This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Detroit Bets On Uncertainty Of Rail, New Arena

By DAVID EGGERT

DETROIT (AP) a¿¿ It may be too broke to pay its bills or even respond to 911 calls on time, but Detroit is still thinking big.

As the debt-ridden metropolis moves through bankruptcy proceedings that are turning its empty pockets inside-out, local and state leaders are proposing expensive new projects, including a hockey arena doubling as an events center, plus a mass transit line.

If built, the developments would cost $800 million and bet at least $300 million in future tax revenues on an effort to attract people to a place that residents have been fleeing for 60 years.

Skeptics say the plans are needlessly risky for a city with so much debt that it can't fund services as simple as streetlights. Spending hundreds of millions on unproven projects, they insist, is like taking an unemployment check to a casino instead of paying for basic necessities.

"Detroit is not going to be saved by an individual project with a bunch of money poured into it," said businessman Jerry Belanger, a vocal critic of the arena project. "It's not going to help Detroit schools, it's not going to help rebuild buildings that are completely blighted."

The efforts are focused narrowly on a 10-square-mile district in and near downtown, which is home to corporations such as General Motors and draws suburban workers and visitors to sporting events, concerts and cultural institutions. Outside the city center lays a wasteland of 130 square miles of neighborhoods with high crime, vacant homes and few prospects.

Supporters predict the downtown improvements will expand the tax base and lay the path to a brighter financial future. They say the stakes extend beyond Detroit to include the entire state.

Without "vibrant central cities," college-educated young people will continue to leave "and take the future Michigan economy with them," said Lou Glazer, an economic expert and president of the nonpartisan research organization Michigan Future Inc.

1 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 16,399.67 +19.26 0.12%
S&P 500 1,904.01 +17.25 0.91%
NASDAQ 4,316.0740 +57.6360 1.35%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs