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City unveils plan for $800K upgrade of Spirit Plaza

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The pedestrian-only space downtown will have more landscaping, plus playground equipment, a stage, and other upgrades

Rendering of people sitting at several red tables under awnings with play ground equipment and a big glass skyscraper in the background. City of Detroit

Spirit Plaza, which as recently as July seemed like it would close, will instead see a bevy of upgrades from the city of Detroit.

Last month, Detroit City Council briefly failed to approve a five-year extension for the Woodward Avenue closure between Larned Street and Jefferson Avenue known as “Spirit of Detroit Plaza.”

One week later, after absent Councilmember Andre Spivey added his vote, the plaza was made permanent. City Council also approved $800,000 in additional funding.

Yesterday the city unveiled the upgrades to Spirit Plaza, which will include…

  • Removal of the Woodward Avenue median
  • Expansion of green space and landscaping
  • Creation of a performance stage
  • Installation of playground equipment and stationary musical instruments
  • Installation of new tables, chairs, charging stations, and drinking fountains
An overhead view of the rectangular space with colorful umbrellas, food trucks, planters, and a semi-circle artistic design on the north side of the plaza.
Diagram of the new Spirit Plaza
City of Detroit

Construction will begin on September 4 after the Detroit Jazz Festival and finish by the end of October. The plaza won’t be closed during construction, though programming will be limited.

The colorfully-decorated Spirit Plaza has been open since June 2017 and connected the esplanade down the center of Woodward Avenue to Campus Martius. It’s used as a place for people to eat, congregate, play games, and as a gathering spot for various events.