President & CEO
Mark Wallace is the president & CEO of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy.
Wallace grew up in Chelsea, MI and graduated from Princeton University in 1999 with an undergraduate degree in Public Policy. From 1999 to 2002 Wallace taught English and social studies at Crockett Technical High School in the Detroit Public Schools. He completed his Masters of Public Policy at the Gerald R. Ford School at the University of Michigan in 2004.
Prior to joining the Conservancy in August 2014, Wallace was a director with Hines Interests LP from 2004 to 2014. While in charge of leasing the 5.5 million square foot GM Renaissance Center in Detroit, he served as broker on the lease of 435,000 square feet of office space for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan – the largest lease in Detroit in a decade. Wallace also worked on the 13-acre Bayside project on the Toronto waterfront and served as project manager of the River Point development in Chicago, a 1,050,000-square-foot, 50-story office tower located on the Chicago River.
While at Hines, Wallace also worked on the Super Bowl XL Media Center and was project manager for the second phase of the Detroit RiverWalk (Rivard Plaza to Gabriel Richard Park).
In his time as president & CEO of the Conservancy, the Detroit Riverfront has expanded considerably. Under Wallace’s leadership, the DRFC completed the 2017 East Riverfront Framework with SOM, which won a national Urban Land Institute planning award. Other major developments during his tenure include the creation of Robert C. Valade Park and the Southwest Greenway as well as the completion of the final section of the East Riverfront across the former Uniroyal factory site. Wallace also facilitated the land acquisition and design work for the boardwalk in front of Riverfront Towers that will connect the east Riverwalk to Ralph Wilson Park on the west riverfront. Currently under construction, Wallace led the design selection process and oversees all development for Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Centennial Park, a 22-acre site designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh which is scheduled to open to the public in 2025.
In 2010, Wallace was named one of Crain’s Detroit Business “40 Under 40” and also received the Crain’s “Deal of the Year” award. He currently sits on the board for the Presbyterian Villages of Michigan Foundation, the Joe Louis Greenway Partnership, the Downtown Detroit Partnership and is part of the Highline Network Steering Committee. In 2021, Wallace was named an AIA Honorary Affiliate.
In 2014, Wallace launched Wallace Detroit Guitars, which manufactures guitars with reclaimed wood from abandoned buildings in Detroit.