Motorcity Casino
Detroit, Michigan




$155 million


1998 - 1999



BEI provided architectural and engineering services to renovate the old Wonder Bread Bakery into a casino at the junction of Grand River Avenue and the Lodge Freeway. Renovations included a new HVAC system, new power and lighting, cafeteria, dining rooms and gaming areas.

This complete building renovation provides for four restaurants with full kitchen facilities. The Parking Structure/Valet Building is linked to the Casino by a pedestrian bridge above an adjacent street. The Food and Beverage Service Building is linked to the Casino by two pedestrian bridges. Additional surface parking for customers and tour buses was provided. A taxi stand was also provided. This project incorporated approximately 14.8 acres of site development. Additional work within the public right-of-way included the replacement of sidewalks, curbing, and resurfacing and restriping of adjacent public streets. This infrastructure work was designed by BEI and the construction contracted through the City of Detroit Department of Public Works.

For the MotorCity Casino development, BEI expedited the City of Detroit plan review and permitting process by walking documents from plan reviewer to plan reviewer to assure steady progress through the system. This process involved staying in touch with the plan reviewers and zoning staff to monitor progress and meeting with the plan reviewers to resolve their concerns before they become approval problems. This required regular communication with the City of Detroit departments of Buildings and Safety Engineering, Water and Sewerage, Streets, Traffic, Survey, Public Lighting Department, Planning and Development, and the Fire Department, in addition to the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation.

In addition to filing and expediting the building permit, BEI prepared plans for infrastructure improvements within the public right of way in the area of influence of the MotorCity Casino. This work included street widening; street resurfacing; alley pavement replacement; curb and sidewalk replacement; driveway and alley approaches; relocation of utility structures; pavement striping; directional, regulatory and facility identification signage; and coordinated the installation of new lighting standards. The project also included significant geometric revisions to intersections considered to be problems by the Traffic Department. The construction work in the public right of way was completed under contract to the City of Detroit as required by the development agreement with the City. BEI also filed three separate petitions for encroachments, easements and deviations from City of Detroit Standards.