August 19, 2014 at 10:54 pm

Grosse Pointe Park, Detroit to open gateway between cities

Sheds erected in Grosse Pointe Park on Kercheval Avenue, just east of Alter, forced traffic to move around the central business district. (David Coates / The Detroit News)

Detroit and Grosse Pointe Park have entered a joint agreement to create a new connecting gateway along Kercheval Avenue, leaders of both cities announced Tuesday.

The announcement follows criticism that Grosse Pointe Park — which has been transforming its business district on lower Kercheval — was trying to wall itself off from Detroit by erecting temporary sheds for its farmers market on the border of the two cities.

The temporary structures force traffic to move around the central business district.

“We are very excited about our new partnership, which will improve the area and benefit residents in both Detroit and Grosse Pointe Park,” Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said in a statement with Grosse Pointe Park Mayor Pro Tem Gregory Theokas. “It became clear during this process that we all share the common goal of creating a safe and attractive environment that links our communities in a neighborly way. This agreement will help accomplish that.”

As part of the agreement signed Monday, Grosse Pointe Park is expected to reopen access to Kercheval at Alter Road and construct a permanent public market; a temporary farmers market will be removed in November, the statement said.

The deal also calls for Detroit to remove several abandoned buildings along Alter, between Jefferson and Mack Avenue; collaborate with Grosse Pointe Park officials on issues such as traffic engineering, permitting and planning; and install a landscaped traffic roundabout at Kercheval and Alter, complementing the existing one in Grosse Pointe Park, officials said.

“This collaborative effort will result in our creating a seamless transition between Detroit and Grosse Pointe Park,” Theokas said.

The suburb and its businesses have invested more than $8 million in revitalizing the district.

mhicks@detroitnews.com