The City of St. Clair, Michigan is blessed with a quarter-mile park along the St. Clair River, an exemplary public marina and exceptional views from the downtown. Historically, the city has been a major recreation and vacation destination for metro Detroit. The historic St. Clair Inn is a destination with an international reputation for excellence.
Despite these strengths, Downtown St. Clair is best defined by Riverside Plaza, one of the nation’s first urban renewal projects. This retail center is located in the heart of Downtown St. Clair and is an isolated and outdated space with high vacancy rates. The individual units within the building are condominium units, which complicate redevelopment efforts because any decisions require consensus among the plaza's 19 different owners.
McKenna Associates led a three-day design charrette to develop a new physical vision for Downtown St. Clair. Over 800 people participated in the design process and shared their visions for the future of the downtown. The charrette was the basis for the Downtown Vision Plan, which outlined a number of physical improvements including new gateway landscape treatments, recommended road profiles, non-motorized connections, crosswalks, and public art installations.
The Plan also detailed recommended zoning changes to facilitate additional residential development and higher density development in the downtown area.