detroit's waterfront to sign a package of bills that will send almost $200 million to the city to help it emerge from bankruptcy.
The 122-year-old building, formerly an auto manufacturing facility and foundry, serves as a powerful symbol because it, like the city, is transforming, GOP Gov. Rick Snyder said.
"The Globe building is a great representation of the comeback of Detroit," Snyder said. "It's a 100-year-old-plus building that was essentially vacant in the last 20 years. It was one of the key industrial buildings in Detroit for decades. It's been vacant and now it's coming back."
The building on Atwater Street along the Detroit River had been targeted for demolition when a plan emerged to place all three casinos in Detroit along the riverfront between the Renaissance Center and Belle Isle. But that plan died, and the building fell into disrepair until the state invested $12.8 million to transform it into a recreation center for the 10-year-old, 31-acre William G. Milliken State Park along the river.
Snyder will sign the legislation, which sends $194.5 million to Detroit with strings attached. A nine-member commission will oversee the city's finances, budgets and contracts for at least 13 years and set the level of contributions made to city employees' retirement and health care plans.
The state's proposed onetime contribution would be combined with $370 million pledged from charitable foundations and $100 million from the Detroit Institute of Arts.
Snyder said he continues to encourage retirees to vote yes on the city's plan of adjustment "because it's in their best interest, along with the city and state. So far, the voting is working in a positive fashion." Retirees have until July 11 to vote on the package.
Trustees of Detroit's pension fund for police and firefighters agreed Thursday to urge workers and retirees to accept pension cuts that are part of the plan of adjustment. The so-called grand bargain of money from the state, museum and foundations goes away if retirees vote against the plan of adjustment.
Snyder said he wouldn't speculate on when the city will emerge from bankruptcy though Oct. 1 would be wonderful.
"It would be great to have them finish up by then," he said. "I'm looking forward to tomorrow in terms of signing the bills."
Contributing: Joe Guillen, Detroit Free Press