on May 31, 2017
Detroit East Riverfront Plan Released
The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, City of Detroit and Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC) recently unveiled a plan to expand riverfront access and drive investment within the 400-acre East Riverfront neighborhood. The East Riverfront framework expands recreational opportunities for Detroiters and creates jobs within new mixed-use, walkable neighborhoods in a formerly blighted industrial area adjacent to the city’s Downtown employment hub, fueling Detroit’s continued revitalization. HR&A supported a multi-disciplinary team – led by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) – by assessing real estate and economic opportunities and identifying strategies to shape the investment potential associated with both public improvements and private development.
The plan will create create eight additional acres of park space on the East Riverfront, while also advancing substantial street and public-realm improvements to make East Jefferson Avenue and other critical neighborhoods connections more bike and pedestrian friendly. Additionally, the plan will create two new greenways to connect upland residents to the riverfront. These public investments will drive new market activity for private development by enhancing perceptions of the neighborhood and bringing more residents and visitors to and through the East Riverfront. Implementation is already underway, with immediate groundbreaking for RiverWalk connections to the Belle Isle Bridge and Gabriel Richard Park, and the issuance of new development and adaptive reuse RFPs by DEGC.
The plan encompassed a year of conversations with community stakeholders, and substantial contributions from landscape architects Michel Desvigne and Inessa Hansch, McIntosh Poris, Giffels Webster, Kraemer Design Group, AKT Peerless, Rich & Associates, and E. Austell Associates.