Riverside Park Expansion Kick-Starts Ahead of Schedule

The demolition of the Detroit News Warehouse is now underway, clearing the way for the new 27-acre park.

By Alexandra Pacurar

Rendering of the Planned Basketball Court at Riverside Park
Rendering of the Planned Basketball Court at Riverside Park

DetroitDetroit authorities have pushed the fast forward button on the expansion and modernization of Riverside Park. Mayor Mike Duggan and Detroit International Bridge Co. (DIBC) Vice Chairman Matthew Moroun announced that the demolition of the Detroit News Warehouse is now underway, two years ahead of schedule.

The first step of the project was taken last year, when the Detroit City Council approved a Land Exchange Agreement with DIBC for Riverside Park. Through the contract, DIBC committed to turning over the title for 5 acres adjacent to the park to the City Hall and the payment of $3 million for the first stage of the planned enhancements, aimed at transforming Riverside Park in the city’s premier waterfront park in Southwest Detroit. The agreement also includes the demolition of the warehouse and the installation of more than 1,000 windows in the Michigan Central Station. In exchange, DIBC will receive a 3-acre parcel under the Ambassador Bridge.

The 27-acre Riverside Park will feature a riverwalk and other park amenities such as a basketball court, a softball diamond/soccer field, a comfort station, a playground and a pavilion. This stage of the project is slated for completion next summer. The second part of the project, involving the additional 5 acres and starting in spring, involves creating bike paths, walking paths, the riverwalk, a skate park and a dog park. This stage of the modernization is set to be complete in 2018.

The city of Detroit worked closely with the Riverside Park Community Advisory Council in designing the new green space. “This has been a very community driven process from the very beginning. We are thrilled with the plans for Riverside and excited that our park will expand even earlier than expected,” said David Sanchez of the Riverside Advisory Council.

In exchange to the 5 acres, the city of Detroit will transfer a 3-acre parcel under the Ambassador Bridge to DIBC. The swap is pending approval from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR). Once this step is complete, DIBC will pay an additional $2 million for more improvements to Riverside Park.