Lavish Grosse Pointe home sheds light on 'extorted' businessman's wealth


Tony Soave’s home along Lake Shore Road in Grosse Pointe Farms

Grosse Pointe Farms businessman Tony Soave’s sprawling home offers a hint at the wealth he showered on ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

The home overlooking Lake St. Clair is one of the largest and most magnificent mansions in the Grosse Pointes.

Soave is accused of letting Kilpatrick fly for free on his private jet, bankrolling the ex-mayor’s New York City shopping sprees and splurging on other perks while pursuing multimillion city deals.

Defense lawyers said it is inconceivable that Soave, who sold his garbage-hauling company for $750 million, and who has contacts with known mob associates, could be extorted by Kilpatrick.

Kwame Kilpatrick left gestures to passers by as he and Ferguson leave federal court Aug. 8.

Prosecutors allege Kilpatrick canceled a rival firm’s $10 million water sewer-repair deal and gave it to a Soave-related company, which agreed to hire the mayor’s pal, Bobby Ferguson.

Kilpatrick also allegedly steered work to Ferguson after a massive Sterling Heights sewer collapse and held up a $12 million amendment until the Soave-related firm agreed to pay Ferguson $350,000.

Separately, Soave save more than $283,000 to a variety of political groups and candidates, including Kilpatrick’s mom, former U.S. Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. He also bankrolls the Citizens for Michigan political action committee.

And he gave so much money, $500,000, to St. John Hospital and Medical Center that the folks there named a waiting room after him.

Robert Snell
Robert Snell is the Detroit News federal courts reporter. He can be reached at or (313) 222-2028.