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Detroit Revitalization --

Major Projects Recently Completed


Tour Overview

Dozens of developments and billions in investments are just the start.  It's the will and determination of residents, business leaders, and civic leaders that have led to the completion of a number of major projects in the city and paving the way to Detroit's revitalization.  Tour a few of these significant developments below!



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Renaissance Center -- MSN Encarta (Steve & Patty Constable -- Michigan Travel Bureau)



Renaissance Center

100 Renaissance Center


Opened in 1976 with the hopes of re-energizing Detroit's economy, the Renaissance Center, or "Ren-Cen", is again at the forefront of Detroit's redevelopment efforts.  General Motors moved its headquarters to the Renaissance Center in 1996 and spearheaded extensive renovations completed in early 2005.  The renovations not only modernized the facility but made it more accessible and welcoming to the public from Jefferson Avenue.  The Ren-Cen and its 6 cylindrical towers previously offered mainly office space and few public attractions.  Now, the building's interior treats visitors to a brilliant new Wintergarden that provides views of the Detroit River, a suspended glass circulation ring that helps improve pedestrian flow inside the building's maze-like interior, a GM-sponsored showroom of historic vehicles, a first-run movie theater, a 1,298-room hotel located in the 73-story center tower, and several prominent restaurants and retailers.  The exterior of the facility was also redeveloped.  The Ren-Cen's Riverfront Promenade is the first step and centerpiece of Detroit's overall Riverfront revitalization.

Detroit River Scene -- Detroit Riverfront ConservancyRiverfront [A]

100 Renaissance Center

Full Tour Page


The dawn of a vibrant Riverfront is one of the most exciting initiatives under way in Detroit today.  The city boasts nearly 14 miles of frontage along the fascinating Detroit River, 5 1/2 miles of which are the focus of massive development investment.  Ultimately, the entire stretch will include a continuous Riverwalk with green spaces, children's playscapes, art fairs, outdoor dining, fishing areas, historical markers, and awe-inspiring views of Belle Isle, Windsor (Canada), and the occasional ocean freighter!  Much of the East Riverfront between the Renaissance Center and Belle Isle is open to the public.  The West Riverfront is in progress and will include an exciting new Port Authority and Public Dock, providing a gateway to the region for cruise ships passengers from around the world.

Campus Martius Compuware Atrium -- compuware

Campus Martius Park & Compuware Office Center [B]

Intersection of Woodward Avenue and Monroe Street



A fire devastated the city of Detroit in 1805, and the rebuilding process began in Campus Martius Park.  The intersection of Woodward Avenue and Monroe was designated the city's "Point of Origin", from which a new street grid was developed.  With the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Monument serving as a marker, the park became the center of a bustling downtown area and a major gathering place for citizens.  By the 1960s, Campus Martius was no longer vibrant as the city rezoned the area to accommodate increased downtown traffic and shifted the focal point of the city to Hart Plaza.  But, after a long hiatus, Campus Martius Park is back with a whole new look.  In 1999, the city initiated redevelopment of the park with the goal of creating the best public space in the world.  The first phase of this project opened in late 2004 and includes sculptures, spectacular lighted fountains, a seasonal ice skating rink, and two entertainment stages.  The park is anchored by the new Compuware office center which complete with a spectacular 16-story atrium, a waterfall, and retail and dining amenities.


Kales Building -- David Rohrman (forgottendetroit

Grand Circus Park [C]

Vicinity of Woodward Avenue and Park Avenue


Grand Circus Park has often been called a skyscrapter graveyard.  But Grand Circus Park is perhaps the best place to see Detroit's troubled past giving way to a bright future.  Such gems as the Kales Building (an Albert Kahn design) sat vacant for 20 years.  The building has become an excellent example of adaptive reuse with its conversion into lofts and commercial space in 2005.  With luck (and a few investors!), many more office buildings, theatres, and other structures in the Grand Circus Park area will experience the same rebirth.  Fortunately, the plethora of of entertainment options in this area make it a good bet that the tranformation will continue.  Grand Circus Park is perfectly situated within a block or two of the Foxtown / Stadium District, Harmonie Park, and the Theatre District.  A number of popular bars and restaurants are located in this area as well.



Foxtown / Stadium District [D]

Vicinity of Woodward Avenue and Elizabeth Street


Anchored by three major new developments -- Comerica Park, Ford Field, and the exquisitely renovated Fox Theatre -- the Foxtown / Stadium District has become the entertainment hub of Detroit.  It is located along Woodward Avenue just north of Jefferson Avenue within walking distance of Grand Circus Park, Harmonie Park, the Theatre District, and Greektown.  Just north of this area is Brush Park, location of several major residential developments and renovations.


Tour Map

Number of Destinations:  4

Overall Tour Time:  1/2 - 1 full day


Revitalization Recently Completed


Related Tours


Downtown Detroit

Downtown Detroit Partnership

Ethnic Neighborhoods

Revitalization -- Projects on the Way



Woodward Avenue

Resources & Links

City of Detroit

Detroit Economic Growth Corporation

Model D




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