January 19, 2016 [DETROIT]- Seven teams comprising some of the nation’s leading design firms and development experts will compete to plan the future of Detroit’s East Riverfront District.  Formal presentations of their qualifications and design philosophy are open to the public and will take place over two days in downtown Detroit this month. 

The selection process to choose a team that will develop a comprehensive district plan and real estate framework for increasing investment and development in the East Riverfront District will be hosted by the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy and the City of Detroit Planning Department.

Presentations run from 9 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. January 26 and 8:30 to 11:15 a.m. January 27 and will be held at the Outdoor Adventure Center, which is located at 1801 Atwater.  Interested individuals are asked to RSVP via the link below- https://www.eventbrite.com/e/detroit-east-riverfront-framework-plan-request-for-qualification-interviews-tickets-20866830251.

The seven finalists were selected from among 24 submissions by local and national teams and based on a November request for qualifications issued by the Conservancy and the City Planning Department. The finalists will present their qualifications and design philosophy to a selection panel made up of representatives from the Conservancy, the City of Detroit and local and national architectural design and planning experts. The panel includes: Maurice Cox, City of Detroit; William A. Gilchrist, City of New Orleans; Richard Hosey III, Hosey Development LLC; Jed Howbert, City of Detroit Office of the Mayor; Moddie Turay, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation and Mark Wallace, Detroit RiverFront Conservancy.

The winning team will be announced in February.  For a list of the teams and the time that each are presenting, visit the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy website at detroitriverfront.org.

This open selection process marks the most recent example of the Conservancy asking the community for feedback in the continued evolution of the riverfront.  The Conservancy’s invitation to the general public to attend the presentations is somewhat uncommon because usually organizations keep meetings such as these private.

“The Detroit RiverFront Conservancy has been at the vanguard of community engagement since 2003,” said Mark Wallace, president & CEO.  “Interviews are almost always held behind doors.  We are excited to invite the public to attend these sessions and to be involved in the process.  Opening the doors represents a big step forward in inclusive design and community engagement.”

Guests who attend the presentations will have opportunities to provide feedback to the selection committee.  Additional meetings and community engagement opportunities are forthcoming.

The boundaries of the East Riverfront District are St. Antoine to the west, East Grand Boulevard to the east, Larned Street to the north and the Detroit River to the south.  The East Riverfront is transforming from a blighted, industrial area into one of the City of Detroit’s most exciting, emerging neighborhoods.  The relocation of cement factories, the redevelopment of the GM Renaissance Center and the construction of the 3.5 mile RiverWalk are stimulating significant reinvestment in the area. 

Additionally, new residential projects such as Orleans Landing and Waters Edge at Harbortown will soon bring thousands of new residents into the district.

City of Detroit officials are anxious to receive feedback from the community and are well aware of the importance a healthy East Riverfront District means to the continuing transformation of the City.

"The riverfront belongs to everyone and the community conversation about its future begins with the selection of the team that will assist us in designing its future," said Maurice Cox, director of the City’s planning department.  "Inviting the public to come and listen to design teams talk about the potential of our riverfront will also give the general public a sense for just how extraordinary these professionals are and how difficult it will be to choose.  At the same time, it gives the public an opportunity to understand how the process works and gives the selection process a sense of transparency and builds community trust."

For more information about the RFQ presentation meetings, contact Ritchie Harrison at                    (313) 566-8206 or at [email protected].

The interviews have been divided into three time blocks which include;

Morning - January 26th, 2016

  • Balmori Associates in collaboration with Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, Atelier 10, HR&A Advisors, Giffels Webster, Hamilton-Anderson Associates (9:00AM-10:15AM)
  • BJH Advisors in collaboration with FXFOWLE, Sam Schwartz Engineering, Hargreaves Associates (10:30AM-11:45AM)

Afternoon - January 26th, 2016

  • STOSS Landscape Urbanism in collaboration with Studio Gang, Hamilton-Anderson Associates, James Lima Planning + Development, Ninigret Partners, Elnora Austell & Associates, LimnoTech, Sam Schwartz Engineering, Somat Engineering, Applied Ecological Systems (1:00PM-2:15PM)
  • Partnership for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU) in collaboration with Hood Studio, HR&A Advisors, Giffels Webster (2:30PM-3:45PM)
  • Skidmore Owings & Merrill (SOM) in collaboration with MDP-IHA, Mohsen Mostafavi; Harvard GSD, McIntosh Poris, HR&A Advisors, Develop Detroit (4:00PM-5:15PM)

Morning - January 27th, 2016

  • Gensler in collaboration with The Office of James Burnett, BuroHappold, HR&A Advisors, Giffels Webster (8:30AM-9:45AM)


  • Utile in collaboration with HR&A, City Form Detroit, Made Studio LLC, Nelson Nygaard (10:00AM-11:15AM