Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Groundbreaking for ‘The Downs’ attended by huge crowd

  Following years of discussion, negotiations and planning, the $350 million redevelopment in the heart of downtown Northville is officially under way.Groundbreaking ceremonies for The Downs, a development which will include 443 residential units, commercial space and 15 acres of parks and greenspace on the 48 acres formerly occupied by the Northville Downs harness racetrack took place May 13.Northville Mayor Brian Turnbull told the standing room only crowd at the event that the project, to be constructed by Hunter Pasteur, would be transformational for the community.“We’ve been a long time working towards this groundbreaking.  This is truly a transformational initiative...not only for Northvillians, but for all in southeastern Michigan,” Turnbull said. U.S. Rep., Debbie Dingell, D-Ann Arbor, joined elected officials from throughout the area along with a crowd of residents during the ceremony. 
“Everybody’s here because this is about the Southeast Michigan community coming together and what’s happening here helps all of us,” Dingell said. She added that the daylighting of the Rouge River would be one of the “greatest benefits” of the project and would reduce flooding in downstream communities. Plans for the project include removing obstructions and restoring the flow of the river to the previous condition before being covered to accommodate previous development. Riverwalk sections are included in the project and could eventually link to state trails, according to development plans. 
Demolition of outbuildings at the racetrack began in March with asbestos abatement. Demolition of the large audience structure at the site will begin soon, officials said. The racetrack officially closed in early February after 80 years at the downtown Northville location.