Pork Stories

Michigan lawmakers roll the dice on grant for Greektown

Street redesign in downtown Detroit bags $20M of taxpayer cash

The Greektown Neighborhood Partnership secured a $20 million grant from the state’s 2024 budget for local infrastructure improvements. The partnership became a nonprofit organization in 2014 with the purpose of “long-term economic and cultural vibrancy of Greektown,” according to its 990 form for 2021.

Greektown is a popular commercial and entertainment destination in Detroit. A casino there is one of the district’s biggest attractions, generating $331.7 million in revenue in 2022, according to Zippia. Lawmakers did not explain how they determined Greektown needs state taxpayer money for its local improvements.

Legislative leaders pledged to be more transparent this year in describing enhancement grants such as the $20 million given to the Greektown partnership. A document from the House Fiscal Agency reported the grant was for an “Intermodal road and revitalization project, Monroe Street redevelopment project.” The money will be used to redesign Monroe Street.

“Lawmakers should have the public interest in mind rather than what benefits a legislator’s constituents,” said James Hohman, director of budget policy at the Mackinac Center.

“If they think that the state could use more streetscape projects,” Hohman continued, “they ought to fund grant programs to identify the best projects for taxpayer funding.” Lawmakers should not use the political process to take money from everyone to serve their own desires, he added.

Greektown Neighborhood Partnership raised $417,457 from grants and fundraising in 2022. The nonprofit reported $243,963 in contributions in 2021.

The organization did not respond to an email seeking comment.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.