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DETROIT–Several new sources of funding have been secured for the Detroit Riverfront redevelopment project–and the mayor says a “visioning process is now under way.”

In addition, Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick says an architectural team has now been selected “to start the visioning process for the west riverfront.”

“This portion of our river is a key link to southwest Detroit, and we’re taking the next big step to connect all the elements of the riverfront into one integrated entity, a riverfront that we all can be proud of,” he says.

The Community Foundation for Southeastern Michigan has granted $100,000 to the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy for the vision planning of the west riverfront, with the condition that planning be completed within 12 months. In addition, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation granted the DRFC $50,000 and the Detroit International Bridge Company provided $10,000 for the study.

Chan Krieger & Associates, Inc. from Cambridge, MA was named as the primary architectural/planning firm to support the visioning study. The other firms that will be involved in the architectural team are the locally based firms of Yamasaki Associates, Inc., Mark English Associates and Tucker, Young, Jackson, Tull, Inc. The office of Mark English Associates will provide the landscape architecture design concepts, and the firm of Tucker Young Jackson, Tull will consult on civil engineering concepts.

“Chan Krieger & Associates has a wealth of experience in water revitalization projects, including the Pittsburgh Riverfront Master Plan, the Dallas Trinity River Master Plan and the Anacostia Waterfront Framework Plan,” says Faye Nelson, president of DRFC. “In addition, participation of local firms is critical; we expect the selected Detroit-based firms to contribute localized planning, and community and infrastructure knowledge.”

As part of the riverfront development, General Motors has begun construction of the previously-announced plaza and promenade at the Renaissance Center, adjacent to the GM Wintergarden. John Carlo, Inc.–-one of the largest, multifaceted construction firms in the industry–-is the general contractor that will create this section of the RiverWalk, which will feature multipurpose event space, fountains, terraces and landscaping.

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