DDA Contributes to a new “front porch” for COBO Center

Cobo Center Streetscape

The Downtown Development Authority (DDA) is collaborating with the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority to transform the area in front of the main entrance to the center at Washington Boulevard and Jefferson Avenue.

The two organizations are making striking changes to improve the look and the functionality of what we call the “front porch” of Cobo. The Regional Authority is creating two attractive new public spaces — Cobo Square, right in front of the main center entrance, and Cobo Terrace, next to the former Cobo Arena, now the Riverfront Ballrooms.

The DDA is managing the construction of $3.4 million in streetscape improvements that will blend well with the striking new face of Cobo. The project will improve overall vehicle flow in front of the facility by creating a traffic drop-off circle and wider visitor drop-off lane near the main entrance of Cobo. A small parking lot and other space around the former Cobo Arena will be renovated to provide a seamless transition between the public right of way, Cobo Square and Cobo Terrace.

The project will also include the removal of the existing ramp connecting the entrance of Cobo Center to the lower level on Atwater Street and construction of a second traffic circle on that level.

The State of Michigan approved a City of Detroit application to assist in funding for the project, while the Regional Authority contributed required matching funds. The DDA is managing construction.

Besides the much more appealing look for the area, the project will also improve access to the facility for visitors arriving by car, bus or other means as well as the freight delivery for all of the conventions that COBO hosts. In all, this is a significant improvement to our newly renovated world class convention center’s front porch!

Tim Miles
Senior Project Manager

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