Last winter, Related Companies announced that they were moving their Detroit Center for Innovation from Gratiot over to Grand River, in an area known as District Detroit. Now, they've released their vision for what they want the area between the Center and Comerica Park to look like.
These are just currently ideas; Related and Olympia Development are engaging with the community for feedback. But if these plans take shape, the sea of parking lots currently behind the Fox Theater could include new affordable and market-rate residential, offices, and retail, along with green space. We could also see a hotel on Henry Street and a cap over I-75.
In the rendering above, we can see the vision for Columbia Street, with rehabbed buildings, greenspace, new businesses (a book store!), and new residential and office buildings.
One of the most notable renderings includes an idea that's been discussed for a long time -- a new office building in front of Comerica Park. This would stand on a current parking lot, and have ample plaza space for people to walk around.
A new map released gives urbanists hope for a longtime ask: a capped area over I-75 with greenspace, making it easier for people to walk from the arena and the area north of 75 into downtown.
Olympia Development does not have the best track record when it comes to following through on promises. Many new ideas were presented as the new arena and the development of the surrounding area were announced; few have come to fruition. But Related Companies has a solid history development across the country.
“More now than ever before, people are looking for dynamic, walkable neighborhoods that have great places to work, mixed-income living options and an abundance of culture, dining and retail in close proximity. Working with Olympia Development on the DCI, it was immediately apparent how much opportunity there is to build on their progress in The District Detroit and make our work together a model for inclusive urban development,” said Stephen Ross, Chairman of Related Companies. “Anchored by innovation and dynamic sports and entertainment venues, The District Detroit will become one of the most vibrant neighborhoods in the nation, and there’s no place I’d rather be realizing this vision than in my hometown.”