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DTE unveils new park, eatery for west end of downtown

Christine Ferretti
The Detroit News

Detroit — DTE Energy Co. has unveiled plans for a new public park and eatery on the western edge of the city’s central business district downtown.

The 56,000 square feet of park space is expected to serve as an anchor for the west end of Detroit’s downtown.

The company broke ground Tuesday on the 1.5-acre site that’s expected to include a year-round restaurant, walking paths, community gathering space as well as areas for food truck vendors and bicycle parking.

The park, located at the corner of Grand River, First Avenue and Plaza Drive, is scheduled for completion in 2017.

“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,” said Gerry Anderson, DTE Energy chairman and CEO, in a statement released Tuesday.

The park, located at the corner of Grand River, First Avenue and Plaza Drive, is scheduled for completion in 2017.

“This park will serve as a catalyst for future development, and builds upon our strong roots in the community. For more than a century, DTE has 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.”

The contemporary restaurant building, which will have three moveable walls, will feature a bar and eating areas that can hold up to 75 guests as well as a 735-square-foot roof deck that can accommodate another 50 patrons. It will also include environmentally friendly features.

The 56,000 square feet of park space is expected to serve as an anchor for the west end of Detroit’s downtown. Officials say the park will have a visitor capacity of about 3,000 and include free street parking.

The contemporary restaurant building, which will have three moveable walls, will feature a bar and eating areas that can hold up to 75 guests as well as a 735-square-foot roof deck that can accommodate another 50 patrons.

DTE will work with the Downtown Detroit Partnership to develop park programming and identify a restaurant operator to attract visitors of all ages.

“For all of the construction and redevelopment we are seeing in greater downtown, providing access to green space is just as important to our city's growth,” Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said.

Officials said construction costs will be funded by a separate non-utility DTE business, not customers. A crowd-sourcing campaign will be held closer to the grand opening to solicit suggestions from the community to name the park.

CFerretti@detroitnews.com