City Adds Witnesses: Gilbert, Penske, Rapson

City Adds Witnesses: Gilbert, Penske, Rapson

The city of Detroit has added three heavy-hitting business and foundation leaders to the list of witnesses it filed two weeks ago in its historic bankruptcy case. As Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes considers whether to approve the city’s plan for restructuring debt and its future financial, management and administrative functions, he’ll evaluate, in part, whether it’s feasible.

The city’s witnesses to testify to feasibility and the importance of the plan to the business community are:

Roger Penske, founder and chairman of the Penske Corporation.

Dan Gilbert, chairman and founder of Rock Ventures, LLC and Quicken Loans, Inc.

Rip Rapson, president and CEO of the Kresge Foundation.

According to the city’s court filing, the three men will speak about the “importance from a business and investment standpoint of the City’s ability to capitalize and build on the efforts contemplated in the Plan post bankruptcy” and “the importance and effect of addressing in the Plan, among other things, the City’s blight, public safety, and urban revitalization.”

Rapson, according to the document, also will discuss “prior and future efforts that include but are not limited to, the substantial annual philanthropic funding to the City by Kresge and other philanthropic foundations and entities.” Kresge remains a major funder of the Detroit Future City project, which began as the Detroit Works Project under Mayor Dave Bing. Detroit Future City has developed a “strategic framework” that addresses economics, land use, neighborhoods and planning topics in the city.

Numerous other philanthropic organizations are funding a range of efforts in the city, including the pledge by 12 foundations to put $366 million toward pension funding in exchange, in part, for the Detroit Institute of Arts collection being protected from sale. Kresge has committed $100 million of that effort.

4.18.14 Amended City Witness List