| Follow Us: Facebook Twitter Vimeo RSS Feed

Redevelopment : Detroit Development News

411 Redevelopment Articles | Page: | Show All

City still seeks Brush Park development team, allows for higher densities

The city of Detroit has re-issued a slightly modified request for proposals for a Brush Park development first announced at the beginning of 2014. With that RFP long-expired and the city having not selected a plan, a new RFP was recently announced with a November 14 deadline.

The biggest differences between last January's RFP and the new one are a changes in residential density and land use parameters. While the previous RFP capped residential development in Brush Park at 15 to 35 dwelling units per acre, the revised RFP is allowing for larger developments of up to 60 dwelling units per acre.

According to the release, the City of Detroit's Planning and Development Department believes that, "[I]in order to better achieve the neighborhood scale, walkable, mixed-use vision of the future of Brush Park as set forth by P&DD and the Brush Park Citizens District Council, the current Development Plan is undergoing a major modification in order to allow a greater density of residential (up to 60 D.U./Acre) and a greater mix of uses within Brush Park."

The two parcels of land available in this RFP are the same as before. At approximately 7.5 acres, “Parcel A” is made up of four historic structures and 36 vacant lots bounded by Edmund Place (north), Brush Street (east), Adelaide Street (south), and John R (west). At approximately 0.90 acres, “Parcel B” consists of seven vacant properties and is bounded by Alfred (north), Beaubien Street (east), Division Street (south), and Brush (west).

The historic building at 312 Watson, known as “Parcel C” in January's RFP, is not included in this most recent request.

According to the RFP, the P&DD's new goals for the historic Brush Park neighborhood include creating residential density, promoting adaptive re-use, introducing neighborhood scale retail uses, and limiting surface parking lots.

Source: City of Detroit Planning & Development Department
Writer: MJ Galbraith

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Midtown Detroit, Inc. secures funding for new green alley, construction starts in September

Over $200,000 has been secured for a new green alley in Midtown. The money results from a successful crowdfunding campaign by Midtown Detroit, Inc., which beat its $50,000 goal by $2,290. By reaching its goal, Midtown Detroit, Inc. also secures $50,000 in pledged matching funds from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC).

The alley in question runs between Second and Third streets and Selden and Alexandrine streets, running behind what could prove to be a very popular restaurant, Selden Standard, which is currently under construction.

"The Green Alley project is a perfect example of how crowdfunding enables residents, businesses, and others to pool resources and work together to create vibrant public spaces," says MEDC's director of community development Katharine Czarnecki in a statement. The Michigan Department of Transportation and Shinola have each contributed an additional $10,000 and $100,000, respectively.

As it stands today, the alley is not unlike plenty of alleys in plenty of big cities, strewn with litter and debris and largely unkempt. Those curious about what a green alley is can travel just a few blocks north to the city's first green alley, which starts at Second and runs east between Canfield and Forest streets, or they can visit the city's second green alley, which is under construction between Cass and Second and Willis and Canfield streets.

Green alleys promote sustainability, pedestrian safety, and placemaking, completely transforming parts of the city that are often under-utilized and generally avoided. By breaking up solid stretches of pavement and replacing them with permeable pavers, green alleys allow urban runoff and rain to go directly into the ground rather than flow into the city's sewer system.

Construction on the alley is scheduled to begin this September and be completed by the end of October. Midtown Detroit, Inc. is planning a grand opening for the alley which will coincide with the highly anticipated opening of the Selden Standard.

Source: Midtown Detroit, Inc. press release
Writer: MJ Galbraith

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Sister Pie wins $50K grand prize from Hatch Detroit

Sister Pie has won the fourth annual Hatch Detroit contest, taking home the $50,000 grand prize. The bakery and pie shop beat out a music store, a New Orleans-themed bar and restaurant, and a breakfast and lunch spot for the top prize.

While pie is deeply rooted in tradition, Sister Pie often puts inventive twists on its products. Recent pies include a pinto bean, corn, and jalapeno hand pie and a blueberry, plum, and balsamic pie.

Lisa Ludwinski, who owns and operates Sister Pie, has said that the Hatch prize money will go a long way toward completing the renovations of a West Village storefront. $50,000 will help Ludwinski reduce the amount of any loans she may need to take out as she builds out the Sister Pie location at Parker and Kercheval streets. Ludwinski hopes for an April 2015 opening.

A physical location for Sister Pie is important to Ludwinski, having stressed the desire for a community space in the neighborhood. Once the cafe opens, Sister Pie will offer breakfast and lunch items in addition to the pies and cookies for which the business is already well known.

Ludwinski hopes to open a temporary counter at the storefront while construction is completed. In the meantime, Sister Pie products are available throughout the city, including at Parker Street Market, Sister Pie's future neighbor.

After menswear and lifestyle boutique Hugh won the first Hatch contest in 2011, the next three winners have all been food- and drink-based businesses. La Feria, a Spanish tapas restaurant that opened in 2013, won in 2012. Meanwhile, Batch Brewing Company, a small batch brewery that took the top prize in 2013, continues to work on their eventual Corktown location.

Source: Lisa Ludwinski, owner and operator of Sister Pie
Writer: MJ Galbraith

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Hatch Final Four: Pies, cookies, and more in West Village

While chefs and other head kitchen types often carry a moody intensity about them, that is decidedly not Lisa Ludwinski, owner and head baker for Sister Pie. She's big on fun, not serious -- at least when it comes to baking. These are pies and cookies, after all. They're supposed to be fun.

Browsing through Sister Pie social media accounts like Facebook and Instagram reveals that sense of fun. Ludwinski and her cohorts have been posting increasingly creative dance videos while they work. It's something that developed naturally out of the rigors of an average workday -- dancing away the stress. It's a positive release for Ludwinski and one that her customers have responded to.

Of course, dance videos wouldn't get Ludwinski too far if her pies weren't up to snuff. The pies are locally-sourced and reflect Michigan farmers and their traditions, says Ludwinski. While pies are old-fashioned and traditional, they also allow her to experiment with new flavors and techniques.

They're flying off the shelves at Parker Street Market, she says. And soon they'll be neighbors with the market, having secured a storefront across the street. For Ludwinski, West Village is the perfect location for the Sister Pie cafe. They're working on the space now.

"While I know wholesale production is a great source of income -- and it's something we'll continue to do -- I always wanted a storefront," says Ludwinski. "I want a community space in a neighborhood. A place where kids can come, where everyone can come, and watch the bakers make the pies."

Ludwinski hopes that the cafe will open April 2015. In the meantime, Sister Pie products can still be found at places like Parker Street. While construction is underway, she'll look to open a sort of pop-up, temporary counter at the storefront to get people used to coming to the West Village location.

Sister Pie is one of four contestants vying to win the $50,000 grand prize from Hatch Detroit. Voting ends August 20 at 12 p.m. EST. Voting is open to the public and available online.

Source: Lisa Ludwinski, owner and head baker at Sister Pie
Writer: MJ Galbraith

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Hatch Final Four: Breakfast and lunch on the Avenue of Fashion

Fresh off a degree from the culinary school at Schoolcraft College, Lisa Cardwell is already well on her way toward opening her first restaurant. It's called Cockadoodle, a breakfast and lunch spot destined for Detroit's Avenue of Fashion.

The restaurant will be centered around a recipe Cardwell perfected one Thanksgiving with her family. Tasked with stuffing the turkey, Cardwell's unique spice mix impressed her family so much that they began to press her to open a restaurant. The Cockadoodle concept was soon developed. Switching poultry, Cardwell's recipe features that distinctive spice mix stuffed into an applewood-smoked chicken. She uses fresh, steroid- and antibiotic-free Amish chickens bought from Eastern Market.

In addition to her smoked chicken plates, Cardwell plans on offering soups, salads, and breakfast items.

Having grown up in the area, Cardwell is familiar enough with the Avenue of Fashion and its surrounding neighborhoods to know that a breakfast and lunch spot is something the area needs. She says that residents in the community are all too often traveling to the suburbs to spend their money on something not available in their neighborhood. Cardwell hopes to change that.

"Everything seems pretty serendipitous that I'm now realizing my passion," says Cardwell. "It seems pretty spiritual to me."

While a location hasn't been selected, Cardwell says she's narrowed the choices down to two. She's looking to open Cockadoodle in late 2016. In the meantime, she'll begin selling her special chickens at Eastern Market.

Once her first restaurant opens, Cardwell hopes to expand to other locations. It's designed to be replicated, she says, and she'll look to open Cockadoodles in downtown Detroit, Chicago, and Washington D.C.

Cockadoodle is one of four contestants vying to win the $50,000 grand prize from Hatch Detroit. Voting ends August 20 at 12 p.m. EST. Voting is open to the public and available online.

Source: Lisa Cardwell, conceptualist and owner at Cockadoodle
Writer: MJ Galbraith

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Hatch Final Four: New Orleans food and music for Woodbridge

Dameon Gabriel comes from New Orleans music royalty. His family can trace its music roots all the way back to 1850s New Orleans and the eventual beginnings of jazz. The Gabriels moved to Detroit in the 1940s and they brought that New Orleans-style jazz music with them. Since the move north, generations of Gabriels have worked to preserve their New Orleans roots here in Detroit, maintaining a line of New Orleans-style jazz players that continue to play throughout the city.

Dameon Gabriel is working to cement that musical heritage and its place in Detroit by establishing Gabriel Hall, a bar, restaurant, museum, and music venue. He's partnered with Ederique Goudia, a Louisiana-born and raised chef who now caters throughout metro Detroit, to ensure an authentically Creole menu.

The bar will offer cocktails famous to New Orleans, like the Hurricane, a rum-based drink popular in that city's French Quarter. Gabriel is curating a wealth of family history into a mini-museum, where visual and audio displays will explore the musical connection between New Orleans and Detroit.

And then there's the music. Gabriel says that while the live entertainment won't always be New Orleans-style music, there will be certain nights of the month that will feature that famous sound. Gabriel himself plays trumpet in the Gabriel Brass Band. And when the band is offstage, expect Gabriel Hall to play New Orleans-style music throughout the venue, both old and new, from Louis Armstrong to the Rebirth Brass Band.

Gabriel is currently working to confirm a certain building in Woodbridge, one whose owner is already excited by the idea. He hopes to open in the summer of 2015.

"I'm surprised by how many people have already attached themselves to this idea and want to see it happen," says Gabriel. "I'm humbled by all the support."

Gabriel Hall is one of four contestants vying to win the $50,000 grand prize from Hatch Detroit. Voting ends August 20 at 12 p.m. EST. Voting is open to the public and available online.

Source: Dameon Gabriel, co-founder of Gabriel Hall
Writer: MJ Galbraith

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Bike and skateboard shop celebrates grand opening in Springwells neighborhood

What started in 2008 as an earn-a-bike program at Urban Neighborhood Initiatives has blossomed into Southwest Rides, a full service bike and skateboard retail shop with an experienced bicycle mechanic.

Through fundraising efforts, private donations, and a $25,000 grant from the Skillman Foundation, Southwest Rides was able to open a brick-and-mortar location in Southwest Detroit's Springwells neighborhood. Though the shop opened earlier this summer, Southwest Rides is hosting a grand opening celebration Saturday, August 16. The event is open to the public and will feature food, deals, and prizes.

Through the earn-a-bike program, members of the community complete maintenance courses, eventually taking a bike home after putting in a set amount of hours. Southwest Rides continues to offer the earn-a-bike program.

With the shop opening, the people behind Southwest Rides have expanded their educational programming to include an apprenticeship program. In addition to honing skills as bicycle mechanics, young people also learn business basics, from customer service to shop maintenance.

"There are a lot of components in running a small business," says Isaac Gilman, a board member with Southwest Rides. "This way the youth get practice and then later on they can apply what they've learned. They'll have something under their belts."

Of course, Southwest Rides is a business, too, with normal hours of operation for retail and maintenance. Gilman says that business has been good so far -- the skateboards are particularly popular with the young people in the neighborhood -- and they're hoping the grand opening event will help spread the word to other parts of the city.

The grand opening celebration is 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, August 16 at Southwest Rides, located at 1824 Springwells St.

Source: Isaac Gilman, board member of Southwest Rides
Writer: MJ Galbraith

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Detroit development news round-up: July and August

It's been another busy month for development news in the city. Let's catch up on five of the biggest stories since our last round-up.

In what Detroit Free Press writer John Gallagher calls, "the city’s boldest and most significant development since the Renaissance Center of the 1970s," the Ilitch family released plans for their enormous sports, entertainment, and housing development. A taxpayer-subsidized arena for billionaire Mike Ilitch's Red Wings hockey team anchors a massive plan of new development and districts, including a potential 2,000 new residential units.

The new arena district will be built with the M1 Rail streetcar line in mind, which officially broke ground Monday, July 28. The lightrail line will run along Woodward Avenue from downtown to New Center and is expected to begin operating in late 2016. The first phase of construction has closed Woodward from Adams Street to Campus Martius park for 120 days.

Officials hope that the M1 Rail will make it easier for people to navigate a city blooming with new bars and restaurants. Eater Detroit has mapped out ten of their most anticipated Detroit restaurant openings. They include eateries from West Fort Street to Hamtramck, from the top of a downtown hotel to everyone's favorite castle building.

Boydell Development Company, the development group behind Corktown's Roosevelt Hotel restoration, announced plans to redevelop an old Wayne State University pharmacy school into a 180 apartment-unit building. The 'micro-apartments' will range from 400 to 500 square feet at the new Shapero Hall.

Winners for the Parallel Projections design contest Reanimate the Ruins were recently announced. Though conceptual in nature, the submitted proposals for redeveloping the iconic blight campus that is the Packard Motor Plant demonstrate the breadth of possibilities for the historic site.

Writer: MJ Galbraith

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Bonbon shop opens in Hamtramck

Years of training and chocolate-making have culminated in the grand opening of Bon Bon Bon, chocolatier Alexandra Clark's bonbon production facility and retail storefront in Hamtramck. A grand opening was thrown Saturday, July 19.

Throughout the week, the shop at 2756 Evaline St. is the center of operations for Clark's wholesale business -- she sells bonbons to a number of boutique hotels. The storefront opens to the general public every Saturday, where they're open from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Clark, who has nearly a decade of training from a number of culinary programs, has always known that she was going to be a chocolatier. She chose bonbons for their inherent creativity. Where truffles are strictly defined by their ingredients, bonbons allow the classically-trained Clark to come up with her own twists on a centuries-old treat. Of the nearly 50 flavors available at Bon Bon Bon, there's the paczki bonbon, a dough ganache and berry-mix bonbon that pays homage to the deep Polish roots of Hamtramck, and her signature bonbon, the Hot Mess, a hard-shelled chocolate filled with molten chocolate.

"It's sort of like doing a shot but you can do it with your grandma," says Clark. "Not like you couldn't do shots with your grandma but you can do it with kids and your grandma."

Clark and her team craft many of the ingredients by hand, whether they're tempering chocolate or chopping mangoes. Other ingredients are bought from local bakeries or the corner grocery store. What she can't find locally she imports from places like France and Switzerland.

Once the weather cools down, Clark will take her bonbons to Eastern Market. If that goes well, she'll start searching for a retail storefront and have longer hours. Until then, Bon Bon Bon is open every Saturday.

Source: Alexandra Clark, owner of Bon Bon Bon
Writer: MJ Galbraith

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Historic Corktown hotel to re-open by summer 2015

Since purchasing the Roosevelt Hotel in 2010, Detroit real estate developer Dennis Kefallinos has offered little information on his plans for the historic and long-neglected Corktown hotel. It's now confirmed that the Roosevelt Hotel will once again operate as a hotel, opening somewhere within a year's time.

While details of amenities remain vague, Kefallinos's senior project manager Eric Novack says that construction crews are currently working on the building infrastructure. The hotel will have 76 rooms and feature commercial space on the ground floor.

Kefallinos owns and manages a number of buildings and businesses throughout the city, including the Lafayette Lofts and the Russell Industrial Center. Though the Roosevelt could have been redeveloped as an apartment building, Kefallinos has long-wanted to open a hotel and the Roosevelt's floor plans remain well-suited for that. Larger rooms lend themselves to extended stay customers, a situation the company sees happening often.

"This has been quite a while in the making," says Novack. "We haven't been resting on our laurels. We've been doing the work in the background like with the historic preservation people to get approval for new windows for the building."

Not wanting to suggest an opening date for fear of it being pushed back, Novack says that people will once again book rooms at the Roosevelt sometime in the next six to twelve months. It's infrastructure work in the meantime.

The hotel opened in the early 1920s across from a bustling Michigan Central Station and its fate followed that of the now-vacant and blighted train depot. The Roosevelt sat empty and unsecured on 14th Street for years before Kefallinos purchased it from Wayne County at auction.

This announcement follows recent news of improvements to neighboring Michigan Central Station, though the intentions of that building's owner, billionaire Manuel Moroun, remain mysterious. His camp has yet to offer any details of redevelopment plans for Detroit's most iconic vacant building.

Source: Eric Novack, senior project manager at Boydell Development Company
Image: Corktown History

Writer: MJ Galbraith

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

A new artist collective, studio, and printmaking shop for Eastern Market's Service Street area

An artist collective formed by a group of six local artists recently opened in Eastern Market. The artists of the Riopelle Collective, as they're known, represent a wide range of styles and media, including furniture-making, hand lettering, and mixed media. The collective's space is located along a stretch of Gratiot that is commonly referred to as Service Street, the name of the red-bricked alley that runs behind the length of the block.

Jessica Krcmarik is one of the six members of Riopelle. As excited as they are to have opened their own space, Krcmarik stresses that there are already a number of established artists who work, present, perform, and live in the buildings of Service Street. The Riopelle Collective is an addition to an already rich community of artists, residents, and businesses located in the Service Street area.

"There was an arts district before we came here," says Krcmarik. "So we're standing on the shoulders of the other artists."

The Riopelle space will operate as a retail space during market days. The collective also plans to host events like Drink and Draw nights, where people will be invited to bring a sketchpad and drinks and use the Riopelle space to work and socialize. Riopelle is also home to the Prankster Press, a printmaking shop run by Riopelle members Lyz Luidens and James Reich. Dylan Box, Ellen Rutt, and Matthew Jenkins round out the group.

It was Box and Rutt, says Krcmarik, that got everything started. They originally wanted to rent the space as a twosome, but the landlord required more artists before leasing the space.

Thus the Riopelle Collective was born.

Riopelle is located at 1492 Gratiot Ave.

Source: Jessica Krcmarik, member of the Riopelle Collective
Writer: MJ Galbraith

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here.

Historic West Village apartment building to receive $1M in renovations

West Village, already an attractive option for renters, is set to gain more rental housing with the announced renovations of the historic West Village Manor building. The 16 apartment units and ground floor anchor retail space will receive complete interior renovations. West Village Manor retail tenants currently include Detroit Vegan Soul and Tarot & TeaThe Red Hook Detroit coffee shop is expected to open there some time soon.

Building owners LAND, Inc. have tapped real estate development and construction company Banyan Investments for the renovation work. LAND, Inc. is a nonprofit development group based on the city's east side and is a subsidiary of the Warren/Conner Development Coalition.

According to LAND, the 1920s-built West Village Manor had fallen into disrepair by the time the group purchased the building in 2009. After an initial $750,000 investment in the building, the newly announced renovation costs fall somewhere between $1 million and $1.3 million, says the group. Construction will begin this fall.

"I am happy to say that LAND, Inc. has fulfilled its mission on this project, acquiring a building that was not contributing positively to the neighborhood, bringing lots of subsidy and partnerships together to make significant improvements, supporting local entrepreneurs and creating jobs," LAND, Inc.'s executive director Jacqueline Bejma in a statement.

The historic West Village neighborhood has seen a number of development projects over the past few years. A neighborhood grocery store, Parker Street Market, opened in April. Popular bar and restaurant Craft Work opened this past winter. Even the Detroit Lions are getting involved in West Village as they partner with Hatch Detroit in the Neighborhood Initiative, which assists existing storefront retail in capital improvements.

West Village Manor is located at the northeast corner of Agnes Street and Van Dyke Avenue.

Source: LAND, Inc. press release
Writer: MJ Galbraith

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here.

Summer development news round-up

It's been a busy season for development news in the city. Let's catch up on five stories that have made  headlines this summer.

The longer it takes for construction to begin, the less likely it seems that a development project will ever be built. With that in mind, Detroit light rail advocates are closer to breathing easy as the M-1 Rail project has announced a July 28 start date for construction. Work begins downtown before it makes the slow climb northward on Woodward Avenue to New Center.

Nearly a year to the day after the grand opening of the city's first Meijer store, officials broke ground on a second Detroit location of the popular grocery superstore chain. The second Meijer is being built on the site of the former Redford High School at Grand River Avenue and McNichols Road on the city's northwest side. The new store will hire up to 500 people, reports say.

Midtown Detroit, Inc. is leading a crowdfunding campaign as it seeks money for a new Green Alley. The alley slated for development “is bounded by Second Avenue, Selden, the Third Avenue alley and Alexandrine.” The Michigan Economic Development Corporation will match the campaign's $50,000 goal if it is met by July 25.

Curbed argues that the first thing the new owners of Corktown's CPA Building should do is board up and secure the building. The old building at Michigan Avenue and 14th Street has been devastated by vandals -- among others -- over the years while much of the rest of Corktown continues to experience redevelopment.

Plans to redevelop the old Detroit Fire Department headquarters into a downtown boutique hotel are still under way, assures the development team. Though the developers announced a late 2015 opening, it's still unknown when construction will begin.

Writer: MJ Galbraith

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here.

West Corktown: Creating Detroit's newest neighborhood

Whether you know it or not, there's a new neighborhood being dreamt up for an area west of downtown just beyond the I-75 and I-96 interchange. Its epicenter is the corner of 23rd Street and Michigan Avenue, where a nearly century-old bank building was recently purchased by Lynne and Mike Savino. It will become their new home as the couple works to adapt the old bank into a loft-style building.

They're calling the area West Corktown, "a neighborhood within a neighborhood," and they're thinking that as Corktown's storefronts continue to fill up and become unavailable, the stretch of Michigan Avenue between I-75 and W. Grand Boulevard is the next logical place for development.

As Lynne tells it, the West Corktown name started as a joke and, rest assured, there's still a good deal of humor involved in the branding. But when she and her husband decided to leave the Green Acres neighborhood, Lynne found herself constantly telling her friends that she was moving just west of Corktown. It just grew from there. It's a way for the Savinos to draw attention to -- and, they hope, find some buyers for -- the vacant buildings along that stretch of Michigan Avenue.

As the couple continues to work on their own corner, the Savinos see a lot of potential in the historic buildings that neighbor their own. They've already seen interest from potential buyers, too.

"There are nice buildings here. This red building next door is a great building. There's a lot of small buildings that individuals could purchase for a reasonable amount of money, fix them up," says Lynne. "Corktown is getting packed and expensive. This really is just the next natural direction, hopefully, for things to go."

Bundled in the estate sale through which they purchased the bank was Leroy's U.S. Star Bar -- its liquor license, too. Unlike the bank, which was almost completely stripped by scrappers, Leroy's was left in remarkably decent condition. The Savinos are currently weighing offers from people interested in bringing the bar back to life. Though dusty, there's a great old wooden back bar, a vintage Bevador beer cooler, and plenty of character left in Leroy's.

Source: Lynne Savino, resident of West Corktown
Writer: MJ Galbraith

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here.

Mt. Elliott Park Fun Shop opens in time for summer

The grand re-opening of Mt. Elliott Park has brought more than a new water park and pavilion to Detroit's riverfront. Entrepreneurs Richard Roy and Charlene Dwyer and Chief Fun Officer Abby have opened the Mt. Elliott Park Fun Shop in the River Park Lofts building at Mt. Elliott and Wight streets.

Having opened in the first weeks of June, the Fun Shop is already quite a presence on the block that faces the park. Roy has some of his homemade corn hole boards in front of the shop, ready for passersby. They rest on a sidewalk covered in colorful chalk drawings. He says that he likes to take one of those big-hoop bubble makers and teach the nearby kids how to use it.

Roy and Dwyer come from the art and advertising worlds. Though still involved in those industries, they decided a storefront across from the new Mt. Elliott Park would be an ideal location for a shop that specializes in, well, fun. Much of the shop is geared toward kids of all ages -- which the new Mt. Elliott Park has no problem attracting -- with bubble makers, kites, and frisbees for sale. There are a few refreshments, too.

"It's a lot of fun. It's fun when we sell bubbles or those snap poppers and you hear them used outside. Or we'll sell a couple of kites and you watch them out there flying the kites, laughing and running around," says Roy. "It's great."

Another important component of the shop is local art. It's made by friends of Roy and Dwyer who create everything from iconic concert posters to porcelain wares, Detroit-themed t-shirts to jewelry. The pair saw the shop as an opportunity to provide artists a place to sell their work, something that's not always so easy or affordable.

The store is currently involved in a micro loan campaign.

Source: Richard Roy and Charlene Dwyer, co-owners of Mt. Elliott Park Fun Shop
Writer: MJ Galbraith

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here.
411 Redevelopment Articles | Page: | Show All
Signup for Email Alerts