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Detroit RiverFront Conservancy opens design competition for reimagined West Riverfront

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Detroit RiverFront Conservancy

After hearing about the big plans for the East Riverfront earlier this spring, we asked readers what they think should happen to the West Riverfront. Now thanks to a $345,000 grant from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy will host a design competition for the 22-acre site.

The Detroit RiverFront Conservancy announced that they’ve sent request for qualifications to 80 design firms around the world (and metro Detroit) to reimagine the park, which sits between Rosa Parks Boulevard and Eighth Street. Responses are due back July 19 and a jury with representatives from the Conservancy, the City of Detroit, and architectural design and planning experts will review the submissions.

The top eight teams will advance to an interview, open to the public, August 8 & 9. After that, five teams will get a $30,000 stipend to develop and complete their concepts. A public exhibition of the concepts will be held November 14 & 15. The Conservancy will engage the top two finalists and a winner will be announced late November.

When we asked our readers about the park in the fall, we heard a few common responses. Priorities include:

  • Nature/park amenities
  • “Just removing the chain-link fence along Jefferson between the sidewalk and the park would be a good place to start.”
  • A launching spot for kayaks/paddleboards
  • Also, “soccer stadium once Gilbert loses the fail jail site.”