The city announced earlier this week that the Ambassador Bridge, the Hubbard Richard Residents Association, and the city have come to an agreement on a possible Ambassador Bridge plaza expansion. This would still need various approvals for the Bridge company to move forward.
The plaza expansion has been in the works for quite a while. The bridge owners, the Moroun family, have been purchasing properties in southwest Detroit in preparation for the expansion. Residents of the neighborhood have been working with the city in order to prevent displacement.
According to a press release from the city, the Ambassador Bridge has agreed to not purchasing anymore land in the area; they will also:
- Donate 10 properties it owns in and around Hubbard Richard to the neighborhood along with $20,000 per property to assist in redevelopment.
- Contribute property to the City with the intent that it be incorporated into the City’s Roberto Clemente Recreation Center.
- Demolish the former “Greyhound Building” located at 2300 W. Fort Street, split the property into two parcels, and donate the larger parcel to the neighborhood for non-industrial redevelopment.
- Construct a berm along 16th Street that buffers the neighborhood from industrial uses to the east.
- Build a new 16th Street between West Lafayette and W. Fort Street to improve ingress and egress to the neighborhood.
In the agreement, the Hubbard Richard Resident Association agrees:
- To the expansion of the Ambassador Bridge Plaza within agreed upon areas.
- To design standards including aesthetics, buffering, lighting, and relocation of utilities and sidewalks.
According to the Detroit News, the land comes close to St. Anne church, bordering St. Anne Street, 18th Street, Lafayette, and Fort.
Sam Butler, president of the Hubbard Richard Resident Association, said, “The Ambassador Bridge’s commitment to restrict further property acquisition in our neighborhood is real progress toward repairing long-standing disputes between Hubbard Richard and the Ambassador Bridge. We hope this is the beginning of continued cooperation with the Ambassador Bridge to sustain our thriving residential neighborhood. With the City’s support, we are excited to work with partners to transform currently vacant land into affordable housing, greenspace, and other valuable assets for the neighborhood.”
Matthew T. Moroun, Chairman of the Ambassador Bridge, said, “Earlier this year, I promised to the City Council that we would make a beneficial and positive agreement with the community. It was important that we kept that promise. This agreement is the result of a lot of hard work, will provide a win-win-win for the HRRA, City and our company, and demonstrates our commitment to improving important relationships. We look forward to working together to implement the agreement.”
The city transferred land to the Bridge company earlier this year, much to the dismay of the neighborhood. This would be for a second span of the bridge, if they decided to build one.