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  #2081  
Old Posted Oct 18, 2013, 10:06 PM
hudkina hudkina is offline
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Originally Posted by DKNewYork View Post
I know where the Fox and Fisher Theatres are located. Are the others you list downtown? Sorry but I don't know downtown Detroit that well.
Here's a map I created:

http://goo.gl/maps/iN7E7
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  #2082  
Old Posted Oct 19, 2013, 3:03 AM
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Not sure how much of a "development" this is as it is a human hand in speeding up the deconstruction of the city. But, since it's mad national news...

Quote:

Max Ortiz | Detroit News

Urban woodlands and farming project launches in swath of Detroit's east side

By Christine Ferretti | The Detroit News

October 18, 2013

Detroit — A demolition on Belvidere Street on Friday marked the launch of the largest urban farming and woodlands project in the United States.

Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr and Gov. Rick Snyder approved an agreement to clear blight from the city’s east side, the Department of Human Services announced. The deal with Hantz Farms Inc. involves 1,500 blighted parcels of land that will be converted to a tree-growing operation.

...

Tina Bassett, a spokeswoman for Hantz Farms, said the company owned 150 lots and maintained about 700.

“Neighbors would come out and ask for help. We went ahead and did it anyway,” she said. “But now, all 1,500 (lots) are available to purchase and we’re looking forward to it.”

...

The agreement allows for the company to buy lots for up to $600,000, demolish at least 50 dangerous structures and plant 15,000 hardwood trees during the first two years. Representatives of the project have said the company would cover costs for title work, demolition of structures and removal of trash at a cost of an additional $3.2 million.

Hantz has a vision to cultivate the land as a commercial urban farm. The city must give approval before that takes place.

...

I'd much rather these stay commercial woodlands/woodlots than commercial farms. BTW, just so people don't get the wrong impression, this isn't 140 contiguous acres as there are homes and some business scattered throughout the highlighted area.
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  #2083  
Old Posted Oct 19, 2013, 4:09 AM
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^ This is nice. I really like the little stone (concrete debris?) walls they've built along the curbs. It gives a surprisingly polished look, like an Olmsted park or something.

Here's a map of the land available to Hantz.
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  #2084  
Old Posted Oct 19, 2013, 4:19 AM
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Walls along the curb? In the picture with the News article? I'm confused.
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  #2085  
Old Posted Oct 19, 2013, 6:16 AM
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Sorry...


src

I think these actually are busted-up concrete slabs, which is cool... they are recycling on-site.
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  #2086  
Old Posted Oct 20, 2013, 8:47 AM
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Something to ponder...I have recently been doing a lot of research about localized cuisines and specialties native to the various regions and urban areas of the U.S. ...basically an expanded and more detailed catalog of along the lines of Philly = cheesesteaks, Maine = lobster, Chicago = deep-dish, etc. etc.

Now here's a thought: I'm sure Detroit has some area delicacies that locals know to be "so Detroit" (feel free to inform me of some?) ...so I'm wondering, what if the Motor City really did attempt the first large-scale urban farming experiment and that merged with classic Detroit specialties to create a new 21st-century "cuisine of Detroit"? ...could be pretty epic, not to mention some tasty icing on the greatest comeback tale for any city yet.
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  #2087  
Old Posted Oct 20, 2013, 5:54 PM
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Originally Posted by StatenIslander237 View Post
Something to ponder...I have recently been doing a lot of research about localized cuisines and specialties native to the various regions and urban areas of the U.S. ...basically an expanded and more detailed catalog of along the lines of Philly = cheesesteaks, Maine = lobster, Chicago = deep-dish, etc. etc.

Now here's a thought: I'm sure Detroit has some area delicacies that locals know to be "so Detroit" (feel free to inform me of some?) ...so I'm wondering, what if the Motor City really did attempt the first large-scale urban farming experiment and that merged with classic Detroit specialties to create a new 21st-century "cuisine of Detroit"? ...could be pretty epic, not to mention some tasty icing on the greatest comeback tale for any city yet.
The coney dog.
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  #2088  
Old Posted Oct 20, 2013, 9:57 PM
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Quote:
The D speaks to Chinese biz
Good deals in real estate draw investors; more expected
By Dustin Walsh


The growing wealth in China is leading to an influx of investment from the nation as metro Detroit continues its economic rebound.

Crain's first reported last week that September's auction sale of the David Stott and former Detroit Free Press buildings was won by Chinese real estate developer DDI Group.

The Shanghai-based company, also called the Dongdu International Group, acquired the two downtown Detroit buildings, sight unseen, for $4.2 million and $9.4 million, respectively, outbidding Detroit-based Rock Ventures LLC, said Ryan Snoek, a real estate consultant who coordinated the sale on behalf of the seller, in the crainsdetroit.com story.
Quote:
Local experts on the Chinese market said metro Detroit should prepare itself for more deals. There's an influx of Chinese investment as the U.S. and local markets remain strong investment options in the midst of insecurity and slower growth in China.
Quote:

According to a June report by real estate firm CBRE, the U.S. is the largest market for Chinese real estate investment and investors, both commercial and individual. These investors are expected to spend $178 billion in the U.S. over the next few years.

Longo said the DDI deal embodies the perfect real estate investment for a Chinese firm.
"Chinese investors are looking at what I'd call term 'value-based deals,' " Longo said, adding that historic buildings are of particular interest.

"They got the buildings at an auction for a bargain price, and I don't see them looking at this as a 40-year hold. I think their local strategy is to get quicker returns on their invested capital that they are seeing in China."

Longo said he predicts DDI will hold the property for 15 years or less, which is considered a short-term investment in China.
Quote:
Stevanovich said a group of Chinese government officials and investors is particularly interested in a riverfront development concept. The idea would be to create a marina, resort and yacht building development in metro Detroit.
Ten delegates from Hainan and Nantong provinces, Chinese business leaders and Miami-based yacht builder Paracas Yachts have been in contact about the potential project, Stevanovich said.

The group is hoping to create the marina on the Detroit riverfront or along the 34 miles of waterfront on Lake St. Clair in Macomb County.
"We're sitting on fresh water that doesn't exist in China," Stevanovich said. "It would be nice to have yachts built in Detroit, with the manufacturing expertise here, and we're hoping to get a marina and resort."

Xu said Michigan's open space and natural resources will draw more investment in the future as the region's exposure grows.
http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article...o-chinese-biz#

It seems Detroit is poised for Chinese investors. Good news?
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  #2089  
Old Posted Oct 20, 2013, 11:20 PM
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Quote:
Michigan Bell Building and National Theater in Detroit are in for changes
By John Gallagher

October 20, 2013



Two historic structures in Detroit are in for big changes, one clearly positive, the other more uncertain.

Start with the positive. The old Michigan Bell Building (better know as the Yellow Pages Building) on Oakman Boulevard near the Lodge has been remade in a $52-million renovation as the new home for the nonprofit Neighborhood Service Organization.NSO works with the recently homeless to provide decent housing and an array of services, from drug counseling to recreation.

A ribbon cutting Wednesday will celebrate the progress on the 255,000 square-foot structure. Joe Heaphy, NSO’s manager for the project, says residents have moved over the past year into the center’s 155 apartments, while NSO’s office headquarters only recently opened there. Wednesday’s event is meant to celebrate past progress and renovation yet to come.

The project rescues a landmark building that had stood empty for years. Along with the Focus:Hope facilities nearby, this section of northwest Detroit is now solidifying as a locale for delivering human services. “What we’re developing here is a nonprofit campus with Focus:Hope anchoring one side and us anchoring the other,” Heaphy said.



The historic structure facing a more uncertain future is the National Theater, built in 1911 from a design by architect Albert Kahn and his design associate Ernest Wilby. The National is one of those quirky designs from another era, with twin towers framing a deeply recessed arched entrance and colorful Pewabic tile adding to the flavor.

The theater has stood empty for decades, a fact which by itself wouldn’t necessarily doom it. But it stands on Monroe Street smack in the middle of the rapidly redeveloping central downtown, and businessman Dan Gilbert hopes to obtain the site to build another piece of his growing network.

That piece probably will rise as a residential building, said Jim Ketai, managing partner of Gilbert’s Bedrock Real Estate Services. Right now the ownership of the site is caught between a private developer and the City of Detroit. If that clears up, Gilbert hopes to obtain title.

Ketai said he likes the exotic design of the National Theater and would like to keep at least some of the structure to incorporate it into something new. That may mean just saving the facade as an entrance to either a retail or residential structure to rise behind it.

Downtown is redeveloping so swiftly and the need for new housing and retail is so great that any historic structure that isn’t in use faces an uncertain future. The trick will be to preserve as much of Detroit’s architectural heritage as possible while filling the needs of the present and future. Often those two goals meet as one; many of our best “new” buildings downtown — the Broderick Tower, the Westin Book Cadillac — are adaptive reuses of historic structures.

At the old Yellow Pages Building, a redevelopment project accomplished that twin task in first-rate fashion. At the National Theater downtown, it remains to be seen.
http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/a...=2013310200050

Glad to hear new residential might be finally coming. Downtown really needs it.

Last edited by animatedmartian; Oct 20, 2013 at 11:33 PM.
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  #2090  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2013, 1:05 AM
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in my exploration of detroit, i used to drive by the yellow pages building and wonder if anything would ever come of it. this is sweet news.
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  #2091  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2013, 2:31 AM
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Originally Posted by cabasse View Post
in my exploration of detroit, i used to drive by the yellow pages building and wonder if anything would ever come of it. this is sweet news.
Last time I went by, there was also some low-income multifamily housing being built across the street.

I've always sort of liked this area because it's pretty much in the armpit of the Lodge and Davison freeway interchange. There's a lot of light industrial in the area but it's always pretty quiet and empty driving through. Maybe at some point in the future, it'd make a good low-income urban live/work type of neighborhood with the YP building as the focal point.
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  #2092  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2013, 7:26 AM
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The Michigan Bell Building is rather old news. I guess they just held the ribbon cutting much later than the completion of the project, because I remember them talking about the completion of the project months ago. I do miss the neon Yellow Pages sign, though. It's kind of a landmark of the area. I wonder what they did with it?

I am very eager to see what Gilbert has planned for the National Theater block. I'm kind of mixed, myself, on what should be there. It's kind of a transition block by nature, but they could really make it into a featured block, if that makes sense.
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  #2093  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2013, 12:18 PM
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The Bell Building is very old news. Despite NSO wanting to keep it in-tact, the Yellow Pages sign was dangerous and not salvageable.
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  #2094  
Old Posted Oct 22, 2013, 1:07 AM
hudkina hudkina is offline
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While I think a full renovation of the theatre would be nice, I'd be happy with just a facade entryway as long as it is for a significant residential project or something along those lines.
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  #2095  
Old Posted Oct 24, 2013, 3:11 AM
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Update on Cobo Hall's atrium and ballroom renovations. They're both complete.

Video Link
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  #2096  
Old Posted Oct 24, 2013, 7:57 PM
hudkina hudkina is offline
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The decor is a bit early-2000's in my opinion, but overall it's nice.
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  #2097  
Old Posted Oct 25, 2013, 11:58 AM
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The News had a story this morning about the Cotton family, the folks putting up the Meridian Health Plan Headquarters on the Monroe Block. Anyway, included in the story was another angle of the proposed building looking north, but from an elevated angle, this time, instead of street-level:



Something new to take from the rendering is that there appears to be two decks in and on the "box" projection near the base.
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  #2098  
Old Posted Oct 25, 2013, 12:28 PM
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Looks almost as if there could be a third deck thing near the top, too.
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  #2099  
Old Posted Oct 25, 2013, 1:19 PM
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I think it's going to have a really nice placement compared to the rest of Campus Martius. It will really complete the urban feel of the square. The only thing I see is that little wedge between the building and Cadillac Tower. It looks a bit strange, especially considering the nature of that wall on Cadillac Tower. Maybe one day they can put a giant mural or something on that face.
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  #2100  
Old Posted Oct 25, 2013, 1:34 PM
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Originally Posted by subterranean View Post
Looks almost as if there could be a third deck thing near the top, too.
Yeah, there looks to be a walk-out both on the south face of the tower near the top, and then the canopy on the main roof. I'd seen those, what I hadn't notice was the second platform above the "box" near the base.

It's really cool how they are integrating so much of the building into the park with all its nooks and crannies. It's like they are utilizing every inch of it for views. Compuware started that trend. I was a bit disappointed in One Kennedy Square, though, which seems to turn its attention inward.

EDIT: Was just searching to see if I could find any new renderings of the Harbortown Riverside, and came across one of the developers, instead, who manage the Harbortown Market. I was surprised to find that there is plans for a nearly 15,000 square foot expansion of the strip mall:

http://afjonna.com/NewDevelopements/...Harbortown.pdf

Anyone know how old this is?
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Last edited by LMich; Oct 25, 2013 at 1:55 PM.
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