McIntosh Poris Associates + Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP Detroit East Riverfront Framework Plan

The Detroit RiverFront Conservancy, Planning and Development Department, and economic growth corporation selected this team to develop a strategic framework plan for Detroit’s 480 acre East Riverfront District. The two square mile area lies adjacent to one of the world’s busiest international border crossings along the Detroit River. Designed to preserve more riverfront land for public use, generate greater community access to the Detroit River, and spur investment along the East Riverfront, the Strategic framework plan seeks to continue the transformation of the East Riverfront area from a blighted, private industrial area into a vibrant public waterfront accessible to all Detroit residents.

The strategic framework plan was realized after an intensive six-month program of community engagement meetings, workshops, tours, and interviews with residents and local stakeholders. The plan outlines the addition of eight acres of park space to the East Riverfront and envisions keeping significant portions of the waterfront free from private development in perpetuity. The Beltline, a new greenway, will directly connect inland neighborhoods to the Detroit River, while the existing Joseph Campau Greenway will receive new lighting, paving, landscaping and improved connection to the riverfront. Improvements along Jefferson Avenue seek to reduce vehicular accidents, improve walkability, and beautify the corridor—improvements that are designed to boost local businesses, facilitate safer access to the waterfront and encourage new development throughout the district.

The city and project stakeholders aim to make significant enhancements to the riverfront over the next several years.