Detroit riverfront transformation a dramatic one
DETROIT (WJBK) - Detroit's riverfront is in the middle of a dramatic rebirth.
The riverfront is undergoing a transformation and city leaders are inviting you to come and check it out.
"It's Detroit's attempt to claim our riverfront," said Maurice Fox from the city of Detroit. "Detroit's riverfront is undergoing extraordinary revitalization fueled by a place where people can stroll, bikers come, and it’s a way to get to the river."
City leaders say a primary component of this transformation is the construction of new housing along the riverfront.
"The neighborhood in its own right, means finally seeing construction of new homes," Fox said. "Twenty percent of Orleans Landing is guaranteed to be affordable."
And revenue from Orleans Landing will help foster more transformation.
"These units at Orleans Landing generate a half of a million dollars in real estate taxes a year that fuels improvements we're making in the larger area," Fox said.
So what's in store for the riverfront's future?
"We expect to see a lot more restaurants, a lot more retail emerge over the next two years," said Mark Wallace, of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy. "We expect to see a lot more housing. We think there is capacity for 20 million square feet of new developments."
And so far those who use riverfront like what they see.
"It's beautiful, there's so many things to do," said Britney Ferman of Ferndale. "The art, I just love everything that they added."
"I like the changes, I like the things that they are improving upon," said Fred Proctor of Detroit.
And if you think this riverfront is only to be enjoyed in summer months, organizers say think again.
"We're 12 months of programing," Wallace said. "It's a great spot in the wintertime. You see the intrepid folks out running, but you also see the kids sliding down the hill here. As the outdoor adventure center has opened up as well, there is certainly stuff to do year round."