The Difference in Detroit

If you were last in Detroit ten years ago, even five, you might not recognize certain parts of the city. The city is undergoing massive expansion, restoration and growth – something all Detroiters can get behind.


With the anticipation of Crain’s Detroit Homecoming IV September 13 through 15, we’ve decided to take a look at all the development happening in Detroit.


Detroit Riverfront 



The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy has invested $1.5 billion to improve the area between Belle Isle and Hart Plaza. This initial investment paved the way for another $950 million in grants and donations for future development. The riverfront now has dozens of benches, beach volleyball courts and other parks for the public to enjoy.


Midtown Development


Groups of smaller projects in Midtown are in-progress; everything from local business developments to Wayne State University’s expansion, new medical center buildings and the QLINE headquarters. The near $2 billion investment in the area represents a pledge expanding Detroit’s development beyond downtown.


Cobo Center



Cobo Center recently completed a 5-year, 3-phase renovation totaling $279 million to remain a unique and luxury large-scale gathering place. Visitors can peek at the renovation during the North American Auto Show, which Cobo will host through 2025. Cobo Center also unveiled CoboCares, an initiative to better the Detroit community, promote health and wellness, and offer the Detroit creative culture a platform for expression.


Little Caesars Arena


The Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Pistons are moving into the brand-new Little Caesars Arena. The new development now connects all of the Detroit sports teams to a small radius on Woodward.


QLINE Detroit



The recently unveiled QLINE connects riders through the heart of Detroit; from Grand Boulevard at the north end of Midtown to Congress Street across from Hart Plaza, all along Woodward. The QLINE trains stop every 15 minutes, so residents and visitors can get around easily (and cheaply) for the day without a car.


Campus Martius Park




An estimated $2.2 billion has been invested in property development downtown since 2011. You can see the city’s growth in Campus Martius, where it transforms to a beach and bar scene complete with food trucks, volleyball and basketball courts and a winter wonderland in the winter. The Belt, a new bar in the Z Parking lot alleyway also highlights Detroit’s art and music communities.


Spirit of Detroit Plaza



The City of Detroit created the Spirit of Detroit Plaza in June, a solid 20,000 square-foot civic square on Woodward between Larned and Jefferson. The plaza provides a new venue for civic engagement while celebrating the diversity of Detroit.


DTE’s Beacon Park


DTE Energy opened Beacon Park, an open greenspace on their property, to the public in late July. The park is operated by the Downtown Detroit Partnership, and is expected to attract more than a million visitors to the west central downtown district.


MoGo Bikes



MoGo Bikes recently installed 43 stations throughout Detroit. The $3 million bike sharing program allows riders to pick up a bike at one location and drop it off for another. Users rent a bike for 24 hours and use it as much, or as little, as they want for only $8.


West Riverfront Expansion




The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy opened up a new segment of the riverfront, West Riverfront Park. Visitors can now find three new pathways linking the riverfront to West Jefferson Avenue, benches, trash receptacles and plenty of lush green space. The addition is part of the Conservancy’s ultimate goal of connecting the riverfront between the MacArthur (Belle Isle) Bridge and Gabriel Richard Park, just west of the Ambassador Bridge.





As for the GMRENCEN, we’ve added two other enormous restaurants to our already long list of tenants as well. You can now find Panera in the Wintergarden and Granite City in Tower 100.


There are several other large-scale projects going on throughout the city, and we’re excited for all of them.


What other changes do you want to see in Detroit soon? Let us know in the comments!