Model D Speaker Series

Model D is hosting a monthly morning speaker series at the Detroit Yacht Club that will let you hear from the people who are leading the city's transformation, and driving investment in up-and-coming areas. The DYC, Michigan State Housing Development Authority, and LaSalle Bank are co-sponsoring the series.

The first installment — Creating Neighborhood Tipping Points — will be Friday, Oct. 6 at the Detroit Yacht Club on Belle Isle (click here for a map and directions).

The event will feature two neighborhoods on the comeback — Woodbridge and Corktown — and two developers whose investments and vision have made these areas into destinations. The speakers are:

• Phillip Cooley: He is one of the partners behind one of the city's hottest new restaurants, Slow's Bar BQ in Corktown. He turned a vacant storefront into an exciting new eastery, and it's become a draw for the neighborhood. The success of Slow's has helped spawn more interest in redeveloping Michigan Avenue. Cooley is also a general contractor with Corktown-based O'Connor Real Estate and Development, and is working on several rehabbed storefronts in Corktown, as well as a loft project in Eastern Market. Cooley also has a knack for inspired building design and finishes, and has started a build/design firm, Los Pistoleros.

• Ric Geyer: A consultant by trade, he bought a run-down four-story building on the edge of the historic Woodbridge neighborhood in 2000 and started filling it up with eager young artists. His arts incubator, 4731 Gallery, earned a Cool Cities designation from the state. It houses dozens of artists, filmmakers, photographers and other creative industrialists in its studios. Geyer also helped attract another collective of artists, 555 Gallery, from Ypsilanti to Detroit, and moved them into another of his buildings across the street. Geyer's passion and vision have helped rebuild the creative fabric of the neighborhood.

The event is free. Registration starts at 8 a.m., the speakers start at 8:30 a.m., and the program will last about an hour. Seating is limited, and an RSVP is required.

Please join us at the next in the series on Nov 3.

Phil Cooley and Slow's BBQ Photos Copyright Dave Krieger
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