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Selected applicant Q&A

  • The need for adjacent land for additional parking has been identified as a potential need. If additional parking is needed, the formal proposal should include the location and scope of the proposed area and improvements for additional parking.

    The DNR will review proposals for additional parking to ensure they align with the recommendations of the Belle Isle Park multimodal mobility study and the park's parking and traffic management plan. Additionally, requests to expand the lease area will be evaluated based on their contribution to park-wide needs and event programming.

  • The DNR recommends all tenants adhere to park hours but understands that this may need to be adjusted based on proposals. Access shall be explored in a similar method that the DYC accesses the island in “off hours.”

  • Ideally, the DNR would seek pre-approval from the City of Detroit for any lease that would be in place when the current agreement expires.

  • Submissions will be reviewed according to the following criteria:

    • Compatibility of the proposed use with values of historic preservation, interpretation and outdoor recreation as expressed in the Statement of Purpose.
    • Compatibility of the proposed use with community vision as expressed in the 2018 Belle Isle Park Strategic Management Plan.
    • Ability of the proposed use to increase public use of the boathouse and complement and enhance the visitor experiences at Belle Isle Park.
    • Financial and organizational capacity of the responding entity to undertake a historically appropriate rehabilitation of the selected building or buildings.
    • Ability of the proposed use to attain financial sustainability.
  • During the April 23, 2024 walk through with selected applicants, representatives from both the DNR and Detroit Rowing offered to provide all available documents related to drawings and renovations.

  • The State of Michigan is self-insured.

  • The DNR reserves the right to reject any and all responses or to engage in further discussion with any or all respondents as it deems is in the best interests of the park.

    The DNR reserves and may exercise the right to request one or more of the respondents to provide additional material, clarification, confirmation or modification of any information in the submission, and can supplement, amend, substitute, cancel or otherwise modify this Request for Information at any time prior to the selection of one or more developers.

    If the process outlined in this document does not result in the execution of a definitive selection, the DNR, at its sole option, may choose to initiate negotiations with any other qualified developer, reopen the RFIP process, or pursue any other avenues for the property deemed appropriate by the DNR.

    The DNR reserves the right, in its sole discretion, without liability, to use any or all of the RFIP responses in its planning efforts and to develop and operate the property, in whole or in part, outside of the RFIP process. The DNR reserves the right to retain all the materials and information, and the ideas and suggestions therein, submitted in response to this RFIP. All such material, information, ideas, and suggestions will become the property of the DNR.

  • The DNR encourages all selected applicants to have meetings with prospective stakeholder groups, including Detroit Rowing, Detroit Youth Sailing, Belle Isle Conservancy and others. It’s not required that a DNR representative be present for these meetings. You’re free to reach out directly.

    • Roof repairs.
    • Routine maintenance, interior leaks and piping repairs.
    • Seawall repairs and island stabilization.
    • And a couple of items that could facilitate either demolition or future renovation work:
      • Phase 1 + 2 Environmental Reports or Hazardous Materials Abatement.
      • Repairs to the bridges leading to the Boat Club so that they can be used for construction/demolition equipment.

      The ARPA funds must be committed by Dec. 31, 2024, and spent on those projects by Dec. 31, 2026. Due to this requirement, the monies allocated for any project using ARPA monies will most likely need to be “shovel ready.” In many cases, this restricts funding for most post-design or engineering work beyond removal stages.

  • Depending on submitted proposals, there are limited operational funds for restoration work at Belle Isle as a whole. Should a project proposal be deemed viable, roof work will certainly be considered.

  • To ensure renovations honor the historic characteristics and cultural significance of the boathouse, the plan should keep in mind the park’s landscape and sightlines to and from the site. Final construction plans would be reviewed and approved by the DNR.

    The agreement would also require that building construction activities be modified if such activities are deficient in complying with the approved construction plans.

  • Should a viable formal proposal be submitted and selected, a State Tax Credit expansion will be considered. It's important to note that securing an extension and the passage of the State Tax Credit are not guaranteed.

  • All formal proposals will be reviewed by the DNR. A team is comprised of the following members: Thomas Bissett, urban district supervisor; Amanda Treadwell, urban field planner; Robbert McKay, historic architect; Jacklin Blodgett, Parks and Recreation Division assistant chief and Deborah Jensen, park management plan administrator.

    In addition, Rowing Club and Belle Isle Conservancy leadership will be invited to collaborate with the Belle Isle Advisory Committee on review of formal proposals. A recommendation from the DNR will be presented to Ron Olson, Parks and Recreation chief, and then, vetted through the City of Detroit. The DNR has the final say on approving a proposal.

  • NOAA’s web site includes a section for Great Lakes Bathymetry. The area around Belle Isle is included in the Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair sections. The data is available in a variety of format including a shapefile.

  • The park staff at Belle Isle have maintained the boiler system over the past two winters.  It’s our intention to continue this practice until a final decision has been made.