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Essayist reflects on growing up in Detroit's North Rosedale neighborhood in piece for The New Yorker

In an essay published on June 17 in The New Yorker, native Detroiter and writer Rollo Romig reflects back on his time growing up in North Rosedale Park on Detroit's northwest side. Throughout the essay, entitled "When You've Had Detroit," Romig waxes nostalgically about the things that made his childhood neighborhood special while acknowledging the cruel realities of living in the heart of a city during a period of rapid decline.

My parents had no idea what a paradise North Rosedale could be until they moved in. All they knew was that they could buy a gorgeous house there for only thirty thousand dollars, and that was good enough. It was a big yellow-brick colonial, built solid in 1928 and clearly designed for a family with means: a wood-burning fireplace in the living room, a leaded-glass window on the stair...

It was good enough that there was a lot we were willing to ignore. Five months after we moved to North Rosedale, three men with guns took my mother’s purse while she chatted outside a friend’s house on a perfect May evening. When a cop arrived, my dad pointed out that the muggers now had our home address and our house keys. What to do?


Despite its challenges, Romig celebrates his neighborhood as a great place to be from.

"We’ve never wished we grew up anywhere else," he ends his essay.

The essay is slated to be published in the forthcoming Wildsam Field Guid to Detroit.

Pop-up in Grandmont Rosedale: REVOLVE Detroit is seeking applications

REVOLVE Detroit is seeking applications for its pop-up retail program, this time in northwest Detroit's Grandmont Rosedale neighborhood. Over the last three years, REVOLVE has helped pop-ups open in vacant storefronts in Lafayette Park, West Village, Jefferson-Chalmers, and the Avenue of Fashion (Livernois at 7 Mile). Several of these businesses have made the transition from pop-up to permanent and several vacant storefronts that hosted pop-ups have taken on long-term tenants.

Now, REVOLVE Detroit is partnering with the Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation and Charter One's “Growing Communities” initiative in seeking entrepreneurs to create two new pop-up shops on Grand River Avenue in Detroit’s distinguished Grandmont Rosedale community.

Applications are due June 15. For more information, visit REVOLVE's website.

Source: REVOLVE Detroit

Proposals for Grandmont-Rosedale business revitalization due by Oct. 7

The Grandmont-Rosedale Development Corporation (GRDC) is seeking proposals from businesses and entrepreneurs wishing to locate in the Grandmont Rosedale area. 

The deadline for proposals is Monday, Oct. 7. GRDC works with local business owners to promote storefront design that is good for business and good for the neighborhood.

For more info go here.

Listen up: Greening of Detroit Grandmount-Rosedale project on WDET

Browsing the usual suspects for awesome stuff that happened in the past week, we came upon this, a sweet report on WDET on Greening of Detroit doing a planting in Northwest Detroit.

An excerpt:

Dozens of volunteers joined WDET and the Greening of Detroit to plant trees on Saturday in the Grandmont-Rosedale neighborhood. The nonprofit has planted more than 80,000 trees in the city since it first put "roots" down in 1989. WDET’s Pat Batcheller spoke with the Greening of Detroit’s Dean Hay and Trish Hubbell. With all the things Detroit needs, they explain how trees fit into that and how they improve life in the city.

To listen to the broadcast hit the link at the top of this page

Video stars: DetroitUnspun tunes into Data Driven Detroit

The pictures say it all. Well, no: Data Driven Detroit's Kurt Metzger and his charts say it all during episode 11 of DetroitUnspunTV. Plan to spend a good half hour getting an education on proper council re-districting that manages to keep the integrity of neighborhoods intact. Metzger knows his stuff.

Watch the video, commercial free, here.

Financial Times digs Motown's optimistic tune

Detroit's affordable real estate, diverse architectural styles and urban leadership won high praise from the Financial Times, with an article that digs deeper than statistics to interview several residents who couldn't be more optimistic about the city's progress. And though prices are still low around the city, one local real estate expert says the housing market is finally moving upward again.

Excerpt:

Kelly Sweeney, chief executive officer of Coldwell Banker Weir Manuel, has been a local estate agent for 30 years and is convinced of an upward trend. "Because of the loss of manufacturing jobs, our market went into freefall well before the subprime crisis," he says. "But we reacted quickly to that, and we are in a better position now. And there has been some improvement in employment. Also, our inventory of bank-owned properties is going down."

Read the rest of the article here.

Grandmont Rosedale citizens rally together to keep neighborhood alive

The New York Times' recurring Detroit Journal column took a journey to the stately brick homes and graceful tree-lined streets of Grandmont Rosedale to capture the spirit of a neighborhood anchored together to keep the streets plowed, lawns mowed, and homes full. While the population of this collection of neighborhoods dropped 14 percent during the 00s, Grandmont Rosedale's citizens, with their community meetings, crime patrols and sports leagues, won't give up without a fight.

Excerpt:

And if falls to people like Tom Goddeeris, a resident who leads the nonprofit Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation, which has been using donations and grant money to buy vacant properties, rehabilitate them and sell them -- typically at a loss -- to protect against the decay that follows emptiness and neglect.

"We're a neighborhood that can recover and return to stability," he said. "You can't say that about the rest of the city."

Check out the article here, or view the accompanying slideshow.

City Kiddies: Metro Parent examines how to raise a family in the D

Who says Detroit is a last-resort option for families? Not us. That's why we were so excited to read this week's feature in Metro Parent on raising kids in the Motor City (or non-motorized city, take your pick).

From community crimestoppers in Rosedale Park to the Detroit Parent Network, we learned about a ton of family-friendly opportunities available for those who want to give their children a city upbringing.

Excerpt:

Engagement runs high in other ways, too. While the city nearly shut down 77 public parks last summer, this neighborhood's sprawling four-acre park is owned and maintained by its civic association. Ditto for its community house. Both host a bevy of annual family activities – plus Little League Baseball, soccer and four Scout troops.

Read the whole story here.

Lookin' good, North Rosedale Park, lookin' good

Neighborhoods are finding ways to promote themselves with garden tours and home tours. North Rosedale is one of those neighborhoods, and here's a Freep article to prove it.

Excerpt from the Detroit Free Press:

As Detroit neighborhoods struggle against foreclosures, blight and crime, many, like North Rosedale, East English Village, University District and Boston-Edison, are promoting their neighborhoods this summer with home and garden tours and other events to attract new residents and retain existing ones.

Most important, North Rosedale residents and city officials say these events have a significant impact on neighborhood stabilization efforts that could serve as a model throughout the city.

More than 125 people preregistered to attend the tour and luncheon -- a fund-raiser for the North Rosedale Park Civic Association -- at $15 per ticket, said Meredith Drain, co-chair of the North Rosedale Park Garden Committee. The group advertised the event in newspapers and on the radio.

Drain, who has lived in the neighborhood 34 years with her husband, Wayne County Circuit Judge Gershwin Drain, said the event shows "that we're still a very vibrant, wonderful neighborhood."

Read the entire article here.

Good news for fresh food in Northwest Detroit: Farmers Market now open

The Northwest Detroit Farmers Market is open and ready for business. The market is located in the south parking lot of Bushnell Congregational Church on 15000 Southfield. It operates Thursdays from 4-8 p.m. All the regular vendors will be there, like Avalon International Breads, as well as fresh produce from the Brightmoor Youth Garden. A few new ones like Hiday Farms from Burlington will be on the roster, too.

For more information go here.

Grading Time Inc.'s 'Assignment Detroit'

Time Inc. has descended onto Detroit either like a thunderstorm or as liberators, depending on who you talk to. There has been a blitz of blog posts, features stories, and videos from its self anointed "D Shack" portraying the Detroit they've seen so far.

Videos include an interview with K-9 to Five's Liz Blondy, a piece on 85 cent hamburgers, asking Detroiters why they love and hate the city, and another piece about how Detroiters "survive."

Stories have covered entrepreneurs, housing costs, Detroit's decline, and Ernie Harwell.

So, what's your take? How would you grade their assignment so far? Is it the same ol' same ol'? Or is it something different?

Our own media outlets and bloggers have been discussing the coverage as well. Read a piece by Crain's Detroit business here.

Listen to an interview with Daniel Okrent -- writer of Time's Detroit cover story -- on WDET's "Detroit Today" here.

And, last but not least, Dyspathy's "Assignment Detroit: The Drinking Game" will keep you reminded of the Detroit cliche's as well as keep you totally sauced when reading through Time's project.

Let us know what you think about the Time blitz on our Facebook page here.

Check out the Time Inc. coverage here.



Time: The Detroit Blog - A speical Time Inc. project

Time Inc.'s interest in Detroit has been well documented so far. But, in case you missed it, the big media machine has bought a house in East English Village and will set up shop there for a year to cover Detroit and all that it brings - both negative and positive.

In this week's In The News we have a piece up written by the New York Times, as well as a mention in the Tweet of the Week.

However, is a direct link to the Time Inc.'s Detroit blog. Track their work as they track ours.

See the blog here.

Detroit's Home Depot company's most profitable store

Home Depot in Detroit picks up where some other stores left off and is now the most profitable store in this 100-store region.

Excerpt:

As other national retailers such as Kmart and Kroger have been pulling out of the city in recent years, Home Depot has been quietly making a tidy profit at its lone Detroit store.

Atlanta-based Home Depot Inc. celebrated its fifth anniversary in the city last March at a former Kmart location at 7 Mile and Meyers.

The 139,000-square-foot store is the most profitable in its 100-store region that includes Michigan, Toledo and parts of Illinois and Indiana, said Jen King, senior manager of public relations for Home Depot's northern division.

"The store has adjusted some of its products to help offset some of the other retailers leaving," King said.

Three months ago, Home Depot started selling toilet paper and paper towels. The store also expanded its section of cleaning products to two aisles, up from the traditional one, in response to customer requests, said Christopher Gilbert, a district manager for the chain who oversees the Detroit store. "We try to be the neighborhood store that people want to come to, and supply what they want," he said.

Read the entire article here.

Tweet of the Week: Do what your mother says

So vacation is behind us and we're back with the Tweet of the Week. So, what do you have to say?

You should listen to your mother @miel_dulce, always listen to your mother.

@miel_dulce: my mom said to stay in detroit, im totally thinking about it...


We don't know where you are, but we wish you were still in Detroit, too. You can always come back.

@Bizemisty: I wish I was still in Detroit. I hate this place.


Congratulations Earthworks Urban Farm. Keep up the good work. And thanks @AshleySFlintoff for the heads up.

@AshleySFlintoff: Congrats to Earthworks Urban Farm - Detroit's 1st Certified Organic Farm! Check out their work at www.cskdetroit.org/earthworks


Exactly @dlexus2001, don't forget about us, whoever you are.

@dlexus2001: dont' forget bout detroit

And finally, the winner, for our first week back from vacation Tweet of the Week is:

@flamingowojack: Just got back from John K. King Used Bookstore in downtown Detroit. I'm there every week, but I find "new" stuff every time I go there...

True that, @flamingowojack. True that.

Keep reading. Keep tweeting. And see you next week.

Follow us on Twitter here.

Listen up: WDET's 'Home Is More Than Our House' series continues through July

WDET 101.9 FM reporters Rob St. Mary and Zak Rosen continue their coverage this week in their "Home is More Than Our House" series on how Detroiters are facing and fighting the foreclosure crisis.

Listen to Detroit Today on WDET this week for their stories. The program airs from 1-3 p.m. weekdays on 101.9 FM.

This week, Zak will be talking about the collaborate effort to stabilize Boston-Edison with median-income families, which in turn stabilizes the surrounding areas. Also, check out the great piece he did on Habitat for Hamtramck here.

Rob St. Mary offers a story on finding help for the Jewish community in Metro Detroit.

For more on the series, check out their blog: wdetmortgagecrisis.com

fDi Magazine names Detroit a city of the future

fDi Magazine, an investment mag produced by the Financial Times, released their cities of the future list and Detroit fell in at No. 10 for the largest cities of the future.

Excerpt:

fDi Magazine’s North American Cities of the Future 2009/10 shortlists, which took more than six months to research and involved the data collection of nearly 400 North American cities, ranks San Francisco, California, as the top large city of the future, followed closely by Austin, Texas. Of the large cities surveyed, San Luis Potosí in Mexico ranks top for cost effectiveness, while Charlotte, North Carolina, ranks top for FDI strategy according to the judging panel.

Read the entire article here.

Tweet of the Week: Boats and dinosaurs... sorta

We'll start our list of the week's best Detroit-centric tweet with first-place winner @onslowlovesme, who wowed us with this awesome little cryptic bit: "Detroitosaurus wrecks"

Not sure exactly what you meant, but something about it sounds just right.

On to the runners up:

@JViniece: In recovery mode. Relay for Life detroit was a success. Over $71,000 raised. I stayed up the entire night. It was really great!

We're hard pressed to find a better reason to stay up all night than to raise $71,000 to fight cancer. Congratulations and thanks to all Detroiters who participated in this wonderful charity event.

@JMoneyRed: Detroiters : we have hella fresh lettuce grown @ TheYesFarm on E Farnsworth St 2 give-away ASAP! Hit me!

Free veggies! We can't argue with that.

@cassetto: First row of the season at the DETROIT boat club! A-ma-zing!

That's awesome! Was T-Pain there? Any chance we can get ON A BOAT with you?

@Newwaycorktown: extremely excited about the Roosevelt Park revitalization. This was one of our first targets upon moving to Corktown!!!

We're excited about this too, and looking forward to hearing more about all of the ways Detroiter's are making the city's summer more beautiful. Keep us posted!

Keep reading. Keep tweeting. And follow us on Twitter here.

The bottom-up process is the key to renewal, revival, Richard Florida says

Richard Florida is that creative class guy. Some agree with him, some don't. Wherever you fall on Florida, he does make some good points in his piece in the Atlantic that Detroit should pay attention to.

Excerpt:

The most successful shrinking strategies, like Pittsburgh's, are not top-down affairs driven by all-knowing governments, but organic, bottom-up, community-based efforts. While Pittsburgh government and business leadership pressed for large-scale urban renewal - stadium-building, convention centers, and more far-fetched schemes for local mag-lev trains - its real  turnaround was driven by organic, bottom-up initiatives. Community groups, local foundations, and non-profits - not city hall or business-led economic development groups -  were the driving forces behind neighborhood stabilization and redevelopment, university-based economic development, water-front revitalization, park improvements, and green building among others.  This kind of bottom-up process takes considerable time and perseverance. In Pittsburgh's case, it took the better part of a generation to achieve stability and the potential for longer-term revival.

All of which brings us back to a big question: What about people versus place strategies? I agree with Glaeser: people must be the priority. Especially in tough economic times, public investment should flow toward people. Early childhood investments, as James Heckman has shown, are the most important, longest-running and highest-paying investments we make.

Read the entire article here.

Artist Village on Detroit's Northwest side offering summer programs

On the Northwest side of Detroit a neighborhood organization called Artist Village is promoting and supporting art education. They are now offering summer programs for kids.

Excerpt:

Artist Village is a multi-faceted organization that supports art education for local youth. The Village offers summer art programs for children ages 8-18 looking to grow creatively and expand their knowledge of the arts. The summer art programs include writing, poetry, graphic arts, etiquette and arts & crafts. The course offerings begin in July and are 6 to 8 weeks in duration.

Alicia Marion is the general manager of Artist Village. Alicia passionately and tirelessly shares her efforts to help impact those who come to Artist Village. “The energy and the magic that is here comes from teachers, poets, artists and all the people who are a part of Artist Village,” she said.

Read the entire article here.

Council by Districts initiative is vital to Detroit, Francis Grunow says in Freep

The Council by Districts initiative is vital to Detroit writes Detroit resident, WSU law student, and occasional Model D writer Francis Grunow in the Detroit Free Press.

Excerpt:

Which leads me back to the beginning -- we must also take the next clear step to help ensure that districts become reality. A coalition of groups known as Detroiters for City Council by Districts is pushing an important ballot initiative to place this question before voters in November.

Passing this initiative is vital. It would serve as an insurance policy for the citizens of Detroit. There is no guarantee that the charter review process will result in council by districts. In fact, when the council-by-districts question was last considered as part of a charter review in 1993, it was turned down. A successful initiative will mean that the charter debate won't be about whether we need council districts, but how best to implement council districts.

Read the entire article here.

Tweet of the Week: Safety first, Detroit Zoo, and the happy feet skaters triumph

I'm not sure if you've heard but the Red Wings lost the Stanley Cup to the Pittsburgh Penguins. And though we here at Model D love Pittsburgh, especially our sister pub Pop City, we hate the taste of humble pie. We'd much rather have a Coney.

Anyway, let's put the ice behind us and get on with the water. It is summer, after all. Let's also drop in on the Detroit tweeters. And find out what's up.

Here are this weeks memorable tweets:

@ClariceTinsley: Hello Twittizens...70 & sunny in Detroit. FOX 2 is showing the Red Bull Air Races over the Detroit River. Great action & gorgeous sight.

Twittizens? That's funny... So, even if you didn't get a chance to see the air races in person, you probably heard them. Whether its downtown, or around town, we love a good excuse to get out and enjoy the city, as long as it doesn't have you running for cover.

@heathermarie356: is at the Detroit Zoo with my BFF & 2 nieces! Beautiful day!

It seemed like the whole city was basking in the gorgeous weather we've had this past week...

Including this next tweeter, who was getting ready for what sounds like some serious porch-sitting:

@ChrisJMiller: Just finished rebuilding the porch on this house in Detroit. No one will fall off it now, railings are good.

Good work, Chris. Safety first!

And special props to this weeks all-star tweeter, for keeping a winning attitude even after the Wings' bummer of a loss last weekend.  Believe it or not, Detroiters can dish out complements as well as we take them...

@ktpupp: Oh BTW, good morning Detroit! Met some really cool Penguin fans last night. They praised the Wings & look forward to a rematch next year!

Still... It would have been nice to beat them to a pulp. In terms of hockey. Don't take the literally Pittsburgh... we're not that aggressive and weird here in Detroit.

Follow Model D on Twitter here.

Keep readin'. Keep tweetin'. And see you next week.


Song, video celebrates all Detroit has to offer

A couple put together a video celebrating the city's gems. It has a country twang, but we're not talking about John Rich's "Shuttin' Detroit Down." That's for the birds.

Check the video out here.

'Home Is More Than Our House': WDET's coverage of facing Detroit's mortgage crisis

Public radio station WDET FM and Model D have partnered to focus on Detroit's foreclosure crisis and different ways people and neighborhoods are dealing with the issue.

This week, WDET reporter Zak Rosen will have a piece on the citizens of the North End of Detroit, who are teaming up with the Greening of Detroit to reclaim 134 abandoned lots.

Rob St. Mary will have a piece on the Motor City Blight Busters and how foreclosures have affected their work.

Look for his work on the WDET "Home is More Than Our House" blog here. And listen to 101.9 FM during the Detroit Today show for more.

Detroit tweetin': Detroit's tweet of the week

Well, why not, right? It's a social media world and people have a lot to say - especially about our beloved city. So how about a Tweet of the Week?

This week, the big inaugural winner of our Tweet of the Week (can we call it a Tweek - get it!?) goes to @BrownSugarFX with this little gem that made us smile: Detroit smells delightfully of spring-time flowers.

This tweet showed up on a Thursday, in the afternoon. It was a nice little pick-me-up after a little bit of rain. And a nice reminder to stop and smell the flowers.

So, @BrownSugarFx, congratulations! You win a year's subscription to Model D. Keep smelling Detroit! Er, wait, keep smelling Detroit's flowers.

Here are a few runners up from the last week:

@eatsntreatsdet: Mon Treat: Taste Pizza Bar dwntwn Detroit +$5 MOJITOS ALL DAY +Best Pizza in the City +chic & urban vibe

'Cause everyone needs a Monday treat so why not with pizza and mojitos.

@AbraKhadaver: algo tiene "Put your hands up for Detroit" que hace que me guste

Not exactly sure what this means but I think it's positive. Asked a friend to translate over the internet. It was no help. Feel free to tweet us the translation here: @modeld.

@JamesDDickson: I have such a love-hate relationship with Detroit.

It's true, we all do. But, if you think about it, love gets boring after a while. Sometimes you need a little adversity to realize the love. Am I wrong?

Model D is looking for an intern or two for the summer

Model D is looking for an intern to help out on the editorial side of things. This position is unpaid except for any feature stories published. We're looking for one, maybe two, lucky candidates to work 15-20 hours a week. Interns will help out with various projects and events, update listings, write stories and get us coffee. No, just kidding, we get our own coffee.

A journalism background is a plus. Knowing the city is an even bigger plus. Knowing a little about online media is a bonus.

If interested please send a cover letter and resume to terry@modeldmedia.com.

Here's one more reminder: Model D is now on Twitter

It's been great so far, the tweeting. Though we'd just drop in one more reminder. So, everyone, keep tweeting. Can we call it a Model D Tweet Shop?

Follow us at Model D Twitter feed. Talk to us. Give us feedback. And stay engaged. Also, join our group on the other social media giant Facebook for updates.

On top of that, we'll be out covering Detroit's nightlife during the NCAA's Final Four. There are sponsored events by the NCAA but there are also a lot of un-sponsored events... If you know what we're sayin'. So, let us know where you'll be and what you'll be doing and we'll do the same for you.

See you out and about. www.twitter.com/modeld



Detroit's border shouldn't end at Eight Mile

The Detroit city council, as of late, could probably have its own VH1 reality show with all the drama, controversy, and, some would say, flat out ignorance it has portrayed. Lately, the question of division has cropped up and what is and isn't a Detroiter? Division is only productive when it comes to math and recycling. Yet, it seems as if some on the city council haven't figured that out yet, according to Detnews columnist Nolan Finley.

Excerpt:

Why on earth would a city in such desperate straits build a wall between itself and its best potential allies?

A smarter marketing strategy would be to encourage more people to boast that they are citizens of Detroit, in spirit if not by address.

If more suburbanites identified themselves internally as Detroiters, it might put an end to our infernal turf wars.

And we'd have more folks who gave a damn that Detroit is rotting away, that it's under siege by the worst forces of urban life, that it's been neglected and abandoned and nobody outside our small corner of the world cares.

Instead, the council is advocating the very black-white, city-suburban divides that are responsible for Detroit's decline.

Read the entire article here.

Another piece from the Metro Times about being a Detroiter can be found here.

Want a little more Model D? Then follow us on Twitter

We're there. We've done it. We're on Twitter now. We have a Facebook group, might as well have a Twitter feed, too.

Our hope is to offer a little more insight into what we're doing and when we're doing it. We don't want it to just be another RSS feed.

So follow us. Talk to us. Give us feedback. And do it all right here: Model D Twitter feed

The Detroit News looks at the charms of living in Detroit's Rosedale Park

The Detroit News' Living In The D blog visits Rosedale Park.

Excerpt:

Grand River bisects the neighborhood into Rosedale Park and North Rosedale, the latter being a remarkably handsome neighborhood of great brick homes and mansions, many of them Tudor Revival. Indeed, the area feels a lot like a corner of Palmer Woods over on Woodward Avenue.

Rosedale Park south of Grand River, however, is a surprisingly good-looking district, even if many of its homes aren't that much different than what you'd see in, say, Harper Woods -- lots of little two-story brick Tudor cottages.

Read the entire article here.

Freep features Rosedale Park chef, his restaurant SPICE

Chef Charles Walker, Jr., says he serves what the neighborhood wants in his new soul-food restaurant on Fenkell called SPICE.

Excerpt:

You won't find many neighborhood carryouts in Detroit with a Culinary Institute of America diploma displayed on the protective glass between the customers and the kitchen staff.

It's your first clue that SPICE Restaurant owner Charles Walker Jr., 40, of Detroit isn't your everyday cook.

Your next clue comes when you taste his luscious cheesecake, made with a hint of lemon and a sweet, cinnamon-kissed graham cracker crust.

The delicious dessert already has developed a following at the small, cheerful, soul-food spot he opened in October on Fenkell, finally realizing the dream of owning his own business.

Read the entire article here.

Film development Web site says, 'Send them to Detroit'

CHUD.com (Cinematic Happenings Under Development) says Detroit's on it's way to more and more filming projects with it's 40 percent tax incentive for film makers.

In fact, just last week, the Detroit Free Press reported 13 new projects were signed.

Excerpt:

Detroit is the new Shreveport.

Actually, "another Shreveport" is more accurate, as Michigan is just the latest state to offer up generous tax credits for feature film productions (New Mexico is another attractive suitor, which is why movie stars are now spotted roaming the dusty, windswept streets of Albuquerque). Though my Hollywood neighbors won't dig this too much, a part of me is happy to see Detroit getting some love on the big screen - even if they're mostly going to use it as another stand in for New York City.

Read the entire article here.

Grad student debates options for Detroit's redevelopment

A University of Michigan graduate student in urban planning, Joseph Ciadella, crafts a cogent op-ed piece about Detroit corporate development strategy as opposed to smaller, organic strategies.

Excerpt:

"Sustainability, local economy, and community are three pillars of the path not-yet taken in Detroit. A path that moves beyond downtown development, beyond 'cool cities.' The Imagination Economy can be an authentic expression of who we are," writes Jackie Victor, co-founder of Avalon Bakery, highlighting not only her business model, but also broader themes of local reliance and self-determination. These themes are not present on the same level in city redevelopment policies, given the uneven focus on downtown, which, much like suburban sprawl, ignores, displaces, and perpetuates racial and class divisions in society that have been a part of Detroit’s (and other cities) history for years.

Read the entire piece here.


MSHDA funds to target blight in Hamtramck, Detroit and Highland Park

The cities of Detroit, Highland Park and Hamtramck may be receiving funds from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority targeted at specific blighted properties.

Excerpt:

Detroit’s targeted share is $2 million for 729 properties, while Highland Park and Pontiac each could receive $400,000 for 100 properties in each of their cities. Hamtramck’s targeted share is $52,000 for 13 properties.

In a news release, Gov. Jennifer Granholm said that “by providing resources to eliminate blight, we will help make neighborhoods safer for citizens and more inviting for businesses and economic investments."

Read the entire article here.


Curbside recycling pilot program to debut in Rosedale Park

The success of the first year of Recycle Here!'s drop-off operation has spawned a curbside pick-up pilot program in Rosedale Park.

Excerpt:

We've really found ourselves in a perfect storm," said Matt Naimi, director of operations for Recyclean, one of the three companies behind Recycle Here!

The high price of gasoline, coupled with concerns about global warming and the environment, has caused more people to think about lifestyle changes, he said.

"Everything has been coming together, even in Detroit," Naimi said.

With its industrial past, Detroit has never tried to brag that it's a "green city," recycling advocates say, but change is coming.

Read the entire article here.


Design*Sponge offers savvy, comprehensive guide to Detroit design

Design*Sponge invited local blogger Sweet Juniper to write an entry on Detroit for its city design guide series. The result is super-thorough and manages to be egalitarian while separating the wheat from the chaff.

Excerpt:

The importance of the automobile in Detroit’s history and decline cannot be understated, and it plays an equally important role in the area’s tradition of design. Automobile design is often ignored by mid-century enthusiasts who might prefer a Saarinen womb chair to a sweet 1957 Lincoln Premiere Two-Door Hardtop, though the origins of both can be traced here to the Detroit area. Not only is Detroit home to a large population of artists attracted to the affordable standard of living, available space, and inspirational post-industrial cityscape, but also many professional designers who work primarily in the automotive field.

Read the entire post here.


Mayor to unveil economic stimulus plan

In a speech to the Detroit Economic Club, Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick announced that he will unveil an economic stimulus plan that will include investments in new police and fire facilities, public works and neighborhood preservation among others.

Excerpt:

He said the city had more to do to complete its revitalization and couldn't rely on anyone else.

"We are the cavalry," he said.

Read the entire article here.


Detroit residential sales continue uptick

Detroit residential home sales in November showed a four percent increase in comparison with 2006's numbers. This is significant considering the decrease in sales everywhere else in Metro Detroit.

Excerpt:

The increase is attributable to a combination of demand from young, urban pioneers and out-of-town investors, said Darralyn Bowers, president of Southfield-based ERA Bowers and Associates, which does a majority of its sales in Detroit.

She said data indicates a high level of cash buyers, meaning a lot of the sales are by people investing in residential real estate.

"We may not appreciate what an opportunity Detroit property is right now, but some people are," she said. "When this passes, we’ll see tremendous fortunes made."

Read the entire article here.


Detroit ranks 64 on list of world's most livable cities

Using data from 39 quality-of-life issues from 215 cities around the world, an international consulting company has ranked Detroit 64 on its list of the 100 most livable cities.

Detroit topped Prague (74), Dubai (80) and Shanghai (100).

Read the entire list here.


New book of noir stories focuses on dark side of Detroit

From Rivertown to the Grosse Pointe border, short stories examining the grittier side of Detroit get the spotlight in a new collection entitled Detroit Noir. Celebrated authors like Loren D. Estleman and Joyce Carol Oates contributed to the book.

Excerpt:

Detroit's long history -- from Prohibition days, to Motown, to the current revitalization of downtown -- figures prominently in the collection of stories.

Estleman is based in Ann Arbor but says he walks the same mean streets as his detective [Amos] Walker, "only in the daytime." For him, Detroit is the ultimate noir backdrop.

"For one thing, it's an old city, so it has the chops, the personality," Estleman says. "And also it's a city that for better or worse has its share of violence. In the War of 1812, a lot of the battles were fought right here in the waterway. It was the northern point of the Underground Railroad during the Civil War, so there's insight into clandestine activities. There's Prohibition, and the insurrection or rebellion in 1967. So it has that kind of sinister background, and yet also a very strong backbone.

"People who live in Detroit are genuinely interested in keeping their city alive," he says. "It has a shabby nobility that has always drawn me in."

Read the entire article here.


New mural on Grand River brightens up Grandmont Rosesdale neighborhood

A lively mural commissioned by the Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation was unveiled on November 1. Located on the side of the GRDC's new offices, it was painted by artist Barney Judge and will serve to welcome visitors to the neighborhood.

Excerpt:

"The essence of what they're about is illustrated in a block party," the artist says of the Grandmont Rosedale communities in Northwest Detroit. "People who live there are obviously very proud of their neighborhoods, so you've got beautiful landscaping and houses that have been there for a long time that are kept up. It's something they value. Why not celebrate it?"

Read the entire article here.


Wayne County's TURBO program spurs $40M in development

Wayne County's TURBO (Transforming Underdeveloped Residential and Business Opportunities) is being used to catalyze challenging developments -- $40 million in just its first year of operation.

Excerpt:

Developers may get a 100 percent tax rebate for the first year of construction and an amount equal to 50 percent of their taxes in cash rebates over the next five years for new construction or total rehabilitation projects. Partial rehabilitation and projects involving brownfield development can also get cash rebates under the program.

TURBO incentives have been used to jump-start several developments, creating about 700 permanent and construction jobs, Ficano said. These include retail projects in Highland Park and Detroit.

Read the entire article here.


Crain's house party draws 900

Crain's Detroit Business' second annual Ultimate House Party drew 900 people. After visiting individual houses across the city, revelers converged at the Ren Cen.

Excerpt:

Jerome Raska and Robbin Yelverton, co-owners of Detroit-based florist Blumz ... by JR Designs, opened their University District home to House Party guests both this year and last. About 20 partiers mingled inside of the historic home, which was built in 1926, and the backyard, which features a number of lush plants and floral arrangements.

Raska said he and Yelverton participated in the House Party because they wanted to showcase the historic homes in their neighborhood and the home they've lived in since 1997.

"We're very proud to be Detroit residents," Raska said.

Read the entire article here.


Crain's to host second Ultimate House Party

Crain's Detroit Business is hosting its second annual Ultimate House Party on Sept. 20, when people will get a chance to learn about living in Detroit by hanging out in a private residence. Then all guests head over to the Ren Cen for a big after-bash.

Find out more and register here.

LISC community development awards to be given Sept. 20

Detroit Local Initiatives Support Corporation, better known as LISC Detroit, will celebrate the success of the city's community development corporations at its annual awards luncheon on Sept. 20.

The luncheon is at noon at the Antheneum Hotel in Greektown. For ticket information contact Detroit LISC at 313-596-8222.


Forbes names Detroit 21st best city for singles

In its annual rankings of how well singles cities fare in 40 metropolises, Detroit came out twenty-first.

Read about Detroit's ranking here and the magazine's intro to the feature here.


Crain's special issue showcases living in the D

Crain's Detroit Business has published an extremely comprehensive guide to living and investing in the D, including a slide show, views into two days of five households' lives, information on tax credits and much, much more.

The theme is definitely clear: some people living here actually like it.

The special section's gateway page is here.


Detroit Agriculture Network August 1 tour showcases urban gardens

Detroit Agriculture Network will hold its annual garden tour on August 1.

Excerpt:

When it comes to potential for gardening, Detroit is a land of vast opportunity. The city owns 20,000 vacant parcels that are available free by permit for gardening during one growing season, according to James Canning, deputy press secretary for Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. He says the city is considering creating several community gardens that could be open next spring.

Ashley Atkinson of the Detroit Agriculture Network says she would like the city to provide longer lot leases, allow fences and provide water sources to encourage gardeners willing to invest time, money and inspiration on lots.

Some of that investment could pay off as demand increases for locally grown food. The Henry Ford, for example, now buys 70% of its produce, grain and meat from local farmers, according to Susan Schmidt, director of food services and catering.

"If we can get food locally, instead of shipped from God-knows-where, with the fuel to get it here, the more the better," she says.

Read the entire article here. Call Atkinson at 313-237-8733 to register for the tour.

Lasalle Bank commits start-up funds to DEGC to help eliminate "food desert"

Lasalle Bank has committed $15,000 to help the Detroit Economic Development Corporation establish a fund that would target areas of Detroit in need of fresher food options.

Excerpt:

The DEGC could complete an agreement with a consultant for setting up the fund soon, said Olga Savic, the DEGC's director of strategy and external affairs.

The fund will be patterned after a one in Pennsylvania called the Fresh Food Financing Initiative. The 3-year-old fund, which started with $38 million, has financed 26 grocery stores to date with $23 million in financing, Savic said.

The financing fund ties into the DEGC's work with Social Compact, a national nonprofit it contracted with to identify market strengths and needs in Detroit.

"We were already planning to look at this issue of grocery stores and to be able to have a data-driven strategy around choosing sites for grocery stores," Savic said.

Read the entire article here.


Detroit Renaissance unveils regional revival strategies

Details of Detroit Renaissance's "Road to Renaissance" plan have been unveiled. The three-year plan is expected to cost $75-80 million, $50 million of which will go towards business accelerators -- including TechTown and NextEnergy.

Two of the 11 strategies include:

  • Establishing a “Creative Corridor” on Woodward Avenue that attracts and retains creative talent, inspires output from the creative community and increases the creative industries locally.

  • Starting a “Creative Business Accelerator” in the corridor to foster start-ups and accelerate the growth of existing creative businesses.
Read the entire here.

Farmers markets - from Eastern Market to neighborhood markets - strengthen local food security

A look at farmers market around Southeast Michigan discusses Eastern Market as well as the food security afforded neighborhoods and smaller cities, like Highland Park, that host their own markets.

Excerpt:

Economic benefits are another farmers market positive that WSU urban planning professor Kami Pothukcuchi has studied. "Farmers markets are important as they are for the market environment they create and the buzz they create for places. They are tools for much larger objectives, regional objectives in terms of economic benefits." She cites a study that shows that money spent at markets stays in the community. "Ten dollars spent in the market can result in $20 worth of business in the surrounding area."

Read the entire article here.

TONIGHT: TRU's quarterly meeting to discuss DDOT efforts to bring rapid transit to Detroit

Transportation Riders United will host its quarterly meeting April 17. The meeting will discuss DDOT's Detroit Transit Options for  Growth Study as well as TRU's latest projects.

The meeting will take place at 6:30 p.m. at the Guardian Building.

10-year plan to end homelessness announced

A multi-faceted plan intended to end homelessness in Detroit, Highland Park and Hamtramck has been developed by the Homeless Action Network. It targets five key areas: prevention, housing, supportive services, community engagement and collaboration.

Excerpt:

The plan, created over the past two years, includes input from numerous stakeholder and community partners in the three cities, including the Homeless Action Network,, City Connect, Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and Cynthia Pasky, CEO and President of Strategic Business Solutions.

Read the entire article here.

AT&T donates $1.2M for youth technology access

The AT&T Foundation has made a $1.2 million grant to the Detroit Youth Foundation to provide Detroit youth with access to technology.

Excerpt:

"The AT&T grant will allow Detroit youth the opportunity to have practical, hands-on experience using technology," said Gerald K. Smith, DYF president and CEO. "Access to technology is vital in today’s world. This funding will provide our youth with the experience they need in order to succeed in the future."

Read the entire article here.


TRU launches transit design competition

Transportation Riders United, a metro Detroit transit advocacy group, is sponsoring a design competition on the future of mass transit in the area.

Excerpt:

"Detroit in Transit: Visions of a Region on the Move" is looking for drawings and designs of what Detroit’s future transit and transit-oriented neighborhoods would look like with convenient, high-quality rapid transit.
 
"What we’re really hoping to do is launch a public conversation about what rapid transit can do to revitalize a city like Detroit," says Megan Owens, executive director of TRU.

Read the entire article here.

Detroit leads region in new housing starts

SEMCOG statistics show that Detroit led the region in new housing starts for 2006 with 657 residential permits issued.

Excerpt:

"Even in these tough economic times, these numbers demonstrate that housing in Detroit is at least competitive with housing in the suburbs," said Paul Tait, executive director of SEMCOG, the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments.

Read the entire article here.

Urban farming expert in town Mar. 29-31

John Jeavons, a national expert in urban farming and biointensive agriculture, will be in Detroit March 29-31.

Excerpt:

From 6-8 p.m. March 29, Jeavons will talk about his experiences with agriculture and how growing crops can be done more efficiently, especially for those in urban spaces. The free talk will be at the Catherine Ferguson Academy, 2750 Selden, Detroit.

From 9 a.m.-5 p.m. March 30-31, Jeavons will lead his workshop on how to grow biointensively. Cost for the two-day session is $10-$50 for members of the Garden Resource Program or similar urban gardening organizations, and $150 for others.

For information, call Ashley Atkinson at 313-237-8736 or go to www.detroitagriculture.org.

Read the entire article here.



Fifth Third investing in southeast Michigan, to open 2 banks in Detroit

Fifth Third Bank plans to open 40 banks in southeast Michigan over the next three years, with two in Detroit set to open in the coming months.

Excerpt:

“Obviously, an initiative like this has been in the works for some time,” said bank spokesman Jack Riley. “But it is nice to give the region some good news.”

Fifth Third also hopes to become the official bank for the City of Detroit, following the announcement of the investment in southeast Michigan.
Read the entire article here.

Auction of 260 Detroit homes set for Mar. 17-18

Hudson and Marshall will auction off 260 Detroit homes worth between $10,000 and $300,000 on March 17-18.

Excerpt:

“Foreclosed properties are great buys for investors and first-time home buyers alike,” said Dave Webb, a principal with Hudson & Marshall, in a statement.

Read the entire article here.

DMCVB's D-Rod will showcase Detroit as tourist destination

DMCVB has tapped Holly-based Detroit Muscle to build a custom hot rod, the D-Rod, to showcase Detroit's appeal as the Motor City and as a travel and leisure destination.

Excerpt:

Rick Dyer, Detroit Muscle project manager for the D-Rod, said the company's extensive knowledge and technical ability allowed Detroit Muscle put to put together, with passion and style, a street legal vehicle that represents the best of Detroit's past and future to prospective visitors.

Read the entire article here.

United Way CEO urges regional solutions to area problems

United Way for Southeastern Michigan CEO Michael Brennan discusses the agency's survey process that has led them to begin working on solving the region's major problems in three key areas: educational preparedness, economic stability and basic needs. He urges the region to work together in a collaborative manner to acieve success.

Excerpt:

During the course of our research at United Way for Southeastern Michigan, we collected more than 20,000 comments from 7,000 residents, and one theme reverberated consistently: This region aspires to be a place where all people have the educational and economic opportunities needed to succeed and to thrive.

Read entire editorial here.

Detroit home sales increase, buck statewide trend

Homes sales in Detroit rose in 2006 despite a lagging market statewide.

Excerpt from article:

The city of Detroit resisted the downward trend. Existing-home sales in Michigan's largest city were up 7.6 percent in the first 11 months of 2006 compared with a year earlier.

To read the entire article, click here.

Windsor, Detroit leaders need to work together on economic issues

Columnist Jeff Sanford looks at Windsor's connectivity to the Detroit economy, which isn't always a good thing. But he sees bright spots, including the relationship between the mayors of Detroit and Windsor.

Excerpt:

Also in the positive column is the city's young and dynamic mayor, Eddie Francis, a Lebanese immigrant who was just 29 when he was elected three years ago. The pride of the region's extensive Arab community, he comes with impressive credentials. With a law degree from the University of Windsor and a science degree from the University of Western Ontario, he speaks fluent English and Arabic, and was awarded the Young Entrepreneur of the Year award by the Windsor Chamber of Commerce for his work with Royal Pita, the small family company he and his brother expanded into an export business that now operates in 12 states.

It is no wonder rumours began floating around last election that Paul Martin was trying to recruit Eddie to run for the Liberals. He's a go-getter, he knows business and he's developed a strong relation with America's first "hip-hop" mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick of Detroit. The two worked side-by-side on the Detroit Super Bowl committee, which brought the premier U.S. sporting event to the region.

Read the entire column here.

Ann Arbor News encourages regional cooperation

The Ann Arbor News urges its readers to support Detroit Renaissance's "Road to Renaissance" by thinking regionally and supporting Detroit's existing amenities.

Excerpt:

That means, among other things, actively finding ways to connect with the state's largest metropolitan area. One place to start is adding the city to your list of leisure-time options, checking out its museums, sporting events, entertainment venues and festivals throughout the year.

To read the entire editorial, click here.

MLUI urges local leaders to realize transit boosts development

A group from Grand Rapids is headed to Portland to learn about how transit has electrified the local economy. Transit advocates hope the civic leaders on the trip come away with a real sense of what a necessary ingredient transit is to the redevelopment mix.

Excerpt from article:

Now, as a delegation of civic leaders from Grand Rapids, Mich. heads [to Portland] to study how Portland’s trolleys sealed this town’s stunning comeback, their journey again raises a crucial question: When will the Great Lakes region’s many fading cities, particularly Michigan’s, see investing in transit as necessary for restoring the region’s once-boundless prosperity?

To read the article, click here.

Shop Detroit event Saturday; city offers parking discounts

The "Shop Detroit" message is being echoed by the city, the local NAACP, Independent Retailers Association, Booker T. Washington Business Association, Detroit Black Chamber of Commerce and Detroit Synergy.

On Saturday, Dec. 2, Synergy will host its third Shop Detroit event from 10 am to 5 pm. Shoppers who register with Synergy at the Compuware building will get info on discounts and promotions around the city, a free People Mover pass for the day and a free shuttle to the New Center shopping district.

Click here for a map and more details on the Synergy event Saturday.

In addition, this year the city is offering another incentive: discounted parking at city municipal parking structures and lots from through Dec. 24 for shoppers with receipts.
 
The city also has a list of boutiques, specialty shops and retailers in the city at its web site: www.ci.detroit.mi.us/default.htm.




Daniel Howes: 'Shed the cynicism; One D could spell different Detroit'

Detroit News columnist Daniel Howes writes about One D, the new partnership between Detroit Renaissance, the Detroit Regional Chamber, New Detroit, the United Way of Southeast Michigan, the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Cultural Alliance of Southeastern Michigan.

Howes writes:

One D may not have an office or a budget, but it could symbolize a long-overdue break with that past of civic timidity. Business and civic leaders are more effective drivers of change than politicians, and there's no better time to move than when resources are tight, the outlook is grim and some of the heavy lifting (think downtown redevelopment post-Super Bowl XL) is already done.

Click here for more.


Detroit lands $3 million in federal money to study transit in city

The Detroit Department of Transportation has landed $3 million in federal funds to study mass transit throughout the city of Detroit. DDOT plans to study light rail, street cars, an expanded People Mover and bus rapid transit.

Excerpt from article:

Dan Meyers, project leader for URS Corp., the San Francisco firm adminstering the study, says:

Within the next month,...URS will identify as many as 10 heavily traveled corridors -- such as Woodward, Jefferson and Grand River -- and eventually pare those to determine where the first route should go. The consultants are studying routes through Detroit as well as Dearborn, Highland Park and Hamtramck.

Click here for more.

US Population growth bodes well for older cities

Planners around the country believe that the unprecedented population growth the United States is undergoing can mean good things for older cities like Detroit.

Excerpt from article:

Detroit, Washington and St. Louis supported hundreds of thousands more residents in 1950 than they do today. Dozens of cities across the country are well past their heyday but still have all their streets, roads, power lines and water supplies in place. If only people would return.

Click for full story.


Indiana University to host techno roots conference

Indiana University's Archives of African American Music and Culture is set to host the first national conference on Oct. 21 about techno music, “Roots of Techno: Black DJs and the Detroit Scene.” In addition to academic panels and discussions, there will be evening events featuring Detroit DJs as well as live performances.

Excerpt from article:

The world may know about the Motown Sound, but many don’t know that techno music – a wildly popular electronically produced form of dance music reverberating dancehalls and raves across Europe -- was developed 20 years ago by a handful of African American college students around Detroit.

Click for the full story.

Local group fixes up park in northwest Detroit

A Royal Oak resident formed a non-profit called Let's Help Out, Detroit to make improvements to a Northwest Detroit Park. The new group will next raise funds for Priest Elementary School's library.

Excerpt from article:

A local woman led a group of volunteers for a small project in Detroit, hoping it makes a big difference.

Bonnie Roberts, 26, of Royal Oak, and eight others built new bleachers at and cleaned up a park in northwest Detroit this weekend.

Click here for the full story.


City's real estate market on upswing

Depsite sluggish sales state-wide, home sales in the city of Detroit have risen in 2006.

Excerpt from article:

Locally, one of the few bright spots was in the city of Detroit itself. Home sales through July 31 were up in the city almost 9% compared to the same period last year, according to the Michigan Association of Realtors.

That rise could reflect the city's mini-boom in downtown living.

It might also mirror the availability of more riverfront condominiums converted from former apartment buildings, as well as the renovation of some older neighborhoods.



Northwest Detroit farmers market a hit with locals

Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation is hosting its neighborhood’s first farmer’s market that features produce grown in Southeast Michigan and the Windsor area.

Excerpt:
Each Thursday from 4-8 p.m. in the parking lot of Bushnell Congregational Church, produce, fresh-baked goods, hand-blended teas and locally-produced honey are available for reasonable prices.

Weinstein, the organization's special-projects coordinator and market master, couldn't be more thrilled with the reaction to the new market. "We're giving outsiders a reason to come to our neighborhood and promoting healthy eating," she said.


Police Department brings back 150 officers

After laying off 150 officers last year in a major cost-cutting effort, the Detroit Police Department has hired 27 back, bringing the total number of rehires to 104. The beleaguered department saved $113 million by enacting the 2005 layoffs.

Exceprt:
Resident Charles Wise Jr., 70, is glad the department rehired the officers. "The streets should be safer," he said from his porch, less than one block from the police training academy where [Chief] Bully-Cummings swore-in the officers.


Click here for more.

Kate Moss in the Motor City: W Magazine photo shoot hits stands

The September 2006 issue of W magazine has hit newstands. It features the photo spread supermodel Kate Moss and fashion photog Bruce Weber shot around the Motor City recently.

Here's an excerpt:
"Detroit is coming back to life. Reborn as one of the most vibrant cities in the world. So Bruce Weber and Kate Moss went off to sample a little motown magic. They got a lot."

To see the pix, check out the magazine.

Crain's offers 'Living and Investing in the D' special section

This week, Crain's Detroit Business offers its Living and Investing in the D special section. The section highlights city neighborhoods, schools, business opportunities, and asks residents why they live in Detroit.

Click here for more.

25 neighborhoods targeted for property tax breaks

Mayor Kilpatrick delivered a list of 25 neighborhoods who may see their property taxes decrease 20% or more starting in January 2007.

Excerpts from the article:

Homeowners in neighborhoods, such as Palmer Woods, Rosedale, Sherwood and the Berry Subdivision, stand to receive more than a 20% tax cut starting in January of 2007.

Eligible homeowners would see their property taxes cut from 67 mills to about 50.

Click here for more.

City leading area housing market

According to the story:

The city of Detroit remains a high point in the region's struggling housing market, leading the way in home sales and new construction.

 "A lot of people see Detroit as bottomed-out or as poised for growth, so a lot of people are using that as an opportunity," said Darralyn Bowers, president of Detroit Association of Realtors.

Click here for more.

ARISE Detroit coalition seeks volunteers to boost city

Free Press columnist Rochelle Riley says the new ARISE campaign is ambitious, well-organized and may finally make us realize that we can stop waiting for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to come back.


Click here for more.


Small businesses to get boost through new city loan program

Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick announced Thursday an new loan program for small businesses.

The Small Business Detroit MicroLoan Program, a $1.5 million program funded through the Casino Business Development Fund, would offer loans ranging from $5,000 to $35,000 to startups and existing small businesses in Detroit, even if the applicant is not a resident.

About 260 businesses have expressed interest in the loans and 60 went through orientation, according to Marja Winters, director of the Office of Neighborhood Commercial Revitalization, the city agency handling the program.

Click here for more.

Detroit's neighborhood gas stations to be fuel-alternative pioneers

According to the story:

General Motors Corp.'s drive to put ethanol-based fuel in the tanks of more U.S. cars and trucks may transform Detroit's neighborhood gas stations and its drivers into pioneers in the use of the gasoline alternative.

GM Chief Executive Officer Rick Wagoner says he'll join employees next month in using fuel that is 85 percent ethanol when the company begins requiring hundreds of its Detroit-area executives with ethanol-compatible company cars to fill up at new public pumps.

Wayne County, which surrounds Detroit, is trying to attract an ethanol refinery.

Click here for more

Neighbors say Grandmont Rosedale offers authentic neighborhood feel

The Grandmont Rosedale neighborhood in northwest Detroit near the Southfield Freeway and Grand River offers the opportunities for shopping and neighborly camaraderie that a world-class city should include.

According to the story:

About 40 homes in the Grandmont-Rosedale Park area are available for purchase.  Prices range between $100,000 and $300,000.

Click here for more.

If Detroit reforms its budget, it could be a role model

Columnist Josh Hendrickson writes:
If the city is successful in its reforms, it could become a model for reducing bloated budgets across the country.

Click here for more.

Detroit school instructs in foreign languages, attracts students from beyond city

FLICS, the Foreign Language Immersion and Cultural Studies school in Detroit, is moving from its building off I-75 near Clay Street to northwest Detroit. For almost two decades, more than 6,000 children from kindergarten through fifth grade have learned Japanese, Mandarin, French and Spanish.

According to the story:

The unusual and popular school is moving across town, into the old Renaissance High School building. In the fall, FLICS will expand through the eighth grade, almost doubling its enrollment to about 700.

The school's new location on the city's edge has increased its attraction to suburban families. About 100 children from places like Royal Oak, Farmington, Southfield and Oak Park have applied to attend next year.

Click here for more.

Groups offer deals on trees, shrubs to encourage planting

According to the story:

Bareroot tree seedlings and small bareroot trees and shrubs are available through county conservation districts and nonprofits like Global ReLeaf and the Greening of Detroit.

The groups offer bareroot plants at low prices to raise money for tree-planting efforts and to encourage people to plant trees, shrubs and other plants every spring. Plants will be available for pick-up next month, in time to get them into the ground before the weather gets too warm and the trees start to leaf out.


Click here for more.

Group is all green thumbs when it comes to Detroit

According to the story:

Greening of Detroit has planted 44,669 trees since its inception in 1989 with the help of thousands of volunteers who go to city parks and other locales to plant on the weekends.

Click here for more.
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