Opening day for our American League Champion Detroit Tigers is right around the corner and I can’t resist a baseball metaphor. Successful baseball teams often win by hitting strings of singles and doubles that add up to runs, but nothing gets the home crowd going like a long ball that sails over the fence, especially if there’s a couple of men on base. Detroiters won’t soon forget Magglio Ordóñez’s walk-off homer that put the Tigers into the World Series.
In downtown Detroit, the Westin Book Cadillac hotel and condominiums are turning into one of those home runs for the city. With only a gutted building and plans to show, the Ferchill Group sold 40 of the project’s 67 condominiums in four hours. Within weeks at the DEGC we were negotiating air rights to build 80 more condominiums over the parking garage we are building across the street. So the Book was no solo shot – it’s clearly driving in a few extra runs with it.
Now that we’ve got that one circling the bases, it’s time to turn our attention to the next “big bats” on deck in Detroit. We have two sites downtown that we are pitching. The first is a five-acre site with frontage on Grand Circus Park and a long presence on the newly refurbished Washington Boulevard; the second is on the heart of Woodward Avenue, just north of Compuware. Both locations are excellent prospects for major corporate, retail or residential development. While not as glamorous as those sites, we also have prime locations in two industrial parks with updated infrastructure.
But like any good team, we are not just waiting and hoping that a big hitter will knock one out of the park. As you can see in our newsletter here, almost every day brings another new small business to town – getting on base in Detroit and helping make our city a winning development franchise.
George W. Jackson
Jackson is president and CEO of Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, a non-profit organization that works with businesses, government and other organizations throughout Detroit to encourage and manage economic development projects.