Since the park opened in late 2004 as a part of Detroit 300, a group celebrating the city's 300th anniversary, investments of around $500 million have poured into the area surrounding the urban park, including two high-rise office buildings and several residential developments and restaurants.
Bill McGraw contends:
"Urban parks can return focus to a downtown. To develop a vision, Detroit 300 turned to the Project for Public Spaces (PPS), a New York City–based nonprofit organization that emphasizes a place-making process drawing on extensive consultations with a wide variety of local people rather than professional planners. PPS, Gregory, and a task force also examined successful urban spaces from New York City to London and came up with a list of 25 must-have features, including year-round activity, a water focus, a café, gardens, stages, and an emphasis on showing off the best of Detroit culture. "