Funds were raised in 2015 via a crowdfunding campaign for construction of Eagle Plaza in the area bounded by the Center Street parking deck, the railroad tracks and the businesses fronting Fourth Street.
This area is intended to function as a “smart park,” and will include features such as mobile charging stations for laptops and cell phones, public Wi-Fi, attractive lighting, walkways, a grass play area for children, two bioswales with rain garden plantings, movable tables and chairs for eating and working, covered bicycle parking, and an interactive way-finding kiosk highlighting downtown destinations.
The sponsors of the project include the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the Erb Family Foundation, the Downtown Development Authority, Emagine Entertainment, Consumers Energy Foundation, Vibe Credit Union, Arts, Beats & Eats Foundation, Bistro 82 and donations from many private citizens.
Construction work for Eagle Plaza is set to begin in July 2016 and extend through November 2016. Several trees will be removed as part of the park improvements, based on recommendations by the city’s arborist. Two trees at the west end of the park will remain and are required to be protected during construction.
The park will be closed off during construction, and the sidewalk along the west side of Center Street will also be closed.
Construction work will not occur during the Arts, Beats and Eats Festival over Labor Day weekend, though the area will be fenced off.
The city plans to hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony when the park is complete.