Against the backdrop of historic and restored buildings, a transformation began Tuesday outside the DTE Energy headquarters. DTE Energy chairman and chief executive officer Gerry Anderson, shared his vision for the 1.5 acre public park and restaurant to energize the western edge of downtown Detroit. He also was joined by Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and other dignitaries to ceremonially break ground on the park.
The new park, which will open in 2017, will anchor the emerging neighborhood, spur economic development and provide a spot for DTE Energy employees, city residents and visitors to gather, play, eat and enjoy entertainment.
“We see this as an opportunity to create connectivity in an area of the city that has ‘lived on an island’ for decades. Our vision and promise is to transform this piece of land into a magnificent public green space that will benefit the city and its people for generations to come,” Anderson said.
“This park will serve as a catalyst for future development, and builds upon our strong roots in the community. For more than a century, we have been an integral piece of Detroit’s history and we see this as a continuation of our efforts to be a force for growth and prosperity in the city’s revitalization.”
During the groundbreaking, Anderson revealed the new renderings for the park and the year-round restaurant that will be built on the site.
The modern, dramatic building will have three moveable walls that can open during the warmer seasons. A restaurant operator will be named at a later date. The building will feature:
- A free-flowing, contemporary design for the bar and eating areas that can hold up to 75 guests
- A 735 square-foot roof deck for a panoramic view of the city, able to hold nearly 50 people
- A sustainable, green roof space that is designed to conserve and collect runoff water to repurpose it for other trees, grass and plants
- A theatrical, upward cantilever roof that extends over the
sidewalk for unique flair and to pay homage to Detroit’s historic structures
The company will work with the Downtown Detroit Partnership to develop park programming to provide a space for people to use during lunch, breaks or after work. The central lawn will include:
- A multiuse, oval green space for outdoor, programmed activities, including team sports, and intimate walking paths and areas to sit, relax and recharge
- A “roll-in” stage for performances, concerts and other programming
- Two areas for local food truck vendors to sell food, beverages and snacks
- Parking for bicycles