On Saturday, Snyder kicked off the planned $12.8 million transformation of Detroit's Globe Trading Company complex. He punctuated the news conference by bicycling the Dequindre Cut, a pedestrian and bike pathway built on an abandoned rail line running alongside the Globe, the Detroit Free Press reported (http://on.freep.com/R2dqbC).
"I want everyone to remember what that looks like today, so when we come back and see what it looks like, we can see what the power of working together can do and the opportunity to reinvent Michigan and the opportunity to reinvent Detroit," Snyder said.
Construction is expected to start late this year or early next year and the complex could open by late 2013. Expected features include a climbing wall, kayaking simulator and demonstrations on Michigan's historic lumber industry.
The overhaul of industrial complex is part of a plan to expand the William G. Milliken State Park & Harbor and turn the Detroit riverfront park into a launching pad of sorts for Michigan's nearly 100 state parks. The plans are backed by grants from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund.
The neglected industrial complex began life in the late 1860s as the Dry Dock Engine Works, which had employed a young Henry Ford, and was absorbed by the Detroit Shipbuilding Co., according to records compiled by the National Park Service.
When that company dissolved in the late 1920s, the plant was used by a stove manufacturer, the Detroit Edison Co., for appliance repair and finally the Globe Trading Co., which had been a machinery wholesale firm.
Information from: Detroit Free Press, http://www.freep.com
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.