On Gilbert's building costs claim: How do city's numbers compare? - Crain's Detroit Business:
"One of the arguments Dan Gilbert has used to push for a new tax incentive for sweeping developments is that it costs just as much to construct a new building in Detroit as it does in three of the biggest and priciest real estate markets in the country.
Whether that's actually true isn't entirely clear.
Gilbert's team says its calculation includes all components of new building — minus the cost of land — ranging from materials to permitting and insurance costs.
Yet data from a well-known construction cost estimator puts Detroit's per-square-foot rate for new office construction well below New York City, Chicago and San Francisco, and construction laborer wages in those markets — a key variable from city to city — are more than 10 percent higher.
"It costs the same to build a skyscraper or building in New York City, Chicago, as it does in Detroit," Gilbert said in an interview with Paul W. Smith on WJR-AM 760 last week.
"The rents have come up in Detroit, but they are nowhere near the double to triple, if not more, rents that happen in those other cities."
The second sentence in that statement is undeniably true.
The first claim is dubious."