The Detroit News’s Louis Aguilar reports an unexpected development regarding the future of the Joe Louis Arena site:
Even as the vacant Joe Louis Arena is dismantled, the plan to figure out what happens next at the riverfront site has taken another unexpected turn.
The bond insurer that gained the property as compensation for losing $1.1 billion in Detroit’s bankruptcy no longer wants the property. Bond insurer Financial Guaranty Insurance Co., or FGIC, is in talks with an unnamed local development group that wants to buy the arena site and an adjacent parking garage and find a new use for the site.
FGIC “would like to remove themselves from the city of Detroit and sell their interests,” said Matthew Walters, the city’s deputy group executive for jobs and the economy.
Under the current deal with the city, FGIC needs to find a development partner for the site. The potential new arrangement would mean FGIC exits the deal, said Walters, who briefed an economic committee of city council on the plan for the site last week.
It’s not yet a done deal and the development group was not named. FGIC has been in talks with the development group for several weeks, Walters said.