DETROIT -

With the exception of a few vacant buildings, five blocks of empty land sits along the river front in Detroit.

The property has been empty for years.

More: Plan calls for homes, shops on Detroit's east riverfront

Now, a national developer who calls the city home is coming back to Detroit to turn the vacant land into a home for Metro Detroiters.

Richard Baron is the chairman and CEO of McCormack Baron Salazar, "It's a wonderful opportunity to develop a new community," he said.

Tuesday the Detroit native was town from St. Louis to bring his vision of town houses, apartments and shopping along the riverfront to life.

Baron sat down with the Board of the Economic Development Corporation of Detroit (EDC) where his preliminary plans for RiverTown were approved.

The $60 million project will transform the five blocks of riverfront.

Phase 1 includes apartments along Atwater, Woodbridge and the Dequindre cut. The land is owned by the EDC and they would transfer it to baron for only $1.00.

--Rendering of proposed RiverTown.

For Baron coming home to a bankrupt Detroit is even more incentive to help the city he grew up in rebuild.

Phase 2 of the plan would build an additional 200 housing units on the vacant property along Atwater Street west of Riopelle Street.

Now that the initial vote has past the financing comes next. The EDC is also offering a $1.7 million loan to help the developer with implementation costs.

Baron says he hopes to be back in Detroit one year from now to break ground on RiverTown.