Four design firms will show off ideas for Detroit West Riverfront Park

(WXYZ) - Four world-renowned design firms will show off their plans to transform Detroit's West Riverfront Park as part of an international design competition from the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy.

According to the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, the companies will show off their plans for the $50 million redesign of the 22-acre park all day Thursday at 1001 Woodward in downtown Detroit.

"Our vision fo rthe Detroit Riverfront is bold and aspirational," DRFC Board of Directors Chair Matt Cullen said in a release. "This is a special moment for our city."

The plan is part of the conservancy's vision of 5.5 miles of revitalized riverfront that they say goes "bridge to bridge," meaning it stretches from the Ambassador Bridge to the MacArthur Bridge on Belle Isle.

The east riverfront is 85 percent complete, so now the work turns to the west riverfront.

According to the renderings released, there are several different ideas for the West Riverfront Park. 

Some show room for ample greenways and also pathways, one with a beach on the riverfront, an amphitheatre, places for kayaking and fishing, a splash pad and then an ice rink in the winter.

The four design firms have notable projects that include the High Line in New York City, Lurie Garden at Millennum Park in Chicago, the Maggie Daley Park in Chicago and the de Young Museum Gardens in San Francisco. The conservancy says numerous Detroit and Michigan-based firms are represented among the teams.

Those firms and the renderings of their designs are below:

Gustafson Guthrie Nichol

Hood Design Studio

James Corner Field Operations

Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates

The competition came because of a $345,000 grant from the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation's "livable communities" focus area.

"A project of this importance and impact comes along once in a lifetime," Foundation President & CEO David Egner said in a release. "A transformed West Riverfront Park improves the quality of life for Detroiters by providing the community where everyone can come together as one."

Beginning Feb. 9, the jury will begin deliberating on which design team they will use with the winning team announced this spring.

The public exhibition will be held from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day from Feb. 10 to Feb. 22 near the lobby at the 1001 Woodward building.

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