For Immediate release
Contacts: Chip Rohde, 313-259-1010, Tom Evans, 313-259-4810
Detroit’s Rivertown district has new look, new investments and new attitude
New business & resident association sees progress on 1st anniversary
Detroit’s Rivertown district, now known as Rivertown Detroit, is redefining itself as a hub for new investment, entertainment, recreation and urban living, thanks to the efforts of a growing coalition of dedicated entrepreneurs and residents.
This sliver of the city – bounded by E. Jefferson Avenue, the Detroit River, the Renaissance Center and Belle Isle Bridge – has long been known for its hip mix of commercial, dining and entertainment establishments, as well as hotels and mom-and-pop businesses. Today, members of the growing Rivertown Detroit Association say this signature area of the city is growing into a something even better: a community.
Nearly one year ago, business owners Chip Rohde (Arthur J. Rohde & Co.) and Tom Evans (Ren Cen Mechanical Services) began talking about the improving state of the district. New businesses were popping up and thriving. New residents were moving in and bringing a new energy. A new high school and residential building were slated for construction. Perhaps most important, the development of the Detroit Riverwalk and William G. Milliken state park had added a new dimension to their community by increasing family friendly recreation opportunities.
Rohde and Evans began to see that the district was becoming a center for a range of activity. To help redefine area’s image as a full service community, they created a new name for it and their fledgling association: Rivertown Detroit. Then, internationally known designer Dominic Pangborn, whose studio is located on Iron Street in Rivertown Detroit, created an eye-popping new logo that reflects the group’s energy and bright outlook.
“Right now we have a lot of positive energy in our community and we see that only expanding,” said Rohde, who is now president of Rivertown Detroit. “We are experiencing a true rebirth.”
Rohde points to major investments such as the new $17 million University Prep High School for Science & Math, a new $33 million senior citizens residential development, new ownership that will make significant investments into the Roberts Riverwalk Hotel & Residence and a nearly 100-percent occupancy rate at its largest business center, Chene Square.
Bouyed by these and other developments, the monthly meetings of the Rivertown Detroit Association have consistently been attended by up to 50 members. They also work closely with the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy, the Downtown Detroit Partnership, along with the Detroit Police Department and other key stakeholders in the area, Rohde said.
Creating a safe, welcoming environment
Rohde and Evans agree that safety – and the perception of it – is one key to the districts’ continued success.
“Our goal is to have Rivertown Detroit be a zero incident crime zone,” Rohde said. “We have great support from the Detroit Police Department, which attends all of our meetings, and one of our member businesses is the Threat Management Center, which provides an added layer of security. With their combined help, we believe we are creating an environment where all people can feel comfortable to visit, live or open a new business.”
The Rivertown Detroit Association will hold its next monthly meeting on April 14th at the Threat Management Center, located at 6440 Wight at Meldrum, one block south of E. Jefferson and just east of the Harbortown shopping center. The meeting will begin at 5:00 PM and last until approximately 6:30PM. Members of the media are invited to attend.