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Richard Florida reacts to 7.2 greater downtown study

In a piece last week in Atlantic Cities, Richard Florida tackles the recently released 7.2 study that shows greater downtown to be better educated and more diverse than the city at large. There is much complexity to this finding, such that we plan on following what it all means in a variety of ways in the near future.

Here's an excerpt from Florida's story:

The Greater Downtown corridor has a population of 36,550 people or 5,076 people per square mile. It might not be not downtown Manhattan, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, or Philadelphia, but it compares favorably to other Midwest city-centers, like downtown Minneapolis, with 3.4 square miles and 28,811 people; downtown Pittsburgh at 1.3 square miles and 4,064 people; and downtown Cleveland at 3.2 square miles and 9,523 people. Of these downtowns, only Minneapolis has greater density than Greater Downtown Detroit.

Read more here.

Study: Greater downtown growing in wealth, diversity

A report published today and to be shared with investors, developers and city planners, found that greater downtown residents are wealthier than Detroiters at large, but less affluent than the average for the full populations of cities such as Minneapolis and Pittsburgh, which some see as prime examples of successful urban rebirth.

John Gallagher of the Freep has the scoop. An excerpt:

(Data Driven Detroit's Kurt) Metzger pointed out that things are changing so rapidly in the areas that the report may already be slightly dated. For example, gains from the Live Downtown and Live Midtown incentive programs that have bought hundreds of new residents who work for participating businesses into the area in the last two years are not fully captured in this report.

Read the rest of the story (and the full reporthere.



HuffPost Detroit: 'Shack' becomes Woodbridge cycling center

Last week's feature on Detroit's emerging bicycle economy was only the tip of the iceberg. There's a ton of non-motorized activity in town, and HuffPost Detroit is doing a fab job of reporting it. Like this one. An excerpt:

Jason Hall, Mike MacKool and Mike Sheppard are the three young men behind the building's reinvention. The trio runs an annual bike expo called Detroit Bike City, which drew 1,500 people to Cobo Hall this past March. They're also members of Bikes & Murder, a local bicycle club that sponsors a popular weekly bike ride, dubbed "Slow Rolls to Slow Jams," at the Woodbridge Pub, located across the street from the space.

Read on here.

Edgy Detroit Beautification Project explodes with color and controversy

This story in the Detroit News confirms what we knew already -- that the street art that went up on Detroit and Hamtramck buildings this spring is radically beautiful and that the idea was hatched by a Hamtramck-based group called Contra Projects.

An excerpt: 

Hamtramck officials and property owners were so accommodating to the Beautification Project that most of the murals went up there first. It's part of the city's plan to spotlight its artistic side, head off illegal graffiti, and, perhaps grab a little of the global cool Detroit has been enjoying on the international art stage.

Jason E. Friedmann, Hamtramck's director of economic and community development, said the town has long been an art haven for creative types, but that side hasn't always been visible to outsiders.

"We're trying to get our underground creative thing out in the open to underline that this is part of what Hamtramck is all about," he said.

Well said Jason, well said.

Read on here.

Community rebuilds Scripps Park at historic Woodbridge corner

We know this story but love it when people tell it again and again, as does Donna Terek in the Detroit News.

An excerpt: 

A group called Forward Arts Detroit -- headed by Dominic Arellano and Lou Castanelli's Access Arts -- teamed with the Woodbridge Neighborhood Development Corporation and Friends of Scripps Park last summer to clean up, and call attention to, this shaded and walled oasis of calm at one of Detroit's most bustling crossroads.

Read it all here.


Scripps Park expanding sensory garden experience

We have always been fond of this park, at the triangular corner of Trumbull, Grand River and Martin L. King Blvd, the gateway to Woodbridge.

This piece in HuffPost Detroit comes just in time for the planting season. An excerpt:

Last summer, a number of community groups working with the adjacent Detroit Public Library Douglass Branch planted a "sensory garden" in a small gravel bed they constructed at the park -- a project they plan to expand this spring.

When the additions are completed, the garden will feature a variety of sense-evocative plants, including black-eyed Susans for color, lavender for its smell, whirling butterflies for their movement, lamb's ears for their soft texture and nasturtiums for their taste.

Read on here.

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.

10 start-up semi-finalists "Hatched," voting now open

A Midtown wine bar, a Woodbridge "gypsy den" serving fine teas and a bakeshop with a big heart -- these are just three of the 10 semi-finalist businesses announced in the Hatch Detroit entrepreneurial contest, which will award $50,000 and mentoring to Detroit's favorite idea for new retail.

Voting's now open to the public -- two rounds will narrow down the pool of semi-finalists to the "Hatch Off" finale, where the budding entrepreneurs will be given five minutes to make their best pitches to a team of judges.

Head to the Hatch Detroit page to cast your votes for the top four -- and come back the next day (you can vote once every 24 hours). Best of luck to all! Detroit could use all 10 of these these fresh ideas for local biz -- and 10 more after that.

Know This! takes a tour of Detroit's creativity

Know This! took a tour through Detroit, catching up with 71 Pop's Margarita Barry, Detroitbigfdeal's Tunde Wey and Bureau of Urban Living owner Claire Nelson along the way. The host says they're hearing a lot of new concepts in the city, "because people are really innovating, people are really connecting and they're bringing a lot of creative ideas to revitalize the city." Hear, hear.

Check the video out here.

Red Bull World Tour goes full volume at TV Bar

Techno enthusiasts might associate the Red Bull Music Academy with offbeat genre collaborations and up-and-coming producers, but the World Tour stop in Detroit last week was anything but. Motor City Frequencies was a tribute to Detroit's founding fathers of electronic music, the second wave of DJs who followed in their tracks, and a chance to spotlight the city's next class of musicians advancing the craft. The week-long event, hosted at Flat 151 and TV Bar, mixed heavies like Juan Atkins, Theo Parrish and Underground Resistance's Mike Banks with hip hop producer Nick Speed (50 Cent, Tupac Shakur).

Excerpt:

Speed told the assembled crowd how much he loves the 'gumbo of music styles' Detroit offers and his send-off was a high-energy tribute to all the original music the city has spawned. With one of his own beats blasting through the speakers, Speed stood on the couch and began freestyling for the audience.

The beat goes on.

Spirit of Hope urban farm brings bounty to blighted neighborhoods

In Detroit, it's still illegal to plant a garden on an empty lot without a primary house. That's the main reason Kathleen Brennan says she began farming on the grounds of Grand River Ave.'s Spirit of Hope Church.

Four years later, four parcels of land produce an overwhelming bounty (just a quarter of the year's produce helps stock 160 different food pantries) and an education on using what's around (old tires as soil beds, for example) to build something beautiful.

Excerpt:

Spirit of Hope fills what used to be four residential parcels, and it's nowhere near the largest in the city. Brennan says that the urban gardening community is tight-knit, and organizers and volunteers feed off one another's energy and dedication. "It's technically illegal, so it's good to hang out with other people doing illegal stuff," she laughs. On a more serious note, she continues, "For the city as a whole, the whole gardening movement is good. It gets people active, healthier."

Dig in here.
 

PBS examines city's urban garden and sustainability issues

Journalist Desiree Cooper asks the tough questions about urban farming and Detroit's future on the DPTV series Sustainable Detroit, which aired its second episode Sunday nationally on PBS. She talks of the next wave of fortune-seekers to the city -- not property-flippers, but hoe-wielding gardeners who see promoting urban agriculture as a necessary next step for repairing, as Cooper says, the city's social fabric.

Excerpt:

"If you're a caring person and you're surrounded by what seems to be just nothingness, it's a heavy, heavy burden," said Myrtle, adding that the gardens are a visible sign that someone on the block values the land, themselves and others. "When property is neglected, it says, 'We don't care, we can get away with dumping, and we can get away with vile behavior because nobody is watching.'" What they are really planting, said Myrtle, is a revolution in values.

Check out Cooper's blog, and cllick here to watch the video.

Art, bikes and a beautiful day at Anna Scripps Park

To celebrate its first year of work, the dynamo arts organization Forward Arts added a new event to its repertoire -- the donation-based Art Ride, which took 100 patrons to lesser-ventured city creations like Hamtramck Disneyland, Heidelberg satellite project Street Folk 2 and Power House Productions.

The bike ride culminated at Woodbridge's Anna Scripps Park, where Access Arts hosted seven installations and a number of workshops and showcases from its students. As the Knight Arts blog reports, over 15 organizations and stakeholders came together to put on the show.

Excerpt:

This is a clear example of why art improves the quality of our lives. On a sunny day, kids built forts with their family and neighbors, and a diverse crowd admired the art pieces, while mingling in the park and snaking on delicious treats from the Pink FlaminGO! food truck. It created a positive energy that people were attracted to, and everyone walked away with a little bit of culture, whether (sic) they expected to or not.

Photographs and more available here.

Midtown incentives so good, they're (almost) gone

Call this year's Live Midtown incentive program a roaring success -- after just eight months, roughly $1 million put up by three anchor institutions (Wayne State, the DMC and Henry Ford Health System) is committed, and new applications are on hold.

That's all gravy to the 197 new Detroit residents who've taken advantage of the incentives to buy, rent or fix up properties in Midtown, New Center and Woodbridge. But high occupancy rates (approaching 95 percent) in Midtown and the CBD have stymied potential newcomers like WDET afternoon host Travis Wright, who'd like to move but can't find a vacancy.

Excerpt:

"I love these incentives," Wright said this week. "It's just frustrating that there's not a whole lot of options for 1,300 square feet for $1,300 a month. I'd totally jump on it. It's just not there."

Listen up, developers. It's time to get bullish on Detroit again. Restore, rehab and build, build, build! 

Read more here.

New doc: Detroit in Overdrive

The Discovery Channel's new miniseries, Detroit in Overdrive, appearing on Planet Green, digs in deep. While familiar faces like Motor City Denim's Joe Faris and Kid Rock get their due, this vid searches out the "tangible faces behind those big buildings" for the three-part special, which originally aired Aug. 4. That means Maria's Comida, the Sphinx Organization and CCS student and designer Veronika Scott are among the long list of the city's community members and do-gooders sharing the spotlight with Detroit's superstars. We like it.

Excerpt:

The Russell Industrial center functions as a community space for artists, craftspeople, and small businesses. Edith Floyd stands up for what she believes in by building an urban garden where abandoned houses once stood. Last, Kristyn Koth and Malik Muqaribu feed Detroiters in their 1956 Airstream, the Pink Flamingo, bringing fresh organic food to Detroiters in a unique mobile food truck, spearheading a local food movement.

Find out more about Detroit in Overdrive here.

Young Broke & Beautiful: The new IFC series gets wild in the D

"Young, Broke & Beautiful" -- there's no way a TV show aiming for that demographic could pass up a night in our fair city. This intrepid series from the Independent Film Channel spotlights indie culture and creators across the nation. Their hour-long travelogue on the D makes friends with plenty of our favorite people and places, from the Imagination Station and DJ Kyle Hall to late-night parties and Coneys (natch).

Excerpt:

Stuart will pull the Scion into the most beautiful, broken down parking lot in the world. There's no doubt that all these YBB's will know where the dopest, most off the chain, unsanctioned warehouse party is happening, and Stuart will find himself closing down the night, partying with his people.

IFC will rerun the Detroit episode all week, beginning Tuesday at 6 p.m. Find out more about the channel's tour Detroit here.

Ty Cobb's Detroit: A writer journeys back in time

A "genius in spikes." An incorrigible racist. How do we define the memory of the greatest Tiger, Ty Cobb, who passed away 50 years ago this month? Local writer Anna Clark goes back to a shabby duplex on Commonwealth and Willis in Woodbridge, where Cobb and his young family lived. Through the eyes of the home's current owner, and by delving into Cobb's history, Clark attempts to make sense of the man who was, at times, both a legend and a lout. And she manages, through the narrative of Cobb's life, to draw parallels between our memories of the ballplayer and the narratives we seek to create for Detroit.

Excerpt:

Ty Cobb can be a cruel man, and at the same time be a misunderstood hero. Detroit can be both a ravaged, bleeding city and an inspired place where creative people are imagining new ways for an urban center to be successful. In fact, that's exactly what is true.

Clark's story is a grand slam. Catch it here.

Live Midtown program inspires new incentives for Quicken Loans' downtown employees

Dan Gilbert's Quicken Loans will join several other major firms in the city to offer incentives urging their employees to live in Detroit, following the success of this year's Live Midtown program. The program will be announced later this summer.

Midtown Detroit Inc. reports 178 employees from the Detroit Medical Center, Henry Ford Hospital and Wayne State University have used the Live Midtown program to rent, buy or fund home improvements in the district since the program launched five months ago.

Gilbert says he plans to move at least 2,000 of his employees to downtown beginning this fall.

Excerpt:

Speaking Wednesday to the visiting news media, Gilbert quipped, "Building anything great is messy. A construction site is messy, but when it's done, it's usually something people can be proud of." His often-stated goal is to make downtown the lively core of a revitalized city, or what he calls Detroit 2.0.

"There is just a certain feel" to downtown, he said Wednesday. "There's a certain energy, a certain buzz, a certain closeness to everything, and people really, really are enjoying it."

Read the rest of the story here -- and look for more info on these new residential initiatives in Model D this summer.


Crain's 20-somethings reshape the D's possibilities

One could call the 2011 class of Crain's "20 in their 20s" list up-and-comers, but we here at Model D would argue that they're already here. The list celebrates Metro Detroiters who may not have made a mint, but are giving this region something back through their hard work, dedication and entrepreneurial spirit. A special shout-out goes to our Crain's award winners with bigtime Detroit proper connections; among them Hostel Detroit's Emily Doerr, the Imagination Station's Jerry Paffendorf (who's quoted below), Amy Ruby of the Detroit Derby Girls and Jason Malone, who founded the Midnight Golf Program.

Excerpt:

"I think people want opportunities to engage with the city, and they're not offered them," he said. "I think people respond to something like that. ... One of the things we realized with our work, there are many, many things you can do in the world and it's very difficult to get people excited about them. ... You've got to present these things in such a way that they're fun and inviting; not to make light of problems, but there's a way to present things and be open for business that doesn't just focus on the dark parts."

Check the list out here.

What do Detroit and Lodz, Poland have in common? Fund this new film to find out

Detroit isn't the only industrial city challenged with remaking its identity. On the other side of the pond, Polish city Lodz was once the European leader in textile production -- until the fall of the USSR, when the city suffered massive depopulation. Now, Lodz joins Detroit as a city full of empty factories -- and even more potential.

Detroit Lives! wants to talk to urban planners, entrepreneurs and artists from both cities to jump-start the conversation on how former industrial giants can reshape themselves. Their Kickstarter won't fund their plane tickets (they already have those), but it will help pay for things like post-audio engineering, translation services and film festival fees.

Excerpt:

We've lined up interviews on both continents with top city officials, best-selling authors, and pioneering artists.  PLUS, the American Film Festival in Poland has already expressed interest in premiering the film (and we haven't even begun shooting)!

Wanna fund, or find out more? Click here.

Detroit tops Travel & Leisure's list of "World's Most Underrated Cities"

Detroit recently topped the list of Travel & Leisure's underdog urban hotspots for travelers weary of cookie-cutter cosmopolitan vacations. The magazine lauded the new breed of "urban homesteader" helping to reshape the city, and referenced a few of our great restaurants (Foran's Grand Trunk Pub, Supino pizza, and Slows) as evidence of the D's growing gastronomic reputation.

Excerpt:

And then of course there's Detroit. What most people would consider as evidence of Motor City's sad decline -- empty lots, abandoned houses, and disused factories -- others view as unparalleled opportunities for artists, designers, and other creative types. In fact, Patti Smith and David Byrne, two of music's eternal cool kids, recently exhorted budding artists to move to Detroit, and young people are heeding their advice, moving into neighborhoods like Midtown and Woodbridge.

Check out which other underdog cities made the list here.

The Detroit girl's guide to graffiti

Detroit Girls About Town, a web site that's aimed at keeping Detroit girls in the know, had a great idea: a guide to graffiti. So, the enlisted artist Shades to list some of the best spots in the city to peep some damn good graffiti. The list, taking you from the Dequindre Cut to MCS, could make a nice little afternoon tour on a lazy sunday.

Excerpt from Detroit Girls About Town:

1) Dequindre Cut.
The best place in the city to see graffiti and get into the feeling of what we [graffiti artists] experience would be the Dequindre Cut. It's an old, shut down train line that ran south to the warehouses on the river and north towards the major lines that would lead the trains out for industry. The two-mile area is now, for your pleasure, a bike/jogging trail from the river to eastern market.

Read the entire article here.

'Grown in Detroit' documentary earns praise

Tiny Mix Tapes -- a culture, news and reviews site -- takes a look at the Detroit-based documentary "Grown in Detroit."

Excerpt:

Perhaps the most hopeful part of Grown in Detroit is the womens' insistence on continuing to garden and grow their own food after graduation. The care and respect shown to these vulnerable young women by everyone at the school is a testament to the goodwill and charity of which humans are thankfully still capable. But when all is said and done, it is the unabashed realism of the faculty and staff of the Catherine Ferguson Academy for Young Women that convinces us of the integrity of their good intentions. The Poppenks have made a truly remarkable documentary about a story of real, honest-to-goodness hope in one of the most unlikely places.

Read the entire article 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.

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.

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

Imbibe Magazine visits the Woodbridge Pub

Imbibe Magazine, a drinking and bar mag, stops in at the Woodbridge Pub.

Excerpt:

The party lives on in this former event-supply warehouse, where owner Jim Geary’s vision of opening a simple neighborhood bar manifested itself this past September in the form of the light and airy Woodbridge Pub. Situated across an athletic field from Detroit's Wayne State University, Geary’s 60-seat watering hole features floor-to-ceiling windows, gilded tin ceilings and a meat-locker men’s room door.

Read the entire article here.

The Detroit News visits the Woodbridge Pub

Now that the Woodbridge Pub is up and running, it has become a welcomed addition to one of Detroit's more popular neighborhoods.

Excerpt:

Some say the best location for a new business is right across the street from a similar business -- the customer base is already there. But for Jim Geary, owner of Detroit's 2-month-old Woodbridge Pub, the right spot was a void in an old neighborhood desperate for something to re-invigorate.

"I live here, so it's pretty much a no-brainer," Geary says. "We needed it. The neighborhood needed it."

The neighborhood is Woodbridge, specifically north of Warren Avenue and west of Trumbull Avenue, where the pub's neighbors are limited to a gas station and Wayne State University's athletic fields. Residents are thrilled to have someplace within walking distance that serves hot food (sandwiches, burgers, vegetarian meals) and cold beer (40 of them, including local brews Ghettoblaster and Dragonmead).

Read the entire article here.

CAID starts Barbequed Movie - movies and bbq every Monday

The Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit (CAID) is starting summer a month ahead of schedule with what they're calling Barbequed Movie. Starting Memorial Day, and going through to Labor Day, every Monday the CAID will be hosting a movie and some bbq.

Members get in free, all others are asked to donate to keep the electricity flowing.

For a complete schedule of movies go 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.

Woodbridge Estates hosts open house, art show on April 24

Woodbridge Estates is hosting an evening of art and interior design at its newly-decorated Kaline model on Thursday, April 24 from 4 to 7 p.m.

Enjoy a glass of wine and art provided by the Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit.

RSVP by April 22 to 313-833-6360.


Great Lakes Urban Exchange begins sticking together for monthly meetings at CAID

A collective of advocates for Great Lakes cities -- Detroit, Duluth, Buffalo, Milwaukee, Cleveland -- will begin hosting their local monthly meeting at the Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit on April 10 at 8:30 p.m.

Excerpt:

The Great Lakes Urban Exchange wants your input on a mega-regional conversation. What's good, bad, and ugly about our post-industrial cities? How can we make progress as collaborators rather than competitors? Join us for a 90 minute session occurring simultaneously in 15 cities across the "rustbelt."

Find out more at GlueSpace.org.


Transit-oriented development focus of April 7 Cityscape event

The third in Cityscape Detroit's speaker series will focus on transit-oriented development. Head to CAID on April 7 at 6:30 p.m. to hear from Megan Owens, Transit Riders United's executive director.

There is a recommended $10 donation for non-Cityscape members. CAID is located at 5141 Rosa Parks Blvd.


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.


Flexible, creative space makes 555 Gallery natural home for artists

Since 2004, 555 Gallery has provided flexible space for artists of all stripes on Grand River just west of Woodbridge.

Excerpt:

Cofounder Carl Goines, 28, of Cohoctah Township said he and his partners -- Monte Martinez, 45, of Detroit and Nicole Parker, 36, of Ann Arbor -- wanted to create a space where artists from every genre could come and "do their thing."

"We wanted people to have a place where artists could come and work at their own pace in a relaxed setting and develop camaraderie with fellow artists," Goines said. "555 Studio/Gallery is able to provide these services, and we can do so without charging large studio rental fees."

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.


$5.2M program aims to increase home ownership

The National Faith Home Buyers and Blight Busters have launched "Now's the Time to Buy Detroit," a $5.2 million fund intended to encourage home ownership in the city.

Excerpt:

National Development Services Inc., a Detroit-based investment firm, has pledged $3.1 million while the Brewer Group, another investment firm based in New York, has pledged $2.1 million to the project. Movie actor Morris Chestnut, who has starred in dozens of movies including "Boyz n the Hood," "G.I. Jane," and "The Best Man," flew in to help promote the program and pledge an undisclosed amount of money.

"This is a phenomenal opportunity to give back to the people who have given so much to me," he said. "You’re not just placing people in homes, but educating people to help them stay in the homes."

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.


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.


TheDetroiter.com tells what came before the galleries

Nick Sousanis has done the city a service by compiling short histories of some of Detroit's art galleries. Fascinating read.

Excerpt:

While “loft” living has become trendy now – they’re creating such things from scratch in Royal Oak and even in Detroit (which seems such a betrayal of the definition of such spaces), this embrace of reuse of spaces has long been championed by arts. It is in keeping with the vision of preservationists, and certainly environmentalists – it’s reduce, reuse, recycle all in one act. It just makes sense on a lot of levels.

Read the entire article 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.


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.

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.

Woodbridge Estates sales steady, reflect trend in Detroit real estate

Urban living certainly attracted C. Morgan Houston and her husband,
Lorenzo, who paid about $300,000 for a home in Woodbridge Estates more
than a year ago.

"We are two minutes from everything that's happening in Detroit," she
said. "We just came from the DSO the other night. We go to the
different theaters, hot restaurants all up and down. It is great. My
feet don't even have time to hurt."

Michael Dunne, a Seattle-based investor, said Detroit's somewhat
belated entry into the urban-living trend enticed him to bankroll
several projects in the city done by Detroit developer Dwight Belyue,
including the @water Lofts condominium project expected to break
ground on the east riverfront in the spring.

"I saw it in Seattle in the '80s, and I thought the developers were
crazy," Belyue said last week. "Detroit may be the last big city to go
through that, but it's just following the country. Having seen it, I'm
a believer."

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.




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.


A walkable Halloween (for grown-ups) from Walter Wasacz

Walkability meets dancability when Walter Wasacz explores Halloween time in "the city formerly known as the Motor Capital of the World." He encourages "all saints and all souls" to set out on foot and explore the city.

Excerpt:

There are enough soirees planned to keep you in costume, dancing and looking for action until dawn on the Day of the Dead. Plus, many of these events are conveniently clustered, eliminating the need for a car. That's right — on Halloween weekend the Motor City will be full of the walking dead, or even the dreaded People Mover Zombies.


Click here for more.

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.

Detroit News photoblogs Tour de Troit

Photographer Tom Gromack shares 21 photographs of the September 23 Tour de Troit, a 37-mile bicycle ride through the city that wound through Corktown, downtown, Woodbridge, Midtown, New Center, Boston Edison, Arden Park, LaSalle Gardens and Southwest Detroit.

Excerpt from blog:

Tour organizers said they were pleased with the tournout, which was well above ridership for 2005 despite threatening weather.

Click here to see the photos.

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.



Woodbridge Estates attracting residents, more investment

Woodbridge Estates, one of the largest residential developments underway in the city, is getting good reviews from its new residents. The developers foresee the 47-acre site to be completed in about 2 ½ years, and will include a community parks and a playground. Its streets are named after Motown greats such as The Contours and The Miracles.

Excerpt:
Almost all of the 47 single-family homes in the mixed development have been sold and 32 more are being built. All 118 rental apartments that have been built are leased and another 160 or so are under construction.

Three of the towers that used to make up the Jeffries housing project were left standing and converted into senior housing. All are occupied.

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.

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.

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.

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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.

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UDM students building Woodbridge House using salvaged materials

Nine University of Detroit Mercy students have drawn up plans to build a house in Detroit's Woodbridge neighborhood using salvaged materials.

According to the story:

The plans are finally complete. The final piece is to find a buyer . The materials come from a historic, 6,000-square-foot house in Highland Park, Ill.

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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.

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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.


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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.

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