Detroit is Stronger Than Ever: Here’s Why

August 3, 2017  |   Story by Amanda Walgrove  |   Photos by Pixabay, Bill Bowen

America’s great comeback city is stronger than ever.

Detroit is the birthplace of the Motown sound, home to world-class professional sports teams and stadiums, and host to 19 million visitors in the downtown area every year.

And we’re only getting started.

Just this year, Detroit unveiled a wide range of fresh initiatives — from a brand-new streetcar to a beautiful 1.5 acre park. Business Insider even reported that Detroit may beat Silicon Valley at its own game, with a wealth of startups and entrepreneurial projects popping up every year.

That’s why we’re taking a look at Detroit’s biggest developments.

Beacon Park

Detroit’s newest park, developed by DTE Energy, officially opened on July 20 with a jam-packed weekend of events. Spanning 1.5 acres, the modern space will include a full-service restaurant, walking paths, food trucks and plenty of room for outdoor activities and performances. Upcoming events include interactive light installations and a night market of local eats.

“We are excited to bring a vibrant and engaging park to this part of the city,” DTE Chairman Gerry Anderson said. “The music, art, food and games offered at Beacon Park are projected to attract a million visitors a year and serve as a catalyst for development in west central downtown.”

The District Detroit

The District Detroit is one of the city’s most ambitious projects to date. The world-class sports and entertainment district will span 50 blocks of businesses, parks, restaurants, bars and event destinations. It will combine five distinct neighborhoods into one walkable area, which will also give rise to new apartments and building redevelopments.

“These developments represent great places to live for a variety of people, including existing residents and those new to Detroit,” said Chris Ilitch, President and CEO of Ilitch Holdings. “The District Detroit will be one of the most unique and exciting places in the country to live.”

Little Caesar’s Arena

The cornerstone of District Detroit will be Little Caesar’s Arena — home of the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Pistons — which is set to open in Fall 2017. Housed in Woodward Square, the venue will host a range of sports and entertainment events, including concerts and family shows. It will also include community spaces for amateur sports use and outdoor recreation.

QLine Streetcar

Detroit’s new streetcar is up and running on Woodward Avenue between Larned Street and West Grand Boulevard. It hits 20 different stops, bringing passengers right to the front doors of shops and restaurants along the route.

With such an easy ride between areas like New Center and Midtown, residents and tourists are expected to flock to these areas. As a result, the QLine may spur more than $3 billion in economic development over 10 years. This includes 10,000 new housing units and 5 million square feet of new commercial space.

MoGo Bike Sharing

Detroit locals and visitors can also get around on two wheels with MoGo, the city’s first public bike sharing system. The program offers 430 bright red bikes across 43 stations and 10 neighborhoods. Anyone can easily purchase a pass online or in person and all passes include unlimited trips under 30 minutes.

With MoGo bikes available 24 hours a day and seven days a week, Detroit-goers can always enjoy this fun, affordable and convenient way to explore their city.

Packard Plant

The long-abandoned Packard Plant is finally getting a new lease on life, driving the largest renovation project in North America. The first phase of redevelopment will focus on the Administration Building and the bridge across East Grand Boulevard in Detroit’s east side.

The renovation will include offices, a restaurant, a gallery, and an event space. Future phases will see the redevelopment of a recreational building, live/work spaces, and even a hotel on the site.
Detroit City Council member Mary Sheffield said that “this will turn vacant and blighted buildings into productive use, create jobs and opportunity and strengthen the community.”