East Riverfront District Plan

In 2004, the City and the EDC initiated an area District Plan.  The EDC retained the nationally recognized planning and urban design firm of Cooper, Robertson, & Partner to prepare a District Plan. The East Riverfront District Plan provides a blueprint for area redevelopment for all the parcels within the district.  Importantly, the District Plan also defines the type, size location of public spaces.
The District Plan was produced in conjunction with a host of area stakeholders, including the City of Detroit’s Planning and Development Department, City Planning Commission, property owners, and the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy.  At stages of District Plan preparation, public preferences were solicited, and plan options were also vetted with the public.  Important outcomes of this District Plan include:
  • Definition of preferred public spaces
  • A market study indicating anticipated capacity of development types, absorption rates, rents, and development parcels
  • A preferred development sequence, block layouts, and likely density descriptions (see Illustrative Map)    
Very importantly, the District Plan recognizes and incorporates most of the existing urban fabric – road network, block layout, and encourages the adaptive re-use of existing buildings.  This District Plan is today the planning tool that the City planning agencies use to measure all public spaces and private development initiatives.  With land control, and an attractive redevelopment climate, the EDC is responding to several development initiatives in the District for property EDC controls. The current project phase expects the addition of 400 dwelling units with a contemplated investment greater than $90 million.  Proposals for the next phases of development of EDC projects will be solicited in the future.
The East Riverfront District Plan continues its promise of transforming the District.  Today, the DRFC has completed 60% of its RiverWalk through the District and has broken ground on the remaining segments of to be built in 2013-14.  The MDNR is conducting its planning for the next phase of Milliken State Park.  Other smaller development projects are nearing implementation.
From this District Plan, the EDC adopted two project plans, which have been the basis for ongoing development in the area: The Waterfront East Development Project Plan and the Mt. Elliot-Wright Project Plan.