New Center Rezoning Strategy

New Center Council, Detroit

Detroit’s New Center area rivals the City’s Central Business District in building density, visual character, walkable areas, and mass-transit connections.

The New Center Council, the nonprofit business organization dedicated to the management of this area, decided to focus on developing a zoning strategy to strengthen the area as a vibrant urban entertainment district. The impetus for this effort came from a desire to emulate the restaurant, entertainment, and housing development pattern around Broadway Avenue south of Grand Circus Park and to encourage transit-oriented design regulations for the area in near proximity to the Amtrak Station at the intersection of Woodward and Baltimore avenues.

Project Highlights:
Common elements of a vibrant urban district include wide pedestrian ways and visually interesting street edges established through building design and uninterrupted continuity of buildings.
These districts become a destination that rely on the high densities of residents as well as outside visitors using both mass transit and private vehicles.

After carefully analyzing existing land uses, parking conditions, and current zoning patterns for the New Center area, rezoning recommendations were presented allowing a high density employment center and entertainment venue. In addition, a framework for enacting Transit-Oriented Design (TOD) or Transit-Ready Design language for Woodward Avenue was recommended with specific building site and design standards.

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