Grosse Pointe Park to tear down border blockade under pact with Mayor Duggan

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The rear of the Grosse Pointe Farmer’s Market faces Detroit. Photo by Steve Neavling

Grosse Pointe Park has agreed to remove a controversial farmer’s market that blocked off the border of Detroit this summer under a potentially landmark agreement between the two disparate communities.

Mayor Mike Duggan, who has not spoken publicly about the blockade, quietly reached a pact this week with Grosse Pointe Park Mayor Palmer T. Heenan and Mayor Pro Tem Gregory Theokas.

Under the agreement, Grosse Pointe Park will remove its farmer’s market and re-open Kercheval to Detroit traffic by November. In return, Duggan agreed to demolish abandoned buildings and remove blight at the border.

Detroit side of border. Photo by Michael Brouwer.
Detroit side of border. Photo by Michael Brouwer.

The agreement comes after we published a story that showed Grosse Pointe Park built a portion of the farmer’s market on Detroit property, and never gained the required approval to do so. The city’s law department said it was considering legal action.

“We are very excited about our new partnership, which will improve the area and benefit residents in both Detroit and Grosse Pointe Park,” Mayor Mike Duggan said Tuesday. “It became clear during this process that we all share the common goal of creating a safe and attractive environment that links our communities in a neighborly way. This agreement will help accomplish that.”

The blockade incensed many Detroiters because of the history of division between the two communities. Grosse Pointe Park officials said they meant no harm and wanted to create a more walkable community.

Under the agreement, the city of Detroit will install a traffic roundabout at Kercheval and Alter to compliment a similar one on Kercheval in Grosse Pointe Park.

“This collaborative effort will result in our creating a seamless transition between Detroit and Grosse Pointe Park,” said Mayor Pro Tem Gregory Theokas.

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.