The pier's governing board approved Friday an advisory board's recommendation to hire landscape architect James Corner's design team for the Pierscape project.
Corner was chosen for his creative and practical approach.
"We asked them to dream big, but they dreamed big but were able to do it in a way we felt we could pay for it," said board chairperson Sarah Garvey.
A few sketches of how the redesigned pier will look were released.
The plans include an amphitheatre that would reach down to the level of Lake Michigan on the pier's east end.
The pier's board hopes the redesign will be complete in time for the pier's centennial anniversary in 2016.