Study session scheduled for administrative center

Times-Herald Newspapers

DEARBORN — A public study session is scheduled for Wednesday discuss the proposed Dearborn Administrative Center project and give the city council and community more information about a donation offer of $8.5 million from Severstal North America for it.

The session will be held at 6 p.m. in the council chambers inside City Hall.

The project would involve the selling of the current city hall to Artspace and the relocation of city hall and government operations to the DAC, 16901 Michigan Ave., just west of the Henry Ford Centennial Library. The city purchased the property for $3.2 million last year.

The city has a verbal agreement to sell the current city hall building to Artspace for $1.65 million, but the move must be approved by the council. The Minneapolis-based company wants to renovate the building to house and create work spaces for artists as well as spaces for art studios, art organizations and creative businesses.

The Severstal money will be another topic of discussion at the session. The money was originally offered to the city for a proposed convention center at the Hyatt Regency hotel, but the idea was tabled due to the sale of the hotel.

The proposed use of the money would be to help fund the redevelopment of the DAC and develop a Veterans Memorial Park adjacent to the DAC complex. Some of the money would be given to Artspace to help re-design the city hall building and a general donation to the company of $1.4 million also is planned.

Both Council President Thomas Tafelski and residents addressing the city council at recent meetings have asked if the money could be used for other projects in the city, such as fixing the fountain in front of the Henry Ford Centennial Library or re-opening Snow Library. Mayor John O’Reilly Jr. has said more information about the donation will be available at the study session.

(Bob Oliver can be reached at