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MEDC names Downtown Detroit Partnership (DDP) among its Revitalization and Placemaking Program Recipients
DDP in collaboration with Downtown Detroit Stakeholders to receive more than $13M for development and public space enhancements
DETROIT—September 7, 2022 — In an effort to improve Downtown Detroit’s recovery from the pandemic, the MEDC named Downtown Detroit Partnership (DDP) among 22 statewide community development projects around Michigan to receive funds from its Revitalization and Placemaking (RAP) Program. The organization was awarded $13,740,000.
The DDP, in collaboration with Bedrock, Greektown Neighborhood Partnership and Paradise Valley Conservancy, along with Karp and Associates — a group known as Downtown Detroit Stakeholders, will expand upon Downtown’s public spaces and mixed-use developments that will attract residents and visitors to the City’s core.
“The DDP shares this award with the entire City of Detroit, as we continue to create public spaces that are safe, welcoming and inclusive for all,” said Eric B. Larson, DDP’s CEO. “We look forward to working with our partners and the community to help bring this mission forward.”
Currently, with the daily office population remaining at 40-percent of its pre-COVID level, the stakeholder group applied for funding for several interrelated projects to help continue to transition Downtown from an office-dominated business district to a more diverse, mixed-use district with extended public spaces and additional living options.
“Thriving communities and talent attraction are vital to our overall economic development strategy; communities across Michigan responded with innovative proposals to create holistic, people-first economic development here in Michigan and we had to make very difficult choices,” said Quentin L. Messer, Jr., CEO of MEDC and President and Chair of the MSF Board. “We’re pleased to support our partners at the Downtown Detroit Partnership on their revitalization efforts, and we remain committed to ensuring that all Michiganders feel the impact of MEDC’s efforts to grow Michigan’s economy. We appreciate the support of the
Governor and our partners in the legislature to use these federal funds to fund these critical programs and the work is just beginning.”
The MEDC’s RAP funding utilizes $100 million in federal American Rescue Plan dollars to support investments in projects that promote population and tax revenue growth to proactively address negative economic impacts of COVID-19 in traditional downtowns, social zones and public spaces. Today’s announcement includes the allocation of $83.8 million in funds; the remaining awards will be announced at a later date. The program provides gap-funding for public space improvements, place-based infrastructure and real estate rehabilitation and development.
“Great cities have great public spaces and increasingly Detroit is becoming known for its beautiful riverwalk, parks and civic gathering places,” said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. “This funding the Downtown Detroit Partnership has secured will help to improve and link many of our city’s central public areas to create a more walkable district for Detroiters and visitors to enjoy.”
Helping to retain residents and visitors to the City’s center, the awarded projects strategically transition Downtown Detroit beyond a place dominated by “work” to a destination that boosts the “live” and “play” dimensions of the economy.
The projects were designed to stimulate both social and economic impact by creating safe, welcoming environments for people to convene, increase new demand for small businesses, activate new businesses to replace shuttered ones, and generate new tax revenue for the City.
“A safe, diverse, and active Downtown has become even more important in this new hybrid work environment. Visitors to Downtown expect dynamic, entertaining and active spaces and places to foster repeat visits and workers see Downtown as an extension of their workplace to collaborate and cooperate with their colleagues,” said Kofi Bonner, Bedrock CEO. “I want to thank my partners in the Downtown Detroit Stakeholders for their alliance as we collectively seek to rebuild and reenergize an historic area of downtown Detroit.”
All eight projects are geographically concentrated along the Woodward Avenue and Randolph Street corridors that will connect the Central Business District, Greektown, Paradise Valley, and the Stadium District into a vibrant play zone for maximum impact.
“The development of a public spaces will connect this area of downtown and support new residential engagement as the landscape evolves,” said Melanie Markowicz, Executive Director of Greektown Neighborhood Partnership.
The DDP will expand three of its existing public spaces – Campus Martius Park, Grand Circus Park and Capitol Park.
The Downtown Detroit Stakeholders Projects:
• Placemaking enhancements to Cadillac Square, intended to extend the activity and flow of Campus Martius through the plaza to Randolph Street.
• A transformation of Randolph Plaza at the gateway into Greektown to create a permanent, high-quality outdoor gathering space for current and future restaurants and businesses in the corridor.
• Two foundational placemaking investments in Paradise Valley that will transform the central park and remake the entryway into the district, with the goal of creating a world class public space to support the development of a thriving, African American-led residential and entertainment district around the central plaza.
• Placemaking enhancements in Grand Circus Park, to provide for continuous, high quality public spaces along this entire spine—while also enhancing the centerpiece of the historic Grand Circus Park district.
• Social District infrastructure in Capitol Park, to enhance Capitol Park as a visitor destination and attraction with positive spill-over effects for the surrounding areas.
• The redevelopment of the vacant Harvard Square Center building on Broadway in the Paradise Valley district, which due to its size and position is critical to the successful revitalization of the entire focus area.
• Karp and Associates will rehabilitate a vacant 7-story building on Griswold Street into a mixed-used development, which will be located adjacent to Capitol Park.
About the Downtown Detroit Partnership
The Downtown Detroit Partnership (DDP) strengthens and supports Downtown Detroit through strategic initiatives and programs. DDP convenes business, philanthropic and government partners to create a vibrant and resilient urban core for Detroit and the surrounding community. DDP is responsible for programming, managing and operating several of Downtown Detroit’s parks and public spaces. For more information, visit DowntownDetroit.org.
Bedrock is a full-service real estate firm specializing in innovative city-building strategies, reaching far beyond the boundaries of bricks and mortar. Since its founding in 2011, Bedrock and its affiliates have invested and committed more than $5.6 billion to acquiring and developing more than 100 properties in Detroit and Cleveland, including landmark developments at the Hudson’s Site, the Book Tower restoration, City Modern and the May
Company Building. Bedrock’s portfolio totals more than 22 million square feet of office, retail and residential space within new construction and adaptive reuse projects. For more information on Bedrock’s projects, visit bedrockdetroit.com or engage with us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. Click here to view a complete timeline of Bedrock and the Rock Family of Companies’ engagement within the Detroit community.
About Greektown Neighborhood Partnership
Greektown Neighborhood Partnership is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the long-term economic and cultural vibrancy of Greektown Detroit. Through partnerships, we advance the equitable development of the district through community and economic development programs, all while celebrating our cultural roots. For more information, please visit www.greektowndetroit.org.