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Riverside Park expansion ahead of schedule; Morouns start demo of warehouse

Could the second span be happening?

Michelle & Chris Gerard

Plans for more green space and community space in southwest Detroit are moving forward ahead of schedule, while the Morouns continue to check off their list of commitments in order to get some key land from the city.

In a press release, the city said that last summer, the Detroit City Council approved a Land Exchange Agreement with the Detroit International Bridge Company (DIBC) for Riverside Park. (We brought you these details here). DIBC had a commitment to demolish the former Detroit News Warehouse by late 2018 and to transfer that 5-acre waterfront parcel to the city to expand Riverside Park.

Now, Mike Duggan and DIBC Vice Chairman Matthew Moroun have announced that demolition of the warehouse is already underway and title to the five acres will be turned over to Detroit two years ahead of schedule.

Expected to be completed next year will be a basketball court, softball diamond and soccer field, comfort station, playground, and pavilion. Starting next spring and finished in 2018 should be bike paths, walking paths, more riverwalk, a skate park, and a dog park.

DIBC was required to fulfill its key commitments prior to the City transferring three acres of unused property under the bridge. It’s now fulfilled these commitments, including:

  • Installing more than 1,000 windows in the Michigan Central Station by 12/31/15
  • Transferring $3 million to the city for Riverside Park improvements
  • Demolishing and clearing the former Detroit News Warehouse and transferring 4.7 acres to City of Detroit to expand Riverside Park by 11/30/18

The land transfer requires approval from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR). The City has submitted a request for preliminary approval of the land swap to the MDNR and will host a public hearing on its request in anticipation of seeking formal support of the Detroit City Council for the partial conversion. Upon MDNR approval, DIBC will pay an additional $2 million to the City for more Riverside Park improvements.

In the statement, Moroun says, "Completing commitments to the City of Detroit feels good, delivering them early feels even better. We’re going to see a beautiful park developed on a former warehouse site."

Will we see the second span of the bridge that the Morouns want to build?

Riverside Park

69 W Grand Blvd, Detroit, MI 48216, USA