The first steps toward cleaning up the former Uniroyal site along the Detroit River has begun.
Detroit Mayor Dave Bing announced the plans Friday, saying the project will open some of the city's "most valuable real estate."
Three companies that once had facilities on the 43-acre site have contributed $20 million in private funding. Those companies are Michelin, MichCon, a subsidiary of DTE Energy and Dupont.
Their contributions takes care of the western portion of the site, near Mount Elliot and Jefferson. The Detroit Economic Development Corp. is in negotiations with Michelin to pay for the remaining property.
Former Detroiter and NFL star Jerome Bettis was in attendance Friday. Along with a partner from Pittsburgh, he plans to use the land to build homes and businesses.
"This was an eyesore for so many years," Bettis said. "We feel this can be a flagship site and attract interest from all over the country."
The cleanup phase is expected to take at least 18 months. At this point, it's not clear when construction will begin.
Cleaning up the property also places the Detroit Riverfront Conversancy one step closer to its goal of extending public access to the riverfront from the Belle Isle to the Ambassador Bridge.
Click on the video player to watch the full report from Fox 2's Robin Schwartz.
KDFW FOX 4
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