Bike lanes, pedestrian improvements, a pavilion and more coming to downtown Roseville

One of many older metro Detroit suburbs without a traditional, walkable downtown, Roseville has been taking steps to change that fact.

The city has targeted the stretch of Utica Road between Gratiot Avenue and Twelve Mile Road as its future downtown. In 2015, a Downtown Development Authority was formed to help build that community.

This Saturday, July 22, at 1 p.m., a groundbreaking is being held at the former site of the Tip Top Bar to celebrate the Reinventing Downtown Roseville grants the DDA received from the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments. The money comes as part of SEMCOG's Transportation Alternatives Program, or TAP. Funds received will be used toward bike lanes and pedestrian improvements along Utica Road.

The old Tip Top Bar site is an important one, says Jennifer Colombo, a chairperson on the Roseville DDA. It's there where the DDA plans to anchor the growing downtown with a new public park and pavilion. While the funds still have to be raised for the park and pavilion, she says that they should be built in about two years

Colombo also owns businesses within the DDA zone, Royal Treat Tea Room and Just Delicious Scones.

"I'm lucky that the tea room is a destination buisiness and people come from all over to visit," says Colombo. "But the pavilion will provide a downtown center to attract people. You have to start with something and spread out from there."

The pavilion was the subject of an international design contest, with the winning submission coming from an entrant in Egypt.

This Saturday's groundbreaking ceremony coincides with the Jammin' in the Junction car show. Held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., the car show will feature music and children's activities, in addition to the classic automobiles. Colombo says that walk-up vehicles are always accepted at a $20 fee, with cash prizes awarded at the end of the day.

The car show is put together and hosted by Eric Lafata of Lafata Auto Body, which is located at 28760 Utica Rd. in downtown Roseville.

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MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.