Posts Tagged ‘Detroit 2020’

Detroit 2020 looks at RiverWalk developments

Saturday, November 5th, 2011

The Detroit 2020 takes a look at the RiverWalk and proposed development along the river, including the exciting Milliken State Park Discovery Center in the Globe Trading Building.

The RiverWalk goes through the Milliken State Park, which is Michigan’s only urban state park. Just across the street from the park and right next to the Dequindire Cut is the historic Globe Trading Company Building — where Henry Ford once worked as an apprentice. It will the become the Milliken State Park Adventure and Discovery Center, complete with an archery range, rock climbing, and outdoor activities. “The building is about 100-thousand square feet — we will be taking about 50-thousand square feet turning it into the discovery center — we’re looking for partners to come in and work with us on developing the other side,” said Rodney Stokes, Director of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

DNR leader Rodney Stokes is no stranger to Detroit. After he first retired from the state, he served as deputy parks director in Detroit.

As for the other possible occupants of the Globe Trading Building, they might be green — and a wonderful, exciting fit.

Interestingly enough, if it weren’t for the unsuccessful pursuit of putting casinos on the riverfront, we may not have a RiverWalk or a Dequindre Cut. The city purchased the latter property in hopes of creating an access road to the casinos. That said, losing places like the Woodbridge Tavern and Soup Kitchen was a steep price to pay.

Progress is apparently underway on the contaminated Uniroyal site, a project being led by the DEGC. There are a number of workers and construction equipment on site. This is one of the key missing pieces between the existing RiverWalk, Belle Isle, and the Gabriel Richard Park and plaza.

Here’s the Detroit 2020 video:

Detroit 2020 looks at trails

Friday, January 14th, 2011

Perhaps you’ve already heard about the Detroit 2020 Project.

Detroit 2020 is a WXYZ commitment to address the challenges facing the region.  We will work side by side with our communities to listen, talk and take action.  Our goal is to unify, inspire change and help make Detroit a better place to live, work and raise families.

Yesterday they aired a segment on the RiverWalk and Dequindre Cut which gives a brief introduction to a couple of world class trails.

Yes, it’s a $300 million development project.

And the video also talks about how projects like this are true public-private partnerships. Whereas in most other cities, it’s the government leading the trail development and operations, that’s not the case here. It’s the Conservancy and their staff — and it works well. However, it does skew results when national groups try to benchmark Detroit based on the number of city employees work on biking and walking. For example, the 2010 Benchmark Report from the Alliance for Biking and Walking ranked Detroit last in this category. They wouldn’t count the 24 staff working for the Conservancy since their not city employees.

The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy is also looking for volunteers to serve as ambassadors this coming summer. If you’re interested, give them a call at (313) 566-8200 during business hours for more information.