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Belle Isle Hotel Plan Rejected, But a Café Could Happen

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Background photo: Chris and Michelle Gerard

If the thought of a building a hotel on Belle Isle makes you throw up in your mouth a little bit, good news: It's not happening. After an earlier Free Press article fantasized about building a hotel, restaurants, and a whole mess of island attractions, the Belle Isle Conservancy clarified that a small cafe, kayak/bike rentals, and maybe a bit of overnight camping are the current priorities.

Rendering from the 2004 plan [Hamilton Anderson Associates]

The whole Belle Isle development conversation is in the news because Biederman Redevelopment Ventures—a respected planning firm from NYC— has been hired to craft another "strategic plan" for the entire park. More ideas for Belle Isle ideas can't hurt, but we're wondering why there's seemingly little attention given to the existing master plan. Created by Detroit's Hamilton Anderson Associates in 2004, it's a big, beautiful PDF of logical ideas to revive the island. It's still available for download on the the Conservancy's website.
· Belle Isle leaders: No hotels on the island [Freep]