Carhartt Opening A Retail Shop In Midtown

Dearborn-based Carhartt plans to lease a three-story building at 5800 Cass Ave. in Detroit’s Midtown area.
(Photo: Rendering from Carhartt) 

Tom Walsh of the Detroit Free Press reports Dearborn-based Carhartt will announce plans today to lease a three-story building at 5800 Cass Ave. in Detroit's Midtown area, just south of the I-94 freeway, which will house the flagship retail store and an attached parking garage with 75 spaces..

Plans call for the store to open in late May or early June.

Carhartt, the 126-year-old Michigan maker of rugged jeans, jackets and work apparel , has more than a dozen retail stores worldwide.


Forget Silicon Valley: 7 Better Cities for Startups
Silicon Valley is too expensive and too competitive. Consider locating your start-up in one of these great alternatives.

Maybe it's just me, but I've always found Silicon Valley (with the exception of San Francisco) to be rather depressing. Culturally, it reminds me of the boring parts of Los Angeles: dull offices, tract homes, strip malls, chain restaurants and gas stations. Yuck.

Despite the area's stultifying blandness, housing and office space alike have astronomical costs and there's a demand for talented labor that far outstrips the pool of available and educated workers.

"The Valley is victim of its own success, an expensive, crowded, hyper-competitive place that no longer works for all entrepreneurs," says Tim Sprinkle, author of the new book Screw the Valley: A Coast-to-Coast Tour of America's New Tech Startup Culture.

In his book, Sprinkle explains how to get your start-up started in seven cities where there's plenty of entrepreneurial action, lots of educated workers and where living is little bit less (organic) white bread. Here's some highlights:

4. Detroit

Why Here: Entrepreneurs who grew up in the area and consider it home are committed to a renaissance of the city and see technology startups as a big part of the solution.

What's Hot: Detroit homeboy Dan Gilbert (chairman and founder of Rock Ventures and Quicken Loans) is putting his money where his heart is.

Bonus Feature: Contagious optimism and the feeling of being part of something bigger than just starting a company.

Click HERE for the full article! 


My January travel trail so far:
Fri., Jan. 2: New York to Pittsburgh, fly.
Sun, Jan 4: Pittsburgh to New York, fly.Tue, Jan 6: New York to Las Vegas, fly.Wed, Jan 7: Las Vegas to New York, fly (redeye).Thu, Jan 8: New York to Providence, train. Car to Foxboro.Sat, Jan 10: Car from Foxboro to Providence. Providence to New York, train.Tue, Jan 13: New York to New Orleans, fly.Wed, Jan 14: New Orleans to New York, fly.Fri, Jan 16: New York to Detroit; Detroit to Seattle, fly.Today: Scheduled for Seattle to Detroit; Detroit to New York, fly (redeye).
In order, I covered Ravens-Steelers, appeared at Time Inc. event at the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas, covered Ravens-Patriots, traveled to Louisiana for an NBC Super Bowl pregame show story, and covered the NFC title game in Seattle.
A note about the Detroit airport: It might have become my favorite one. It sounds strange, the airport in Detroit being the best in the country, but it just might be. Good places to eat, very good coffee spots (illy, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf), good and fast tram system, clean and bright, big TVs with CNN, and the best airport hotel in the country. By far. The Westin Detroit Airport, inside the terminal, is magnificently soundproof. And the best quality of a hotel that’s right off the runways must be that you can’t hear takeoffs and landings.


h. Coffeenerdness: Thanks to the ladies at the illy coffee shop inside Detroit’s airport for being prompt, cheerful and making one heck of a triple latte, the barista asking me after my first sip: “Is it okay?” No it’s not okay. It’s fantastic. And that’s rare in the hurry-up-and-take-what-we-give-you service industry in American airports.

Click HERE for the full article!
Jason Sudeikis #1

Comedy Central is heading to Motor City with a pilot order to Detroiters, a comedy executive produced by Saturday Night Live alum Jason Sudeikis and SNL honcho Lorne Michaels’ Broadway Video.

Detroiters stars cast member-turned-SNL writer Tim Robinson and Sam Richardson (Veep), Detroit natives who performed together at Chicago’s Second City. The project revolves around Sam (Richardson) and Tim (Robinson), two local ad men who make low-budget commercials in Detroit.

Click HERE for the full article!

The Atlantic: Detroit In The 1940's (Photos)

Photo: AP

Detroit in the 1940s

The early part of the 20th century saw the city of Detroit, Michigan, rise to prominence on the huge growth of the auto industry and related manufacturers. The 1940s were boom years of development, but the decade was full of upheaval and change, as factories re-tooled to build war machines, and women started taking on men's roles in the workplace, as men shipped overseas to fight in World War II. The need for workers brought an influx of African-Americans to Detroit, who met stiff resistance from whites who refused to welcome them into their neighborhoods or work beside them on an assembly line. A race riot took place over three days in 1943, leaving 34 dead and hundreds injured. After World War II ended, the demand for workers dried up, and Detroit started plotting its postwar course, an era of big automobiles and bigger highways to accommodate them.

 Photo: Library of Congress

Thirteen magicians gather around a chair on which are a portrait of Houdini, two candles, a book, and handcuffs, for a midnight seance on Halloween, 1946, in Detroit, Michigan.

Looking ahead to the possibility that gas masks may some day be a necessary part of their ensemble, these University of Detroit students were trying out masks in a practice drill on the campus on June 23, 1942. Hidden behind the masks, which they soon learned to wear with a minimum of discomfort, are, from left: Mary Turner, Helen Williams, Evelyn Buss and Joan Joliet.

Click HERE for the full article! 

Michael Keaton And J.K. Simmons Preview Their Trip To ‘Kong: Skull Island’
Kong collides with Detroit in the new movie, according to Simmons.

Whether it’s called “King Kong,” “Skull Island,” or even “King Kong and the Skull Island Family Band,” the title doesn’t change the fact that Golden Globe winners J.K. Simmons and Michael Keaton have a hot date with the legendary ape.

Simmons and Keaton, along with “Avengers” villain Tom Hiddleston, are the stars of Legendary’s upcoming King Kong movie, currently going by the name “Kong: Skull Island.” For his part, Simmons isn’t still entirely sure what to call it.

“It’ll have something about King Kong and/or Skull Island in the title,” he told MTV on the Golden Globes red carpet, not long before winning the Best Supporting Actor trophy for his work in “Whiplash.”

But even if he’s not certain about the title, Simmons is sure about the film’s location: Detroit, Michigan. According to the actor, “Skull Island” takes place, at least partly, in Detroit in 1971.

“It’s where I grew up,” he said, “and we’re going to shoot in Detroit during baseball season, so I’ll get to go to Tigers games. There’s a lot to like about [making] this movie.”

Click HERE for the full article! 

Miracle-Gro will continue its three-year tradition as the Official Rose and Flower Care Company of the Tournament of Roses® with a floral float entry designed to promote urban revitalization. Inspired by its GRO1000 mission to build 1,000 new community gardens and green spaces by 2018, the company’s 150th anniversary, the float will feature a refurbished green space, a robust community vegetable garden with a produce stand and a natural pollinator garden all within a busy urban cityscape. 

“Miracle-Gro’s partnership with The Tournament of Roses is a perfect fit and we are very excited to head to Pasadena for one of the biggest events of the year,” said John Sass, Vice President Miracle-Gro. “This year’s float showcases the different areas of everyday life that are positively influenced through gardening. We want America to be inspired to create their own gardens and green spaces anywhere, even if they are found in the most unexpected places like a city.” 

Joining Miracle-Gro in Pasadena, Calif. is TV personality Ty Pennington who will be onsite to help decorate the float alongside more than 500 volunteers. Plus, Miracle-Gro and GRO1000 have invited representatives from four communities to ride the float as they campaign for America’s votes and a chance to win a $40,000 grant for urban revitalization in their hometown. 

Meet the GRO1000 People’s Choice Community Garden Grant Award Finalists:

This year, GRO1000 has awarded 132 garden grants and installed six community gardens across the country. Plus, Miracle-Gro has donated more than 9,000 Miracle-Gro products and provided more than 1,00 volunteer hours by its associates and employees. Now it will award its largest grant of the year – $40,000 to one deserving community. Go to to learn more about each community and vote for your favorite garden space project:

New York City, N.Y.
Bryant Hill Community Garden’s Perennial Pollinator Garden – over half the population in the Hunts Point community lives below the poverty line and residents have limited access to outdoor green space. This garden wil generate revenue through honey production and provide job training for area youth. To learn more, visit

Detroit, Mich.
Michigan Urban Farming Initiative’s Children’s Sensory Garden – faced with the challenges of vacant land, blighted property, food insecurity and nutritional illiteracy, this garden will provide a hands-on, outdoor classroom for local youth to experience nature firsthand. To learn more, visit

Orlando, Fla.
Hebni Nutrition’s Fresh Stop Bus – to fight against poor nutrition and increased health problems for residents, the Fresh Stop Bus will deliver healthy produce to communities deemed as “food deserts” with limited access to fresh, healthy foods, using a repurposed city bus as a mobile farmer’s market. To learn more, visit

Oakland, Calif.
Lowell Park Family Market Farm – in an area challenged with limited access to healthy produce and poor health among its residents, this garden would engage local youth and adults in educational programs and job training, while providing fresh produce to area residents at an affordable cost. To learn more, visit


Over the last 60 years or so, Detroit’s reputation has slowly (and, occasionally, not-so-slowly) deteriorated. Between 2000 and 2010, the city’s population fell by 25%, bumping it from America’s 10th largest city to the 18th. At the height of the latest recession, unemployment in the city peaked at 18.2% in July of 2009. When the city declared the largest municipal bankruptcy case in U.S. history on July 18th, 2013, it looked like Detroit was done.

Detroit’s motto, however, is “We hope for better things, it shall rise from the ashes.” And rise the city did. The city successfully left municipal bankruptcy at midnight of December 11th, 2014, and the city’s emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, ceremonially resigned, signaling an ideological end to the city’s financial emergency. Detroit’s story has caught the attention of the nation, along with the interest of both foreign and domestic investors.

We’ll take a look at what Detroit’s numbers really say.Here are 5 interesting statistics that show positive future growth for the city that only recently seemed to hit rock bottom:


Out of the 30 cities that lost the most residents from 2000 to 2010, Detroit had the second biggest rebound.

From 2000 to 2010, Detroit lost 161,000 residents, or 25% of its population. That loss represents the biggest exodus during that time of any city, except for New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. However, from 2010 to 2014, the population of Rock City rebounded, and added 3,600 residents. The difference between these two rates—losing 16,100 a year versus gaining 1,200 a year—represents the second biggest turnaround after New Orleans. While Detroit still has a long way to go to recuperate the population it lost, positive growth—and hope—begins to return.


50.1% of the population is younger than 35. That’s more young people than 25% of the cities in the top 20 metros.

Detroit, with a median age of 34.9, is poised to get younger in the coming years as novice entrepreneurs look to start businesses with good incentives and low rent. These young people look to capitalize on such incentives as low cost of living, relatively low rent, and some serious business perks to start companies. The city also provides a less crowded startup space than California’s Silicon Valley or New York City, so innovation can go farther.

Click HERE for the full article!

The Nickel Tour: Though 2015 promises much change for cities around the world, these six are set to see the most profound transformations.

We expect 2015 to bring a lot of great things for cities and the people that live in them.

But there are some metropolitan areas that stand out among the rest. Here are the areas we’re looking forward to watching in 2015.

Detroit, Michigan

Yes, Detroit. It’d be accurate to say we like underdogs. But we have good reasons.

Sure, the city spent 16 months in bankruptcy, a relatively short stint given the size of Detroit, and the scope of their financial woes (especially relative to other cities that have faced bankruptcy in recent years).

But it recently put a plan in motion to clear approximately three quarters of the city’s overall debt. It’s reviving its arts scene, too, not only by taking its museum out of city control and putting it into a charitable trust, but also by turning empty alleyways into galleries and live performance spaces.

The “motor city” is also becoming a hub for, of all things, bicycle manufacturing, an industry that, believe it or not, is largely outsourced to other countries. Seven such companies have popped up in Detroit in the past year, Forbes reports. One of them hopes to make 50,000 bikes a year alone.

Click HERE to read the full list! 

I first photographed Detroit from the air during the Reagan-Carter campaign 34 years ago. Housing abandonment was well underway. The city had lost tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs as the auto industry contracted and moved parts of its operations out of Detroit. “White flight” from the city, exacerbated by race riots in 1967, also contributed to severe depopulation of the area. Meanwhile, the construction of highways allowed people to live farther away and commute to work, perpetuating the exodus to the suburbs. When I photographed the city in 2004, Detroit was still in decline. I could see from a plane even more abandoned and burned-out buildings, rubble and foundations poking out above the ground. The situation only worsened with the 2008 recession.

From the air today, the decline appears to be slowing. The spaces once covered in rubble are cleared and mowed. Open green spaces, along with new community gardens and orchards, look almost bucolic against the downtown skyline. From my plane, I sense the potential for resurgence in these areas. I can see how neighborhoods could become more walkable and support mixed-use development, with new shops, public transit and nearby parks and schools. However, this resurgence relies on a city that is stumbling out of bankruptcy. It also depends on an agency with the authority to consolidate abandoned lots for development and open spaces.

I think that the inner ring of Detroit will win out in the long run, as cities are and will continue to be the greenest places to live on a per-capita basis. This is made only more striking when I fly over the suburbs and see the inefficiency of single-family homes. They are dependent on cars, for one thing, and are connected by miles of paved roads to single-use zones of office and retail developments. These areas will not fare well, if we begin to mitigate climate change through measures like a carbon tax.

Detroit’s rebound is just a matter of time. Someday, I believe, it will be comparable to the once rundown sections of New York, Boston, Minneapolis and San Francisco, cities that are now thriving.

Click HERE for the full article! 
The Eco-Totem bike counter in Portland

Because the M1 streetcar tracks will eventually claim the outermost lanes of Woodward Avenue, an effort is underway to make parallel-running Cass Avenue the sexier street for cyclists. 

Remember when MDOT quietly budgeted $1M for non-motorized "Cass Avenue Improvements" last year? It looks like that cash will come to life in 2015. Bike lanes, public bike repair stations, and even cyclist-counting robots are all on the agenda.

Click HERE for the detailed list of improvements!