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animatedmartian
Jun 20, 2012, 7:43 PM
Detroit awarded $10M to improve Eastern Market, link Dequindre Cut, Midtown and Hamtramck

The federal money will help fund Link Detroit, a "multi-modal enhancement plan" designed by the city, which had requested more than $15 million for the project.

Planned improvements at Eastern Market include streetscape enhancements, improved bicycle and transit facilities, landscaping and pedestrian lights. The city aintends to replace deteriorating Adelaide and Division Street bridges just east of the market.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow praised the prospect of additional improvements to Eastern Market, which she said "is already a hub for economic activity" in the region.

The project also aims to expand the Midtown Loop Greenway and provide links to Eastern Market, the the RiverWalk, downtown and Dequindre Cut, which itself would be extended two miles north (through on and off-street bike lanes) to a planned greenway system in Hamtramck.

http://img26.imageshack.us/img26/5060/zscren623.png
(screencap from pdf file)

http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2012/06/detroit_wins_10m_grant_to_impr.html#incart_river_default

LMich
Jun 21, 2012, 7:18 AM
Yes! This kind of stuff is what facilitates true urban development when it comes. I really enjoy hearing about infrastructure improvements like this, even more than some of the other development you hear about.

Onn
Jun 21, 2012, 9:42 PM
Woodward comeback on road to reality

http://cmsimg.detnews.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=C3&Date=20120621&Category=BIZ&ArtNo=206210339&Ref=AR&MaxW=640&Border=0&Woodward-comeback-road-reality

Louis Aguilar
The Detroit News
21 June 2012

A key section of downtown Detroit's Woodward Avenue may be on the verge of fulfilling a long-deferred dream — returning to a corridor filled with shops and sidewalks full of people, developers and experts say.

Quicken Loans Inc. founder Dan Gilbert has said the mass accumulation of downtown property by his real estate unit, including five buildings on Woodward, should lead to a "two-year period when a lot of new residential ... and new retail" will open in the city's core.

Hundreds of retailers and other small firms have inquired about setting up shop in the nine downtown Detroit buildings bought by Gilbert and his partners since 2010, according to company officials. The inquiries follow the relocation of about 9,000 workers from Quicken Loans, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and other companies from the suburbs to offices near the Woodward corridor, establishing a customer base for dining and shopping.

"We are vetting them now," said Bruce Schwartz, Bedrock Real Estate Services' Detroit relocation manager, at a recent Detroit Regional Chamber event. Bedrock Managing Partner Jim Ketai said the retailers include "restaurants, grocery stores, furniture." Every downtown building Gilbert and company will buy will always have first-floor retail, Ketai said.

Although there remain many gaps along the eight-block stretch of the city's signature street between Jefferson Avenue and Grand Circus Park, at least six businesses have opened or relocated to the area in the past 18 months. They include a Brazilian steakhouse and an Olga's Kitchen restaurant, as well as more routine businesses like a bail bond office and a convenience store.

Still, many developers and commercial real estate analysts say there has been enough progress that a retail recovery is within grasp. The progress includes rising occupancy in downtown apartments and Metro Detroit's improving economy.

http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120621/BIZ/206210339#ixzz1ySz0kqep

animatedmartian
Jun 22, 2012, 12:40 AM
Yes! This kind of stuff is what facilitates true urban development when it comes. I really enjoy hearing about infrastructure improvements like this, even more than some of the other development you hear about.

Agreed.

I wonder how the Hamtramck Connector will be implemented. Between EM and Ham Town, it's like a no-man's land of blight and industrial buildings. Though there's some pretty awesome churches in the area that could probably act as anchor points. The only long-term drawback is that the Incinerator is upwind of this area. It'll definitely be interesting area to watch though.

And also glad to see an article taking notice of the movement on Woodward.

Onn
Jun 22, 2012, 12:57 AM
Detroit auto show organizers reveal Cobo Center upgrades

http://cmsimg.detnews.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=C3&Date=20120621&Category=AUTO01&ArtNo=206210458&Ref=AR&MaxW=640&Border=0&Detroit-auto-show-organizers-reveal-Cobo-Center-upgrades
The gigantic steel truss, a critical structural element for the new ballroom and meeting rooms inside the former Cobo Arena, was raised 87 feet in Detroit on Thursday. (David Coates/The Detroit News)

Jaclyn Trop
The Detroit News
21 June 2012

Organizers of the North American International Auto Show unveiled renderings for the renovated Cobo Center at a press conference Thursday.

The upgrades will affect most aspects of the facility, from freight elevators to catering menus to the multi-story atrium that will overlook the Detroit River, under the slogan "a new center rising."

Renovations will be completed before next year's auto show in January.

Construction workers Thursday raised a 150-ton steel truss that will be structurally critical to a new ballroom on the second floor of the building.

The 150-foot piece of steel will hang from the ceiling and allow for movable walls to be hung, allowing the 40,000-square-foot ballroom to change size depending on what it's being used for.

The new Cobo Center will improve Detroit's image, Mayor Dave Bing said at the conference, held at Detroit Beer Co.

It's a "longer-term agreement to make our city what we want to be."

http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120621/AUTO01/206210458#ixzz1yTlkHKmK

Onn
Jun 24, 2012, 4:49 PM
Looks like the RiverWalk has quickly become a smash hit, not just for people but businesses. Couldn't pick a better location for all this! :)

Tall ships, rides, entertainment draw families to the RiverWalk

http://multimedia.detroitnews.com/pix/b0/ff/82/6b/11/5f/20120623201315_01-RiverDays.JPG

http://multimedia.detroitnews.com/pix/66/7c/99/9f/4d/37/20120623201633_07-RiverDays.JPG

http://multimedia.detroitnews.com/pix/00/ed/12/e4/f7/14/20120623201953_14-RiverDays.JPG

Lauren Abdel-Razzaq
The Detroit News
24 June 2012

Detroit -For Detroiter Marsha Bruhn, the River Days festival is a chance for her to see the work she did as director of the Detroit City Planning Commission put into action. Before she retired in 2005, she helped launch the framework for what would become the riverfront walk.

"It's such a variety for all age groups and it's wonderful to see it so alive," said Bruhn, who had come to the festival with her friend Sarah Moore. "It's exciting to see something going through the planning phase, to implementation to see how people are actually using it."

Added Moore: "It gets better every year.

Detroit River Days this year will span the RiverWalk from the William G. Milliken State Park and Harbor, near Atwater Street, to the port authority terminal and dock, just past the Renaissance Center.

Hundred of families strolled along the riverfront, partaking in midway rides and touring some of the ships docked along the way. A replica of a tall ship traveled back and forth between Windsor and Detroit carrying British and American soldiers reenacting a battle from the War of 1812, complete with cannon fire.

A new addition to the festival is ArtScape, an open competition for Michigan artists. Ten pieces were on display along the riverfront and attendees will have a chance to vote for their favorite.

Nicholas Barkley of Roseville was one of the artists showing his piece "Mermaid Sunning" inside the Wintergarden of the GM Building. He sculpts professionally for General Motors and creates his artwork in his free time.

"This event is very great for Detroit," said Barkley, who spent five years on his carved cottonwood mermaid sculpture. "I didn't even know where the Wintergarden was and when I came down here, I said holy cow, that's impressive."

Other highlights include a 5K Walk and Run taking place Saturday morning, the Pooch-a-Palooza walk on Sunday morning, a kids zone, carnival rides, street performers, river tours and demonstrations by the Coast Guard and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120623/METRO/206230378#ixzz1yjKt6mjP

animatedmartian
Jun 27, 2012, 12:21 PM
New Hyatt breaks ground at Suburban Collection Showplace

http://cmsimg.detnews.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=C3&Date=20120627&Category=BIZ&ArtNo=206270319&Ref=AR&MaxW=640&Border=0&Work-starts-Hyatt-hotel-Novi-convention-center

http://cmsimg.detnews.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=C3&Date=20120627&Category=BIZ&ArtNo=206270319&Ref=V2&MaxW=600&Border=0
BY THE DETROIT NEWS | JUNE 27, 2012

[...]

The Hyatt Place joins announced plans for the possible addition of two boutique hotels in the region — one in downtown Detroit's David Whitney Building and another in downtown Royal Oak.

"Many of the projects that you see coming are projects that were planned before the recession and are now coming back online," Skelton said.

Hotel rates in Metro Detroit have increased during the past year because of a lack of hotel building, industry analysts say.

The showplace is considered Michigan's second largest convention center, Hyatt's Schramm said. But the Suburban Collection Showplace rarely competes directly with Detroit's Cobo Center for convention business, since it suits small to medium conventions and events, Bowman said.

"We offer a choice as another alternative in Metro Detroit," he said.

But with the former Pontchartrain hotel across from Cobo getting renovations and a new owner and the showplace adding a hotel, the region should become a better convention destination, Bowman said.

"We're going to have a great package to offer meeting planners," he said.

The $9.5 million showplace project includes adding 20,000 square feet of space to the Diamond Center for 10 breakout rooms and more pre-function space.


http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120627/BIZ/206270319/Work-starts-Hyatt-hotel-Novi-convention-center?odyssey=mod%7Cnewswell%7Ctext%7CFRONTPAGE%7Cp

Seems like an odd photo to me...anyway, with this news of needed hotels in Metro Detroit, I'm wondering what ever happened with the rumors that W hotel was going to renovate/build something Downtown.

Onn
Jun 27, 2012, 3:13 PM
Detroit targets 1,500 buildings for demolition

http://cmsimg.detnews.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=C3&Date=20120627&Category=METRO01&ArtNo=206270353&Ref=AR&MaxW=640&Border=0&Detroit-targets-1-500-buildings-demolition
Detroit Mayor Dave Bing announces the demolition program in front of a home slated to be torn down on Coram Street near Denby High School. (Steve Perez / The Detroit News)

Tony Briscoe
The Detroit News
27 June 2012

Detroit— Standing outside a dilapidated house near Denby High School, Mayor Dave Bing on Tuesday announced a plan to demolish 1,500 dangerous structures in the city in the next 90 days — the most the city has ever tackled in that amount of time.

The mayor, along with Karla Henderson, the city's group executive for planning and facilities, stressed he wants Detroit's schoolchildren to feel safe coming to and from school. The house on Coram Street on the city's east side is among those slated to be razed.

"This is just the tip of the iceberg, because even if we reach our goal of 10,000 (demolitions), which I think we will in the administration's first term, they're still only 10 percent of the homes that need to be torn down," Bing said.

"It's not going to happen overnight. We are trying to be strategic. We want our kids in particular to be safe as they are going to school and coming home from school."

The structures to be demolished will mainly be residential, because commercial buildings generally cost more to demolish, Bing said. Funding for the project comes from $15 million in federal money set aside for the city's neighborhood stabilization program.

After the current phase of demolitions, the city might need to seek more federal support, he said.

The city has hired 17 contractors for the current phase of demolition. To meet the mayor's goal of 1,500 by the end of September, the city must tear down more than 16 structures a day. Ten buildings were scheduled for demolition Tuesday.

Bing said that he expects City Council to approve more than 600 structures for demolition next week.

http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120627/METRO01/206270353#ixzz1z0UfYjrs

animatedmartian
Jul 3, 2012, 8:43 AM
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8431/7492830424_0eb11243fe_b.jpg

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7254/7492855458_51b8679725_b.jpg

animatedmartian
Jul 3, 2012, 8:45 AM
And I guess I can post these in this thread as well.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8167/7489747322_b6725b2203_b.jpg

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8145/7492861500_3f5070a02c_b.jpg

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8287/7492867948_19873af669_b.jpg

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7267/7492864748_75aa049438_b.jpg

hudkina
Jul 4, 2012, 6:24 AM
Man... Has there been a decent looking apartment building built in the city since the Ellington?

Onn
Jul 11, 2012, 7:47 PM
The Palace of Auburn Hills to undergo renovations

http://cmsimg.detnews.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=C3&Date=20120711&Category=SPORTS0102&ArtNo=207110395&Ref=AR&MaxW=640&Border=0&The-Palace-Auburn-Hills-undergo-renovations

http://cmsimg.detnews.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=C3&Date=20120711&Category=SPORTS0102&ArtNo=207110395&Ref=V2&MaxW=600&Border=0

http://cmsimg.detnews.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=C3&Date=20120711&Category=SPORTS0102&ArtNo=207110395&Ref=H3&MaxW=600&Border=0

http://cmsimg.detnews.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=C3&Date=20120711&Category=SPORTS0102&ArtNo=207110395&Ref=V4&MaxW=600&Border=0

Eric Lacy
The Detroit News
11 July 2012

Auburn Hills— Pistons fans are expected to step foot into a more visibly appealing, open-air feeling at the Palace of Auburn Hills when the NBA season starts this fall.

Palace officials confirmed Wednesday afternoon that a remodeling project, including the main concourse and 100-level concourse and removal of 16 suites in the 300 level — replaced with an open-air lounge — will be completed by the time the Pistons tip off the 2012-13 season.

The project includes new lighting and sound systems, hospitality areas, furnishings in luxury-seating areas, wireless internet access and digital menu boards along the concourse.

"We want to do whatever we can to make this a escape for our fans and thrill them," said Dennis Mannion, president of Palace Sports & Entertainment.

Plans, according to the timeline, also include remodeled east and west atrium entrances and revamped VIP and administration entrances, expected to be complete by the end of the 2013 calendar year.

Palace Sports & Entertainment, according to the Associated Press, will pay for the improvements, expected to cost $13-15 million.

It's the biggest investment yet since owner Tom Gores took over last year.

"Tom is a perfectionist on every level," Mannion said. "He doesn't have his fingers on everything, but he's got his eyes on everything."

The improvements suggest that the Pistons are committed to staying at the Palace and not planning a move any time soon.
http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120711/SPORTS0102/207110395/The-Palace-Auburn-Hills-undergo-renovations?odyssey=tab

Rizzo
Jul 11, 2012, 10:48 PM
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8431/7492830424_0eb11243fe_b.jpg

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7254/7492855458_51b8679725_b.jpg

Looks like those are FCB panels on the top. Very nice. But I'm not sure it coordinates well with the brick. A two tone approach would have been slick and less awkward. Either a neutral gray / black / slight gray-blue colored masonry would have been appropriate over the dark red or brown at the base. Otherwise I'm happy with it.

PistonsFan
Jul 23, 2012, 11:18 PM
Final stretch for Detroit River Walk gets $44M boost
July 23, 2012 at 1:22 pm
By Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News


http://cmsimg.detnews.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=C3&Date=20120723&Category=METRO01&ArtNo=207230363&Ref=AR&MaxW=640&Border=0&Final-stretch-Detroit-River-Walk-gets-44M-boost

Detroit— After recalling times when much of the Detroit River was run down and barely accessible by the public, a cheerful group of public and private officials broke ground on the final stage of the east riverfront project Monday morning.

The project, which will be funded by $44 million in federal and state appropriations, will connect the downtown RiverWalk to the space just east of the Belle Isle bridge, creating green spaces, plazas and parks accessible for the city's residents and visitors.

Amid the ongoing turmoil surrounding Detroit's financial situation, Gov. Rick Snyder noted his pleasure to announce the news in Detroit on Monday morning, and he said he recently looked across the river from Windsor with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper — before announcing the new international bridge crossing — and told him about the resurgence of the riverfront.

"From what was a lost opportunity, there is success, and we should be proud of that," Snyder said Monday morning. "Let's keep this going. Let's make this riverfront great and reinvent Detroit."

The state's Department of Natural Resources awarded the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy a $15 million check at the groundbreaking ceremony. The conversancy has also received a $29 million federal highway appropriation, which U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Detroit, helped secure and the state's Department of Transportation gave to the river project.

Officials from the conservancy, MDOT, DNR and others applauded the partnership that will transform the river.

"This is so exciting," said Faye Nelson, president of the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy, adding construction will begin immediately and be complete by the end of 2013. "We are marching toward that finish line, and obviously, as everyone has mentioned, we could have never done this by ourselves. This is an extraordinary public-private partnership."

One of the main improvements coming with the project is a transformation of Mount Elliott Park, which will have an interactive water park for kids, a separate kids play area, new landscaping with trees and shrubs and an open pavilion structure similar to the one at Rivard Plaza. Gabriel Richard Park, just east of the Belle Isle bridge, will soon have a new parking lot, lighting enhancements and a bicycle pathway connecting the riverfront to Jefferson Avenue. The former Uniroyal tire factory will also be developed into a public space

Read more...

From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120723/METRO01/207230363#ixzz21UTw4t5V

http://cmsimg.detnews.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=C3&Date=20120723&Category=METRO01&ArtNo=207230363&Ref=V2&MaxW=600&Border=0

PistonsFan
Jul 23, 2012, 11:21 PM
Title Source to move 1,500 into Detroit's First National Building
July 23, 2012 at 2:47 pm
By Karl Henkel
The Detroit News

http://cmsimg.detnews.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=C3&Date=20120723&Category=BIZ&ArtNo=207230391&Ref=AR&MaxW=640&Border=0&Title-Source-move-1-500-into-Detroit-s-First-National-Building

Detroit — Troy-based Title Source says it will move 1,500 workers to the First National Building in Downtown Detroit.

The company said Monday it will move 500 employees into the Central Business District this week, with the remaining 1,000 coming in waves during the next six months.

First National Building — at Campus Martius — was purchased by Rock Ventures LLC last year. Rock Ventures is one of the Quicken Loans Inc. family of companies founded by Dan Gilbert.


From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120723/BIZ/207230391#ixzz21UUkk300

Rizzo
Jul 24, 2012, 1:09 AM
Title Source to move 1,500 into Detroit's First National Building
July 23, 2012 at 2:47 pm
By Karl Henkel
The Detroit News

http://cmsimg.detnews.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=C3&Date=20120723&Category=BIZ&ArtNo=207230391&Ref=AR&MaxW=640&Border=0&Title-Source-move-1-500-into-Detroit-s-First-National-Building

Detroit — Troy-based Title Source says it will move 1,500 workers to the First National Building in Downtown Detroit.

The company said Monday it will move 500 employees into the Central Business District this week, with the remaining 1,000 coming in waves during the next six months.

First National Building — at Campus Martius — was purchased by Rock Ventures LLC last year. Rock Ventures is one of the Quicken Loans Inc. family of companies founded by Dan Gilbert.


From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120723/BIZ/207230391#ixzz21UUkk300

!!!!!! Holy crap this is really great news! This justifies more retail / restaurants downtown. Seriously, once the Broderick is all filled up and the Whitney starts constructions, you've basically book ended Woodward with occupancy make it alot easier to fill in the gaps.

animatedmartian
Jul 31, 2012, 11:17 PM
Gilbert gives updates for projects in downtown Detroit
TUESDAY, JULY 31, 2012
Writer: Jon Zemke

Quicken Loans Chairman Dan Gilbert took questions about his other downtown Detroit projects at the Title Source-moves-downtown press conference last week. Here is a quick grab bag of updates on what he and Detroit Economic Growth Corporation President & CEO George Jackson spoke about.

M-1 light rail line: Both Gilbert and local officials, such as Jackson, continue to speak confidently that the hard-fought-for streetcar line between the Detroit River and New Center would soon get the green light to begin construction. They didn't indicate an announcement about the project's approval was pending but didn't say the process was moving backward either.

Woodward Avenue retail: The Gilbert team continues to work toward reinvigorating the section of Woodward between Campus Martius and Grand Circus Park with dynamic retail. He did indicate that announcements of opening businesses would happen in groups instead of individually so the retailers would be better positioned for success. Gilbert also announced that his team has recently hired a handful of urban planning experts from outside of Michigan to help with the retail roll out. "That's really our focus right now," Gilbert says.

Downtown rental housing demand: Gilbert is bullish on downtown Detroit's worst kept secret: the sharp uptick in demand for rental housing in the greater downtown area. "The market is there," Gilbert says. "There are a lot of people in their 20s who want to come to downtown but it's sold out."

Possible future building acquisitions: Opportunity is the driving force behind Gilbert's building acquisition plan. Many of the nearly one dozen structures his team has purchased in a relatively short amount of time happened because it was the right opportunity at the right time at the right price. He says his team will look at adding more properties when the right opportunities present themselves. "A lot of these opportunities just came to us," Gilbert says. "A lot of (foreclosing) lenders approached us. This was the low-hanging fruit."

State help for Detroit's other large parks: Jackson says the negotiations about the State of Michigan helping the City of Detroit maintain and upgrade Belle Isle are ongoing, declining to say much more. He adds that similar talks are not going on about Detroit's other major parks, such as Rouge Park and Fort Wayne, but a deal on Belle Isle could be used as a template for future partnerships with those parks.

http://www.modeldmedia.com/devnews/gilbertprojectsdowntowndetroit073112.aspx

animatedmartian
Aug 7, 2012, 8:46 AM
Get Moving Detroit: U-Haul Buys NBC Warehouse Building

http://detroit.curbed.com/archives/2012/08/uhaul-buys-nbc-building-in-new-center.php#reader_comments

U-haul Detroit Blog. (http://blogs.uhaul.com/detroit/)

http://blogs.uhaul.com/detroit/files/Nabisco-Building-Ext_72dpi.jpg

LMich
Aug 8, 2012, 7:15 AM
I've always loved this building.

animatedmartian
Aug 9, 2012, 12:57 AM
Something interesting...

Daniel Libeskind Judging Detroit Design Competition

The local Detroit AIA (American Institute of Archiects) chapter is having a competition with a bit of a celebrity judge! Architect Daniel Libeskind is signed on as a jury member! The starchitect is best known for winning the World Trade Center design competition and buildings such as the Jewish Museum in Berlin and the extension to the Denver Art Museum. The Detroit Riverfront Competition challenges entrants to design the public space for the area between Cobo Hall and the Renaissance Center and between Jefferson Avenue and the Detroit River. This includes Hart Plaza and entries are due November 30, 2012. First place is a $5000 and Trip to Detroit.

http://detroit.curbed.com/archives/2012/08/starchitect-daniel-libeskind-judging-detroit-design-competition.php

Maybe some cool ideas can come out of this and maybe other parts of Detroit can get similar competitions as well.

the pope
Aug 9, 2012, 1:03 AM
Something interesting...



http://detroit.curbed.com/archives/2012/08/starchitect-daniel-libeskind-judging-detroit-design-competition.php

Maybe some cool ideas can come out of this and maybe other parts of Detroit can get similar competitions as well.

Maybe I don't pay as much attention to my hometown as I used to, but has Detroit always had a Curbed?

Rizzo
Aug 9, 2012, 1:13 AM
Yeah I think since winter. I remember when it just started and general confusion from the DetroitYes crowd lol

Onn
Aug 12, 2012, 3:09 PM
Maid cafe Chou Anime brings Japanese pop culture to Midtown

Donna Terek
The Detroit News
12 August 2012

Detroit has seen many "firsts" over the years: first mile of paved road, first techno artists. And now it has its first maid cafe — or "meido kafue," as these novelty coffee houses and restaurants are called in Japan.

Chou Anime (cho an-i-may) Cafe opened on Woodward at Willis in Midtown in mid-June. Its owners, Oneka and Joe Samet of Birmingham, say it's the only brick and mortar maid cafe now operating in the United States. The first one closed after a three-year run in Culver City, Calif.

It serves tea and Great Lakes coffees, salads, sandwiches, wraps and sushi plus many sweets imported from Japan. But the standout features are the chirpy young women dressed in maid costumes who greet you, seat you, serve you and invite you to play board, card or video games at your table for a small (no more than $2) fee.

A maid cafe is a little like a Japanese tea house run by a modern twist on geisha, those elegant Japanese entertainers dressed in elaborate kimono. Maids, on the other hand, dress like — well — maids, in doll-like outfits with ruffles, bows and optional clip-on cat ears. Maid cafes originated in Tokyo in the early 2000s and quickly spread all over Japan, spawning spin-offs like maid hair salons and car detailing shops. They originally were a subset of cosplay restaurants, where servers and patrons dress as their favorite fictional characters. The maid character is a popular archetype in Japan, appearing in more than 200 manga (Japanese graphic novel or comic books) and anime (animated cartoons/films).

http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120812/OPINION03/208120314#ixzz23LQlbx3p

Rizzo
Aug 24, 2012, 12:41 AM
Oh no, this is not good news

Detroit State Savings Bank Owner Wants to Demolish Historic Structure to Building a Parking Garage.

http://www.freep.com/article/20120823/NEWS01/120823048/Detroit-State-Savings-Bank-owner-wants-demolish-historic-structure-build-parking-garage?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

Onn
Aug 24, 2012, 12:46 AM
What a stupid move! If that goes through its going to start a trend for the city.

Rizzo
Aug 24, 2012, 1:31 AM
^ It already did. 1001 Woodward leveled a whole row of beautiful midrise vintage structures for parking. The Dime Building took out the gorgeous terra cotta Olde Building for parking. The Book Cadillac wiped out the Detroit Commerce Building for parking.

This doesn't include other downtown buildings that have in the past capitalized on nearby vacant or underutilized land to build accessory garages. Basically, for every block you build on in Detroit, you dedicate another whole block to parking.

They have an ordinance that requires ground floor retail, but it's had mixed success. It took years to fill spaces in even the most desirable areas. I see it as a problem because the garages aren't interesting enough architectural stock and drive down neighborhood desirability more than they contribute. If parking was really that important then there would be lines of prospective tenants fighting for space.

animatedmartian
Aug 24, 2012, 1:51 AM
Maybe this is a sign that mass transit ought to be taken seriously in Detroit. Does any other urban core have this problem of not enough parking but loads of vacant space? Or is it more about generating revenue from every building having it's own parking block?

:yuck:

goat314
Aug 24, 2012, 3:44 AM
Maybe this is a sign that mass transit ought to be taken seriously in Detroit. Does any other urban core have this problem of not enough parking but loads of vacant space? Or is it more about generating revenue from every building having it's own parking block?

:yuck:

Yes, St. Louis has done this a bunch of times with very similar buildings. We've had light rail with subway styled downtown stations for nearly 20 years and we are just starting to plan for TOD. Fortunately, in the last 10 years there has been a boom in loft apartments in our older historic buildings, but many still do fall prey to parking garages or even worst.....LOTS! So to answer your question. Detroit is not the only city in the country to demolish perfectly good historic buildings when there is little demand for new parking in the downtown area.

Rizzo
Aug 24, 2012, 4:22 AM
Maybe this is a sign that mass transit ought to be taken seriously in Detroit. Does any other urban core have this problem of not enough parking but loads of vacant space? Or is it more about generating revenue from every building having it's own parking block?

:yuck:

Here in downtown Chicago there is absurd amounts of parking, but its mostly hidden. Obviously Chicago has loads of rail transit to assist people getting to work, but the difference here is parking garages are shared. Workers look for the best deal and often walk 4 blocks to their office. The cost to park your vehicle downtown in the Loop on the workday is just a couple more dollars than a downtown Detroit office worker would pay.

That said, it's something psychological about being very close to your vehicle that sets Detroit apart from other large cities. Technically Detroit's parking is well supplied and centralized enough that transit isn't necessary at this moment, but will absolutely be necessary for future economic growth. For every spot you build a deck, you could have built hundreds of thousands of square feet of office space.

Guiltyspark
Aug 24, 2012, 4:53 AM
Maybe this is a sign that mass transit ought to be taken seriously in Detroit. Does any other urban core have this problem of not enough parking but loads of vacant space? Or is it more about generating revenue from every building having it's own parking block?

:yuck:

Workable mass transit in Detroit will never happen. Unlike a lot of other American Urban Centers, most people don't just head downtown to work and head home to the suburbs. It is much more complex than that. The population is spread through the suburbs along with most of the office, retail and even industrial jobs. The average commuter may live in Rochester Hills and work in Southfield, while his next door neighbor works in Troy and the guy next to him manages a factory down river. I have lived here my entire life and traveled all over the world, and I have not seen an example of mass transit that would work for my life in this particular suburban fabric. Most of my friends feel the same. The population is just to spread out with a thousand scattered places we all need to be instead of a few central cores that mass transit could be built around. I know this site is sometimes down on the automobile, but it has always worked well for me. It is great to have the freedom to go wherever you want whenever you want.

With that being said, Downtown Detroit already has way to many above ground parking garages.

LMich
Aug 24, 2012, 7:28 AM
Oh no, this is not good news

Detroit State Savings Bank Owner Wants to Demolish Historic Structure to Building a Parking Garage.

http://www.freep.com/article/20120823/NEWS01/120823048/Detroit-State-Savings-Bank-owner-wants-demolish-historic-structure-build-parking-garage?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

Did you see the guys justification? Apparently, downtown doesn't have enough parking and he's had to turn perspective tenants away. Now, excuse me while I laugh my ass off at that. This guy obviously doesn't know Detroit's preservation community, and doesn't even really know the state. I figured this out when he parachuted in from Toronto with his two-bit, low-class family business to run the Silverdome. Not even local developers use the parking excuse, anymore, at least not in a serious way, when they want to demolish their properties. They know how silly it sounds. Downtown Detroit is nothing but directly adjacent parking.

Maybe it's just wishful thinking, but I think the preservation community will win this battle simply because he was dumb enough (from his perspective) to leave open the door that he might try to find a parking option elsewhere near the Penobscot.

animatedmartian
Aug 27, 2012, 12:58 AM
Aww yea guys. Never been more excited to see a fresh parking lot in Detroit! :tup:

http://img10.imageshack.us/img10/5210/20277710151129958953746.jpg
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151129958953746&set=a.114343853745.98879.102770998745&type=3

Rizzo
Aug 27, 2012, 4:18 AM
Disgusting. Of all the Whole Foods prototypes, Detroit got handed the worst. It deserved better for an area that has made such great transitions.

jodelli
Aug 27, 2012, 4:44 AM
Some remedial shoreline work at the old Uniroyal site.

Taken from the water Saturday:
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8421/7860575258_4b580f4fc8_b.jpg

Sounds like a new breakwall going in. The pile driving starts up around 8am on weekdays.
No NIMBYs.

animatedmartian
Aug 30, 2012, 7:55 PM
After the demolition of the American Building, this is what will be going up next door. Good trade off?

http://img402.imageshack.us/img402/8441/wsumbrbrendering062012.jpg
Via Curbed (http://detroit.curbed.com/archives/2012/08/dalgleish-cadillac.php).

LMich
Aug 31, 2012, 7:07 AM
I mean, certainly as good a trade off as is possible in the tear-down of a historic structure. It's actually very nice, it's just that Detroit has so much land that these aren't choices we should have to make. It's not an either/or proposition, but that's how development seems to be presented in most of Detroit.

Onn
Aug 31, 2012, 4:37 PM
Detroit Fire Department's headquarters up for sale

http://cmsimg.detnews.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=C3&Date=20120831&Category=METRO01&ArtNo=208310424&Ref=AR&MaxW=640&Border=0&Detroit-Fire-Department-s-headquarters-up-sale

George Hunter
The Detroit News
31 August 2012

Detroit — For sale: A 62,000 square-foot facility built in 1929. Downtown location. Axes, hoses and ladders not included.

The Detroit Fire Department's five-floor downtown headquarters on Washington Boulevard and Larned is up for sale. The department next year is scheduled to move into a new public safety headquarters, the former MGM Grand temporary casino building, which it will share with Detroit police.

Although city officials said the transaction is in its early stages and no price has been set, estimates say the building could sell for more than $1 million.

http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120831/METRO01/208310424/Detroit-Fire-Department-s-headquarters-up-sale?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

LMich
Sep 3, 2012, 7:16 AM
Magic Johnson-backed proposal seeks to redevelop Michigan State Fairgrounds

By Darren A. Nichols | The Detroit News

August 31, 2012

Detroit — Star athlete turned entrepreneur Earvin "Magic" Johnson is a part of a group that submitted a proposal to redevelop the Michigan State Fairgrounds site in Detroit to revitalize a city in need of retail shopping.

Johnson, the Lansing native and Michigan State great who now is a part owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, is working with Lansing businessman Joel Ferguson and Detroit entrepreneur Marvin Beatty in putting a mixed use project together.

The 500,000 square foot development is expected to include a movie theater, pocket park, restaurants, townhouses and senior living complex, as well as a grocery store. The project, which could bring 1,300 jobs to the Detroit area, would also include an Amtrak station.

...

The project is expected to be adjacent to the Gateway Marketplace project that is under construction. The 350,000 square foot project along Eight Mile and Woodward is expected to include a Meijer, McDonald's, and Marshall's discount and K & G fashions stores. The $72 million project is set to open next year.

...http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120831/BIZ/208310438/Magic-Johnson-backed-proposal-seeks-redevelop-Michigan-State-Fairgrounds?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|FRONTPAGE|s

I'd actually seen a plan of this proposal a few years back from someone tangentially related to the project who'd been shopping it around. Apparently, someone (Magic) finally bit.

I'm really liking the idea of another Amtrak station and making this a sort of northern hub, as it's already a pretty major bus crossing. I think whenever the region gets its regional transit authority up and running, this station or station area coould also serve the duel purpose of a major commuter station as I do imagine we'll see some kind of commuter rail between Pontiac and downtown, again.

Rizzo
Sep 3, 2012, 8:05 AM
After the demolition of the American Building, this is what will be going up next door. Good trade off?

http://img402.imageshack.us/img402/8441/wsumbrbrendering062012.jpg
Via Curbed (http://detroit.curbed.com/archives/2012/08/dalgleish-cadillac.php).

It's a beautiful looking building. No complaints about the architecture. Just wish it was on an empty lot

subterranean
Sep 4, 2012, 1:52 PM
It's my understanding that WSU has been a terrible neighbor in the past and is demo crazy. Midtown Detroit Inc. Has literally had to step in on multiple occasions and tell them 'no, you're not going to demo this building. We're going to come up with the funds and turn this into housing', etc. I still don't think they 'get it' fully, but there are some decent projects in the works that are led by Midtown Detroit Inc. Check out this page:

http://midtowndetroitinc.org/development/development-projects

LMich
Sep 5, 2012, 7:11 AM
The way I see the problem is that building owners and the preservation community in Detroit so often give these big entities ins by not showing the empty buildings the love the buildings need beforehand (i.e. sometimes, that means simply not even closing them off for preservation), and then showing up at the last minute to try and stop demolition plans in motion. I wish the presevation community and the landlords of Detroit would start being more proactive than reactive, then an institution like WSU could legitimately ask the question "well, where were you ten years ago?" Albeit, this is not always the case. Sometimes, recently vacated historic buildings get torn down in Detroit. But a lot of the times the efforts of the presevation community do seem to be a day late and a dollar short, as they say.

But, yeah, in this particular case, this is more about WSU being a bad neighbor. I think they've gotten so used to being the only game in town in their area of the city for so long that they think they can get away with anything.

LMich
Sep 6, 2012, 7:03 AM
Warren-based Lentine Group brings 200 jobs in move to Detroit near Wayne State (http://www.freep.com/article/20120905/BUSINESS06/120905069/lentine-group-detroit?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|FRONTPAGE|s)

By John Gallagher | Detroit Free Press

September 5, 2012

Warren-based Lentine Group, a family of companies including the Golden Dental Plans and the UnionCircle.com social networking site for union members, announced its move to a Detroit headquarters today and said the move means 200 new jobs for the city.

Lentine executives will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony Sept. 14 at their new Detroit Center of Operations at 5671 Trumbull near Wayne State University. The center will house Lentine’s LeCom Communications, LeCom Utility Contractors, Golden Dental Plans Marketing and UnionCircle.com.

It will be the new home for 100 current employees as well as about 100 new hires, including software engineers and voice, video and data service technicians.

Lentine Group CEO and founder Sam Lentine commented, “This move is reinvigorating our entire company and we look forward to the prospect of further expansion in the very near future.”

Anyone know the cross street?

Michi
Sep 6, 2012, 2:31 PM
5671 Trumbull puts the location at the northwest corner of Trumbull and I-94; a great location, but Google Street View shows a poorly-designed light industrial building, which looks to be in great condition. Across the street is a low-density, suburban-style apartment complex. It also appears the facility is (or was) the Detroit Police Gang Enforcement.

animatedmartian
Sep 6, 2012, 7:27 PM
Bing shows that the small building up down the street towards the Lodge also expanded over that vacant land. Albeit, most of it with a parking lot. Also the building on Trumbull looks unused at the time the aerial photo was taken.

subterranean
Sep 6, 2012, 8:47 PM
Sounds like Gilbert might have his eyes on One Woodward (via Curbed Detroit (http://detroit.curbed.com/archives/2012/09/some-say-dan-gilbert-has-a-contract-to-buy-one-woodward-ave.php)):

Detroit's Motown Monopoly player, Dan Gilbert, might be buying an office tower from Lehman Brothers. According to Crain's, "Brokers around town are saying Gilbert's Bedrock Management has One Woodward Ave. under contract to be sold." The 28-story building was designed by Minoru Yamasaki in 1962.

LMich
Sep 7, 2012, 7:08 AM
More moves:

Sachse Construction to relocate HQ to downtown Detroit (http://www.freep.com/article/20120906/BUSINESS06/120906054/Sachse-Construction-Arts-League-Building-Detroit-headquarters-Quicken-Loans?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE)

by John Gallagher | Detroit Free Press

September 6, 2012

Sachse Construction, a firm doing contracting work for Quicken Loans, is the latest suburban-based company to announce a move to downtown Detroit.

The company will move its headquarters into the Arts League Building at 1528 Woodward in Detroit. The building is owned by Rock Ventures, the umbrella entity owned by Quicken Loans founder and chair Dan Gilbert and his partners.

Sachse’s new 5,500-square-foot office will take up the building’s top floor. About 45 employees will move there when construction is complete in December.

Sachse was the general contractor responsible for the build-out of Quicken Loans’ space in the Compuware building, the M@dison building at 1555 Broadway, the Chase Tower at 611 Woodward Avenue, and other Gilbert-related projects.

“It’s all happening in Detroit and Sachse is in the middle of it,” said Todd Sachse, president of Sachse Construction. “Our entire company is excited to move into and be part of the ‘D’.”

Sachse (the name rhymes with “taxi”) was founded in 1991 and has been based in Birmingham up to now.

The Arts League Building is a 45,146-square-foot, six-story building that was built in 1915.

Onn
Sep 7, 2012, 6:30 PM
$2.5M in commitments from donors to help revive science center in Detroit

http://cmsimg.detnews.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=C3&Date=20120907&Category=OPINION03&ArtNo=209070331&Ref=AR&MaxW=640&Border=0&-2-5M-commitments-from-donors-help-revive-science-center-Detroit

Daniel Howes
The Detroit News
7 September 2012

The new Michigan Science Center is several steps closer to reality.

With "significantly more" than $2.5 million in funding commitments, the center's new board is set to meet Monday to consider dates for reopening a year after financial troubles forced its predecessor, the Detroit Science Center, to close its doors, oust its president and deprive as many as 150,000 students from annual visits.

The science center "has way more than enough commitments," board chairman Tom Stephens, a retired vice chairman of General Motors Co., said in an interview Thursday. "I have to turn the commitments into dollars. There's no doubt in my mind that we're going to open the science center. I want to inspire these kids, and I can't do it with the doors closed."

The GM Foundation is pledging $1 million to the cause, Stephens and GM confirmed, marking yet another move by the automaker's charitable arm to "seed the community and next generation of GM talent" by supporting educational initiatives serving the city of Detroit and much of southeastern Michigan.

"We're pledged to getting it reopened," spokesman Greg Martin said, adding that GM expects the renamed science center on John R to reopen sometime in the final quarter of this year. "They got their charitable status, which is good. We're just waiting for their updated business plan."

The Ford Motor Co. Fund, a longtime supporter of the defunct Detroit Science Center, also is poised to contribute $400,000 to the center pending review of what the fund's president, Jim Vella, called "a viable business plan."

http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120907/OPINION03/209070331#ixzz25oH8l7Ig

animatedmartian
Sep 19, 2012, 11:36 PM
Bd4dCae01Wg

LMich
Sep 24, 2012, 7:09 AM
Inner-city Detroit is being hit with a unique housing crisis: Supply can't keep up with demand, but the rental rates are so low that banks don't want to give out loans for new construction. Here's an article detailing the populative of the Live Downtown and Live Midtown programs.

$10 million Live Midtown and Live Downtown program gets 676th applicant, shows no sign of slowing

by David Muller | MLive.com

September 21, 2012

DETROIT, MI - The demand to live in the downtown, Central Business District and Midtown areas of Detroit cannot keep up with available housing, Susan Mosey, who heads Midtown Detroit, Inc., told a meeting of Detroit Young Professionals last night.

"We're desperately trying to bring more housing product in the neighborhood, that's the next thing we're spending a lot of time trying to do," Mosey said.

The downtown and Midtown areas are now at occupancy levels of 97 percent and 96 percent, respectively, she said.

At the same time, the Live Midtown and Live Downtown programs continue to see high interest and show no signs of waning, as they plan to spend $2 million a year on attracting young workers to post up in Detroit proper.

...

Large employers in the downtown area took note of the program, and soon Compuware, Quicken Loans, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Strategic Staffing and DTE Energy added another $5 million to the effort to draw their young workers downtown.

About $2 million has been spent so far, Mosey said, and the program plans to continue to spend $2 million each year for the next four years. It recently accepted its 676th applicant.

"We haven't seen any slowdown or interest, in this program, in downtown or Midtown," she said.

http://www.mlive.com/business/detroit/index.ssf/2012/09/10_million_live_midtown_and_li.html#incart_river_default

It sounds to me that if they want the supply, it may be that the major institutions in Midtown and Downtown have to, themselves, become developers of housing if the banks are lending.

animatedmartian
Oct 3, 2012, 11:02 PM
The Auburn Shows Off Model Units: Announces Nov 1 Move-In via Curbed

http://imageshack.us/a/img534/9789/img7379ds.jpg

http://imageshack.us/a/img855/7304/img7382w.jpg

Interior pictures in the link.

http://detroit.curbed.com/archives/2012/10/the-auburn-shows-off-model-units-announces-nov-1-movein.php

Michi
Oct 4, 2012, 4:42 AM
Very impressed with the interior of the Auburn. The exterior is not jaw dropping, but is a step in the right direction when compared with other recent projects in the area. I know the retail is fully leased, but the curb seems extremely "cold". Hopefully, there will be some improvements to the pedestrian experience, given the new uses...and for goodness sake, my sim city dream for Detroit intersections would be to be done with the traffic signals on wires! :yuck:

LMich
Oct 4, 2012, 7:26 AM
...and for goodness sake, my sim city dream for Detroit intersections would be to be done with the traffic signals on wires! :yuck:

It's funny, everyone remarks on this, but even in my travels, I've never really noticed this, which kind of surprises me since I'm usually attentive of detail. You know, they redid the intersection at Michigan and Grand in downtown Lansing a few blocks east of the capitol with decorative poles for the traffic signals, and to this day it's not so much of a change that I notice it, much. In fact, the biggest change I always notice is that they moved a street tree.

On the Auburn, I'm really kind of disappointed with the "grills" on the windows. Either do it with quality, or just leave them blank. They just look cheap, to me. Better yet, I'd like balconies if they aren't going to put in any trees to break up the empty streetwall, but that's just me.

animatedmartian
Oct 4, 2012, 10:27 AM
Balconies definitely would have helped. Almost looks like a jail. And I think the retail floors could look pretty old school with some awnings over the windows, otherwise it looks pretty flat. Overall, definitely not the worst, but better will come, I'm sure.

And because Detroit operates on equivalent exchange, here's the old Redford High School being mercilessly destroyed for lack of a better use. Another architectural gem of Detroit's schools bites the dust (or better yet, becomes dust). :cool:

2aPJQRShBuc

LMich
Oct 5, 2012, 9:40 AM
I'd been hearing about the changes in the neighborhood, but it looks like the local media has finally taken note to what's going on in and around Palmer Park:

'Astonishing change' as Palmer Park rebuilds (http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20121005/OPINION03/210050368/-Astonishing-change-Palmer-Park-rebuilds?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE)

Laura Berman | Detroit News columnist

October 5, 2012

Life is seeping into Palmer Park and the surrounding historic apartment district, much to the surprise of even longtime residents.

The park, deeded to the city of Detroit in 1893, is being touted as a spot for families to hike, bike and run — and it's being used. Its long-abandoned 1888 log cabin, built by Sen. Thomas W. Palmer as a country retreat, has been caulked, cleaned and opened for events twice this season.

Just north of the park, off Woodward and McNichols, construction crews are busily hammering and sawing, renovating almost a dozen apartment buildings.

"It's a time of astonishing change," says Barbara Barefield, a board member of the nonprofit People for Palmer Park.

Brad Dick, the city official in charge of the park's maintenance, says: "They're an amazing group. I would like to clone them."

That might sound like public relations on both sides, until you walk through the area and witness transformation in progress: Construction crews rebuilding 80-year-old slate roofs, friendly waves between strangers in the park, flowers planted and grass cut.

...

The city announced plans to close the park in 2009, infuriating the residents. That low point ultimately proved a turning point. Residents defiantly planted 600 apple trees in a park field and protested the closing.

Seeking change that could last, "we created the nonprofit organization with a committed board of directors," says Lento.

Weekly yoga classes over the summer drew as many as 45 people to each session. A Monday night bike ride became a weekly fixture.

"I started seeing people pick up litter," Griffin says. A tent city and mound of garbage in the woods disappeared. Someone began clearing the trails. Dick, the city's director of general services, assigned two people to maintain the park full-time, and the city agreed to pay for an engineering study on Senator Palmer's log cabin.

Kathy Makino, who is now renovating seven apartment buildings, credits the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act as impetus: All 41 units of the rehabbed 1929 La Vogue, with hardwood floors and granite kitchen counters, have been leased to low- and moderate-income tenants. In 1910, the park welcomed visitors with a pavilion, a two-story casino, exotic ducks and peacocks, and a gushing waterfall. A caretaker lived on the grounds.

...

LMich
Oct 18, 2012, 7:18 AM
Rock continues it migration to downtown:

http://cmsimg.detnews.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=C3&Date=20121017&Category=BIZ&ArtNo=210170443&Ref=AR&Profile=1001&MaxW=640&Border=0&Rock-Connections-join-other-Gilbert-businesses-downtown
John T. Greilick / The Detroit News

Rock Connections to join other Gilbert businesses downtown (http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20121017/BIZ/210170443/1001/rss21)

By Michael Martinez | The Detroit News

October 17, 2012

Southfield-based Rock Connections LLC is the latest Dan Gilbert-owned business to move downtown.

The strategic marketing company said Wednesday it will move its headquarters and 115 employees to the 14-story Chase Tower building in downtown Detroit.

"The Woodward technology zone is the perfect location for Rock Connections to flourish because its community of companies are working hard, together, to build their businesses and Detroit 2.0," said Victor You, Rock Connections president and CEO, in a statement. "We are eager to move into the vibrant downtown Detroit environment that is teeming with energy and enthusiasm."

Rock Connections, a marketing firm, was launched in May and is an affiliated company of Rock Ventures, an umbrella entity for a portfolio of companies owned by online mortgage company Quicken Loans Inc. founder and Chairman Gilbert and his partners.

"We are pleased to add Rock Connections to the list of companies moving into downtown Detroit's technology center near Campus Martius," Gilbert said in a release. "Rock Connections brings another 115 team members excited about creating and collaborating in the city's urban core."

During the past 26 months, more than 60 companies have moved to downtown Detroit in seven Rock Venture buildings. Many of them have connections to Gilbert.

animatedmartian
Oct 18, 2012, 5:07 PM
Passed by Cobo the other day.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8334/8097009547_2b90397ed6_b.jpg

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8187/8097019668_2938df88a4_b.jpg

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8196/8097006583_43e41d67dd_b.jpg

LMich
Oct 29, 2012, 7:11 AM
West Village:

http://cmsimg.freep.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=C4&Date=20121027&Category=BUSINESS06&ArtNo=310270048&Ref=AR&MaxW=300&Border=0&4-retailers-coming-city-s-West-Village

4 retailers coming to city's West Village (http://www.freep.com/article/20121027/BUSINESS06/310270048/4-retailers-coming-to-city-s-West-Village?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|FRONTPAGE|s)

By Matt Gallagher | Detroit Free Press

October 27, 2012

Officials will officially unveil today the four new retailers that will help create a walkable neighborhood shopping and dining district in the east-side Detroit district known as West Village.

The four include two restaurants, a coffee shop, and a tea room. All will be in storefront locations in the Parkstone Apartments and West Village Manor on Agnes Street between Parker and Van Dyke.

The four businesses include the Craft Work restaurant and bar, owned by businessmen Michael Geiger and Hubert Yaro.

"The West Village is a wonderful historic Detroit neighborhood with great potential for the future," Geiger said. He serves as a culinary arts instructor at the Art Institute of Michigan. Yaro is a partner at Ronin Sushi in Royal Oak and Commonwealth in Birmingham.

...

All four retailers are expected to open in spring 2013.

...

animatedmartian
Nov 1, 2012, 8:03 PM
33,000 Square Feet Retail Development Coming Downtown


November 1, 2012
by Austin Black II

DETROIT, November 1, 2012 — Rock Ventures LLC announced today it will build 33,000 square feet of ground floor retail space and a 1,300 space parking garage in downtown Detroit’s Central Business District.

Construction on the 535,000 square-foot Z-shaped retail and parking development will begin in November 2012, and is expected to be completed by December 2013. The structure will zigzag from the corner of Broadway and East Grand River to the corner of Library and Gratiot, occupying what is currently a surface parking lot. The parking/retail development will be a distinctive structure utilizing color, glass, and original artwork.

Rock Ventures is developing the property to help alleviate the area’s parking shortage in and around downtown Detroit’s Central Business District, and just as important, bring more unique retail and dining options to the area’s fast growing tech and creative corridor and employee base, said Dan Gilbert, Founder and Chairman of Rock Ventures and Quicken Loans.

“Downtown Detroit’s population is growing every day, as new start-ups launch and other companies move downtown. In two years alone, the number of people who work in the Central Business District has increased by more than 10,000 people. These folks need parking, and more places to eat and shop. Our new development will help meet some of this demand,” said Gilbert.

Rock Ventures, the umbrella entity providing operational coordination and integration of Dan Gilbert’s portfolio of companies, investments and real estate, has moved more than 6,500 team members into the Campus Martius area, many of whom will benefit from the added parking (some are currently being shuttled to their office, decreasing foot traffic vital to urban cores). Since August 2010, more than 60 companies have moved into or launched in Rock Ventures-owned buildings.

George Jackson, President, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, said this kind of development is exactly what the city needs to continue its revival.

“More parking, more retail stores and more restaurants….all of these conveniences and services are part of what is required to create a thriving urban core that people want to live in and visit,” Jackson said. “We are very excited about this new development.”

Bedrock Real Estate Services LLC, Rock Ventures’ full-service real estate firm and developer for the project, will be responsible for managing the property and leasing the retail space. Bedrock is working with Michigan-based Neumann/Smith Architecture and parking consultants Rich and Associates Inc. to design the structure. Colasanti Construction Services Inc./Sachse Construction, a joint venture, are the construction managers for the project.

http://img62.imageshack.us/img62/4585/2012008bedrockzparkingd.jpg

LMich
Nov 2, 2012, 7:08 AM
I love how both dailies are reporting this as a retail development, first and foremost, and only secondarily with parking. No, Dan, this is your typical Detroit development with a huge-ass (1,300-space) parking garage with some generic, non-descript ground floor retail so as not to totally appear to be greedy. I think I read that 30,000 square feet of this 536,000 square foot parking garage will be retail. It'd be nice if they could at least offer some space above the garage for office or residential.

Sigh

Michi
Nov 2, 2012, 5:03 PM
Just my 2 cents:

Regarding the chicken or the egg theory, I think it's clear what is happening here (at least at this point in time). With rental occupancy rates near capacity, or at least at historically high rates, residential leasing opportunities are in high demand in the downtown area and the supply is on the low side. Where is the market response that is able to fulfill an increased demand? The Broderick Tower awaits as a prime example. The financial package that was stitched together was a long time in the making and securing loans for the construction and overall project were very hard to come by. It would seem that lending institutions would recognize the positive data and numbers evolving from downtown Detroit, despite lending being difficult all over the country. But if Detroit can prove itself in numbers, what is the risk? I'm sure there is a lot of obvious components, but how much of it is the "Detroit" image of lackluster attempts at anything?

The chickens are here and they are showing up in occupancy ratings. The eggs of retail are hatching in response, I believe. Yah, there's a lot of space that potential retail could already go, which demonstrates there isn't quite the demand yet for some of the retail that hasn't shown up. And I don't always think garages are better than surface lots, but if you're going to invest in one, thankfully it doesn't involve gutting the physical diversity of the block, and thankfully it does provide space for use along the public right-of-way.

Common sense, going back to the "chicken or the egg" would say that residential development is needed in this location/vicinity. There's no questioning what should or is coming first...the residential demand is already there and this development should provide supply for that demand, especially if it's going to provide more retail space in an area that already has abundant vacancies.

So, I think something else is going on here and that is a commitment to take risk in the financing/loan world. The shakey economy doesn't help, but Detroit has proven to overcome this type of thing in the past. Hopefully, this is a stepping stone for bigger, better and smarter things in the future. I am optimistic!

LMich
Nov 2, 2012, 11:41 PM
Moving in:

http://cmsimg.freep.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=C4&Date=20121102&Category=BUSINESS04&ArtNo=121102077&Ref=AR&MaxW=640&Border=0&Finally-residents-start-moving-into-downtown-Detroit-s-Broderick-Tower
Broderick Tower property manager Eric Novack takes in the view from a window in a 2,208-square-foot three-bedroom apartment on the 27th floor of the Broderick Tower in Detroit on Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012. PATRICIA BECK/Detroit Free Press

Finally, residents start moving into downtown Detroit's Broderick Tower (http://www.freep.com/article/20121102/BUSINESS04/121102077/Finally-residents-start-moving-into-downtown-Detroit-s-Broderick-Tower)

by John Gallagher | Detroit Free Press

November 2, 2012

After several weeks of delay over final inspection details, downtown’s Broderick Tower residential project saw its first residents move in today.

Stewart Beal, president of Beal Inc. and one of the leaders of the project, said the call went out to waiting residents around 3:30 Friday afternoon that inspectors had awarded the skyscraper a certificate of occupancy to the project. Five residents moved in immediately, and Beal said he expects 50 more to move in by the end of the weekend.

...

subterranean
Nov 3, 2012, 5:49 AM
This boils down to lenders banking on the single family housing market bouncing back. They don't yet understand that it's not going to be what it was ever again. The shift in people's desire to live in cities and downtowns is mistaken for 20 and 30 somethings pre-kids wanting to experience an urban lifestyle before they settle down. They continue to remain delusional of the generational shift in housing demand, e.g. Gen Y entering the market and not wanting much to do with soulless exurban greenfield development. Even the boomers are catching on. Unfortunately they can't move until they sell their houses :p

animatedmartian
Nov 3, 2012, 1:55 PM
I think the parking situation in Detroit is pretty much a direct correlation with a lack of good transit. Just yesterday, I went downtown to an event held at the Ren Cen. Originally, I parked on Washington in front of the Detroit City Apartments. Fed the meter and walked to the PM station behind the YMCA (it took less than 5 minutes to reach it even though the Grand Circus park station was closer). I went off to do my thing and came back later to check on the meter. In an effort to find free parking (and save quarters) I parked on Woodbridge street which is a lot closer but was also jammed packed (I bumped a few bumpers trying to park, shhhhhh).

So it seems to me, at least out of this experience, the problem is definitely not the amount of parking, but is definitely the proximity to parking. I contemplated parking near a SMART bus stop and just riding it downtown, but I had other errands to do that day and it's just not a good use of time with transit. A walkable city, Detroit has not yet become. It's doable, but not really up to the standards where it beats using a car.

The North One
Nov 3, 2012, 2:38 PM
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8196/8097006583_43e41d67dd_b.jpg
Why is there a random plant up there? lol

cabasse
Nov 3, 2012, 3:26 PM
Very impressed with the interior of the Auburn. The exterior is not jaw dropping, but is a step in the right direction when compared with other recent projects in the area. I know the retail is fully leased, but the curb seems extremely "cold". Hopefully, there will be some improvements to the pedestrian experience, given the new uses...and for goodness sake, my sim city dream for Detroit intersections would be to be done with the traffic signals on wires! :yuck:

it might not look quite as nice as signals on poles, but i still think the way detroit does it looks better than in most other places. (diagonally across two corners with one wire and four-sided signals vs. four poles, four wires)

@thenorthone - the customary topping out tree http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Topping_out

mhays
Nov 4, 2012, 4:59 AM
Just my 2 cents:

Regarding the chicken or the egg theory, I think it's clear what is happening here (at least at this point in time). With rental occupancy rates near capacity, or at least at historically high rates, residential leasing opportunities are in high demand in the downtown area and the supply is on the low side. Where is the market response that is able to fulfill an increased demand? The Broderick Tower awaits as a prime example. The financial package that was stitched together was a long time in the making and securing loans for the construction and overall project were very hard to come by. It would seem that lending institutions would recognize the positive data and numbers evolving from downtown Detroit, despite lending being difficult all over the country. But if Detroit can prove itself in numbers, what is the risk? I'm sure there is a lot of obvious components, but how much of it is the "Detroit" image of lackluster attempts at anything?


Filling buildings is great, but doing it at $1.50/sf only works when the project can be done relatively cheaply. If you can support rents quite a bit higher, you'll see a lot more projects.

JonathanGRR
Nov 4, 2012, 4:46 PM
Hey! I was in Detroit yesterday for MCBA State Finals at Ford Fields. When we went to get onto I-75, we drove by a heart center that is under construction. The completion date is set for 2014. Does anyone have any information on this?

animatedmartian
Nov 5, 2012, 2:33 AM
Hey! I was in Detroit yesterday for MCBA State Finals at Ford Fields. When we went to get onto I-75, we drove by a heart center that is under construction. The completion date is set for 2014. Does anyone have any information on this?

One of these two buildings right?

gwVGEgdC7iE

Both are in the list of DMC construction projects (first two on the left column it looks like).

http://www.dmc.org/constructionprojects

LMich
Nov 5, 2012, 8:18 AM
So it seems to me, at least out of this experience, the problem is definitely not the amount of parking, but is definitely the proximity to parking. I contemplated parking near a SMART bus stop and just riding it downtown, but I had other errands to do that day and it's just not a good use of time with transit. A walkable city, Detroit has not yet become. It's doable, but not really up to the standards where it beats using a car.

Speaking of transit, I can't for the life of me figure out a legitimate reason for the Speaker of the House and House Majority Leader blocking a simple up-or-down vote on the bills for the Southeast Michigan Regional Transit Authority that would allow the region to create a regional transit authority. Republicans always go on about the importance of local government and local countrol, but when the leaders of the region of all stripes (business, labor, advocates, etc...) literally come begging to Lansing just to get a vote to allow them the opportunity to try to work out an RTA, they are given the runaround.

There is still not a scheduled vote on this and it's been months and really years in other iterations of the idea. The ONLY reason given by any of the conservative, tea-party critics is that it would inevitably lead to a tax increase. And? If the local governments want to tax themselves, whose business is it of the state's? What's more bizarre is that it's not even likely that it could pass both houses, so why even delay the vote? Because they don't want to be on record as being the obstructionists that they are.

Sorry about the rant, but we're literally talking BRT and one, measly streetcar line, and the region can't even get that because of some party's rigid ideology. The region isn't asking the state to build and operate a rapid transit system forthe metro; they are simply asking to be given the legal authority to do it themselves at the local level. What really blows my mind is that the primary sponsor of the senate version of this bill is a Republican state senator from the UP, so it's even a minority within the state GOP blocking this vote.

JonathanGRR
Nov 5, 2012, 11:01 PM
One of these two buildings right?

Both are in the list of DMC construction projects (first two on the left column it looks like).

http://www.dmc.org/constructionprojects


Yeah, it was the DMC Heart Center. I'm surprised that I didn't hear about this sooner. I've been trying to follow this thread as of late, but I guess Detroit just isn't a popular place on the forums.

animatedmartian
Nov 6, 2012, 5:01 AM
Yeah, it was the DMC Heart Center. I'm surprised that I didn't hear about this sooner. I've been trying to follow this thread as of late, but I guess Detroit just isn't a popular place on the forums.

Eh, most development outside of Downtown goes unnoticed unless it's on the news.

Here's a map of the development (and redevelopment) either planned, on-going, or completed in the last 10 years in Midtown. Of course quite a lot of them got delayed or postponed due to the housing market crash in 2008, but most of them were built under the radar with minimum news coverage and an even smaller group of people who were aware of them.

http://midtowndetroitinc.org/sites/default/files/images/site-content/pdfs/midtown-development-plan-2011.pdf

Rizzo
Nov 6, 2012, 5:14 AM
Eh, most development outside of Downtown goes unnoticed unless it's on the news.

Here's a map of the development (and redevelopment) either planned, on-going, or completed in the last 10 years in Midtown. Of course quite a lot of them got delayed or postponed due to the housing market crash in 2008, but most of them were built under the radar with minimum news coverage and an even smaller group of people who were aware of them.

http://midtowndetroitinc.org/sites/default/files/images/site-content/pdfs/midtown-development-plan-2011.pdf

That's a really great and helpful map. Never knew it existed.

animatedmartian
Nov 6, 2012, 6:26 AM
That's a really great and helpful map. Never knew it existed.

Yep, and in case you also hadn't noticed, UCCA (University Cultural Center Association) changed to MDI (Midtown Detroit Inc). It's where I got the mentioned map from.

http://midtowndetroitinc.org/

LMich
Nov 6, 2012, 8:09 AM
Yep, UCCA and the New Center Council merged, so that Midtown and New Center are know marketed as one commercial association.

mousquet
Nov 8, 2012, 12:34 PM
Bon, it's been a while since the project for the Whitney building was announced already.

"All of the financial resources have been identified. It's our intent to get construction underway before the end of this year." they say there:

http://www.modeldmedia.com/devnews/davidwhitneybuildingdetroit102312.aspx

JonathanGRR
Nov 9, 2012, 2:37 AM
Thanks for the map! I had no idea that so much was going on in Midtown. To me, all the work there is a testament to a revival beginning in Detroit (more so than if the work was happening Downtown). Water is the big thing nowadays, so you would expect development to be happening along the riverfront. Since Midtown has no natural geographic draw, it indicates that the market there is good enough to be able to do without it.
(I either just mad perfect sense, or I rambled; please let me know which!)

*On a side note, does anyone know why Downtown Detroit developed where it did? Most cities that are along coastline usually spring up around a river that empties into the larger body of water (lakes for the Midwest). Detroit is super close the the River Rouge, so it has always puzzled me why it didn't develop more rapidly around that spot. To me, this is one of the unavoidable flaws that was put on Detroit from the beginning.

subterranean
Nov 9, 2012, 3:16 AM
It is my understanding that modern Detroit developed where it did because it was the halfway point between the iron mines of the U.P. and coal in Pennsylvania, both essential materials to the auto industry. They are also heavy and used in massive quantities, so the Great Lakes made shipment cheap comparably. Also, the trade link to Canada should be obvious. I'm not sure why, after the massive fire in 1805 that Woodward emulated L'enfant-esque baroque plans of wide, spindly avenues. Possibly just grandiosity. But I do know that the location was the most primo location for industry, so I'm not sure how you view its location as a pitfall. Everything was tertiary to manufacturing eventually, and the reason it ever became a major city.

animatedmartian
Nov 9, 2012, 4:11 AM
Thanks for the map! I had no idea that so much was going on in Midtown. To me, all the work there is a testament to a revival beginning in Detroit (more so than if the work was happening Downtown). Water is the big thing nowadays, so you would expect development to be happening along the riverfront. Since Midtown has no natural geographic draw, it indicates that the market there is good enough to be able to do without it.
(I either just mad perfect sense, or I rambled; please let me know which!)

Detroit's coastline was always swampy and jagged so development never really took off like you'd think it would. Another large factor was Detroit's spoke-and-wheel road layout. Unlike a perfectly gridded city like Chicago (where the coastline is highly developed), you can get to downtown Detroit pretty easily using just a handful of roads (whereas Chicago has no focal point that any group of roads converge on).

Grand Boulevard used to be the ring road that outlined the city of Detroit. When a railroad line was built through Detroit, it followed a diagonal path but curved a bit near Grand and Woodward. This made it ideal for an industrial/commercial center away from the waterfront. New Center was born. As Detroit became more populated, the area between New Center and Downtown became more desirable for commercial and multifamily development. It's why you have single family homes in Brush Park which sort of seem out of place given their proximity to downtown.

In modern times, the freeways parallel the radial roads enough that they lead a decent flow into the area. If we had a high speed rail to Chicago, the station would be in New Center, so it very well would benefit Midtown. You made perfect sense, I just extrapolated it for you. :D


*On a side note, does anyone know why Downtown Detroit developed where it did? Most cities that are along coastline usually spring up around a river that empties into the larger body of water (lakes for the Midwest). Detroit is super close the the River Rouge, so it has always puzzled me why it didn't develop more rapidly around that spot. To me, this is one of the unavoidable flaws that was put on Detroit from the beginning.
The story goes that French settlers picked the narrowest point of the Detroit river. Partly due to militaristic and trading reasons. The River Rouge area was actually pretty swampy and not all that good for development (and/or farming).

I thought Belle Isle would have a been a cool spot for downtown. Something like a mini-Manhattan.

LMich
Nov 9, 2012, 8:06 AM
Yeah, the location was picked between it was the narrowest part of the river, meaning it was much easier to control movement/trade along the river.

BTW, the many of the spokes had their origins in old Native American trails.

Speaking of trade, the New International Trade Crossing has passed a major hurdle with the defeat of Matty Moroun's "Let the People Decide" ballot initiative. The next step is for President Obama to sign construction permits:

Ottawa’s plan for bridge to Detroit on track after Michigan defeats proposal (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/us-election/canadas-plan-for-new-bridge-to-detroit-likely-within-reach-after-us-vote/article5023587/?cmpid=rss1)

Greg Keenan | The Globe & Mail

November 6, 2012

The Canadian government’s plan to build and pay for a new bridge across the Detroit River cleared a hurdle when Michigan voters effectively put their stamp of approval on it Tuesday.

Michiganders defeated a proposal that would have amended the state’s constitution to require a statewide vote before any government money is spent to construct, finance, buy land or promote a new international bridge or tunnel. With almost all precincts reporting, the vote was 60 per cent against.

The proposal, sponsored and financed by Manuel (Matty) Moroun, who owns the existing Ambassador Bridge, was aimed directly at putting up obstacles to Ottawa’s estimated $4-billion New International Trade Crossing. The federal government has offered to pay for the entire project – covering Michigan’s $550-million cost – a development that would end Mr. Moroun’s monopoly at the Detroit-Windsor, Ont., crossing.

Federal Transport Minister Denis Lebel was visibly thrilled by the results of Thursday’s vote, saying it now clears the way for the bridge to go ahead.

“We’re very, very happy with the results,” he said.

The minister said the next step is for President Barack Obama to approve a “presidential permit.” Until that happens, Mr. Lebel said he can’t provide a clear timeline as to when the bridge will be built.

...

Huge, huge economic development project for Michigan and Ontario.

LMich
Nov 9, 2012, 11:19 AM
This is great to hear:

http://cmsimg.detnews.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=C3&Date=20121109&Category=BIZ&ArtNo=211090367&Ref=H3&MaxW=600&Border=0

Detroit mansions divided to welcome renters (http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20121109/BIZ/211090367/Detroit-mansions-divided-welcome-renters?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE)

By Serena Maria Johnson | The Detroit News

November 9, 2012

Detroit — A Victorian-style home in the city's Brush Park Historic District is being saved from ruin to address the rental squeeze near downtown, and several more conversions could be on the way.

The neighborhood's newest development, called The Edmund, is a renovation of the three-story Lucien Moore House, built in 1885 and named after the 19th-century lumber baron.

The city of Detroit is impressed enough with the conversion of the 11,000-square-foot home into a six-unit rental house with three newly built townhome apartments on the property that it wants to renovate some of its other historic houses in the area.

"Our hope is to replicate what took place at The Edmund at some of our properties," said Karla Henderson, director of the city's planning and facilities department, about four historic homes that Detroit owns on Alfred Street.

Turning large older dwellings into apartments is a fledgling trend as developers look outside the crammed Midtown and downtown neighborhoods to satisfy a growing hunger among young professionals to live in Detroit.

...

Detroit now owns or is in the process of buying back more than 150 properties in Brush Park, a vast majority of them vacant lots, Henderson said.

...

uaarkson
Nov 10, 2012, 12:49 AM
Man, what a dream to wake up with a view like that.

JonathanGRR
Nov 10, 2012, 11:43 PM
It is my understanding that modern Detroit developed where it did because it was the halfway point between the iron mines of the U.P. and coal in Pennsylvania, both essential materials to the auto industry. They are also heavy and used in massive quantities, so the Great Lakes made shipment cheap comparably. Also, the trade link to Canada should be obvious. I'm not sure why, after the massive fire in 1805 that Woodward emulated L'enfant-esque baroque plans of wide, spindly avenues. Possibly just grandiosity. But I do know that the location was the most primo location for industry, so I'm not sure how you view its location as a pitfall. Everything was tertiary to manufacturing eventually, and the reason it ever became a major city.

I did not intend for it to sound like Detroit's location is a pitfall. (It is like Istanbul sitting over the Bosphorus, only in North America.) Rather, I was curious as to why downtown developed where it did instead of at the confluence of a river. Thanks to everyone for explaining it more clearly!

@animatedmartian: THAT would have been pretty sweet. The hostility between the Americans and the British probably hampered those plans. In fact, I think if the area was under one government, Detroit would be much different than it is today.


On another note, the Broderick Tower's apartments are fully leased! Which building will be next?

LMich
Nov 15, 2012, 11:01 AM
Avalon bakery plans $2.2M development (http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20121115/BIZ/211150369/Avalon-bakery-plans-2-2M-development?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|FRONTPAGE|p)

By Michael Martinez | The Detroit News

November 15, 2012

“The quick success (of Avalon’s café inside Henry Ford Hospital on West Grand Boulevard) and growing demand for Avalon products in suburban Detroit and Ann Arbor has prompted our expansion,” co-owner Ann Perrault, right, said in a statement. Co-owner Jackie Victor is shown on the left. (Clarence Tabb, Jr./The Detroit News)

Detroit — Avalon International Breads, a Midtown fixture since 1997, will open a substantially larger bakery and retail facility in early 2013 that will more than double its workforce, the company is set to announce today.

Avalon City Ovens, a 50,000-square-foot facility, will open at 6555 E. Forrest next year as part of a $2.2 million economic growth project, said co-owner Ann Perrault. The building, with an Italian-made artisan deck oven, will be used for all of the organic bakery's food production and help it expand its product line.

As part of its growth, the company's flagship store at 422 W. Willis will relocate to 441 Canfield next spring, Perrault said.

"The quick success (of Avalon's café inside Henry Ford Hospital on West Grand Boulevard) and growing demand for Avalon products in suburban Detroit and Ann Arbor has prompted our expansion," Perrault said in a statement.

...

The new facility will employ 100 bakers, drivers, sales and customer service workers. Avalon has a tradition of hiring locally, paying workers above market rates and providing health care benefits.

"Not only do we employ people in Detroit, we try to talk others into moving here," she said. "This is how we need to rebuild our city."

animatedmartian
Nov 15, 2012, 10:13 PM
And finally, the Brewster Projects are coming down.

v-T0Dt_nkyo

LMich
Nov 16, 2012, 8:15 AM
I mean, it's good in the sense that they absolutely have to come down, but I bet the land will stay empty for years, just like the vast exapanses west of Woodward. There is so little directly north of the Fisher beyond slivers of Brush and Cass parks.

EDIT: Finally, it looks like Exceptional Green Living on Rosa Parks is being built...

http://cmsimg.freep.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=C4&Date=20121116&Category=BUSINESS06&ArtNo=311160106&Ref=AR&MaxW=640&Border=0&Shipping-containers-get-recycled-residences-Midtown-Detroit

Shipping containers get recycled for residences in Midtown Detroit (http://www.freep.com/article/20121116/BUSINESS06/311160106/Shipping-containers-get-recycled-for-residences-in-Midtown-Detroit?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE)

By John Gallagher | Detroit Free Press

November 16, 2012

House hunters will soon be able to check out what may be the most unusual condominium project in metro Detroit -- a 20-unit complex near Wayne State University built from empty shipping containers.

A model unit and sales center will break ground in mid-December on Michigan Avenue west of downtown. Three stories tall, the center will let potential buyers see just how innovative shipping container architecture can be, said Leslie Horn, CEO of Three Squared, the Detroit-based firm that is building the project.

First proposed in 2008, the shipping-container condo project known as Exceptional Green Living on Rosa Parks stalled in the national real estate crash, but is now back on target for a 2013 construction start, Horn said this week.

The $3.4-million project would stack empty containers four high, cut in windows and doors, install plumbing, stairways and heating, and add amenities such as balconies and landscaped patios.

Horn said the condo units would range in size from 850 to 1,920 square feet. Prices are still being determined but should run about 5% less than similarly sized condos in today's market, she said. Steven Flum, a Detroit-based architect, designed the project.

Meanwhile, the two-unit model center off Michigan Avenue will cost $350,000 to build and break ground in mid-December, Horn said.

...

animatedmartian
Nov 16, 2012, 5:43 PM
I mean, it's good in the sense that they absolutely have to come down, but I bet the land will stay empty for years, just like the vast exapanses west of Woodward. There is so little directly north of the Fisher beyond slivers of Brush and Cass parks.


In Detroit's current reality, vacant land what's to be expected. The bright side is it's wickedly less intimidating for when they plan to improve Wilkins Street for pedestrian connectivity between Midtown and Eastern Market/the Dequindere Cut.

JonathanGRR
Nov 21, 2012, 12:13 AM
Foxconn May Be Setting Up U.S. Manufacturing Base

By Addy Dugdale | Fast Company
November 8, 2012

Reports from Asia are suggesting that Foxconn is looking to establish a manufacturing plant in the U.S. Digitimes suggests that the firm, which makes devices for Apple, Microsoft, Dell and HP, is scouting L.A. and Detroit for potential sites. Although doubtful that the site would be used to put Apple products together (remember Obama's comment in one of the presidential debates that those manual jobs were never coming back to the U.S.?), there is some speculation that Foxconn is planning an automated production line for LCD TVs.

The firm's chairman, Terry Gou, has now twice-- most recently yesterday-- gone on the record talking about how much trickier the iPhone 5 is to put together than either its predecessors or rival smartphones. Earlier this summer, Foxconn announced huge losses. And, given that Apple has a habit of helping out struggling parts of its supply chain-- yesterday it was revealed that it shovelled a couple of billion in Sharp's direction to ensure the Japanese firm delivered on its Apple components-- perhaps there has been a bit of help from Cupertino. After all, it wouldn't half look good to have 'Designed and manufactured in California' on the box, would it?
http://www.fastcompany.com/3002817/foxconn-may-be-setting-us-manufacturing-base


How high of a chance do you think Detroit has at snagging a new plant?

hudkina
Nov 21, 2012, 2:44 PM
Detroit proper = 1%, York TWP or similar = 49%

subterranean
Nov 21, 2012, 3:21 PM
Designed in California, made in Detroit. Wouldn't that be something.

LMich
Nov 27, 2012, 8:16 AM
Troy advertising firm moving its headquarters to downtown Detroit (http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20121126/BIZ/211260423/Troy-advertising-firm-moving-its-headquarters-downtown-Detroit?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|FRONTPAGE|p)

By Detroit News

November 26, 2012

Advertising firm Agency 720 said Monday it plans to move its headquarters in a week to downtown Detroit from Troy.

The ad agency — created in April 2011 by former members of the Campbell-Ewald and BBDO Detroit ad staffs and owned by Omnicom Group — will move its 31 employees into nearly 10,000 square feet of space on the 19th floor of One Detroit Center on Woodward Avenue on Dec. 3. The company said in a statement that it also has offices in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas and Atlanta.

The move puts Agency 720 closer to one of its clients, Chevrolet, but the company emphasized that it hopes to get more retail and franchise business.

"We are looking to grow in Detroit and nationally," Agency 720 President and CEO Harold Kobakof said in a statement.

Good to see One Detroit Center filling back up.

DTW
Nov 27, 2012, 6:55 PM
Construction Underway At Woodward Gardens Apartments!

We've got walls on Woodward! We also have some other structures that look like elevator shafts, which will one day be whisking people between five stories of shopping and apartments. Exciting! There's also been progress on the facade of the Garden Theatre next door, where it looks like the brick and terracotta has received a good scrubbing—gone is all the old mortar residue and maroonish paint that used to cover the brick and tiling on the ground floor.

http://detroit.curbed.com/archives/2012/11/construction-heating-up-at-woodward-gardens-apartments.php

The Garden, looks so much better!!

hudkina
Dec 1, 2012, 1:30 AM
I can't wait to see this. I just hope they don't use extremely low-end materials.

robk1982
Dec 3, 2012, 5:21 PM
http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20121203/BIZ/212030398/Gilbert-buys-One-Woodward-building?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

December 3, 2012 at 11:35 am
Gilbert buys One Woodward building

By Michael Martinez
The Detroit News

Detroit-based Rock Ventures LLC, a Dan Gilbert-owned umbrella entity that oversees his portfolio of companies, announced Monday that it has purchased the One Woodward Building, the company's 10th downtown building purchase in less than two years.

The 26-story, 333,000-square-foot facility located on the corner of Woodward and Jefferson avenues will be renovated to accommodate the city's growing demand for space, Rock Ventures said in a release. Quicken Loans and its affiliates will lease eight floors in the building next to tenants that include the Detroit Regional Chamber and multiple law firms, the release said.

As a result, the building's occupancy rate will jump from 60 percent to 90 percent next month.

"We continue to bet big on Detroit, and this purchase reinforces our commitment to the exciting entrepreneurial action on Woodward Avenue," Gilbert said.

Since January 2011, Rock Ventures has purchased 10 buildings totaling nearly 2.5 million square feet of office space, according to the press release.

robk1982
Dec 3, 2012, 5:23 PM
http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20121026/STAFFBLOG06/121019842/detroits-buffalo-wild-wings-nears-november-opening#



Detroit's Buffalo Wild Wings will be unlike any other restaurant in the chain, said Mike Ansley, CEO of Southfield-based Diversified Restaurant Holdings, and it also will be one of the most expensive to build.

The project will cost about $4 million, including construction of commercial space on the third floor.

"I don't think this is like any other one, and I wanted it to be special," said Ansley, who said he wants people in Detroit to feel good about their city and sports teams.

The restaurant, located at 1211 Randolph St. on the corner of Randolph and Monroe streets, is taking shape; construction crews are pulling double shifts to get it up and running by Nov. 18, just in time for the Thanksgiving Day parade on Nov. 22.

.......

animatedmartian
Dec 4, 2012, 7:23 PM
Big news today.


Ilitch proposes downtown arena, arts district
By Paul Egan
Detroit Free Press Lansing Bureau
December 4, 2012


LANSING -- Officials from Mike Ilitch's Olympia Development Company are today outlining to state lawmakers plans for a multi-million-dollar mixed use development in downtown, anchored by a "new, state of the art, multi-purpose events center."

Eric Larson, non-executive president of Olympia Development, told the Senate Government Operations Committee the public-private development is expected to annually produce more than 1,000 jobsand $210 million in economic impact.

"The building of an events center district will create over 5,500 jobs for the events center alone and nearly 8,300 jobs for the first phase of the overall events district," Larson said.

He pegged the overall economic impact of the project at $1.8 billion.

Larson didn't explicitly say the project would involve a new home for the Red Wings but said it will combine sports and entertainment.

“It’s always been my dream to once again see a vibrant downtown Detroit,” said Mike Ilitch, chairman, Ilitch Holdings, Inc., in a press release. “From the time we bought the Fox Theatre, I could envision a downtown where the streets were bustling and people were energized.It’s been a slow process at times, but we’re getting there now and a lot of great people are coming together to make it happen. It’s going to happen and I want to keep us moving toward that vision.”

The Senate committee is considering changes to the Downtown Development Authority Act to provide for the development. More details are pending.

animatedmartian
Dec 4, 2012, 7:25 PM
Here's the message directly from Olympia.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
ILITCH ORGANIZATION EXPLORING DEVELOPMENT OF NEW RESIDENTIAL, RETAIL, OFFICE AND EVENTS CENTER DISTRICT
IN DOWNTOWN DETROIT

DETROIT, MI – The Ilitch organization today announced it is taking a step forward with the public sector to explore the viability of a partnership to support the development of an innovative district in Detroit’s downtown core comprised of residential, retail and office facilities, anchored by a new state-of-the-art, multi-purpose events center. The Ilitch organization is supporting House Bill 5463, as amended today, that allows the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) to continue capturing existing funds that would support a catalytic development in Detroit.

“It’s always been my dream to once again see a vibrant downtown Detroit,” said Mike Ilitch, chairman, Ilitch Holdings, Inc. “From the time we bought the Fox Theatre, I could envision a downtown where the streets were bustling and people were energized. It’s been a slow process at times, but we’re getting there now and a lot of great people are coming together to make it happen. It’s going to happen and I want to keep us moving toward that vision.”

The Ilitch organization is now preparing to make another substantial investment in the development of a new residential, retail, office and entertainment district in downtown Detroit, adding to the more than $1.9 billion the Ilitch companies have already invested.

“We have a tremendous opportunity through a large-scale project to make a positive impact on our community,” said Christopher Ilitch, president and CEO of Ilitch Holdings, Inc. “A project of this magnitude requires continued due diligence and a strategic partnership with the public sector. Working together we can ensure this opportunity connects Detroit’s existing set of initiatives and assets strengthening the downtown core and enhancing the image of our city, state and region.”

The sum of the total mixed-use development in the district, including residential, retail, office facilities and events center, is approximately $650 million, which incorporates a significant private investment supplemented by existing dollars currently collected by the DDA supporting economic development and requiring no new taxes.

“This plan makes good business sense for two reasons,” said George W. Jackson, Jr., president and CEO of Detroit Economic Growth Corporation. “First, it’s not a plan for an isolated, single-use structure. Instead, it builds on the clear successes we’ve already had downtown integrating districts that feature entertainment, and support commercial, retail and residential development around them. Second, it doesn’t impose any new tax burdens; it simply continues a program for retiring debt related to economic development. It’s hard to argue with that.”

The building of the new district is anticipated to create approximately 5,500 jobs for the events center alone and approximately 8,300 jobs for the entire residential and commercial mixed-use district. Michigan can anticipate an estimated economic impact of $1.8 billion from the completion of this district.

Case studies throughout the country reveal the most successful districts include a public-private partnership that support a balance of residential, business, education, cultural, sports and entertainment activities embedded with public spaces.
“Leadership in communities such as Columbus (OH), Los Angeles, San Diego and Indianapolis have shown how prudently created partnerships can create new downtown neighborhoods and spur growth in the population and increase the levels of activity and vitality in central cities,” said Professor Mark S. Rosentraub, University of Michigan. “In those cases, districts anchored by events centers led to the creation of financially viable and successful new neighborhoods that are economically and socially integrated.”

While the exact location of the district has not been determined, it will be strategically located to serve some of the most underutilized areas in Detroit’s downtown core, strengthening the link between Detroit’s existing assets through a continuous, walkable environment connecting one district to the next and serving to improve the quality of life for residents and visitors alike.

Passage of House Bill 5463, sponsored by Representative John Walsh (R-Livonia), will allow the public and private sector partners to begin the next steps in the process to develop the structure, scope and timeline of this economic development project.

JonathanGRR
Dec 5, 2012, 2:25 AM
I'm guessing that "event center" is codename for a new home for the Red Wings with the possible multi-purpose use as a home for the Pistons if they ever move back downtown. I wonder what other uses for the center would be since they'll have to make it distinct enough from Cobo to sell the idea to the city.

I'm curious about the location. Would the parking lots next to Comerica be big enough for any arena develpment, or would they have to jump to the lots behind Fox Theater?

LMich
Dec 5, 2012, 8:08 AM
They are talking about an entire district, so there is no way this thing goes in in the parking lots from Comerica. We're either talking the area behind Foxtown or the vacant area near Cass Park along Woodward. I also wouldn't read too much in them selling as a "multi-purpose" events space, as that's basically what any arena or stadium is. All of these things hold concerts and such during their off times.

LMich
Dec 5, 2012, 10:19 AM
A graphiof the possible locations from today's Freep (http://www.freep.com/article/20121205/NEWS01/121204087/Graphic-Map-possible-sites-Ilitch-arena-entertainment-plan):

http://www.freep.com/assets/freep/graphic/C4197788124.JPG

A part of me says put it in Foxtown, but another part says to stick it up on Woodward where it will have the biggest multiplier effect in terms of spin-off with the streetcar going in. That area west of Woodward really is an embarrassing entrance coming into downtown along Woodward.

West of Woodward

http://cmsimg.detnews.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=C3&Date=20121205&Category=BIZ&ArtNo=212050366&Ref=V4&MaxW=600&Border=0
John T. Greilick / The Detroit News

subterranean
Dec 5, 2012, 3:34 PM
Oh dear lord, please for the love of all that is holy put this thing north of I-75. It's some of the most severely underutilized property in the state, if not the country. And as LMich said, much higher visibility, directly on a future transit line. IMO, it would be so, so very dumb to continue merging human scale blocks downtown into pedestrian non-traversable superblock wasteland (even IF nothing is currently there).