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Streetcar expert to discuss economic benefits associated with Detroit's M-1 Rail project

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DETROIT — Streetcar expert Michael Powell will discuss the economic benefits associated with Detroit's light rail project.

Powell and M-1 Rail President and Chief Executive Matt Cullen are scheduled speak Wednesday at the 28th Annual University of Michigan & Urban Land Institute Real Estate Forum at Cobo Center.

Powell is board chair emeritus of Portland Streetcar, Inc., in Oregon. M-1 Rail officials say in a release that the area and neighborhoods around the Portland streetcar system has seen $4.5 billion in private investment since 2001.

The M-1 RAIL streetcar is projected to create more than $3 billion in economic development over 10 years along the Woodward corridor between Detroit's downtown and New Center area.

Construction began this summer on the 6.6-mile round-trip rail line and is expected to be completed in 2016.

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