Development Plans Unveiled for Riverfront Area of Detroit’s East Side [RENDERINGS]

The Detroit RiverFront Conservancy has unveiled plans for parks and other amenities on the city’s east side. Scroll through the presentation below for a summary and renderings or click here.

Highlights of the plan include:

  • Extending the riverwalk to the Belle Isle bridge by adding a path through the former site of the Uniroyal factory (beginning fall 2017).
  • Making Jefferson Avenue more pedestrian- and bike-friendly by reducing it to five lanes (beginning fall 2017).
  • Constructing eight additional acres of parkland, including a sandy faux-beach just east of Chene Park. Planners have proposed including a tribute to the bootlegging days of the the city’s notorious Purple Gang in the form of a prohibition era style bar and restaurant on a stationary floating barge (to be unveiled summer 2018).
  • Developing two perpendicular greenways modeled after the “Dequindre Cut” in order to increase access to the riverfront for residents north of Jefferson Avenue (beginning spring 2018 & 2019).

The plans were unveiled publicly last night to an overflowing crowd at the Outdoor Adventure Center on Atwater Street. Four community meetings and workshops, as well as tours by vehicle, boat, bike, and foot were previously organized by the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy to seek public input on the development.


Image credit: Detroit Riverfront Conservancy

This post is a part of Detroit Journalism Cooperative.

The DJC is a partnership of six media outlets focused on telling critical stories of Detroit and creating engagement opportunities on-air, online and in the community. View the partners work at

Support for this project comes from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Renaissance Journalism’s Michigan Reporting Initiative and the Ford Foundation.



About the Author

Laura Herberg

Community Reporter

Through sound-rich storytelling, Herberg covers stories about the people inhabiting the metro Detroit region and the issues that affect them. Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter 2018 and 2017.

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