There is a real airport in the suburbs. But the small, mostly dormant Coleman A. Young Municipal Airport on Detroit's east side could go for sale soon as the city's lawyers try to settle this neverending bankruptcy. Oh, and it has a racetrack.
As long as I've lived in Detroit, I don't personally know of anyone ever using City Airport. Ever. It was always sort of just there, a big field in the middle of the eastside where you might see a plane leaving or arriving if you happen to be driving up Gratiot. Everyone always used Detroit Metro. That's the one you know and have flown to if you've ever been here.
City Airport occasionally has commercial service but hasn't had passenger service in years. But enthusiasts probably recognize it as the site of Road & Track's Motown Mile, where they thrash whatever they've got in their fleet that week. Now you could own it.
Start your own airline? Storage for your private jets? A new, official track, perhaps? Whatever your heart's desire, but you'd better be prepared to cash out. The city is prepared to sell the airport to settle a debt with Syncora, a bond insurer that has been a constant thorn in the side of bankruptcy attorneys trying to speed through this process.
For those who keep hollering that Detroit should sell the art (they won't), attorneys say the airport, the city-owned portion of the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel and other city-owned land are being offered as alternatives. Per The Detroit News:
Syncora and fellow bond insurer Financial Guaranty Insurance Co. — on the hook for more than $1 billion — are two of the biggest obstacles blocking Detroit's path out of bankruptcy. A deal likely would shorten the trial that will determine whether Detroit's debt-cutting plan is feasible and fair, and focus on the legality of the "grand bargain," an $816 million plan to soften pension cuts over 20 years and preserve the DIA art.
The city is constrained by what assets it could offer, in part, because of commitments in the debt-cutting plan and the fact that it would likely have to offer similar settlements to others in Syncora's creditor class, a source close to the negotiations said.
Start contacting your wealthy developer friends and let them know a hot property with lots of potential is headed to the auction block.