Bedrock Announces New Streetscape Activations along its East Riverfront Footprint

Modified: October 06, 2022

October 6, 2022 [Detroit] — Bedrock, a Midwest real estate developer managing more than 100 properties throughout Detroit and Cleveland, today unveiled plans for a series of beautification projects aimed at enhancing the vibrancy and walkability of its east riverfront portfolio. Located midway between Hart Plaza and Belle Isle, Bedrock’s property consists of more than 900,000 square feet of deployable office, amenity, and residential space, combined with approximately 1,600 parking spots.

“Due to the efforts of the community and the Riverfront Conservancy, the Detroit Riverfront is already a terrific public asset,” said Kofi Bonner, CEO of Bedrock.  “The millions of visitors and residents on the Riverfront are a testament to the concentrated efforts of the many public, private and philanthropic entities supporting this important area of town.  The various public enhancements being announced today represent our initial contribution to the continuous improvement of the Riverfront.”

In collaboration with the City of Detroit, the improvements underway include the strategic placement of planters, flowers and trees, benches, and lighting. Public artwork, curated by Library Street Collective, will be placed along Atwater, Chene and Jos Campau streets to enhance iconic and established institutions such as the Aretha Franklin Amphitheatre and Atwater Brewery.

“We have been proud to be a part of the Detroit community, and specifically, the Rivertown neighborhood for the past 25 years,” said Katy McBrady, President, Atwater Brewery. “As long-term tenants of the neighborhood we are delighted to hear about Bedrock’s plans and look forward to the next chapter for our community.”

Streetscape & artwork deployment includes:

  • New Event Lawn: The parking lot adjacent to Atwater Brewery will be reconfigured as an event lawn complete with custom planters and foliage. Festoon lights will be placed across Jos Campau Street and the lot will be lined with boxed planters to provide a sense of community and ambiance.
  • New Boardwalk: Bedrock will construct a boardwalk complete with benches and festoons along the frontage of Atwater – connecting Valade Park to the Jos Campau. The addition of RGB lighting on the existing trees will create a livelier and pedestrian-friendly neighborhood setting.
  • New Up-Lighting: All Bedrock-owned buildings will feature new façade up-lighting. This will increase ambient light levels and enhance the feeling of warmth and community.

Public Art installations include:

Local Detroit artists will contribute murals and installations throughout the riverfront reflective of the broader community and as a way to enhance well-established establishments such as the Aretha Franklin Amphitheater. These art installations will further beautify the area, act as conversation starters and further offer one-of-a-kind experiences for both residents and visitors alike.

“As a riverfront destination for 35 years, we welcome the continued beautification and neighborhood enhancements for all to experience and enjoy. The melding of the legacy of the synergy of great artists across genres is exciting and is certain to create an inspiring place to work and live,” said Shahida Mausi, President and CEO of The Right Productions.

Specifically, Bedrock and Library Street Collective will engage with:

  • The Gilda Snowden Estate to create a custom mural in memory of Snowden’s legacy in the city of Detroit. The mural will extend across the entire southwestern facing of the 5-story Atwater Brewery Parking Lot structure.
  • Local Detroit artist Patrick Ethen to design and install a beautiful and mesmerizing light installation, and Ellen Rutt to paint a 200’ street mural along Atwater Street between Chene and Jos Campau.
  • Darius Barber to install a series of illuminated structures embedded with images based on iconic musicians with ties to Motown and Detroit. Historic photos will serve as inspiration and portrait will be created to honor the music legend, Aretha Franklin.

“I’m thankful for the opportunity to share my talents, especially in this aspect,” said Darius Barber, a participating artist. “I find music to be extremely inspirational – it’s a wonderful connector. The language and the practice of instrumentation and vocalization helped build my artistic identity. As we know, Detroit helped shape the world’s musical identity, so to paint these portraits of legendary musicians is an honor.”

The Riverfront art instillations are expected to start in early October and be completed in phases through the spring of 2023.

“The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy is incredibly proud of the work we’ve done with our partners to transform the Detroit Riverfront,” said Mark Wallace, president and CEO of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy. “The Detroit Riverfront has gone from a blighted, underused stretch of land to a vibrant, accessible, and engaging destination that welcomes more than three million people each year. We look forward to working with Bedrock to continue to transform the East Riverfront into a destination that both Detroiters and visitors alike can enjoy.”

What’s Next

Bedrock will continue to pilot and deploy a variety of forward-thinking urban design, district systems and innovation technology aimed at enhancing neighborhood design along the riverfront.

“Jefferson East, having worked to support the Rivertown neighborhood for years, is thrilled to have Bedrock as a major anchor and investor to further the revitalization of this amazing and historic Detroit community,” said Jefferson East, Inc.’s CEO Josh Elling. “This important work will promote walkability, create a sense of place and establish wonderful amenities for residents, all Detroiters and visitors in the Rivertown neighborhood and the Detroit Riverwalk.”

Specific details will be released later this year as Bedrock further positions the riverfront as the ideal sustainable urban neighborhood.

About Bedrock

Bedrock is a full-service real estate firm specializing in innovative city-building strategies, reaching far beyond the boundaries of bricks and mortar. Since its founding in 2011, Bedrock and its affiliates have invested and committed more than $5.6 billion to acquiring and developing more than 100 properties in Detroit and Cleveland, including landmark developments at the Hudson’s Site, the Book Tower restoration, City Modern and the May Company Building. Bedrock’s portfolio totals more than 22 million square feet of office, retail and residential space within new construction and adaptive reuse projects.

For more information on Bedrock’s projects, visit or engage with us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Click here to view a complete timeline of Bedrock and the Rock Family of Companies’ engagement within the Detroit community.

Visit Detroit is a private, not-for-profit organization whose mission is to market and sell the metropolitan Detroit area on a worldwide basis as a destination for leisure and business travel including conventions, trade shows, corporate meetings, tours and incentive travel to maximize additional visitors, visitor expenditures, state and local tax revenues and job opportunities.

More than 700 businesses are represented in Visit Detroit’s membership. Visit Detroit was founded in 1896 as the world’s first convention and visitors bureau.


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