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Detroit Development News

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Detroit City Distillery receives approval from the city, aims at spring 2014 opening

After a five-month-long process requiring two public hearings, Detroit City Distillery has been approved as a distillery by the City of Detroit.
 
Detroit City Distillery is a partnership between seven young professionals who are also long-time homebrewers and distillers. At the center of it is distiller J.P. Jerome, a Ph.D. in microbiology, and Michael Forsyth, manager of retail development for the DEGC and director of the REVOLVE Detroit program. The distillery will be in a 2,700 square foot space at 2462 Riopelle St. in Eastern Market, a former slaughterhouse.
 
"It has been a long time in the making," says Forsyth. "As the microbrewing industry took off our thinking evolved to getting into the craft distilling market, (and making) spirits in Detroit again."
 
The spirits industry was once second only to the auto industry in Detroit, but the industry dried up during Prohibition. Like the recently-opened Two James in Corktown, Detroit City Distillery will pay homage to the city's distilling history, as well as being inspired by their own personal history with Detroit.
 
"Everything aligns in the market for a distillery," Forsyth says "It is the center of distribution. Jerome's grandfather used to be a butcher in Eastern Market. The Market is all about local food in one place, and all the market's customers want better, fresher, locally-produced food. Those are our customers."
 
The partners behind Detroit City Distillery value working with local farmers and using all organic, locally-grown grains, and are even growing their own rye on Forsyth's family farm. They have already received federal approval and are still in the process of receiving approval from the state. Buildout of the space will begin in November and they are currently working on their packaging and labels. They plan on opening next spring. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for updates. 

Source: Michael Forsyth, co-owner of Detroit City Distillery
Writer: Nicole Rupersburg

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Busted in Detroit opening in Park Shelton in time for holidays

After gaining a sizable following as a semifinalist in this year's Hatch Detroit competition, Busted in Detroit has officially announced that they will open in a permanent location inside the Park Shelton in time for the holidays.
 
Construction has already started on the 1,300 square foot space, formerly a hair salon, in the back of the building. Co-owner Lee Padgett, who owns the business along with her husband Patrick, says she is knee-deep in making her first orders and making sure they have a good variety of sizes, styles, and colors when they open. As we have previously reported in Model D, Busted will be a full service bra boutique providing bras in sizes from 30A to 56K, with cup sizes up to an N. Their bra selection will include categories of everyday, sports, nursing, fashion, strapless, bustier, bralets, and T-shirt bras. They will also have lingerie, bra accessories (dimmers), cleaners, panties, and smoothing foundations.
 
Even though they didn't win the Hatch competition, the exposure and support they received from it was enough to get them off the ground. Since then an investor has come on board and Padgett has also been talking with other independent undergarment storeowners across the country for advice and guidance.
 
Some of the specialty lingerie lines that Busted will carry include Curvy Couture, Goddess, Elomi, Fantasy, and Freya. Busted will open with more everyday items (and possibly some sexier items) and will expand their selection to include activewear, maternity items, and more down the line. These different designers all specialize in different kinds of lingerie for different body types, from full-figured women to those with tiny frames who need larger cups and other non-traditional sizes. Whatever Busted doesn't immediately stock can also be special-ordered.
 
Padgett says the Park Shelton management has been wonderful to work with. She also says fellow Park Shelton retail tenants the Peacock Room, Emerald, Goods, Fourteen East, and even CARE Chiropractic have been very supportive.
 
The store will have a play area for kids so they can be entertained while moms shop, and it will also display artwork on the walls from local artists – a bit of a throwback to Padgett's days as owner of Café de Troit downtown, which was known for showing works by local artists and making huge efforts to support the local arts scene. Slaw will be the first artist to show at the store.
 
Padgett hopes to have their grand opening in conjunction with Noel Night on Dec. 7.
 
Source: Lee Padgett, co-owner of Busted in Detroit
Writer: Nicole Rupersburg

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Spielhaus Toys popping up as part of D:hive's PILOT program through the holidays

2013 Hatch Detroit semifinalist Spielhaus Toys will pop up as part of D:hive's PILOT program starting Tuesday, Oct. 22 through Dec. 24 in downtown Detroit.
 
As we have previously reported, PILOT tenants receive two months rent-free in the 375-square-foot space inside the D:hive space on Woodward. Kurt Spieles, owner of Spielhaus Toys, is confident that there is a market for retail stores aimed at children in Detroit and looks forward to proving it during this pop-up run.
 
The store will stock a variety of toys, games, and books for kids, and will also have a reading corner for storytimes and an area for coloring, crafts, and a place to play with the store's toys and games. It won't just be a store but a place for parents to bring their kids to play.
 
Spielhaus Toys focuses on unique, high-quality products. Spieles says they're looking for items made in the U.S., companies that are environmentally-friendly, and also local companies and designers. "We can't overlap with the big box stores because we can't compete," he says. They will also stock items from big manufacturers that focus on specialty independent stores.
 
They will stock wooden toys from the classic German toymaker HABA Toys as well as wooden toys from Treehopper in Illinois, a family-owned toy company that makes everything by hand in their woodworking shop. They'll also have board games and riding toys for toddlers, single-player logic games, unique stuffed animals and puppets, a wooden rocking horse, and a small selection of children's books. "We're trying to cover it all," he says.
 
Spielhaus Toys will be open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays until Dec. 24. Spieles hopes to open a permanent location soon after this but for now is focused on making the pop-up a success.
 
Source: Kurt Spieles, owner of Spielhaus Toys
Writer: Nicole Rupersburg

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Late October Development News round-up

Dan Gilbert's Bedrock Real Estate Services has purchased another two downtown buildings, adding 84,000 square feet to the company's already swollen downtown commercial real estate portfolio. The new acquisitions are the eight-story 1505 Woodward, built in 1931 and designed by Albert Kahn, and the six-floor 1265 Griswold, built in 1897. According to a press release from Bedrock, this latest purchase brings Bedrock's portfolio up to nearly 8 million square feet of commercial and parking space over more than 40 properties in downtown Detroit. Rumors abound that Gilbert is also looking at the historic National Theatre on Monroe for a new residential development that will partially demolish the theatre. 

The Shanghai-based DDI group is the new owner of the 38-story David Stott Building at 1150 Griswold (purchased for $9.4 million and besting Dan Gilbert, the other bidder on the property) and the Albert Kahn-designed Free Press building at 321 W. Lafayette (purchased for $4.2 million). The group plans a $40-50 million redevelopment of the Free Press building and may add residential units to the Stott in the future

A press release from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation says that a $1 million Community Revitalization Program performance-based grant has been awarded to Harbortown Riverside, LLC and Harbortown Riverside Financing, Inc. to construct a 164,620-square-foot, five-story riverfront residential apartment building within the existing Harbortown complex on approximately 4.6 acres of land on the Detroit River. The residential apartment building will include 134 rental units, with a mix of one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom apartments. All units will offer views of the river. The project is expected to cost nearly $20 million.

A press release from Midtown Inc. announced that a fund of $30 million designed to spur development along the Woodward Corridor is now accepting applications and will award loans in the amount of $500,000 to $5 million. This fund is backed by NCB Capital Impact and Kresge Foundation, among others. It will allow residential developers to take advantage of long-term, fixed-rate loans for mixed-income projects that feature a commercial component.

The NSO Bell Building celebrates completion of its $52 million renovation with a ribbon-cutting ceremony this Wednesday. 

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Greening of Detroit will plant over 1,525 trees this fall

The Greening of Detroit will plant more than 1,525 trees throughout the city before Thanksgiving. According to Greening, a healthy tree canopy should be about 40 percent. Detroit currently has a tree canopy of 22.5 percent. Greening will work in collaboration with neighborhood groups and corporate partners, including Quicken Loans, to help restore the tree canopy in Detroit neighborhoods during its fall 2013 tree planting schedule.
 
"We plant trees in the spring and fall, but we really like to highlight the fall planting season even though it's not the one people think about all the time because it gives the trees a chance to establish roots before the growing season," says Greening of Detroit President Rebecca Salminen Witt.
 
Trees add economic value to an area. Trees raise the home values of residential areas while in commercial districts people tend to shop more on a forested street. Greening also strategically plans their plantings to prevent stormwater runoff so Detroit's sewer systems aren't overwhelmed with sewage ending up in the Detroit River. Trees planted on the West Side means the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department can avoid replacing a $1.2 billion system.

"Using plant materials to suck up storm water really adds an economic value to the city," Witt says. "It also saves the city money in getting water out and also on water treatment. It will literally save the city billions of dollars."
 
The nonprofit uses about 40 different species of trees selected to be resistant to aggressive insect infestations and diseases like the ash bore and Dutch elm disease, both of which have had devastating effects on the tree canopy. They are using the Detroit Future City framework as a "playbook" to that to decide what projects to pursue in what areas in a given season.  
 
Every Saturday through November 16, The Greening of Detroit, with their own army of volunteers as well as volunteers from corporate and neighborhood partners, will plant hundreds of trees each week in different Detroit neighborhoods. Upcoming locations are as follows:
 
Oct. 19Pierson and Braile streets
Oct. 26Rouge Park
Nov. 2Southfield Plymouth E. streets
Nov. 9 – Southfield Plymouth W. streets
Nov. 9 – Ilene Express
Nov. 16 – Lafayette Boulevard
Nov. 16 – Patton Park                                      
 
They started in late September with 450 trees in Rouge Park, where they plan on planting a total of 1,600 trees over the next 18 months in partnership with U-Haul and The Conservation Fund.

Anyone interested in volunteering with the Greening of Detroit can sign up online here (click on "Get Involved") or call 313-237-8733. 
 
Source: Greening of Detroit President Rebecca Salminen Witt
Writer: Nicole Rupersburg

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Focus: HOPE receives $50,000 grant for HOPE Village Initiative

Focus: HOPE has received a $50,000 grant from Bank of America to support a wide range of community revitalization efforts coordinated through the organization's HOPE Village Initiative.
 
HOPE Village is a community change initiative with the goal of having 100 percent of the residents educated, economically self-sufficient, and living in a safe and supportive environment by the year 2031.
 
Right now there are over 5,000 people living in the neighborhood where Focus: HOPE's campus is on Oakman Boulevard. Almost half are considered poor, two-thirds of the children are impoverished, and about half of the adults are not working.

"There's a lot of need," says Kathy Moran, communication manager for Focus: HOPE. "There are a lot of opportunities for helping people get a good education, get a good job and help rebuild the neighborhood."
 
The grant will support a number of programs Focus: HOPE has for planning in that direction, including the Job Seeker's Boot Camp, an employment and entrepreneurial training program, other on-campus employment training opportunities, training supporting pregnancy and childbirth, initiatives to combat blight and focus on safety, placemaking strategies, housing revitalization strategies, community connectedness and engagement, and more.
 
The neighborhood has recently shown some signs of life. The Neighborhood Service Organization took over the Bell Building (which they will officially celebrate with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Oct. 23), Lutheran Child and Family Services has an apartment for homeless families and youth aging out of foster care, and the Presbyterian Church has housing for very low income senior citizens. Focus: HOPE is working with community organizations, churches, and neighborhood residents to best address the needs of the neighborhood. They have also received support from United Way.
 
Source: Kathy Moran, communication manager for Focus: HOPE
Writer: Nicole Rupersburg

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Urban Land Institute unveils recommendations to SDBA for 6.9-acre Vernor Square

Last week the Urban Land Institute (ULI) unveiled its formal recommendations for a city-owned 6.9-acre site on W. Vernor in the middle of the Vernor Commercial District currently overseen by the Southwest Detroit Business Association (SDBA).
 
Eight renowned ULI experts analyzed the vacant property, formerly the Detroit Public Works property at W. Vernor Highway and Livernois. They conducted over 60 interviews with local community and business leaders as well as Detroit city stakeholders and government officials, transit officials from organizations like SEMCOG, and economic development authorities in Detroit and neighboring Dearborn (which abuts the site) to shape their recommendations on what the greater community feels it needs.
 
Currently the old DPW property is the midway point between the east and west ends of the commercial district, in effect separating them instead of joining them. The plan that the ULI panel unveiled on Oct. 7 will act as a commercial district connector and a hub for business growth in Southwest Detroit. "It really does create quite a blighted influence in the neighborhood and in the commercial district," says Kathy Wendler, SBDA president. "We feel it’s a great opportunity to create an anchor and connect these commercial districts."
 
The panel proposed a project named "Vernor Square," built around a central plaza area that would include public gathering spaces, a variety of major retailers, and also space for artisan businesses that are very prominent in Southwest Detroit including ornamental ironworkers, potters, and ceramic mosaic makers.
 
"We absolutely want to start this process," Wendler says. "The panel tested the market so we know there is a demand on both fronts." Now the SDBA will focus on addressing the issues of site remediation and number-crunching to make it work.
 
"This is a great location smack dab in the middle of the neighborhood on the commercial corridor which gets huge traffic," Wendler says. The site also borders Livernois with easy access to both I-75 and I-94. "The location is critical to its success."
 
Though the city still owns the property, the SDBA has a hold on the site through October 2014 and hope that they will be able to leverage ULI's site proposal to work with the city on the redevelopment of the site, especially as the city determines how to dispose of surplus property such as this.
 
Source: Kathy Wendler, SBDA president
Writer: Nicole Rupersburg

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Bravo Graphix now open on the Avenue of Fashion

Bravo Graphix has a brand-new state-of-the-art studio on the Avenue of Fashion.
 
The full-service multicultural advertising, creative marketing, design and print agency completely renovated the 1,700-square-foot space at 19434 Livernois Ave. with an open floor plan and bright colors to capture the vibe of the agency, and also added a photography studio for fashion and beauty clients.
 
The agency offers everything from postcard design and printing to billboards, offering everything it takes to start, grow, and maintain a business. Founded by Faren Young, Priest Price and Donald Hand, Bravo Graphix had been located on the upper West Side, at Huntington and 7 Mile Rd., since 2007. The decision was made to move to the Avenue of Fashion after hearing so much about the growth and revitalization of the area from customers. This location is also more centrally located for clients from all over the city and east and west suburbs.
 
With the move they were also able to add five new positions, hiring two designers, two photographers, and a secretary.
 
Source: Faren Young, Priest Price and Donald Hand, owners of Bravo Graphix
Writer: Nicole Rupersburg

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Detroit Bus Co's Eight & Sand in Hamtramck will be an entertainment complex and business incubator

The Detroit Bus Company has officially made the move to Detroit after purchasing a 90,000-square-foot building at 3901 Christopher St. in Hamtramck that they are calling Eight & Sand, a term used in the 19th century to wish a steam locomotive conductors safe travels.
 
"The methodology around here, to borrow from Daniel Burnham, is make no small plans," says Andy Didorosi, founder and president of Detroit Bus Company. And 90,000 square feet of space certainly isn't small.
 
Eight & Sand will be used as a sort of business incubator meets entertainment complex. The industrial building was built in 1920 by the Gear Grinding Company and was turned over into a constant-velocity joints production facility in 1940. Cranes and other heavy machinery still remain from its days as a factory, and they're leaving it that way for the certain "ambiance" it gives to the place.
 
While there is still PLENTY of space to lease out, Eight & Sand already has several tenants. First is the Detroit Bus Company, which should go without saying. All DBC operations have been moved inside, including the vehicle fleet. "I always thought DBC needed to be in Detroit," Didorosi says. "Hamtramck is close enough! (It's) perfect; it's right in the middle of everything. We'll be successful here."  
 
He also says that the building, along with its five acres of parking, was affordable and they are able to provide affordable space to tenants because of it. "We can cut through the red tape when renting space to people because it's ours." He wants the Eight & Sand businesses to be able to "get things done and hire the sh*t out of people," instead of wasting time and money dealing with corporate bureaucracy. "Immediately available space is pretty finite. Here we are going to make it easy." He jokes that if you wanted to open an industrial-scale bike manufacturing facility, you could do it tomorrow.
 
Eight & Sand is perfect for small businesses looking for big spaces. Pot & Box, a semifinalist in the 2011 Hatch Detroit competition, will have a 4,000-square-foot event space inside (the Corktown retail storefront is still planned). Fowling Warehouse will be the anchor tenant, occupying 40,000 square feet in the center of the building complete with a full bar and concert stage (with hopes of drawing in some big-name talent). Fowling Warehouse is nearly doubling its space from its previous location at 17501 Van Dyke St. (which the business moved out of earlier this year) and will have 30 lanes of "fowling" – football plus bowling. 
 
Eight & Sand also houses a processing and storage space for Reclaim Detroit and is providing free space to Sit On It Detroit, a completely DIY effort to build and install benches for bus stops. Didorosi says they will provide free space for one tenant at a time that needs some help starting up. There is no limit on the amount of time the business can occupy the space. Didorosi says of Charles Molnar, founder of Sit On It Detroit, "Once he's big fish he'll move out (to somewhere bigger) and we'll give the space to someone else." Both of these tenants came with the building and are staying.
 
Eight & Sand will also have seven bays for food trucks to come and dock that come with power hookups, a wash bay, and an on-site commissary kitchen. Didorosi's long-term plan is to enable these trucks to vend indoors so they can continue running their businesses in the winter, which is a real challenge for mobile food vendors.
 
Space is still available for tenants with needs for large and slightly less large spaces. "We've got pretty specific requirements for the kind of businesses we want. We want to foster growth in terms of businesses that are going to grow the city."
 
Source: Andy Didorosi, founder and president of Detroit Bus Company
Writer: Nicole Rupersburg

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Dine Drink Detroit celebrates Detroit's culinary culture while benefiting the Riverfront

Starting this Thursday, Oct. 10, a brand-new Detroit dining event launches and you don't need to make any reservations, any kind of special time commitment, or even adhere to any kind of special dress code. Detroit, it's time to start dining and drinking.
 
Dine Drink Detroit runs Oct. 10-16 and highlights some of Detroit's most unique casual dining restaurants. All of the 13 participating restaurants will offer some sort of food and drink combination for $15.
 
"The inspiration is that there are so many cool small businesses in Detroit," says Scott Rutterbush, operations developer for Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Company and co-organizer of Dine Drink Detroit. "People are doing some really great stuff that we wanted to showcase and celebrate. These are places that maybe not everyone knows about."
 
Rutterbush and Kate Williams, Executive Chef of Rodin in Midtown and fellow co-organizer of Dine Drink Detroit, opted to focus on places that are independently owned and operated and are known as popular locals spots. They also looked specifically at places with a liquor license to showcase that component as well – places with really interesting wine lists, excellent craft cocktails, and extensive craft beer lists. The price point was intentionally kept low at $15 to encourage people to try more than one place. "People can do to multiple locations even in the same night, which people do anyway. it's really part of the everyday experience."
 
These October dates were chosen because there is a brief lull in events before the holidays come around and restaurants kick into high gear for their busy season.
 
They have partnered with Uber and Zipcar to offer discounts to Dine Drink Detroit participants. All net proceeds from Dine Drink Detroit will go to benefit the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy. "(The Riverfront) is a common space a lot of people from Detroit go to experience, and we wanted to celebrate that as well," Rutterbush says. "It's really about celebrating and promoting the city."
 
Dine Drink Detroit will be held annually and there will always be some sort of charity component. The organization effort has been entirely grassroots and collaborative, with people volunteering their time for everything from web design to social media marketing. "It's a microcosm of how Detroit businesses have been operating. It's really collaborative and everyone supports each other. When there's a new place that opens everyone rallies around them asking, 'What can we do to help?' Dine Drink Detroit is an extension of that."
 
Restaurants have been encouraged to put forth their best efforts in their menu pairings. "We want people to really know they're going to go to these places and get their best for $15." Restaurants were also given a lot of latitude in what to offer; diners can potentially visit several of these restaurants multiple times during the seven days and get something different each time.  
 
Source: Scott Rutterbush and Kate Williams, co-organizers of Dine Drink Detroit
Writer: Nicole Rupersburg

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Station Walls, a new mural project from Grand River Creative Corridor founder, covers 2000-foot wall

Derek Weaver, founder of the Grand River Creative Corridor public mural project, is behind a new street art project in Corktown.
 
Called "Station Walls," the project is located at the corner of Vernor and Newark behind Michigan Central Station on a 2,000-foot-long wall that local business owners claim hasn't been repainted in the past 30 years.
 
"We're taking the Grand River Creative Corridor concept and doing a project in Corktown behind the train station," says Weaver. Though he says that it will not be as elaborate at the GRCC, he jokes that "it will probably end up evolving into something more because it always does!"
 
27 local street artists donated their time to paint murals along the massive wall. The wall is owned by the Canadian Pacific Railway Company, which granted Weaver and his team permission to paint the murals. Supplies for the murals were purchased with private donations. Local business Arrow Chemical Products, which has been in business since 1933, contributed some money and also commissioned the group to paint a mural on their building as well.
 
Participating muralists include well-known local artists FEL 3000ft, TEAD, and Sintex. The mix of murals ranges from fine art to straight graffiti, from professionals to "vandals." "We tried to incorporate everybody," Weaver says.
 
Source: Derek Weaver, founder of Grand River Creative Corridor
Writer: Nicole Rupersburg

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TechTown receives $800,000 federal grant to bring SWOT City to three new Detroit neighborhoods

TechTown's SWOT City has received an $800,000 federal grant to expand the economic development program into three new neighborhoods: Grandmont Rosedale, East Jefferson Corridor, and Osborn.
 
"When I read the email (last week) I had tears in my eyes," says Leslie Smith, President and CEO of TechTown. "What a huge boost of confidence and energy this has injected into TechTown!"
 
As we've previously reported, SWOT City places new businesses to fill community voids and promote entrepreneurship, connects neighborhood businesses with key resources and provides personal coaching and information sessions to address a business's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT).
 
The grant itself came from an unlikely source: the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for Community Economics. While there are many grant programs available to technology clusters and business incubators like TechTown, they are extremely competitive. This three-year grant comes from a different federal agency, one not focused on economic development so much as on poverty elimination.
 
Smith says that SWOT City's goals of economic development and community stabilization combined with its education programs is all part of poverty elimination and submitted a "provocative" proposal spinning it thus. TechTown applied for the grant late in the summer and was awarded it last Monday.
 
The grant will allow for a full-scale engagement in the three target neighborhoods. They will first start by creating a plan for the neighborhoods that combines all the elements of TechTown and its partners to stabilize the area's economy, then the next three years will be spent fully engaged in delivering the resources to make it happen.
 
This is the first federal grant that TechTown has ever received.
 
Source: Leslie Smith, President and CEO of TechTown
Writer: Nicole Rupersburg

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Tour nationally-recognized historic renovations in Palmer Park this Saturday

Palmer Park continues to undergo major renovation work and receive national recognition thanks to the efforts of Shelborne Development and Malino Construction.
 
Model D has previously reported on the revitalization work being done in this neighborhood. Kathy Makino-Leipsitz, co-owner of Malino Construction and Shelborne Development along with her husband Mark Leipsitz, owns 13 buildings in the area. She is leading the development of the historic apartment buildings in Palmer Park that comprise one of the most uniquely varied and densely concentrated mixes of 20th century architecture styles in the state, spanning more than four decades of Art Deco.
 
Last month Shelborne Development was honored during the Novogradac Journal of Tax Credits conference with the "2013 Historic Tax Credit Development that Best Demonstrates Financial Innovation" award for Palmer Park Square, a $35 million affordable housing development. Makino-Leipsitz, in conjunction with the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA), City of Detroit and Great Lakes Capital Fund, assembled a complex financial package from seven different funding sources to rehabilitate six historically significant, blighted/vacant apartment buildings in Palmer Park that were added to the National Register of Historic Places.
 
Shelborne just completed the renovation work on the Seville Apartments at 750 Whitmore. Previously 40 efficiency units, the interior was gutted to reconfigure the space into 16 larger units. The grand two-story lobby was also restored. They are also currently renovating the Palmer Lodge, the first building built in Palmer Park in 1925. Work is ongoing, but the grand lobby is complete. "The whole building is the symbol of revitalization in the area," says Sarah James, board chair of the People for Palmer Park, a nonprofit organization that focuses on the revitalization of the nearly 300-acre park.
 
Every year the People for Palmer Park hosts an architectural tour of the historic buildings in the area, showcasing the nationally-significant apartment district as well as the park. She says the park and the apartment buildings next to it have a symbiotic relationship, and the health of one directly affects the other. The nonprofit started this tour three years ago to showcase the apartment district as well as the park. This year's tours will be held on Saturday, October 5 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
 
This is the third annual architectural tour and they have been hugely popular, attracting 200 people the first year, 400 the second year, and an expected 600 this year. Because of the significant amount of housing stock in the area, this year's tour will focus on different buildings than last year's. This year's tour includes the newly-completed Seville Apartments, the lobby of the Palmer Lodge, and the Sarasota Apartments at 325 Merton, which were completed by Shelborne in the last year. The tour will also take guests through a 3,000-square-foot unit inside the Albert Kahn-designed apartment building Walbri Court at 1001 Covington, renovated and converted to condos in 2006. The park and its 1800s log cabin will be open for visitors to explore before or after their tours.
 
People for Palmer Park will also offer free Segway tours of the park trails to anyone with a tour ticket, and there will be music, classic cars, and FoodLab vendors.
 
Tours are $15 in advance and $20 at the door with tours leaving every 15 minutes from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
 
Source: Sarah James, board chair of the People for Palmer Park
Writer: Nicole Rupersburg

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Zipcar increased Detroit fleet to 40 cars, will open permanent office

After a successful pilot run downtown, Zipcar has expanded its car-sharing services to include New Center, Woodbridge, and more locations downtown in addition to significantly increasing the available fleet.
 
Zipcar launched in Detroit through a partnership with Wayne State in 2011. Then, just this August, they worked with Rock Ventures to make two additional cars available downtown for a pilot run downtown, bringing them up to 10 cars total.
 
With their latest expansion, just made official last week, Zipcar has added 30 more cars to the available fleet, bringing the total up to 40 in the city of Detroit. It also added multiple Zipcar locations in New Center, Midtown, Woodbridge, and several more downtown and in Greektown. See all of the available cars, rental rates, and locations here.
 
With this expansion in the Detroit market, Zipcar will also establish a permanent office in the city. Once a permanent location is secured, three full-time employees – a market manager, fleet manager, and member services manager – will work out of the office, and additional positions will likely become available for brand ambassadors and other roles as the company continues to grow in this market. Detroit is the 25th market globally where Zipcar will have a full-time office presence (this includes all of its offices in the U.S., Canada, Spain, Austria, and the U.K. combined).
 
Zipcar's Detroit presence is sponsored by Ford Motor Company. The majority of the cars in the Detroit fleet are from Ford, thanks to a relationship formed in 2011 when Ford became Zipcar's largest university partner.
 
The new cars and locations are already online and available to rent.
 
Source: Jennifer Matthews, Public Relations Specialist with Zipcar
Writer: Nicole Rupersburg

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Chickpea in the D now serving fresh, healthy lunches downtown

Downtown workers and residents who often find themselves frustrated at the lack of healthy food options in the city have another place to go for lunch.
 
Chickpea in the D officially opened for business Sept. 10 at 2 John R, the tiny 60-square-foot space that was previously a hot dog stand and before that, the very same place where Good Girls Go to Paris Crepes got its successful start.
 
Chickpea in the D offers fresh, healthy food at a reasonable price. Its theme is hummus, and they offer four different kinds of hummus made fresh in-house daily. Flavors include the standard original, extra garlic and green olive, plus the "hummus of the day" and "hummus of the week." Recent special flavors included banana bread, roasted portabella, buffalo, and pickle. It offers a variety of dippers with the hummus, like pita bread, tortilla chips, pretzel rods and veggies.
 
In addition to hummus they also serve healthful smoothies made with ingredients like carrot, kale, agave nectar, whey protein and flaxseed. They also have a small selection of sandwiches including a sandwich of the week and items like chicken salad and Mediterranean "nachos" (made with hummus and feta). Everything is house-made with ingredients purchased from local markets daily. All items are $5 and under, and they offer a lunch combo for $7. "This is a place you can go to get something that's healthy and tasty that's not going to break your wallet," says co-owner David Ayyash.
 
Chickpea in the D is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays. It is carryout only. Soon they will also offer catering.
 
Source: Chickpea in the D co-owner David Ayyash
Writer: Nicole Rupersburg

Got a Development News story to share? Email Nicole here.
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