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  #321  
Old Posted May 2, 2007, 12:26 AM
cgrski cgrski is offline
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First time, so hope it's right.

New renderings of Motor City Casino.

The inside of the newly expanded 2nd floor is much nicer that what is there now.

[IMG][/IMG]

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  #322  
Old Posted May 2, 2007, 12:40 AM
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^Then, they'll rebuild when the parking is no longer needed. Only the restaurant will be a vinyl sided Granny's Pantry.

VerdeBlanco,

Thanks for taking such a heightened interest in Detroit. It's always very encouraging to hear people from the outside take special note of all the strides being made in our great city. I see you recognize Detroit as a great, vibrant, Midwest downtown...in some honest respects...but as the city evolves into a great urban place, many people will tell you it is one of the smallest big cities in America. Mostly because we're at a come back level right now where all the movers and shakers know each other and there is an extremely tight network of those who are in the loop of turning Detroit around.

A comprehensive list of all the projects is just too large and too time consuming, to be honest. Despite Michigan being the worst economy in the country right now, Detroit is the bright spot, despite the obvious problems it has always suffered through the last 1/2 century.

What you really need to know to sum up this "Detroit as a bright spot" is

We've identified the future and what needs to take place in order to achieve success and compete in the knowledge-based, global economy of today and tomorrow. Not everyone is on board, and many people here insist on digging the grave by embracing the old fashioned way of doing things.

In terms of development, there are some significan projects that sets Detroit above the rest of the region and will someday position the city back to the place it needs to be in order to be the fearless leader of the region and state...

these (developments) are

The riverfront
Belle Isle
The 3 permanent casinos
The Westin Book Cadillac
A second international bridge span
An increase of corporate presense downtown (Rock/Quicken)
Historic preservation of the more high profile structures
Eastern Market
MASS TRANSIT

Others can add the other obvious if they wish.

The city will continue to stuggle like it has since most of us have been born. But being that we've all witnessed the major changes of our local economies, we'll also be able to see the changes being made for the better. What better a place to be able to see this change first hand, than in Detroit...the city transitioning from the absolute bottom up.
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  #323  
Old Posted May 2, 2007, 12:43 AM
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Thanks for the renderings, cgrski. Let's just hope airplanes don't mistakenly land there at night.
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  #324  
Old Posted May 2, 2007, 1:21 AM
VerdeBlanco05 VerdeBlanco05 is offline
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Michi

thankyou for your info. I am new to the area. Well, I grew up in Upstate New York, then went to Michigan State as an undergrad and pretty much fell in love with the State of Michigan as a whole. I moved back to Upstate NY for a while, but missed Michigan my entire time there. I currently live in Ypsi but am considering moving downtown.

I had no idea there were plans for a 2nd Bridge with Windsor! That is incredible.


What plans has Quicken made to increase their presense downtown? I know they have a large presense out in Livonia and that area.

Do you realistically expect Detroit to build some sort of legitimate mass transit in the semi-near future??

Thankyou for all your info.
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  #325  
Old Posted May 2, 2007, 2:06 AM
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You're welcome, VB. (Fellow Spartans, here...Go Green!)

You should move downtown. If you have the spirit of support and tolerance to be a little less serviced, go for it!

To answer your questions, yep, the state of Michigan is in fierce competition w/ New York (Buffalo) I believe in obtaining federal dollars to expand the flow of commerce between the US and Canada. The argument is that if the expansion isn't done within X amount of years, our economy would suffer by the billions $$. Currently, the most publicized proposal is a second span to the Ambassador Bridge, which is privately owned by Matty Maroun (also owner of the MCS train depot). There's controversy over this, mainly due to homeland security, but it seems like his second bridge might succeed. Although, Windsoites are extremely heated over where the placement should be on their end as well...as they should be.

Here's an MDOT link, but you can google a lot on this topic too:
http://www.michigan.gov/mdot/0,1607,...266---,00.html

Quicken Loans/Rock Financial has been teasing the public for months and months now about moving one of Michigan's fastest growing, reputable companies to downtown Detroit.

The latest and greatest is from this article:


Mass transit? Semi-near future? Well, this summer will kick off our first attempt at commuter rail between Ann Arbor and Detroit. It is a test study that resulted from there not being any true indication about ridership demand for rail service from downtown to Dearborn, to the airport, to Ann Arbor. This commuter rail might provide some data on that for future study.

Also, some very good news is that Detroit Department of Transportation (DDOT) is finally standing on their own two feet and saying enough is enough. There are just WAY too many entities (in my opinion) blowing steam around about mass transit. DDOT is taking it upon themselves to study, and fund, appropriately, the beginnings of a system for the city only. By taking the "do it right the first time" approach, this might take a little while, but they do have a timeline layed out. But as you know, competing for federal transit dollars (which are an essential piece of the transit puzzle) is extremely fierce and delecate. There's only so much money at the federal level, that the proposals that go to the feds have to be near perfect and convincing that each DOT maximized potential ridership based on their needs analysis.

I think with Woodward, we have every chance under the sun of getting a green light.

Partake in a public survey DDOT is doing. It's called DTOGS:

http://www.dtogs.com/about.html

Make sure to make this site your primary source with future transit endeavors. To me, this one seems like the most legitimate. Also, TRU (transportation riders united) is a non profit transit coalition that people can join for transit advocacy.

www.detroittransit.org

In my mind, the best way to simplify when we might first ride transit is to think, "when a study is given the blessing of the FTA and we've determined we have the money and resources to begin, a line will be up and running in 10 years." Right now, the pieces are coming together with DTOGS to submit the best, most convincing plan, so that we don't have to go back and revise it and submit it again the following year. It's a very, very, very, very tedious process, and only can be done with a rediculous amount of patience.
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  #326  
Old Posted May 2, 2007, 5:32 PM
VerdeBlanco05 VerdeBlanco05 is offline
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GO WHITE!

I would love to move downtown, but for now I am committed to living in the Ypsi/AA area. But I will likely move downtown in the future.

Would a new span be in addition to the Ambassador or an entirely new Bridge?

If Quicken were to move downtown, where would they go? Would they need to build new office highrises?? A new addition to our skyline would be nice.

I was unaware of the commuter rail service from AA to Downtown. I work in AA, id like to be able to take commuter rail from AA to Downtown to catch some Tigers games this summer.

I was confused by what you meant when you said "I think with Woodward, we have every chance under the sun of getting a green light." Are you saying that you think we'll get 1 mass transit line running up and down Woodward?
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  #327  
Old Posted May 3, 2007, 1:20 AM
hudkina hudkina is offline
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He means that light rail along woodward from Downtown to Pontiac or commuter rail on the tracks parallel to Woodward are probably the most likely to be the busiest routes.
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  #328  
Old Posted May 3, 2007, 2:31 AM
VerdeBlanco05 VerdeBlanco05 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hudkina View Post
He means that light rail along woodward from Downtown to Pontiac or commuter rail on the tracks parallel to Woodward are probably the most likely to be the busiest routes.
ok, thankyou for clarifying that. if they do mass transit are they only going to do 1 route??
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  #329  
Old Posted May 3, 2007, 4:52 AM
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For the time being. The region is experimenting, at the moment.
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  #330  
Old Posted May 4, 2007, 12:37 AM
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Yah, I just meant that Woodward is the best candidate. It has all the pieces of the transit puzzle. In addition, it is an economic corridor above and beyond so many others in this country, that mass transit success is practically a guaranteed success along the Woodward Corridor. We just have been deaf to its potential and brainless at trying. If that wasn't the case, we'd have one of the most economically viable corridors in the country in my opinion.

Like a perfect storm, Woodward is the perfect recipe for transit. Any city in the country that had a Woodward like we do, would be cashing in on its economic rewards.
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  #331  
Old Posted May 4, 2007, 6:03 PM
zuelas zuelas is offline
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When I'm driving down woodward sometimes I try to envision how light rail would look there. It's hard for me to imagine what it'd be like. Does anyone have any pics of a line that would be similiar to what we'd be developing along Woodward in terms of scale/size?

I notcied today there is a backhoe and such at the Hotel Vermont (or whatever that Ilitch-owned burgundy crap behind the fox is called) and a large hole on the side of the bldg.... looks like it'll be gone soon. Also, the small bldg down the road at the corner of Cass/Columbia has alot of activity going on around it but i can't tell if it's actually demo-prep or not.
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  #332  
Old Posted May 5, 2007, 5:48 AM
hudkina hudkina is offline
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I imagine it would travel in the center median between 7 Mile and Pontiac and alongside traffic south of 7 Mile.


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  #333  
Old Posted May 6, 2007, 9:26 PM
VerdeBlanco05 VerdeBlanco05 is offline
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I'm just curious...what city did those picture of the light rail come from?
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  #334  
Old Posted May 10, 2007, 12:54 AM
DetroitMan DetroitMan is offline
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Here are some renderings of a few projects Wayne State is developing.
The new Egineering Center which broke ground on May 2.


Medical School Expansion
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  #335  
Old Posted May 10, 2007, 4:38 PM
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Of the new hotel this is the one that worries me the most. It'll be an extended stay something I don't think is offered in downtown market, but it'll face far more suburban competetion.

Reborn hotel bets on boom downtown
May 10, 2007

BY JOHN GALLAGHER

FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER

For years, the suburbs stole business from downtown Detroit. Now, the $82-million Fort Shelby Hotel renovation announced Wednesday might steal a little right back.

The announcement that developers have closed on the financial package for the planned Hilton Doubletree led to intense speculation about where the hotel will find customers.

"A lot of that demand is going to have to be captured from the suburban markets," said Chuck Skelton, an Ann Arbor-based hotel consultant.

That may be a challenge, at least in Michigan's current economic doldrums. For both 2005 and 2006, occupancy rates at metro Detroit hotels ran a sluggish 59%, barely enough to break even, Skelton said.

But Detroit economic development officials have long believed that new business hotels downtown, like the Fort Shelby and the nearby Book-Cadillac Hotel renovation, would help to capture more convention business for Cobo Center, thus generating new demand.

"This could help convention business immensely," said George Jackson, the city's chief development officer and president of the Detroit Economic Growth Corp.

The last hotel in the Fort Shelby building ceased operating in the early 1980s, and the building has been vacant for the past decade.

But in an astonishing turnaround from years of abandonment, downtown soon will have five new hotels in the works at the same time -- three 400-room casino hotels, the 455-room Book-Cadillac and the 204-room Fort Shelby. That will roughly double downtown's inventory of hotel rooms.

Jackson said the Fort Shelby project also would boost the outlook for the often-bleak west side of downtown. Most of the new development of recent years, including Comerica Park and Ford Field, has taken place on or east of Woodward Avenue. With the Book-Cadillac and Fort Shelby projects, "that's a shot in the arm for west of Woodward," he said.

Detroit-based developer Emmett Moten, who leads the Fort Shelby project, said Wednesday the project is to consist of 204 suites, 38,000 square feet of conference meeting space, 63 upscale rental apartments and a destination bar and restaurant.

Construction is scheduled to begin in the next 30 days and, if completed on schedule, the hotel should be open by early 2009.

"It's been a long process but truly worth the effort," said Moten, who has been working on pulling together the financing for six years.

Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick said in a prepared statement: "The $82-million restoration of the Fort Shelby Hotel is another example of the exciting economic development projects taking place in our great city." The project team includes MCP Investments, of which Moten is a partner; Chevron USA; the General Retirement System of the City of Detroit; the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; ShoreBank, and Hilton Hotels.

The Fort Shelby is the latest in a string of projects downtown. The $180-million Book-Cadillac Hotel restoration is under way and should be completed by late 2008. Two of the three permanent casino-hotel complexes -- MGM Grand and MotorCity -- are to be finished later this year, with the Greektown Casino expansion about a year later.

Meanwhile, developers are taking orders for planned condominium complexes on the Detroit riverfront, and construction is nearing completion on the first phase of the planned RiverWalk promenade.

"Continuous improvement is probably going to be our mantra for some time," Jackson said.

The Fort Shelby began life as a 10-story hotel in 1916. Then, in 1927, architect Albert Kahn designed the 21-story tower and fully integrated the two structures into one.

As Detroit's fortunes declined following World War II, the Fort Shelby gradually lost business. It operated as the Pick-Fort Shelby from the 1950s through the early '70s, and later as the Shelby Hotel, but closed in the early '80s.

Moten has a colorful history in Detroit development circles. A native of Alabama raised in New Orleans, he came to Detroit to work in Mayor Coleman Young's administration. As Young's chief of development, he played a role in numerous projects, including creation of both the General Motors Poletown factory and the Detroit People Mover.

He shared top billing in several controversies, including when the City of Detroit racked up tens of millions of dollars in overruns to acquire land for the east-side Chrysler plant.

"Those were stressful times, but they were good times," Moten said. "The bottom line was, people just came together and rallied and we all did it together."

Contact JOHN GALLAGHER at 313-222-5173 or gallagher@freepress.com.
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  #336  
Old Posted May 12, 2007, 2:58 AM
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The Hotel Shelby development is great newes for Detroit.
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  #337  
Old Posted May 13, 2007, 4:43 PM
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Detroit is definitely forming a new face. Now, if only the crippling population losses (13,000 people a year or so) can be stopped.

Can someone form a list of construction and renovation projects in Detroit? There's the three casinos, the hotel renovations, and some construction down by the River that I can name off the top of my head.
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  #338  
Old Posted May 13, 2007, 5:18 PM
hudkina hudkina is offline
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The population loss might not be as bad as projected. I'm sure the city is still losing thousands of residents every year, but the census bureau has always had trouble estimating population figures in older established cities.
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  #339  
Old Posted May 14, 2007, 3:50 AM
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It's not just the Census, though, even SEMCOG, who has Hamtramck and Dearborn growing when the Census says they aren't, shows an increased population loss over this decade, thus far. I think this is much like the White Flight, which began in the 50's, and then picker up steam. The 90's seemed to be the first trickle of Black Flight, and I think we've seen it speed up. I originally thought back in 2000 that this second phenomenon wouldn't happen, but it's not just one source reporting that it is. SEMCOG had to adjust their numbers just a few months ago (I contacted them) because of the reality of the situation.
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  #340  
Old Posted May 14, 2007, 8:04 PM
UglymanCometh UglymanCometh is offline
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Black Flight is REAL... especially in Detroit.

For other cities, it's being accelerated by gentrification... here, it's being sped up by the poor economy, redlining, subpar schools, crime, lack of substanstial retail, and rampant government corruption.

Downtown, Midtown, and a few other neighbourhoods may buck the overall population loss trend, but you can guarantee that it's not black people that are moving in. Midtown's white population exploded in the mid to late 90s. We're now only 65% black, which by Detroit standards, is VERY diverse...
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