Request for Proposals 

Neighborhood Vision Framework Plan

Click here to view this Request for Proposals as a PDF. 

Notice is hereby given that sealed proposals will be received before 5:00 p.m. EST on Friday, February 15, 2018 at Greektown Preservation Society offices located at   1216 Beaubien Street, Detroit, Michigan 48226 for the Greektown Neighborhood Vision Framework Plan as requested by the Greektown Preservation Society.

RFP Timeline:
Name of the Proposal: Greektown Neighborhood Vision Framework Plan

Date of Issuance: Monday, January 8, 2018

Deadline for Questions: Monday, January 22, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. EST submitted via email to Greektown Preservation Society Director of Neighborhood Development (

Deadline for Proposal Submittal: Friday, February 15, 2018 before 5:00 p.m. EST

Consultant shall submit one (1) original and four (4) copies
Submit Proposal in sealed envelope to (address exactly as stated):


Mailing Address
SEALED PROPOSAL: Greektown Neighborhood Vision Framework Plan
Greektown Preservation Society
1216 Beaubien St. Detroit, MI 48226

Method of Submittal: US Mail, FedEx, UPS, Overnight Delivery or in-person - electronic and fax proposals are not acceptable

Contact Person: John Warner, Director of Neighborhood Development
 (781) 686-4125


Greektown Preservation Society is not responsible for delays caused by the U.S. Postal Service, FedEx, UPS or any other means of delivery employed by the Proposer. Similarly, Greektown Preservation Society is not responsible for, and will not open, any proposal responses that are received on or after the time stated above. Late submittals will be retained in the RFP file, unopened. No responsibility will be attached to any person for premature opening of a proposal not properly identified.


I. Introduction

The Greektown Preservation Society (“GPS”) in collaboration with Quicken Loans Community Investment Fund (“QLCIF”), JACK Entertainment (“JACK”) and several individual Greektown Business and Property Owners (“Merchants”) and in consultation with The City of Detroit Mayor’s Office, Planning and Development Department (“PDD”), Department of Neighborhoods (“DON”)(collectively referred to as “The City”) seeks proposals from qualified entities to create a comprehensive neighborhood vision framework plan (“framework plan”) for Detroit’s Greektown neighborhood.


The Greektown Preservation Society is a non-profit merchant association with a mission of promoting and preserving the historic identity of Greektown, while catalyzing the economic growth and further development of the neighborhood. This framework plan should incorporate this mission as well as the vision and interests of all of the neighborhood’s stakeholders in order to create a concise and actionable plan.

The project will exist in several phases that include but are not limited to:

  • Phase 1: Commercial Survey/Community Engagement/Data Analysis
  • Phase 2: Creation of Framework Plan
  • Phase 3: Execution and Implementation Strategy

The framework plan should provide a strategic approach for GPS to preserve Greektown’s historic character and to facilitate an increased sense of partnership and collaboration among the neighborhood businesses. The goal of this project is to create an environment that will ensure the long-term economic vibrancy of Greektown while further solidifying its identity as the historic entertainment core of southeastern Michigan and a significant cultural attraction within the greater Great Lakes Region.

This Request for Proposals and Qualifications (RFP/Q) is intended to retain a qualified third-party for the creation of the Greektown District vision framework plan that can be used to further develop a signature, mixed-use entertainment district, with meaningful public space. GPS is interested in receiving proposals from highly qualified firms or teams (“Consultant Team”) with multidisciplinary expertise. Proposals will only be accepted from firms or teams that have recent (within the last five (5) years) experience on project(s) of similar or greater scope and complexity as the services requested in this RFP. References that verify project experience should be provided.


End of Section I

II. Area Overview

Geographic Scope:

The immediate scope of this study (“Greektown”) is comprised of an area of 26.5 acres. The area is bounded by Randolph Street to the West, Macomb Street to the North, E Lafayette Street to the South, and the I-375 Service Drive to the East.

Map of “Greektown”




The Greater Greektown Area (“GGA”) is comprised of an area of 53.3 acres and is bounded by Randolph Street to the West, Gratiot Avenue to the North, Lafayette Street to the South and the I-375 Service Drive to the East. Much of the GGA is undeveloped or consists of vacant properties, surface parking and County offices, as well as the undeveloped Wayne County Jail Site (See Section “Recent and Upcoming Area Investment”, 2). This area is undefined by a specific neighborhood, and future investment and development of this area (to the north of Macomb Street and bounded by Gratiot Avenue) will provide an opportunity for Greektown to expand its definition in the coming years.  

Map of “Greater Greektown Area”



Greektown Detroit:


The traditional center of Detroit's Greek community and the long-standing entertainment core of Southeastern Michigan, the Greektown historic district is one of the last surviving Victorian-era commercial streetscapes in downtown Detroit. Beginning between 1900-1910, newly arrived Greek immigrants moved into the neighborhood to the east of Woodward Avenue and established businesses in what would come to be known as Greektown. By the 1920s, Greektown had become primarily commercial and most of the Greek immigrants had moved out of the area, but the Greek restaurants, coffee houses, boutiques, and small groceries remained. Greektown continued to thrive until the 1960s when Greektown was reduced to one block after several surrounding buildings, including the original Greek Orthodox Church, were demolished to provide sites for downtown parking and institutional buildings.

Over the next 40 years Greektown established itself as a destination within downtown Detroit. With its largely intact historic streetscape and vibrant cultural legacy, the neighborhood consistently drew visitors from near and far to its shopping, dining and entertainment venues. In 1998, Greektown developers Jim Papas and Ted Gatzaros received approval from the City of Detroit for the development of a casino that would drastically affect the future of Greektown. The Greektown Casino was opened on November 10th, 2000 on the south side of Monroe Street between Beaubien Street and St. Antoine Street, replacing the Trapper’s Alley Mall that had occupied the space since the mid-1980’s. The Greektown Casino was purchased in January of 2013 by JACK Entertainment LLC, which is the gaming arm of Dan Gilbert’s Rock Ventures LLC. JACK owns and operates a portfolio of casinos and horse tracks throughout Ohio, Kentucky and Maryland. Since its acquisition, the casino has initiated the process of fully rebranding and will soon hold the name “JACK Detroit Casino-Hotel Greektown”.

There are two major hotels within the Greektown District, which include the 174-key Atheneum Suite Hotel, which was opened in 1992 on Brush Street between Monroe and Lafayette. The other is the 400-key Greektown Casino Hotel (soon to be JACK Detroit Hotel Greektown) that was opened in November 2007 on St. Antoine between Monroe and Macomb Streets, and is attached to the Casino by a sky bridge that crosses over Monroe Street. The Greektown Casino Hotel Tower is a prominent feature of the Detroit Skyline from the east. These hotels attract large volumes of guests for the many sporting events, conferences, concerts and other special events that are easily accessible from Greektown.

The current commercial mix along Monroe Street between Randolph and St. Antoine is comprised of primarily restaurants, bars, clubs and other non-franchise neighborhood scale retail. Many of the restaurants and bars maintain a strong Greek cultural influence showcased both in their menu and aesthetic. Connected to the Atheneum Suite Hotel on the corner of Monroe Street and Brush Street is the International Center at 400 Monroe, a refurbished 8 story industrial warehouse originally built in 1886 that now houses close to 200,000 square feet of office space as well as Fishbone’s restaurant and several retail spaces.

There are several historic churches within the boundaries of Greektown that are iconic to the neighborhood’s heritage and are important stakeholders in the community.

  • Second Baptist Church: listed on the National Register of Historic Places, founded by 13 former slaves in 1836, the church is the oldest predominantly black congregation in the state of Michigan.
  • St. Mary Roman Catholic Church: constructed in 1834, the Church, school (ceased operation in 1966), and the rectory are all listed on the Michigan Registry of Historic Places.
  • Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral: original parish created in 1910, with ground broken on the current structure in 1966.

There are several large parking decks as well as a number of surface parking lots throughout the Greektown District. The ownership, maintenance and operation of the surface lots are not consistent, causing volatility in pricing based on special events in the area. This can create difficulties for restaurant patrons to find parking in the neighborhood during certain time periods. The surface lots are also scattered throughout the district creating a fragmented streetscape. The lot owners are not economically incentivized to develop the lots, creating a long-standing perception of poor pedestrian connectivity to the rest of downtown. Potential development of the surface lots represents a significant opportunity for Greektown, and the district will not be able to reach its full potential if these lots remain in their current undeveloped state. The three parking structures in Greektown are owned by JACK Casino Hotel Greektown (2,900 spaces), JACK Casino Hotel Valet (1,000 spaces), and Bedrock Detroit LLC (1,001 spaces).

The primary public transportation available from Greektown is the Detroit People Mover, an elevated monorail that operates on a single 2.94-mile track that circles downtown Detroit. Prior to the closing of the Joe Louis Arena, the People Mover was a significant asset to Greektown, as large volumes of patrons would park and patronize the restaurants and bars in Greektown before using the People Mover to travel to the arena. However, since the closing of Joe Louis Arena in 2017 and the construction of Little Caesar’s Arena, which is not accessible via the People Mover, Greektown has seen a significant decrease in special events traffic.


Recent and Upcoming Area Investment:

A number of adjacent developments are planned for the coming years. These vary in scale and program, but will all have an impact on the surrounding blocks. Those that will likely have the most immediate and significant impacts on Greektown include:

Monroe Blocks

Developer: Bedrock Detroit

Program: Office Tower, Residential Block (approx. 482 units), Retail

Estimated Completion: 2022

Gratiot Site Development (Former County Jail Site)

Developer: TBD

Program: TBD

Estimated Completion: TBD

I-375 Improvements

Developer: MDOT

Program: Highway improvement plan with additional residential, retail, and parking possibly being introduced

Estimated Completion: 2025

Paradise Valley Cultural & Entertainment District

Developer: DEGC/DDA; Various

Program: Mixed-use, Residential (approx 70 units), Hotel, Commercial

Estimated Completion: 2020

East Riverfront

Developer: Various

Program: Increased residential and commercial developments between East Jefferson and Detroit River per SOM/Detroit Riverfront Conservancy/City of Detroit’s East Riverfront Framework

Estimated Completion: 2025

The District Detroit

Developer: Ilitch Companies

Program: Major sports arena (Pistons/Red Wings) surrounded by 50 blocks of mixed-use development to include residential, hotel, retail, parking, and commercial office

Estimated Completion: 2020

Hudson’s Site Detroit

Developer: Bedrock Detroit

Program: Retail, Office, Exhibition, Events, Residential (approx 400 units)

Estimated Completion: 2021


ŸEnd of Section II


III. Program Guidelines and Requirements  

The Consultant Team should include appropriate staffing and technical expertise to help identify and address each of the key topics identified by the Steering Committee. These include, but are not limited to:

  • neighborhood identity
  • visitor attraction strategy
  • creative place-making
  • traffic and pedestrian engineering
  • streetscape design
  • facade design
  • historic preservation
  • landscape architecture
  • public events
  • sustainability
  • public safety
  • sanitation
  • community services
  • open space
  • public transportation
  • housing opportunities
  • future development design guidelines
  • streetscape cover/ year-long pedestrian experience
  • tax increment financing and other similar incentives 

The Consultant Team may be a single multi-service firm, or comprised of a planning lead with sub-consultants as required. An innovative community engagement program is a critical component of this project. In addition to technical expertise in key topic areas, the project team must demonstrate that they can contribute:

  • A high level of creativity and use of graphics in the production of innovative and user-friendly reports and other materials.
  • The ability to effectively communicate ideas to a wide range of audiences - expert facilitation of and collaboration with the Steering Committee and other stakeholders.
  •  Availability and capacity to move the project forward and the flexibility to adjust quickly to changes in a complex community environment.


Anticipated Project Phases:

Phase 1 - Survey/Community Engagement


  • Consultant will work with Steering Committee to create community engagement framework (ex. public meetings, surveys, interviews). This framework is not limited to Phase 1 and should be consistent through Phase 3 of the project. Greektown has a diverse group of stakeholders with a variety of significant perspectives that should be considered from initial survey through implementation.
  • Complete existing conditions assessment including historic significance, public realm, parking and transit, land use.
  • Identify key drivers and planning goals, and opportunities for historic preservation, public space, parking, transportation, security, etc.
  • Consultant will provide alternatives for review with the Steering Committee and Community Stakeholders.
  • Identify key opportunities and strategies to address challenges identified.
  • Survey results, perception studies, and preliminary visuals/graphics will bolster this initial analysis.


  • Existing Conditions Assessment  
  • Stakeholder and Community Engagement Feedback
  • Goals and Design Principles
  • Any additional due diligence studies or deliverables agreed on as beneficial by the Steering Committee and selected consultant

Phase 2 - Creation of Framework Plan (consists of various deliverables informed by Phase 1 and the budget)

DELIVERABLES: The following items shall be delivered to the GPS project manager:

  • A completed neighborhood master plan, with elements that may include, but are not limited to the following:

a.     Executive Summary

b.    Vision Statement / Neighborhood Narrative

c.     Development Framework / FormBased Zoning

d.     Massing Plan for Unbuilt Parcels

e.     Storefronts and Signage Design Guidelines

f.      Streetscape/Landscape Masterplan

g.     Economic Development Strategy

h.     Traditional Mainstreet Overlay

i.       Parking and Traffic Strategy

j.       Transit Plan (DPM, Bike Lanes, Bus Stops, Rideshare, etc.)

k.     Parks and Public Spaces Plan

l.       Commercial Market Demand Study

m.    Residential Market Demand Study

  • Clearly articulated vision for neighborhood identity consisting of an outline of branding along with examples of programs and infrastructure to support this identity
  • One (1) existing land use map and at least two (2) future land use scenarios
  • Urban design guidelines including visual representations in the form of 3D models, illustrations and photography
  • Visual representations of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles and how they can be used in the focus area with specific recommendations
  • List of short-term connectivity interventions as well as a longer-term connectivity plan for Campus Martius, Riverfront, Little Caesar's Arena, Eastern Market and Lafayette Park
  • Connectivity strategy for the Greater Greektown Area with respect to future development

While the number of illustrations and visuals is at the discretion of the consultant team, we emphasize the need to have visual materials ready for any Steering Committee meetings. For instance, renderings do not have to be detailed and photorealistic, but should be used to illustrate plan recommendations. Visual elements are important to convey plan concepts and vision to audiences who do not have a planning background.


Phase 3 - Execution and Implementation Strategy

Strategy for Phase 3 should be created in close consultation with The City, in particular the Planning and Development Department, in order to ensure that implementation is in accordance with The City’s current development efforts in the surrounding neighborhoods.


  • Develop a phased implementation strategy and prioritization of deliverables based on review of alternatives.
  • Finalize preferred strategy and finalize maps, renderings, plans, and guidelines to support this direction.
  • Identify near-term opportunities for activation and catalytic investment.
  • Identify long-term funding sources and partnerships to ensure sustainable growth.



  • Comprehensive implementation and execution plan and timeline with prioritized action steps.


End of Section III


IV. Submission Process and Timeline

RFP Submission: February 15, 2018


Interviews: February 26 – March 1, 2018


Awarded: March 6, 2018


The project is scheduled to be completed by August 1, 2018.


Proposal Submission Requirements:


Cover Letter:

  • Provide name and address of the firm(s) and project contact person
  • with address, telephone number, and email address. Acknowledge receipt of any addenda if applicable. Summarize your understanding of the project scope and services being required. Provide a statement indicating your ability to provide timely services for this project and to meet the requirements of the proposed schedule.
  • Indicate your acceptance of the requirements of this RFP. Provide a one-page summary of the benefits you believe GPS would receive from selecting your Firm.
  • A duly authorized official of the firm must sign the cover letter. Consortiums, joint ventures, or teams submitting proposals must establish a project lead, as contractual responsibility rests solely with one company or one legal entity. Each submittal should indicate the entity responsible for execution on behalf of the proposal team.

2. Project Team:

  •  Prepare an organizational chart showing your firm’s team.
  •  Provide resumes or a listing of information for each person included in your proposed project team. State the educational background of each individual, years of experience, length of employment with your firm, and previous project experience. For each person, list specific responsibilities on this project, experience on economic impact studies of similar size and type, specific qualifications applicable to this project, and current work assignments and availability for this project.
  •  What capacity and resources do you possess that would enable you to back up and support your assigned staff?

3. Project Approach:

  • Provide a concise summary of the firm or team’s approach to the project. If your proposal is based upon any variation to the scope of work (reduced or additional services), please outline any clarifications or modifications.

4. References:

  • Consultant shall provide a list of similar studies and project descriptions undertaken by the firm (preferably the project personnel) with contact information listed.

5. Experiences:

  • Consultant shall supply to the recent innovative projects pertinent to this study and any examples of similar projects in other cities that the consultant was involved with.

6. Project Schedule:

  • Project approach and schedule describing how the study and analysis will be conducted. Include a listing of project meetings with GPS representatives and a proposed stakeholder interview schedule.

7.     Cost proposal:

  • Respondents should include a total cost for each of the tasks outlined in this RFP. Cost proposals should be presented in a lump-sum format. If reimbursable expenses are to be part of the professional fee, include a not-to-exceed amount for reimbursable expenses and a list of items/services to be reimbursed.


Selection Criteria:


Following submission of the proposals, the steering committee will determine a short-list of no more than three firms whose proposals are deemed most qualified. The steering committee will rely on the qualitative information contained and presented in the proposals, interviews, and reference checks in making the decision to select the most qualified firm to provide services for this project.


Selection criteria will be based on:


1. Firm background and applicable project experience (60 percent)


  • Experience with comparable projects or with similar organizations
  • Past performance in Detroit or comparable legacy cities
  • Knowledge of the local or regional economy
  • Recent, current, and projected workload
  • Quality of project portfolio


2. Project team key leadership background and applicable project experience (40 percent)


  • Experience with comparable project or similar organization
  • Abilities of personnel
  • Understanding of the project objectives
  • Project approach

Short-List Interviews:


During the week of February 26 – March 1, 2018 GPS will conduct on-site interviews of the top 3-5 respondents who are identified by the Steering Committee. Any travel costs incurred will be at the expense of the interviewed firm. While not preferred, video interviews will be accommodated in the case that a project team is unable to travel to Detroit at the time of their interview. 


Contract Negotiations:


Greektown Preservation Society will negotiate the terms of the contract with the consultant(s) submitting the top ranked response(s) or the next ranked choice should negotiations with the top-ranked firm fail. Greektown Preservation Society will not reimburse any costs incurred prior to a formal notice to proceed should a contract award result from this solicitation. Proposal submittal costs in conjunction with this RFP shall be borne by the submitting firm.

End of Section IV




Play a role in shaping the future of one of the most iconic neighborhoods in one of America's greatest cities. 

The Greektown Preservation Society and the rest of the Greektown stakeholders would like to cordially thank you for your interest in this endeavor. This project represents an exciting opportunity to bridge the gap between historic Detroit and the exciting new developments that are currently taking shape across the city. The Greektown neighborhood embodies the grit and resilience of Detroit and will continue to serve as the place where Detroiters and visitors alike come to celebrate the city. This project offers a qualified firm a unique opportunity to help define one of the most important and visible neighborhoods in one of the highest-potential urban areas in the United States.