Columbia Street brings 10 new businesses as Detroit's newest project

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When the new LCA arena was built in downtown Detroit, Olympia Entertainment promised to transform the surrounding neighborhood into a hub for shopping, dining, and entertainment. Now they're finally unveiling the progress on Columbia Street.

In the shadow of Comerica Park, behind the Fox Theatre is Columbia Street. This fall, it transforms into Olympia's newest development: 40,000 square feet with ten new businesses.

"The street is going to have a festival type feel. Music, outdoor patio, dining, cafes," said Travis Arbogast, Olympia Development.

The plan is for 10 new businesses to be there with a mix of local, regional and national eateries with a handful of new stores in that block.

"We've been very selective of the type of mix. So, Mediterranean, Italian, some American comfort, some high dining," said Arbogast. "So we were able to put together a really nice mix."

Columbia Street sits under the new Little Caesars world headquarters with 700 employees. When the cranes and crews are done, a new entertainment choice with music, cafes and food will create what Olympia execs hope will be a destination.

"The whole theme and inspiration behind the street is a European festival style street," he said. "Beautiful brick pavers, old school lanterns - it's a little bit of the old world nestled in between the new headquarters building and the Fox building." 

The area won't strictly be for pedestrians. It will alternate from vehicle traffic to foot traffic, depending on how busy it is.

However, this means you'll have to find somewhere else to park. With Little Caesars Arena opening, parking has been part of a learning curve for metro Detroiters getting their bearings in a new downtown.

"There's ample parking when it comes throughout District Detroit. We have three new structures, another one on the way, that will help with events," Arbogast said.