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Photo and audio exhibition chronicles life in Delray before the bridge

Industry has been chipping away at the homes of Delray for decades now. Walk a couple of blocks in any direction and you're going to stumble across some sign of manufacturing or shipping. And it's going to take more than a couple of blocks to escape that smell, a byproduct of the poor air quality in one of Michigan's most polluted ZIP code.

Roughly 2,500 residents remain in a neighborhood that once had nearly ten times as many. The streets of Delray reflect the population loss. As for the houses that do remain, many of those are already slated for demolition, as they stand in the path of the New International Trade Crossing. While some residents have been bought out to make way for the new bridge, that's not true for everyone.

But for all the words outsiders throw around when describing Delray -- desolate, devastated, polluted -- what is it actually like for the people who live there? That's what photographer Kenny Corbin, a.k.a. Karpov, and audio journalist Laura Herberg set out to discover. They spent two months in the yards, family rooms, and kitchens of the residents there, documenting the lives of 40 people by taking photographs and collecting audio. Karpov and Herberg are debuting the results of their work with "Delray: Beyond Isolation," a multimedia exhibition that opens today at Galerie Camille in Midtown.

"People there feel that if the city wants to make all of Delray industrial, then everyone should be bought out," says Karpov. "The residents don't want to lose out in the bridge development. They want to feel compensated. They want to feel acknowledged."

In the two months since beginning this project, Karpov says they've collected more photographs and audio than they'll be able to use. Karpov and Herberg, who met at WDET, didn't want to just show up for an hour, take some pictures, and split. They wanted to immerse themselves in Delray and tell its story -- before the bridge.

Delray: Beyond Isolation opens at Galerie Camille on Friday, Nov. 21 at 5 p.m. Galerie Camille is located at 4130 Cass Ave. in Midtown.

Source: Kenny 'Karpov' Corbin, Delray: Beyond Isolation photographer
Writer: MJ Galbraith

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

Brightmoor residents to open food co-op and community kitchen

Despite the many urban farmers, gardeners, bakers, and makers living in Brightmoor, the northwest Detroit neighborhood lacks a community kitchen. State law requires that many food products be produced in commercial kitchens, thus prohibiting many would-be food entrepreneurs in Brightmoor from selling home-made products at market.

To address this, a group of Brightmoor residents has organized to open a commercial kitchen in their neighborhood, one that will pump up that area's food economy through a co-operative model. It's called the Brightmoor Artisan's Cooperative and Community Kitchen, and if all goes right, they'll have opened their doors by April 2015.

After a number of conversations, members of the community identified the need for access to a commercial kitchen and decided earlier this year to purchase a building. After a successful a crowdfunding campaign, the group purchased the building at 22739 Fenkell Street, a 7,000 sq. ft. building split into three storefronts, at a price of $18,000 in the recent Wayne County foreclosure auction.

The group says that the building's previous owner -- a man who owns the liquor store next door -- is contesting the auction, though the co-op is confident enough in the sale to move ahead with their plans.

"Brightmoor has seen some tough times, but things have been improving in the past half decade," says Nicky Marcot, chairperson of Brightmoor Artisan's Cooperative and Community Kitchen. "The kitchen might bring businesses back to the Fenkell corridor and help create a vibrant and stable commercial district. This could be a catalyst."

In addition to the commercial kitchen facilities, the group plans on utilizing storefront space for a cafe or restaurant and a store where local food makers can sell their products. Classes for adults and children are also planned.

Source: Nicky Marcot, chairperson of Brightmoor Artisan's Cooperative and Community Kitchen
Writer: MJ Galbraith

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

Brightmoor's Wellspring youth development center to triple in size after securing $400K in funding

The Kumon math and English academic programming offered by Wellspring is so popular that it serves 100 to 125 students a year with another 100 on a waiting list. Now, with the help of a number of organizations, Wellspring has raised the $400,000 necessary to expand their building and begin construction of an addition to the back of the structure. Once complete, the neighborhood center will have the capacity to serve 300 children a year.

The Wellspring Center is located in an old house at 16742 Lamphere in Detroit's Brightmoor neighborhood. In addition to faith-based youth development programming, the center offers Kumon courses, an after school tutoring program. Kumon is a Japanese-based corporation with many franchises throughout the United States.

While the for-profit Kumon franchises are typically in middle- to upper-class neighborhoods, Wellspring runs its program as a nonprofit -- one of only a few in the United States to do so. Through grants and fundraising efforts, Wellspring is able to subsidize tuition for students coming from low-income backgrounds. Roughly 50 percent of students are from the Brightmoor neighborhood, according to the nonprofit.

Dan Bandrowski founded Wellspring with his wife Cherie in 1986. They moved operations to 16742 Lamphere in 1988, and by 1992 they were incorporated as a nonprofit. As demand for their academic services began to outpace their capacity, the Wellspring board weighed its options. Board members were determined to keep the center in Brightmoor, and they eventually decided to build onto the house rather than search for a new facility. After a recent company directive from Kumon saying that franchises had to operate out of traditional business-like facilities, the Bandrowskis appealed to the president of the corporation, seeking and receiving permission to remain on Lamphere Street.

"We kept the house because we wanted to demonstrate our commitment to place," says Dan Bandrowski. "We're a place-oriented organization and the neighborhood looks at us as a community institution. We also liked the idea that we're in the neighborhood, in a residential area, in a home-like setting for the kids."

Construction of the expansion should be complete in three to four months, says Dan, and will result in a facility that is three times its previous size, increasing from 1,834 sq. ft. to 5,719 sq. ft. Detroit architecture firm Hamilton Anderson Associates designed the addition. A Wellspring-led capital campaign raised $70,000 for the project while IFF made a community investment loan of $60,000. The nonprofit received grants of $150,000, $100,000, and $20,000 from the Carls, Kresge, and Skillman foundations respectively.

Source: Dan Bandrowski, co-founder of Wellspring
Writer: MJ Galbraith

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

West Village gains a record store, community hub with Paramita Sound

Andrey Douthard curates the hip hop, jazz, and indie pop/rock records at Paramita Sound. He also owns the shop, which just celebrated its grand opening Saturday, Oct. 25. His collaborators -- he doesn't call them employees, but collaborators -- curate other genres. Anna Atanassova selects the punk, metal, and hardcore records and also acts as social media and events coordinator. Peter Croce curates the dance records, including techno, house, disco, boogie, and reggae, while also acting as resident DJ and promoter. There's Vicente Elizondo, who, besides being store clerk, specializes in soul and funk 45s and tapes. And Zach Poley contributes to the hip hop curation, acting as Paramita's art director, too.

Douthard has assembled this team to help make his dream a reality, to open a record store and pursue a career in the music business. In addition to utilizing his network to help make Paramita hum, Douthard has taken advantage of the many resources designed to nurture a new wave of Detroit entrepreneurs. He took classes at D:Hive Build -- now the Build Institute -- and enrolled at TechTown's Retail Boot Camp. He's benefited from TechTown's SWOT City program, too.

Even his storefront, located at 1417 Van Dyke St., was the result of a collaboration between Practice Space, REVOLVE Detroit, and the Villages CDC. Douthard won their Activate: 1417 Van Dyke contest launched last March, which granted him access to the space.

"All these things came together and worked together," says Douthard. "For someone that hasn't started a business before, the guidance is priceless. It really does take a village."

Unlike a lot of the record stores in Detroit, which mostly feature used records, Douthard and his crew focus on new records. It's a finely curated store. Aiming for an inventory of 500 to 600 records, it's a quality over quantity approach.

For now, Paramita is a pop-up. But Douthard has every intention on seeing his record store stay open through his January 10, 2015 lease. Until then, Paramita Sound will operate as much as a community space as it does a record store. Tuesdays are BYO nights, where Douthard invites the public to bring their friends, records, and beer down to the West Village store. Peter Croce will be teaching turntable mixing every Wednesday. On Thursdays, guest DJs will lead listening parties. And Sundays, from noon to 5 p.m., there will be record swaps.

"The records are how we pay the bills," says Douthard. "But really it's about opening up a dialog."

Source: Andrey Douthard, owner of Paramita Sound
Photos: Matt Chung, D:hive Detroit

Writer: MJ Galbraith

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

Atomic Cafe gallery for outsider art to begin Phase 3 in Hamtramck


It started off as a conversation among artists. The members of the Hamtramck Contemporary Arts Alliance (HCAA) have shared a studio above a Joseph Campau Avenue storefront for a few years now. It was from there that the idea for a new Hamtramck art gallery emerged. Luke MacGilvray, a member of HCAA, pushed the idea through, opening the Atomic Cafe over the summer. What was supposed to be a one-off pop-up this July has blossomed into a permanent art gallery -- and a massive one at that. Atomic Cafe, located at 10326 Joseph Campau, offers 4,100 square feet of space to artists.

The Atomic Cafe is open every other month, or phase, as MacGilvray calls it. Phase 3 begins this November when the gallery will open with a new line-up of local artists. And the emphasis is definitely on the local. As curator, MacGilvray looks to find artists from the tri-county area and especially from Hamtramck. It comes, he says, from seeing other local galleries importing art from places like New York and Los Angeles.

"I want to give a shot to people who are outsiders, artists who are extremely talented but maybe their work isn't suited for a juried show," says MacGilvray. He's searching for eclectic art and, as he puts it, "Art that doesn't match your couch."

One of those local artists MacGilvray champions is Joseph Lapham. MacGilvray says that in a previous phase, Lapham sold all of his work on display and then some. To replace the ones that were sold, Lapham had to bring in new pieces, and those sold, too. That's the point for MacGilvray, to give artists he deems underrated the opportunity to share their work and maybe sell a few pieces -- and maybe a few more than that.

Beginning Nov. 7, Atomic Cafe will be open every weekend from 7 p.m. to midnight through the month of November.

Source: Luke MacGilvray, owner and curator of Atomic Cafe
Writer: MJ Galbraith

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

Historic Catholic school building re-opens as charter school

Cornerstone Charter Schools has moved its Health + Technology High School to the old St. Scholastica Grammar School building along the Southfield Service Drive.


St. Scholastica Grammar School, located just north of the Grandmont Rosedale neighborhood at Southfield Road and Outer Drive, closed in 2012 due to declining enrollment and financial woes. According to the Michigan Catholic, the official publication of the Archdiocese of Detroit, the final count for 2012 was 85 students, down from 133 students during the '07-'08 academic year. The school opened in 1939.

Unlike many of the schools -- public or private -- that have been shuttered throughout Detroit, St. Scholastica didn't sit vacant long. Cornerstone Charter Schools, a not-for-profit corporation, purchased the building earlier this year and has reportedly spent over $10 million in renovating the school building. Cornerstone has four schools, three in Detroit and one in Redford.

"The improvements we've made will be truly impactful for our students' educational experience," says Cornerstone Charters School CEO Tom Willis. "Our curriculum and teaching methods have shown to be quite successful for our current students, and we look forward to seeing it implemented with our new students."

Cornerstone moved its Health + Technology High School from the old location at 19900 McIntyre Street and into the St. Scholastica building this fall where it began the school year. A ceremonial ribbon-cutting event is being held on Oct. 28 to celebrate the changes at the school, located at 17351 Southfield Rd.

Source: Cornerstone Charter Schools press release
Writer: MJ Galbraith

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

October development news round-up


It's been another busy month for development news in the city. Let's catch up on five of the biggest stories from the past four weeks.

Picking up on last month's thread of sports-cum-development news, renderings were leaked this month that showed what the development of the former Tiger Stadium site could look like. The renderings belong to the Roxbury Group, one of two development teams vying for the rights to develop the historic site at Michigan and Trumbull. The renderings are somewhat generic, but they do show a plan to keep the playing field at the center of the development while constructing mixed-use buildings along the sidewalks of Michigan and Trumbull.

Another iconic Detroit site, the sprawling and famously decimated Packard Plant, saw the first of what developer Fernando Palazuelo promises to be many construction crews. Palazuelo acquired the 3.5-million-square foot complex in December of 2013 and has promised that he will develop the site, despite the naysaying of skeptics. MLive Detroit reports that the first Packard crews were there to remove loose pieces of concrete.

The development team behind the David Whitney Building rehab recently invited members of the press for a tour of the building. Photos from the Detroit Free Press reveal an impressive lobby renovation and glimpses of what the apartments will look like. The Whitney, featuring shops, dining, apartments, and the Aloft Hotel brand, is announced to open Dec. 15.

Earlier this summer, we broke the news of Lynne Savino's attempts to create a new identity for the neighborhood along Michigan Avenue immediately to the west of I-75/I-96 junction -- an area she's dubbed "West Corktown." Since then, she and her husband Mike have made an impressive rehab of their bank-turned-home. These photos from Curbed Detroit are definitely worth a look.

Rose Hackman argued in the Atlantic recently that plans to foreclose on Detroit homeowners is an unfair practice strongly tied to racist real estate practices of the 20th century. It's a timely piece as we're deep in Wayne County foreclosure auction season.

Writer: MJ Galbraith

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

Offworld Arcade now open once a month in Corktown


It's been about a year since Don Behm bought his first used arcade game machine, the 1982 classic BurgerTime. His CraigsList find initially cost him $200. In fixing that game, Behm got hooked. He's since collected 18 arcade games.

There are the classics like Ms. Pac-Man, Q*bert, and Donkey Kong as well as perhaps not-so-well known games like Elevator Action, Bad Dudes vs. DragonNinja, and Moon Patrol. Behm is more than a hobbyist, though, and is looking to open Offworld Arcade, a bar that will feature his games. He's been searching for his ideal building in neighborhoods like Corktown and Hamtramck where he can serve beer and wine and feature the games he's restored. He's in no rush to find a space and doesn't mind taking the time to find just the right spot.

Until then, Behm and his Offworld Arcade are calling St. Vincent home. It's an old Catholic school in Corktown, one that will eventually become a co-working space. He'll be working out of St. Vincent for the next year, restoring his gaming machines and hosting an "arcade gallery" once a month.

On Saturday, Oct. 25, Behm threw the second of his arcade galleries, where visitors enjoyed an all-you-can-play pass, entry into a BurgerTime high score contest, music from DJs, and a live performance from Cotton Museum -- all for a mere five dollar donation. Offworld's galleries run from 6 p.m. to midnight and are open to the public. From 6 to 9 p.m., Offworld Arcade is kid-friendly. 9 p.m. to midnight is saved for the adults.

To learn about future arcade galleries, follow Offworld Arcade on Facebook.

"It's really cool to see parents and their sons and daughters come in and the kids just stare at these big games," says Behm. "You'll see kids come in and be amazed and say to their parents, 'I've never seen anything like this'."

Offworld Arcade is located in the St. Vincent building at 2020 14th St.

Source: Don Behm, owner of Offworld Arcade
Writer: MJ Galbraith

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

Co-working space to open in Grandmont Rosedale


The rise of Detroit's co-working scene is well-documented. More and more small business incubators and co-working spaces are popping up, though largely limited to the greater downtown area. In Grandmont Rosedale, far outside the 7.2 square miles of greater downtown Detroit, a new co-working space will celebrate its opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday, Oct. 24th.

Called the Grand River WorkPlace, the 2,800 square foot co-working facility at 19120 Grand River Ave. will officially open for business Nov. 1st. WorkPlace will offer many of the amenities expected of a co-working facility these days, including conference rooms, printing capabilities, WiFi Internet access, personal mailboxes and lockers, parking spaces, a community kitchen, and small business development programming.

There are two membership levels at WorkPlace. At $75 a month, individuals gain 24-hour access to the facility and all of its offerings. For $300 a month, entrepreneurs can rent one of five private offices. Four of the five offices have already been leased. WorkPlace also features a 300-square foot storefront that will rotate pop-up businesses on a regular basis. Love Travels Imports, an artisanal crafts boutique owned by WorkPlace manager Yvette Jenkins, is the first pop-up to occupy the Grand River storefront.

"Something about Grandmont Rosedale that a lot of people don't talk about is how easy it is to get here," says Jenkins. "You can get here or go just about anywhere in twenty minutes. The Southfield Freeway, I-96, and M-10 are all nearby. It's easy for clients and customers to get here."

WorkPlace was started by the Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation. Originally developed as a traditional office space, the GRDC changed course after conducting focus groups, finding more demand for a co-working facility. The former office building with an old hair salon storefront has been completely re-designed and modernized, including furniture from Reclaim Detroit.

Source: Yvette Jenkins, manager of Grand River WorkPlace
Writer: MJ Galbraith

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

Developers dig 27 geothermal wells to heat, cool Midtown's historic Forest Arms building


Forest Arms, a prominent apartment building near Wayne State University, was nearly lost in 2008 after a fire ravaged the building, displacing its residents and leaving the interior a charred mess. Local developers and husband and wife Scott Lowell and Carolyn Howard purchased the building a year later. They are now deep in a major rehab of the building, one that includes heavily investing in sustainable energy.

The pair have hired Strategic Energy Solutions of Berkley to dig 27 geothermal wells. Dug at a rate of two a day, the 375 foot-deep wells will heat and cool the Forest Arms' 70 one- and two-bedroom units. Built in 1905, the building was previously heated by a single pipe-radiator system.

"With the courtyard, it's a great opportunity to put these wells in," says Lowell. "Wells wouldn't make sense for a single-family residence, but with the overall heating costs for a place this big, we might save twenty percent off heating costs."

A 20,000 gallon cistern that will collect rain water from the roof is also planned. The water will then be utilized for non-potable purposes like flushing toilets and watering the lawn.

Workers are making progress within the building's interior, as well. While digging up the basement to work on the plumbing, Lowell and company have decided to keep digging, lowering the basement floor by a couple of feet to give more space to the eventual renters of the five garden units planned. Two commercial spaces will also go in that level.

Five penthouse units will be built on the roof. Tax credits Lowell is using to help fund the redevelopment demand that the penthouses be mostly hidden from streetview so as not to tarnish the building's historic charm. Lowell says that details like windows, doors, and trim will also have to meet historic accuracy standards. Other details, like cabinetry and fixtures, will be more modern.

Lowell is aiming for a Dec. 2015 opening.

Source: Scott Lowell, owner/operator of Forest Arms
Writer: MJ Galbraith

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

Anahata Yoga opens pop-up studio in Grandmont Rosedale


With business partner Regina Ward, certified yoga instructor Nicole Martin has opened Anahata Yoga in Detroit's Grandmont Rosedale neighborhood. The yoga studio, located at 19560 Grand River Ave., is part of the REVOLVE Detroit 90-day pop-up program. Martin and Ward have the opportunity to take that time to decide whether they'll remain open and make the transition to a permanent business.

According to Martin, the Grandmont Rosedale community has responded enthusiastically since the studio's grand opening on Sept. 20. It's a tight knit and supportive community, she says, one that has been waiting for a yoga studio for some time now. The people that have been coming to Anahata Yoga are people that live in the neighborhood but were forced to drive to suburban cities like Ferndale, Royal Oak, and Bloomfield Hills to get their yoga fix. Now, with the presence of Anahata, those people can practice yoga without leaving their neighborhood.

"This is a studio for the community," says Martin. "We want it to be accessible for people in the neighborhood. We keep prices low and offer some donation-based classes, too."

Martin is already envisioning opening up additional Anahata yoga studios in other parts of the city. The idea is to open in neighborhoods outside of the typical Midtown and downtown areas and make yoga accessible for under-served sections of Detroit. Martin hopes, too, that she'll be able to educate people, not just on yoga, but on wellness as a whole.

The studio focuses on hatha yoga, which is considered a basic yoga practice that teaches fundamentals. Classes are offered seven days a week and schedules are available on the Anahata website.

Anahata Yoga is one of two Grandmont Rosedale pop-ups in the REVOLVE Detroit program. Love Travels Imports, an artisanal crafts boutique, also opened a pop-up on Grand River Ave.

Source: Nicole Martin, owner of Anahata Yoga
Writer: MJ Galbraith

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

Artisanal crafts boutique opens second Detroit location in Grandmont Rosedale


It's been so nice she's tried it twice. Yvette Jenkins owns Love Travels Imports, an artisanal crafts boutique with a focus on fair trade products imported from all over the world. Her store, now firmly established along the Avenue of Fashion, got its start as a pop-up thanks to the REVOLVE Detroit program. Once the pop-up program was complete, Jenkins kept her shop open, becoming a fixture at 19452 Livernois Ave. Thanks to that same REVOLVE Detroit pop-up program, Jenkins has opened a second Love Travels Imports, this time in the Grandmont Rosedale neighborhood.

The newest Love Travels Imports is located at 19120 Grand River Ave. It's the storefront of the Grand River WorkPlace, a new business incubator and co-working facility. That organization's Katie Bramlage collaborated with Jenkins on the design of the shop, crafting, among other things, a counter made of recycled wood bits. Jenkins says that the design of the store is inspired by her dedication to fair trade products.

While the two locations share some inventory, Jenkins says that there are some products available only at the pop-up. In addition to featuring new artisans, Jenkins is selling more clothing items, like embroidered tunics and dresses, at the Grand River storefront.

She's rotating products from a different country every two weeks, with the first from Burkina Faso. Another new product is a line of necklaces fashioned from bullet casings. Farmers in Ethiopia are collecting bullet casings which are then transformed into beads. Ethiopian women with HIV and AIDS then fashion the bullet casings into beaded necklaces.

While there is no guarantee that the pop-up will lead to a second permanent location, Jenkins acknowledges that it's a possibility. The pop-up model has worked before. "It's a great opportunity to test the concept in another historic neighborhood," she says.

Source: Yvette Jenkins, owner of Love Travels Imports
Writer: MJ Galbraith

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

Learn how to submit a successful Knight Cities Challenge application at Wednesday Q&A


Interested in getting money for your idea to make Detroit a more vibrant city? The Knight Cities Challenge will be making grants totaling $5 million for just those kinds of ideas. And on Wednesday, Oct. 15, local and national representatives of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation will lead a dialog that will provide information to those interested in applying for Cities Challenge funds.

The Q&A session will take place this Wednesday from 4 to 6 p.m. at the NextEnergy building in New Center, which is located at 461 Burroughs St. Carol Coletta, the Knight Foundation's vice president of community and national initiatives, and Katy Locker, the Knight Foundation's Detroit program director, will lead the forum, offering tips on how to best prepare an application to meet the Knight Foundation's goals, as well as how applicants can improve their odds of winning funds for their projects.

Knight Cities Challenge is open to everyone, from city government to local activists, and will grant money to innovators in 26 cities throughout the United States, including Detroit. Applications opened Oct. 1 and will be accepted until Nov. 14.

"No project is too small -- so long as your idea is big," says Coletta. "Our hope is to inspire people -- even those who have not previously thought of themselves as civic innovators -- to get involved in shaping the future of their cities."

The challenge is specifically crafted to be accessible to the general public and not just professional grant writers. Everyone is encouraged to apply as long as their project occurs in the city of Detroit and addresses one or all of the issues of talent, opportunity, and engagement. The Knight Foundation is looking for ideas that address how Detroit can attract and keep the best and brightest population, how the city can boost economic activity for everyone, and how to better connect and involve citizens in their collective future.

Source: Knight Cities Challenge press release
Writer: MJ Galbraith

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

Detroit City Football Club explores options for a new stadium


Three seasons in and Detroit City Football Club is already outgrowing its home. The team, a member of the National Premier Soccer League, has enjoyed home field advantage at Cass Tech Football Stadium since 2012, but a surge in the team's popularity has driven up attendance and compelled team owners to consider moving to a bigger stadium.

Sean Mann, co-owner of the team, says that the second half of the 2014 season saw an average attendance of nearly 2,900. The high school stadium has a capacity of 3,000.

"We started out in a really grassroots, word-of-mouth kind of way," says Mann. "Now we're getting to a place where we can make some investments."

The team is considering a number of options for its new home, including a potential move to Hamtramck's Keyworth Stadium, a sports venue constructed in 1936 as a part of the Federal Works Progress Administration. Much of that stadium, however, is condemned and would require significant investment from the team. Hamtramck Public Schools, which owns Keyworth, would retain ownership of the stadium were the team to relocate there.

Mann and his team are also considering building a brand new stadium of their own. They are currently surveying a number of empty parcels of land throughout the city of Detroit. Whatever ownership decides, it will most likely be a few years before they relocate. He says that the team will play at Cass Tech for the 2015 season and probably a season or two after that.

While Detroit City FC came up short of making the playoffs this season, interest in the team has only grown. Mann says that it was an A+ season off the field, with the team experiencing tremendous growth, having to turn people away at a number of games.

"Our goal was always to create an organization that was sustainable and last season was a big step in that direction," says Mann.

Source: Sean Mann, co-owner of Detroit City Football Club
Writer: MJ Galbraith

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

Tom's of Maine and city of Detroit raise $75k for improvements to Knudsen Park (Video)


Knudsen Park, a small, humble playlot on the city's northern edge, is set to receive $75,000 in improvements over the next few months.

The park is receiving $25,000 in improvements thanks to a gift to the Eight Mile Boulevard Association from Tom's of Maine. The natural personal care product manufacturer has promised a new activity court and signage for the park at the Chrysler Service Drive and 8 Mile Road.

In addition to the activity court and signage, Tom's has created an interactive contest through social media, allowing people to vote on what other improvements the park will receive. By sharing choices via social media, voters will determine whether Knudsen Park receives new artwork, benches, a picnic table, swing set, basketball court, or play car. Voting ends on Friday, Oct. 31.

Also involved is Detroit-native Mike Posner, a national recording artist, singer, songwriter, and producer. Posner is acting as judge for Tom's nationwide contest, 50 States for Good. Through that program, Tom's donates $10,000 to one non-profit in each state plus Washington, D.C. Detroit's Knudsen Park is the apparent lone recipient of a $25,000 donation.



"There's really an opportunity to not only get this park up to snuff, but to have it say something, to have it speak for the community," says Jordan Twardy, executive director of the Eight Mile Boulevard Association. "Without Tom's, we'd still be kind of incrementally going along. So I think this is a really great opportunity. Sometimes seeing is believing and I think this project is going to demonstrate that."

According to the 8MBA, the city of Detroit is investing an additional $50,000 into Knudsen Park following the Tom's contest. These improvements are said to include a new fence and ADA-compliant pathway.

Source: Tom's of Maine press release, Eight Mile Boulevard Association
Writer: MJ Galbraith

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