Midland proposes plan to reconstruct downtown riverfront

The Midland Downtown Development Authority has proposed a plan to reconstruct the city's riverfront.
Published: Mar. 14, 2023 at 6:13 PM EDT
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MIDLAND, Mich. (WNEM) - The Midland Downtown Development Authority has proposed a plan to reconstruct the city’s riverfront.

They said the plan will address a lot of the community’s wishes.

The old Midland Area Farmers Market may soon be redeveloped into a new destination spot.

“Between the farmers market location and the splash park being at the end of its life, it was really a great time to take another look at this riverfront area and go through a redevelopment of what we have existing here and what it can be for the future,” said Selina Harris, the community affairs director for the city of Midland.

The proposal to redevelop the downtown Midland riverfront could be approved as early as this spring. The cost to revitalize the space is expected to ring in at $14 million.

Harris said they plan to reconfigure the entire space.

“Most of our parking is located right here by our most valuable riverfront area, so in the plan you’ll see that reconsolidated up closer to the downtown space. And this riverfront area redeveloped for more use so you can walk along it, you can sit along it, we can have concerts right next to the river. The playground and splash area will also be redesigned,” Harris said.

In the proposal are also plans to make the space useable year-round with the addition of lights and a track that can transform into an ice-skating rink during the winter months, things Harris said the community has been asking for.

“Nightlife. People will like to see it lit more down here so we can have night events and just use this space in a very nice and pretty way to have it lit up in the evenings,” Harris said.

She said there is currently no timeline on how soon construction will start as it will depend on how quickly they receive funding.

“Once we get all of the final authorization to move forward on the project from the parks and recreation commission and city council, then we will start looking at how to fund the project and that will really drive the timeline for construction,” Harris said.

The Midland Parks and Recreation Commission will review the proposal in May.

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