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Can the Rosa Parks Transit Center be transformed?

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Michelle & Chris Gerard

Update: This article was originally published on June 6 and has been updated with the most recent information.

Imagine yourself at a transit hub in a major city, with plenty of food or art vendors to choose from as you make your way from one destination to the next.

You’re not in Detroit, are you?

The city is looking to change that, and to make the Rosa Parks Transit Center into an active space that adds value to transit riders. It’s called the “Enhancing Detroit’s Transit Center Challenge,” and it’s a program through Citymart, funded by the Knight Foundation.

The city has released an RFP looking for ideas to transform three unused spaces at the Rosa Parks Transit Center. Specifically, proposals in these categories:

“Farmers’ and artisans’ markets (all-in-one destinations for local food businesses to sell their food directly to customers);

Vendor markets and pop-up activities (space for local leaders, building owners, business owners, entrepreneurs, and artists to activate the space for a short term to deliver their products, services, and new ideas); and

Support services for the City’s new bike sharing program (i.e., bike repair shop, helmet rentals, or bike lesson facility).”

The spaces are located on the first and second floors, and at a building south of the Transit Center.

The program notes that, “The City is highly interested in solutions that complement the high-traffic, high-energy, grab-and-go culture of Downtown Detroit—helping to make the Transit Center an anchor of the neighborhood.”

The project description cites the 6,000 people that use the transit center, plus the neighboring People Mover stations.

Have an idea? More info can be found here. Those interested in bidding will have to register through BidSync for the full proposal. The deadline to submit a proposal is Thursday, August 31 at 4:00 p.m.