City of Detroit begins $6M remake of Roosevelt Park in front of Michigan Central Station - Sachse Construction
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City of Detroit begins $6M remake of Roosevelt Park in front of Michigan Central Station

roosevelt park renovations

The City of Detroit today broke ground on a $6-million transformation of Roosevelt Park in front of the Michigan Central Station (The Station) including the removal of the existing roadway that split the park in half for years. Joining Mayor Mike Duggan and other City officials were dozens of community members, business owners and Joshua Sirefman, CEO of Michigan Central, a 30-acre walkable community anchored by The Station in development by Michigan Central Innovation District LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ford Motor Company.

When completed in spring 2023, the currently 9.5-acre park will grow to 13 acres after the road removal and reconfiguration. It also will include a promenade connecting Michigan Avenue to The Station, a new pedestrian gateway entrance at Michigan Avenue, key neighborhood entryways and walkways, plaza spaces, event lawns, benches and tables for seating and landscaping. The newly-unified park will serve as an amenity, not only for southwest Detroit residents but also for the 5,000 workers who will be employed at Michigan Central.

“One of the biggest things driving our city’s revitalization is what we’ve done to create more and better parks and green space in our neighborhoods,” said Mayor Duggan. “In this area of Southwest Detroit alone, we just broke ground on the Southwest Greenway portion of the Joe Louis Greenway and the incredible Ralph C. Wilson Centennial Park along the west Riverfront. This transformation of Roosevelt Park will be another major benefit to residents and visitors of this area of southwest Detroit.”

The park improvements are funded through $5 million from the American Rescue Plan Act and $1 million from the general fund.  As part of the reunification of the park, West Vernor, which currently bisects the park, will be re-routed to trace the western edge of Roosevelt Park (currently 16th Street) to continue as a primary connector to the thriving Mexicantown business district.  While there may be some traffic restrictions during the nine-month construction period, nearby businesses will remain open.

Extensive Community Engagement

The City of Detroit has spent the last year doing intense community engagement in Southwest Detroit’s Hubbard-Richard and Corktown Neighborhoods preparing to unify Roosevelt Park.

Community engagement began in summer 2021, with an official kickoff community festival event held in August. The City also hosted community engagement meetings in November 2021 and January 2022 and met with key community groups throughout the planning and design process.  Results from the Greater Corktown Framework Plan, initiated in 2019, recommended a single unified park space.

“Whenever we do project like this, we always hold extensive community meetings to get feedback from residents, since this will be their neighborhood park,” said Brad Dick, Group Executive, Services & Infrastructure. “Roosevelt Park is in a great location but has been under-utilized. Thanks to the input and ideas we received from residents and other stakeholders, we’re able to create something truly special that everyone can enjoy.”

Michigan Central is also working to improve and strengthen connections among these neighborhoods, and attract workers and visitors to Detroit with its rehabilitation of The Station and development of the surrounding areas, including supporting the City in its efforts to rehab Roosevelt Park. Together, the City and Ford are working to ensure that this district is a beacon of development and opportunity, and importantly, a point of pride for all Detroiters.

“Roosevelt Park and Michigan Central Station have long been partners in civic grandeur and will be once again with this investment”, said Joshua Sirefman, Michigan Central CEO. “Together, they root us in both the rich heritage and bright future of the surrounding neighborhoods and all of Detroit. The restored Roosevelt Park, with its beautiful boulevard in the middle, and the grand public space in The Station will create a seamless blend of respite and connection.”

For more information, visit detroitmi.gov/rooseveltpark.

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