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Detroit — After more than a year of planning, the Dequindre Cut Freight Yard project launched on Saturday making the city's bike path even more popular with retail and entertainment. 

More than 1,000 people celebrated the opening to Detroit's two-mile greenway with food, drinks, music and a bazaar showcasing the work of local artisans. 

The Freight Yard is a collaborative partnership between the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy, Build Institute, Lawrence Technological University, Western International High School, Ponyride and Groundswell Design Group.

The path runs from the riverfront to Mack Avenue; however, it will temporarily house nine artistically-designed shipping containers right along the bike path between Division and Wilkins Street. The space will host retail and entertainment on Friday, Saturday and Sunday's through Sept. 16. 

“I bike through here all the time and always thought it really needed a pit stop place like this where you could grab a beer or just hangout with friends,” Jacob Tander, 34, of Detroit, said Saturday. “It’s also kind of secluded under the overpass so I don’t imagine it’ll be too packed on the weekends.”

Organizers envision the Freight Yard quickly becoming a destination for visitors to the Detroit riverfront.

“The Dequindre Cut serves as an important neighborhood connector for pedestrians and cyclists,” said Mark Wallace, president and CEO of the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy.  “The Freight Yard will give people a reason to spend more time in the Cut, where they can appreciate its natural beauty, the public art, and some unique food and beverage options.”

Students from Lawrence Tech and Western International High School took the lead in the project from beginning, said Marc Pasco, spokesman for the RiverFront Conservancy. 

"They conceptualized the project, fabricated the pieces off site and installed the shipping containers on site," he said. "It's been more than a year in the making to create this great partnership project and we're expecting a big turnout."

Much of the off-site work in preparing the shipping containers took place at Ponyride, the Detroit incubator where emerging entrepreneurs and artists often get their start in business.

Dequindre Cut's Freight Yard will be open 4 to 10 p.m. on Fridays; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturdays and noon to 9 p.m. on Sundays.

srahal@detroitnews.com

Twitter:@SarahRahal_

 

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