MONROE, MI (WTOL) - It will take roughly 20 years and cost about $90 million in the end, but local officials said they have made a big step in expanding a national
The riverfront property at Hellenburg Park in Monroe will eventually be a part of the River Raisin Heritage Corridor.
The City of Monroe took a big step forward in this plan by acquiring property from the Port Authority and starting the acquisition of homes along the river.
"What were ultimately hoping to do is capitalize on the River Raisin National Battlefield Park," said Mark Cochran, Economic Downtown Development Coordinator, City of Monroe.
The Port of Monroe donated five vacant industrial lots totaling roughly 54 acres worth $750,000 to match the gr ant the city received from the state.
"Essentially, reclaim once contaminated factory property and make it fruitful community serviceable land," said Paul LaMarrre, Port Director at Port of Monroe.
The master plan also includes reconstructing the section of interstate 75 between East Elm and North Dixie Highway.
"Formidable gateway into the community that will protect both the industrial and community interests while making it something much more appealing to passersby," LaMarre said.
LaMarre said as of right now, it is not clear if the plans for this section of I-75 will include removing exits or changing on ramps. The city is also looking to buy 52 houses.
"We look at all of the comparables from riverfront property to the size of the house to the number of tenants that are in the house," Cochran said. "We pay them the purchase price, the closing costs and moving costs and other relocation expenses."
Acquiring the property if phase one of this project. Phase two will start the redevelopment of the Old Frenchtown Settlement.