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"schools university michigan" Discussed on WJR 760
"Kids September Edition. Now I have the opportunity to talk with my friend Mark Wallace. Mark serves as president and chief executive officer of the Detroit River Front Conservancy. Prior to joining the Conservancy in August of 2014. Mark was a director with Heinz Interest LP and most recently served as project manager of the River Point Development in Chicago. Additional past projects in which Mark worked include the Super Bowl, 40 Media Center and the Detroit River Walk. Phase two. He also provided underwriting analysis on behalf of Wayne County, which accumulated in the $28 million acquisition of the famous Guardian building. And first Street parking deck and 2009 in 2010. Mark was named one of the 40 under 40 award winners like Cranes Detroit business, He sits on the board of the Y. M. C. Bowl Centre Children's Foundation partner. Jefferson East Ink Presbyterian villages of Michigan and the downtown Detroit Partnership Marker and his bachelor's degree from Princeton University in 1999 and its master's degree from the Gerald R. Ford. School of public policy at the University of Michigan and 2003 Mark, Welcome to caring for kids. So, mark, you've had a very dynamic background professionally and personally, So tell us about your path to your current position. I know our listeners would love to hear that. I fell in love with Detroit when I was in college and moved here in 1999, which is over 20 years ago. And my first job was as a high school teacher for the neutron public schools, and that gave a great opportunity to get to know a lot of the families and a lot of the kids who are living here in Detroit, and my work is a teacher gave me a great perspective on what it's like to live in the city. I went to Grad school university, Michigan, right and spent all of my time focused on the city of Detroit. Every paper I wrote, every project was focused on on the city, and they gave me a great opportunity to meet a lot of the people who were doing work around here, and it led to a job work in real estate, and that job part of responsibilities included some of the earlier On the Detroit River Front Conservancy in 2003, so through friends always been a place that was very important to our city. It's always been a place that was exciting to me professionally, and I spent some time working as a real estate developer in Toronto in Chicago on Waterfront project's so when the opportunity opened up to lead the riverfront Conservancy here, I was really excited to take on that role. Excellent. Well, we're glad you're in Detroit because you could be anywhere that you want to be and So we're talking with Mark Wallace, who is the president and CEO of the Detroit River Front Conservancy. And so several months ago before our current endemic, I had the opportunity to tour with you and some other of your colleagues and had an opportunity to see the new Ah Valet park that was just getting ready to be opened and then march it and we all know what happened then. And can you tell our listeners a little bit about that park and what is open now and what's gonna happen in the future? Prophesy related park is the newest addition to the Detroit River front. It's located right next to Shane part, which is now known as Aretha Franklin. And it's really a special place. It has been supported by a wide number of community investors, including the delayed family. They wanted to have a place in memory of their father, Robert. She Valade. It was an executive and owner of a car with the late part comes out of a vision from the community, which is really to transform the riverfront from just a greenway that has a couple parts to a place where there is a cadence of parks along the riverfront. And what that means is that now you go from the Rennes in to Cullen Plaza. It's about a 10 minute walk from Colin flies into the Quantico that's about a 10 minute walk and you go from the quitter cut, she wrote, received late part, which is a 10 minute walk. So you come down to the river front have an amazing experience that's really builds on this system of public spaces. Alvalade Park is built around two main features. One is an enormous sand box, which is designed to feel like a day at the beach. We have some lifeguard PlayStations bright colors. Great stand for the kids. The plan. We also have a barge, which we purchased and installed at the mouth of the inlet there. So if you want to go and get an adult beverage, if you want to go and hear some music, he can pop up on that barge. And for those of us who've grown up poor spent a lot of time in Detroit. We see the bar just going by all day every day. Most of us have never had opportunities. Spend any time on those, so that's really an exciting opportunity. We've also installed two restaurants, geisha girls, sushi and smoking cheese barbecue and they're both serving me around and have amazing offering. So we encourage people to come down and check those out. Yeah, it's very cool, and I recently had an opportunity to see John strove and John was saying that even in the pandemic, he said, the riverfront activity of people like writing skating walking Has never been more populated in. Is that something that you've seen as well? It's amazing. This has been a really hard year on everyone, and we always know that people come to the riverfront on good days. We constantly see people out there doing wedding photography or taking pictures after graduation. But what we've realized in 2020 is the riverfront is also a place where people can come when they need to relax when they need to find peace or when they need to get some exercise and burn off some of that anxiety that we're all dealing with. A real community has gone through just a crisis and the stress and the pressure of that needs to be released and positive ways. And the rain front has been one of those places where people are congregating so they can have those experiences and try to re center themselves. But we've seen based on our counters is at the riverfront Attendance is up about 20% this year. Winter cut is up about 50% this year. Remarkable. Yeah, that is encouraging. So let's talk a little bit about the Dick Winder cut and the Dick Winder cut freight yard that you've been leading in helping create. I drive by it all the time as I on Mac avenues. I goto work and things like that. But our listeners who aren't aware of it need to know. So can you fill us in? The free art comes out of a community vision that a quitter cut for those of you who haven't experienced it goes from Eastern Market and Mac Avenue, right down to the river front, and it's located on old train line. So we removed the trains and turn it into a beautiful pathway for biking and for running and just walking. And what we realized is people who spend a lot of time using that cut to move through that space that they weren't spending time on the cut, so we wanted to encourage people to have a place where they could actually stop. I have some different experiences and We spent our two on the deck winter cut itself. So the freight yard is a food and music hub just south of Eastern market located just south of Welcome Street Bridge and its designs using a couple of shipping containers, and the shipping containers have been turned into a food and beverage hub. And we have a detailed booth up on the second floor with some great lights and some great music. So.