Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Michigan loans Detroit M1 project $10 million

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Michigan Economic Development Corporation's Michigan Strategic Fund has approved a 10-year loan, with a 2% interest rate, to assist development of Detroit's streetcar plan, currently still dubbed M1 (or M-1).

MEDC officials say they approved the loan because the 3.2-mile, 11-stop streetcar project will generate at least $130 million in new investment and create 41 new jobs.

MEDC gave its approval Tuesday, March 25, 2014.

The M1 Rail line will run from W. Grand Boulevard in New Center to Congress Street in downtown Detroit. Utility relocation work already is ongoing, and general construction is scheduled to begin this spring. Last October Detroit awarded a contract to Parsons Brinckerhoff for design, review, and construction quality assurance services for project. Last July Stacy and Witbeck Inc. was chosen to oversee implementation of Detroit's M1 Rail streetcar line.

A decision on a contract for purchasing six streetcars has yet to be announced publicly, though bids for rolling stock were due last October.

Private-sector backers of the project include the Kresge Foundation, the Penske Corp., and Quicken Loans, among others.