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Global Detroit audio: Thoughts on Gov. Snyder's immigration initiative

Steve Tobocman, director of Global Detroit, makes a strong case that not only could the city use highly-skilled, college educated immigrants -- which Gov. Snyder outlined in his recent State of the State address -- but that the city needs more working class foreign-born newcomers as a way to revitalize the local economy.

Check out this audio report on Michigan Radio. Mighty important stuff, indeed. Listen here.

New America Media: Immigrants key to Detroit revival

This report in New America Media, especpially the following three paragraphs, caught our eye last week. Who can doubt that welcoming immigrant communities to Detroit is an excellent idea? 

An excerpt:

While Detroit’s population has gone down by about 26 percent, the Latino population, particularly in the southeast side of the city, known as "Mexicantown," continues to rise, along with Latino-owned businesses.

Over the last two decades, according to census data, Detroit’s Latino population nearly doubled to 50,000 in 2010. Latinos in the city are also fairly young, with a median age of 24. 

According to an Associated Press report, more than $200 million in the past 15 years has been invested in Mexicantown, a few miles from downtown Detroit. This investment has attracted more restaurants, retail stores, and new residential buildings, including an $11 million condominium development.

Read more here.

Immigrant entrepreneurship driving local economies

Our friend Jordi Carbonell, and his wife Melissa Fernandez, of Cafe Con Leche in Southwest Detroit are featured in this issue of Immigrant Impact, which focuses on the mighty good that entrepreneurs and innovators from around the world are doing in building American community life.

An excerpt.

A new report  from the American Immigration Council explains the journeys of three places -- Detroit, Michigan; St. Louis, Missouri; and rural communities in Iowa -- to implement strategies for future economic success that depend in part upon immigration. Despite tepid federal efforts at reform, such places are embarking on exciting ventures, such as Global Detroit and the St. Louis Mosaic Project, to attract immigrants to their communities, support new and existing immigrant entrepreneurs, and create synergy between immigrants and native-born citizens. This trend recognizes the growing significance of immigration as an economic factor, but it is also a major rethinking of how individuals and communities accept and welcome newcomers and encourage their successful integration. 

See more 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.

Upstart Boat Magazine creates Detroit issue

It was a lazy month for London ad agency owners Davey and Erin Spens. The pair, fascinated by magazines and travel, took an unusual vacation -- renting an office in Sarajevo, bringing their two coworkers along to pen a magazine offering readers a true glimpse of the formerly war-torn city.

After some help from writer Dave Eggers, who introduced the first issue of Boat Magazine with one of his short stories, the pair are at it again. They came to Detroit to produce their second issue -- a $12 "antidote to lazy journalism," printed on beautiful matte paper, with an article from Jeffrey Eugenides and interviews with Ben Wallace, Alex Winston and Jessica Hernandez.

We found one excerpt, a photo essay on Detroit food, in The Guardian:

We headed down there on a Saturday morning to find a bustling area filled with vegetable stalls, and thousands of people from all over Detroit and the surrounding states shopping for produce for home or business. The must-haves are the ribs from Berts, but we were as taken by the market across the freeway, with its walls painted in murals of meat, fish and cheese, which are sold inside.

Buy it here

Tour De Troit helps make Detroit more bike-friendly

Close to 4,500 bikers made the Motor City a two-wheeled adventure course for a day on Sept. 24; choosing a police-escorted 30-mile jaunt through Detroit's streets or a whopping 62-mile slog from the tour's home base at Roosevelt Park (check out Tour De Troit wrap-ups from the News, Freep and MLive).

Tour De Troit's explosive growth (it drew less than 50 cyclists for its first outing in 2002) mirrors the bicycle's increasing popularity as an accepted form of transportation in the D. A growing network of greenways and bike lanes, wide avenues and more tours have helped grow cycling by 192 percent in the past ten years.


"(Riding a bike) shows the city on a human scale, and you see a lot of detail that you wouldn't see when you were in an automobile," said Bill Lusa, 37, director for the tour. Lusa, who lives in Woodbridge, uses his bike to commute to places around the city. "It's not always about smashing the system and ending the automotive hegemony," he said. "It's about having fun and being in slightly better shape."

More available here.

Photography exhibit reveals city's contradictions

It's quite the contradiction that Detroit, a city of more than 700,000 residents, is often photographed as if it were totally empty. That's what inspired Nancy Barr to curate Detroit Revealed: Photographs, 2000-2010, which opens Oct. 16 at the DIA. Enough of the abandoned buildings -- Detroit Revealed draws on a mix of home-based and out-of-town photogs to document life in the city; workers in the Ford Rouge Plant, children and immigrant gardens.


Great photography is not only about good technique; it's also about access to people and places that are unique to a particular community. I would welcome more work that takes into consideration the diversity of our city, its people and the culture, by photographers from all types of backgrounds. Their perspectives would (and will) enrich Detroit's photographic legacy and identity.

Slide show and more available here.

Place blogger tightens focus on Corktown's Michigan Avenue

Economics of Place is the blog of Dan GiImartin, the executive director and CEO of the Michigan Municipal League. He's also an urban thinker with an eye for the small, oft-unnoticed changes that can make "places" out of streets and buildings. Here's a great example: Gilmartin examines the width of roads in vibrant urban neighborhoods like Toronto's Queen Street West and Washington DC's Adams Morgan. His conclusion? At nine lanes wide, the sheer size of Michigan Avenue hampers Corktown's energy and possibility, creating, as he writes, "a faceless drive" for motorists to speed through.


Similar neighborhoods in cities across the world are seeing communities reinvigorated because of these simple strategies. More of it needs to be done in places like Detroit and elsewhere.  It makes an urban neighborhood cheaper to maintain, better for business and more fun to be around.

Read more here.

SDBA honors the heroes, movers and shakers of Southwest

What do longtime activist and casino investor Jane Garcia, state representative Rashida Tlaib, and Slow's BBQ have in common? They are just a few of the honorees of this year's Community Investment Breakfast, sponsored by Southwest Detroit Business Association. The event, themed "The Detroit of the Future: Built One Community at a Time," will be emceed by Fox 2's Huel Perkins, and feature remarks from Dave Bing and Henry Ford Hospital's Dr. John Popovich. Belda Garza, The Ideal Group's Frank Venegas and the City of Detroit's Brad Dick will also be recognized for their leadership and support of the Southwest community.

The event will be held at The Display Group, located at 1700 West Fort Street. Tickets are $50. Visit the SDBA website to learn more, or click here to purchase tickets.

Freedom House in peril, but we can all help

Call it an asylum, a place of refuge, Detroit's own Ellis Island -- the Freedom House has, since the 1980s, housed and fed and fought for the rights of asylum seekers, persecuted in their own nations, who find their way to the Detroit-Windsor border seeking safe haven. But since losing a major grant, the future of Freedom House is now in crisis. Says Metro Times' Jack Lessenberry:


So they are scrambling to just keep afloat, while they reapply for the grant they lost and try to come up with other sources of funding. Personally, I think the best thing that could happen would be for Freedom House to be able to expand its operations, and work to settle many more deserving asylum seekers in Detroit. Those are precisely the folks who could rebuild the devastation into a city.

Find out how you can help here.

Michigan Koreans advocate choosing Detroit

This gem of a link comes from Sandra Yu, program manager at Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice. An MIT grad who chose to return to Detroit (and couldn't be happier about the decision), Yu authored eight reasons why the Korean population of Michigan should embrace Detroit, and then turned to some of her friends for their say. The article's printed in Korean, but scroll down to read what Yu, Sean Mann, Sheu-Jane Gallagher, Leor Barak, and other city dwellers have to say about what this town's given back to them.


Detroit is the ideal city for the immigrant spirit. A century ago, Detroit was 33% foreign-born, mostly immigrants from Europe and the Middle East. During the Great Migration that spanned 55 years from 1915 to 1970, 6 million African Americans fleeing brutal conditions in the South migrated to Northern cities like Detroit searching for a better life and a fair chance for themselves and their children. Now, immigrants from Latin America make up the only growing demographic in the City of Detroit, and have created one of the densest, most vibrant districts in the city. Detroit is not a city that is kind to the lazy, the selfish, or those who feel entitled. It is a city for the entrepreneurial, the creative, the hardworking, the determined. If you are adventurous, engaged and committed, there is a community in Detroit that will embrace you, make you one of their own and give you a say, whether you are an artist, an activist, a farmer, an inventor, or an entrepreneur.

Read this collection of quotes and thoughts on choosing Detroit here.

Latino businesses flourishing in Soutwest Detroit, on All Things Considered

Southwest Detroit is arguably the city's strongest neighborhood. The rundown of Detroit's stat sheet may not be exactly sterling, but if you look into Southwest, and Mexicantown, you'll find flourishing small businesses.

Excerpt from NPR:

With a stratospheric unemployment rate and major job loss throughout Detroit, it seems there's no room for small businesses to thrive.

But despite the city's severe economic problems, it appears its Hispanic business community is flourishing.

Detroit's Latino population has more than doubled in the past 10 years. Mexicans came in droves during the 1990s and continue to trickle in. There are roughly 400,000 Latinos in Michigan; half of them live in Detroit. Many work in construction, landscaping and the service industry. But hundreds have opened food-related businesses.

Listen to the broadcast here.

Invitation to celebrate the Gateway Mexicantown Pedestrian Bridge Plaza grand opening

After years of waiting, the Mexicantown Pedestrian Bridge Plaza is opening for business. On May 5, Cinco de Mayo, the ribbon cutting ceremony will talk place, along with the community art unveiling. The Cinco de Mayo festival beings at 1 p.m. and the ribbon cutting of the plaza will be held at 2 p.m. The event will be held at 21st Street and Bagley.

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.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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 finds 50 fun things to do under $50

Explore Hamtramck and Mexican town, grab a play at Planet Ant, go for a drink at Enoteca, check out the DIA, the Detroit Historical Museum, and D'Mongo's Speakeasy. These are just a few of the things that The Detroit News came up with to do under 50 bucks.


Having a good time doesn't mean you have to break your piggy bank. There are various inexpensive ways for families, couples and singles to find fun. Take some of the guesswork out of finding a good time on a budget with our list of 50 value-conscious activities that will take you from the museum to a hipster hotspot -- all for less than $50.

See the entire list here.

American Table goes on a food tour, comes to Detroit

Detroit is a music town, a sports town, a car town, and, don't forget, a food town, too. American Table is coming here on a food tour to show why. They'll be here June 26-28, visiting eateries from Hamtramck to the River, from Eastern Market to Ann Arbor. So, please wear you fat pants.


The food favored by Michiganders is an amalgam of global dishes, imported to the Motor City by generations of immigrants in search of steady work. On this tour, which begins at the plant that produced the first Model T's, we'll examine the contents of the lunch pails carried by the men and women who built our nation's auto industry. Highlights of this tour include intimate group baking lessons at the city's top ethnic pastry shops, a private tour of the nation's leading pistachio factory hosted by Detroit Tigers centerfielder Curtis Granderson and a five-course feast prepared by Zingerman's Roadhouse chef and James Beard nominee Alex Young to celebrate the Southerners who heeded Ford's call to come north.

Get more information and to register go here.

The Toronto Star highlights the magic of the Motor City

The Toronto Star's travel section takes a trip to Detroit, displaying that, though the city isn't perfect, it's still beautiful and inspiring and chock full of character. character.


This summer, Detroit is beefing up its auto-themed events to celebrate both the 100th anniversary of the founding of General Motors and the 100th anniversary of Henry Ford selling his first Model T.

There's "Detroit Rock City," thanks to bands like The Von Bondies and The White Stripes, and Motown for a playlist stocked with Marvin Gaye, the Jackson Five, Stevie Wonder and The Supremes.

It seems like every time Detroit has taken a hit, it surges impossibly back, and this cycle lends itself to colourful retelling by a population that is both gregarious and prideful.

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.


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.


"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.


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.

AP highlights Southwest's growth, Latino flavor

The national AP has taken note of Southwest Detroit's growth, and discusses the effects of Latino immigration to the area.


More than $200 million has been invested in southwest Detroit in the past 15 years, which has attracted retail and new homes, including an $11 million condo development.

"It's one of the few places in the city where you are seeing a lot of private investment," said Olga Savic, of the Detroit Economic Growth Corp., the city's public/private development arm. "West Vernor Avenue was once primarily vacant. Now, it's 90 percent full."\

Read the entire article here.

Detroit ranks in fifth in nation in exports

The auto industry has contributed to a positive ranking for Detroit: it is the fifth-ranking export city in the United States, demonstrating its importance to the nation's economy.


Metro Detroit exported $43.3-billion worth of goods in 2006, up from $40.3 billion in 2005. During 2006, the city ranked behind only New York, Houston, Los Angeles and Seattle in the value of its exports.

"These new data underscore Detroit's important role in the global marketplace and the positive contribution trade and exports have on Detroit's economy," said Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Riverfront Conservancy looks west, acquires Freep plant

Great news for the West Riverfront vision: the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy has purchased the 26-acre site of the former Free Press printing plant, a significant piece of property in their goal to extend the RiverWalk to the Ambassador Bridge.


The asking price on the parcel was $20 million, and [Grubb & Ellis' Geoff] Hill said the sale was less than that. Gannett will be considering a portion of the sale as a donation to the conservancy, he said. He would not disclose the sale price.

Other parties were interested in the property, he said, but the conservancy sale will have a positive impact.

“This was a win-win,” he said. “It helps the downtown, and it was a good deal for the partnership.”

"We were very pleased that this came together," said Dave Hunke, CEO of the Detroit Media Partnership. "There were other opportunities, but this is exactly what we wanted to have happen."

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.

NY Times examines plans to add Detroit-Windsor span

The New York Times looks at both proposals to add an additional border crossing between Windsor and Detroit -- one public and one private.


More than a mile of teal-painted steel rises over the Detroit River, just another bridge really but for the thousands of trucks and millions of dollars in goods that rumble across it each day between the United States and Canada.

In fact, this ordinary four-lane bridge is the busiest commercial border crossing in North America, carrying one-third of all road trade — or more than $122 billion in goods a year — between the two countries.

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.


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.


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.

Ste. Anne's to hold series of heritage novenas

Each July, Ste. Anne de Detroit Church and Shrine holds a Novena that celebrates Detroit's ethnic diversity. The Novena begins on July 17th and goes through July 26th.

The schedule is as follows:

July 17: Ukrainian/Croatian (7 pm)
July 18: Chaldean (7 pm)
July 19: Latino (7 pm)
July 20: African American (7 pm)
July 21: French/Ste. Anne Alumni (7 pm)
July 22: Italian (12 noon)
July 23: Irish (7 pm)
July 24: Healing Mass and Sacrament of the Sick
July 25: Polish (7 pm)
July 26: Feast Day of SS. Anne and Joachim (7 pm)

St. Anne's Church is located at 1000 St. Anne Street and the parish can be reached at 313-496-1701.

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.


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.

Mercado boosts entrepreneurship in SW Detroit

The Mexicantown Welcome Center and Mercado opened its doors on May 5 as a small business incubator for Southwest Detroit.


María Elena Rodríguez, president of the Mexicantown Community Development Corp, calls the construction of new businesses a re-awakening of the community.

"Despite the (local) economy we keep on growing," Rodríguez said. "There's such a demand for retail space that people are fighting for land."

Indeed, neighborhood groups have cataloged tremendous growth: There were 1,029 businesses in the three ZIP codes that make up Southwest Detroit in 2004. In 2006, it climbed to 1,719.

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.


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.


"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.

Proposed border crossing authority would seek to expand trade, logistics

State Representative Steve Tobocman has introduced legislation that he believes will grow the local economy in the realms of trade and logistics and will protect residents from negative impacts associated with hosting a border crossing.


Tobocman believes trade is "the untold story of Michigan's economy. The Detroit River International Crossing study showed that one in four Michigan jobs are directly or indirectly related to international commerce. We've been oblivious to the potential that exists."

Tobocman has done extensive research on Michigan's position in global trade. He has discovered that the state trades twice as much with Canada ($160 billion per year) as does the entire United States with Japan and that Michigan is Mexico's third-largest trading partner, after California and Texas. He says, "We're doing a lot of trade, but we don't have a regional or state-wide strategy to build on that. We need a strategy to grow these businesses directly related to this trade."

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.


"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.


"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.


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.


“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.

Hubbard Farms rebuilds in spite of crime uptick

Hubbard Farms residents love their historic homes, the neighborhood's diversity and their tight-knit relationships, which is why most have chosen to stay despite a recent crime increase.


Most neighbors believe the good of the neighborhood outweighs the bad. But it's a balance they measure daily.

Where else, Deb Sumner wants to know, could she hear Spanish as much as English, find friendships with mixed-race and gay couples, filmmakers, musicians and politicians, and walk to a Mexican bakery for too many fresh pumpkin empanadas?

Truth be told, Hubbard Farms residents sort of relish their reputation as edgy city-dwellers. Emblems of suburbia are often noted disparagingly: vinyl siding (should be abolished), North Face jacket (the suburban uniform).

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.


“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.

Riverfront Conservancy secures 22 acres for West Riverfront plans

The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy has purchased 22 acres of land key to their plans for the West Riverfront from the Detroit Free Press.


[US Senator Carl] Levin secured $29 million in federal money for land acquisition, RiverWalk construction and other spending on the west riverfront, by attaching an add-on to a transportation bill in 2005.

"This is a fabulous development for the city," Levin said Tuesday of the newspaper land sale. "Our riverfront, which has been underdeveloped for 50 or 100 years, is now blossoming. Soon people and families are going to be able to walk it and fish it and have a place to congregate."

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.


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.


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.

Restaurant and bar development marches on despite some recent closings

Although the recent closures of Oslo and Currents have some downtown-watchers worried, there are plenty of other bar and restaurant developments underway - including Asian Village, Liquid Lounge in Brush Park and Gadjo Dilo in Corktown.


Even as the city overall lost 10,000 people last year, the core of Detroit, which includes the central business district, Midtown, Corktown and southwest Detroit, gained population.

The average household incomes of new residents in downtown Detroit is $59,300, which is 33 percent higher than an estimate based on 2000 Census data, according to a recent University of Michigan study.

Read the entire article 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.


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.

Immigration an economic boost to Southwest Detroit

Desite an overall crack-down on illegal immigration around the country, it is the influx of an estimated 20,000 Mexicans to Southwest Detroit that has fueled its revitalization. The development of a Mexicantown Welcome Center and Mercado will celebrate that - right at the border.

"The revitalization of Mexicantown is big in the revitalization of the city of Detroit because of our location as the border and that image and because we're a restaurant district that everybody knows about," [Mexicantown CDC vice-president of real estate and development Margaret] Garry said. "We really do symbolize the resurgence of what's going on across the city."

Read the entire article 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.


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.

Southwest Detroit's Lithuanian Hall to reopen after $2 million renovation

The Lithuanian Hall on W. Vernor will reopen Thursday after a $2 million renovation project. Details about the project are available here.

Excerpt from article:

The historic Lithuanian Hall in southwest Detroit, where for more than six decades the community celebrated milestone events and held concerts, social gatherings and children's activities, has been restored and is re-opening to the public after sitting shuttered and abandoned for 15 years.

Click here for the full story.

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.

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.

Hollywood to revisit Michigan Central Station for 'Transformers' movie

Director Michael Bay used Michigan Central Station as a setting for his action/sci fi flick "The Island." The big-budget director is planning his return to the site for a scene in the upcoming live-action big-screen film "The Transformers."

Excerpt from article:

His [Bay's] experience his last time around using Detroit as a location spot was so positive, he said he had to come back, according to his producer, Ian Bryce. Apparently, Detroit really knows how to roll out the red carpet for movie crews with cooperation from the city, the police department and a huge pool of talent, Detroit has become the come-to place for Hollywood.

Click here for more.

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.

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.

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.

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

Construction progressing on International Welcome Center and Mercado

Excerpts from the article:

In the shadow of the Ambassador Bridge, construction crews are humming, making into reality a 30-year-old community dream for an international welcome center and marketplace to anchor the booming neighborhoods of southwest Detroit.

After three decades of talk, 10 years of development and almost a year of construction, concrete and steel beams are finally up for the $18-million, 45,000-square-foot Mexicantown International Welcome Center and Mercado.

The long-awaited project that will feature a public plaza and mercado -- or marketplace -- with three restaurants and vendors selling Latino-influenced products and wares, is expected to be completed by August and open to the public by November. The state will run the welcome center, which will be housed in a separate building across the street and offer a rest stop and tourist information for motorists getting on and off the bridge.

The corporation is scouting for tenants for both buildings, the welcome center and mercado. The center will accommodate five retailers on the first floor and office space for up to 10 businesses on the second floor, while the mercado will serve as an incubator project that will house not just the restaurants, but also up to 18 start-up businesses.

Rodriguez said she has received calls from Mexican restaurant owners from as far away as North Carolina who are interested in leasing space in the mercado.

To read more click here

Detroit’s sidewalks are seeing increased traffic

Excerpts from the story:

For the past 50 years or so this city hasn't just been defined by building cars, it has been defined by driving them. They have shaped its exteriors, its interiors, and its psyche.

But a drive-by city may not make sense either. Detroit, or at least its leadership, is starting to rethink the city's car-happy habitat and history. The city center has started to see some life again. Businesses, like IT giant Compuware, have moved downtown. There are new parks. The Tigers baseball team decided to stay and build a new stadium rather than move out in 2000. The Lions football team actually moved from the suburbs back downtown in 2002. The city scored Major League Baseball's All Star game last summer and the Superbowl in February. It's almost enough to make the people here think about setting foot on sidewalks again - almost. Standing in the way? A whole lot of automobiles.

The city isn't just trying to remake itself, it's trying to change its ethos, which is welded to the car.

With numbers aside, there are tangible signs of change here in the Motor City, indications that "walk" is less a four-letter word than it once was.

A small strip of Woodward Avenue, Detroit's main drag, has seen new office buildings go up. Those buildings have drawn people and things like bookstores, and, yes, even Starbucks - the gauge of an urban pulse. Loft apartments are going into old warehouse space and some young people are moving in. The city's development of a park and skating rink, Campus Martius, has drawn some foot traffic. There are even a few more souls on the chronically under-peopled People Mover.

To read more, click here

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.

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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