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DETROIT — Governor Jennifer Granholm has signed legislation for the expansion and renovation of the Cobo Conference Center located at One Washington Blvd. in Detroit. The legislation transfers ownership and operation of the facility from the city of Detroit to an undisclosed regional authority, and provides funding to pay for the expansion. Funding for the expansion extends taxes on statewide liquor sales and metro Detroit hotel/motel rooms until 2039 unless bonds to finance the project can be paid off before that date. Before construction can begin, a five-member governing authority must approve the project. All five members of the committee will have individual veto power over decisions in building and operation of Cobo Conference Center. Additionally, the Detroit City Council has 45 days to reject the plan before control transfers to the authority 90 days after the legislation becomes a law. Plans for the $279 million project call for an approximately 166,000-square-foot expansion to the existing 700,000-square-foot facility. Cobo Arena would be converted as part of the expansion project. The plan will also add meeting rooms and other improvements to the exhibition facility.

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