DETROIT-Mayor Kwame M. Kilpatrick and the City of Detroit’s development team was in Las Vegas at the International Council of Shopping Centers’ (ICSC) 46thAnnual Spring Convention to attempt to lure more retail to Detroit.The mayor also participated in a panel discussion with other mayorsregarding establishing public-private partnerships.

Along with the city’s chief development officer, Walter Watkins, and Detroit EconomicGrowth Corp. president George Jackson, Kilpatrick met with severalretailers over with the hope of securing added shopping opportunities forDetroit residents.

The city’s chief administrative officer, Derrick Miller, along with theGeneral Motors development team, will coordinate and target retailers forthe east riverfront development in downtown Detroit. A $500-million redevelopment of land along the Detroit River, in a prominentDowntown location, has been unveiled by a study organized by Kilpatrick. Theproject would include a new port facility to welcome cruise and diningships, 1,000 residential units, a state park along the river and acontinuous public walkway stretching along the Detroit River from Joe LouisArena to the Belle Isle Bridge.The funding for the redevelopment comes from many public and privatesources, including the city, the Downtown Development Authority, WayneCounty, General Motors and the Kresge Foundation.

Kresge will spend $50 million to build the three-mile public pathway. TheDetroit/Wayne County Port Authority will spend $8 million to build the newport facility.

Also, the state of Michigan has committed to build a 25.5-acre park with $10 million, with a planned future expansion to 40 acres. Phase One is 16 acres and includes theincorporation of the existing St. Aubin Marina. Phase Two includes removalof the existing LaFarge cement plant.General Motors is continuing its plan to build a plaza and promenade,complete with a mixed-use building offering eight levels of parking,ground-level retail space and a fitness center.

“We have a huge opportunity in the city of Detroit to bring in big-boxretailers to compliment the development that has begun here in the city overthe past 17 months,” said Kilpatrick. “I think that with our currentactivity, we are in a better position to lure retailers and restaurants thanwe have been in a long time.”

The ICSC is the largest retail real estate conference in the world with 350exhibitors and 850 developers, retailers, municipal and financial officialsand other professionals.Kilpatrick and the development team targeted specific retailers thatcompliment current and future development planned for the city. Some ofthose retailers include: Home Depot, Kohls, Wal Mart and Red Lobster.

“We are very confident in the strategy for this conference,” MayorKilpatrick said. “We hope that this trip will translate into a hugeannouncement for the citizens of Detroit when we return.”

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