Standing in a gravel lot near the DTE Headquarters on Grand River, you can see the back of many buildings, along with the impressive Grand Army of the Republic Building. DTE is about to turn this gravel lot into a public space - a new park to bring people together on the west side of downtown.
The 1.5 acre park will have a garden area, a large green space, areas for bike parking, a stage for performances, food trucks, and a building that will hold a year-round restaurant.
The park will be about 56,000 square feet. The intent is for it to be an anchor for the west end of Downtown Detroit. In comparison, Campus Martius is about 78,000 square feet.
Considering the location, it’s a good stop for people who park closer to Corktown for ball games.
This restaurant, which will have three moveable walls that can open during warmer seasons, will have:
- A free-flowing design for the bar and eating areas that can hold up to 75 guests
- A 735 square-foot roof deck for a panoramic view of the city, able to hold nearly 50
- A sustainable, green roof space that is designed to conserve and collect runoff water to repurpose it for other trees, grass, and plants
- A theatrical, upward cantilever roof that extends over the sidewalk
DTE will work with the Downtown Detroit Partnership to develop park programming and identify a restaurant operator.
The park is scheduled for completion in 2017. The construction costs are being funded by a separate non-utility DTE business, not by customers. DTE security will patrol the area around the park, with Downtown BIZ Hospitality Ambassadors covering the park and surrounding neighborhood on their coverage routes. Free street parking is available around the park and the surrounding area (for now); free parking also is available at the MGM garage; multiple paid parking lots surround the park as well (of course).
Here’s a look at the lot now, and some pictures from the groundbreaking earlier today.
A crowd-sourcing campaign will be held closer to the grand opening to solicit suggestions from the community to name the park.
But it’s never too early to start thinking, Curbed readers. What would you name the new park?