Rubble-rousing rumors

February 11, 1998

by Casey Coston, MetroTimes

Some are racing to tear down the Hudson's building, but two demolition companies filed suit last Thursday to halt the implosion, saying the selection process for grand blast-master was rigged. Those companies, Alliance Group Development Corporation and American International, Inc., both of which submitted elaborate one-inch-thick proposals, were ousted by the one-page proposal of Homrich, apparently because of union considerations.

Whether this is a sign of an increasingly slick deal-making environment, or merely sour grapes, remains to be seen.

In any case, rumors of an unfair playing surface have been widely circulated in the rapidly escalating downtown development sweepstakes.

Unhindered by those disclosure requirements which handcuff other public offices, the quasi-public Greater Downtown Partnership provides Mayor Dennis Archer with a clandestine conduit to the business development community, thereby avoiding any undue scrutiny of these back-door dealings.

Latest rumor du jour is that the much-ballyhooed Campus Martius project was locked up by the Schostak Brothers group long before the February 3 bid deadline, thereby putting a chill over the entire bidding process.

My telephone messages, asking to discuss this with Detroit Economic Growth Corporation and Downtown Development Authority officials, remain unreturned. Partnership CEO and Archer "Rasputin" Larry Marantette did return my call, and professed no knowledge of any secret deals. I guess we'll have to wait and see if the Schostak group is left standing after the rubble settles.