DETROIT (WWJ) – The Gateway Marketplace at Woodward Avenue and 8 Mile Road in Detroit may be in jeopardy.
About a dozen neighborhood association representatives that are opposed to the project based on design and tenant concerns could stand in the way of City Council approval of a brownfield redevelopment plan.
Without the timely approval of that plan, the project could stand to lose $6-million in federal funding, without which an Economic official told the audience the project would be dead.
The objectors were undeterred, delivering a litany of ‘wishes’ including architectural changes, covered walkways, a children’s play area, enough green space, or a water feature.
“There is nothing in your contract that says that 500 Detroiters will be employed, those people could be from Royal Oak, those people could be from Ferndale, those people could be from Warren,” said one objector to the plan.
Developers say the project’s detractors are asking for a “Partridge Creek” — a reference to a pedestrian mall in the suburbs — which they say is not realistic in Detroit right now.
Marvin Beatty and his partners say they have been courting national retailers for 8 years, and short of paying for tenants, they can’t get upscale stores.
Some residents near the proposed project have said they’d prefer the corner of the State Fair grounds remain vacant rather than have a Meijers, Marshalls, K&G Fashion and others locate there.