GROSSE POINTE PARK, Mich. (AP) - Michigan officials have reached an agreement to remove farmers market sheds that block a roadway between the poverty-pocked east side of Detroit and upscale Grosse Pointe Park.
The cities’ mayors said Tuesday the deal includes removing blight and redeveloping the border area between the two cities to create a connecting gateway. Grosse Pointe Park will reopen drivers’ access to the blocked off Kercheval Avenue, where workers finished building traffic barriers and farmers market sheds last month. Some Detroit residents protested the barricades and shed, saying they were erected as a hostile act.
“We are very excited about our new partnership, which will improve the area and benefit residents in both Detroit and Grosse Pointe Park,” Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said in a statement. “It became clear during this process that we all share the common goal of creating a safe and attractive environment that links our communities in a neighborly way. This agreement will help accomplish that.”
Grosse Pointe Park Mayor Pro Tem Gregory Theokas said the city will build a permanent farmers market and plaza that will “be welcoming to Detroiters” and “visually appealing from all directions.”
Duggan’s statement said the goal of the dual city effort was to “support the Park’s commitment to creating a vibrant, quaint, village atmosphere for shoppers” as well as “Detroit’s ongoing revitalization.”
Detroit officials agreed to remove several abandoned buildings in the area and add a landscaped traffic roundabout. The city will also collaborate with Gross Pointe Park to improve traffic engineering, permitting and planning.
“This collaborative effort will result in our creating a seamless transition between Detroit and Grosse Pointe Park,” Theokas said. “I am truly impressed with the effort (by Duggan and other Detroit city officials) to facilitate a joint master plan for the entire east side.”
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