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Are Fiat Chrysler land swaps a sweet deal for Morouns?

Detroit Assembly Plant Mack paint shop
Fiat Chrysler
Fiat Chrysler
A rendering of the proposed Fiat Chrysler expansion on Detroit's east side.

The city of Detroit and Fiat Chrysler are working on a deal to assemble land for the company. If it’s finalized, Fiat-Chrysler would begin a massive factory expansion and renovation project that the company says would create nearly 5,000 jobs.

First, Detroit needs more than 200 acres of land. The Moroun Family owns the biggest chunk, and the Morouns want a deal of their own in exchange.

Michigan Radio’s Sarah Cwiek spoke to Morning Edition host Doug Tribou about the deal.

The city has proposed giving the Moroun family 117 acres of other city-owned properties as part of the deal.

Some of that land is near the Ambassador Bridge, which the Morouns own.

Residents in the southwest Detroit neighborhood near the Ambassador Bridge are worried about what the Fiat Chrysler expansion on the city’s east side could do to their neighborhood.

Jessica Trevino lives near the Ambassador Bridge. She says residents fear the Morouns' plans for the parcels they're trying to acquire will damage the community. Trevino says the whole process needs to slow down.

“I don’t believe that Chrysler is going to just turn around and go somewhere else," she says. “I really think that this deal is a pretty sweet deal for them.”

The city warns Fiat Chrysler could kill the deal if it’s not finalized next week.

It still needs multiple approvals, including a sign-off from the Detroit City Council.

Updated May 10 at 10:30 a.m.: An earlier version of this article incorrectly spelled "Moroun." It has been updated with the correct spelling. 

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
Doug Tribou joined the Michigan Public staff as the host of Morning Edition in 2016. Doug first moved to Michigan in 2015 when he was awarded a Knight-Wallace journalism fellowship at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
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