REO Speedwagon to Pack the Riverfront This Friday!

It seems like REO Speedwagon has been a hit machine since the start. Songs like Can’t Fight this Feeling, Keep on Loving You and Ridin’ the Storm Out have won fans from one end of this country to the other – and kept the band on the road and in the studio since they formed in 1967.

Call it a Midwest work ethic but vocalist Kevin Cronin wouldn’t have it any other way. “We're still doing it and still going strong,” he said. Cronin, who plays guitar and keyboards, will be accompanied on stage by bandmates Bruce Hall (bass), Neal Doughty (keyboards), Dave Amato (lead guitar) and Bryan Hitt (drums) when REO Speedwagon returns to Detroit July 22 to perform on the GM Riverfront stage for the third installment of the 2011 Chevy Rockin’ on the Riverfront concert series. The shows are presented in partnership with Detroit’s Classic Rock Station 94.7 WCSX-FM.

Bill Ellingboe will open the concert at 7:30 p.m., and REO Speedwagon will take the stage at 9 p.m.

Rockin’ on the Riverfront features classic rock headliners on select Fridays during the summer making Riverfront Plaza a great destination for food, fun and free concerts. Upcoming shows include: Grand Funk Railroad with opener The Pazman’s Super Session on July 29; Leon Russell and Mitch Ryder Aug. 5 and Bachman-Turner with opener The Eddie Leighton Project with Steve Kostan on Aug. 12.

Admission is free and no advance tickets are necessary. Viewing space will be on a first-come, first-served basis. In addition, boaters on the Detroit River are invited to anchor near the riverfront and enjoy the view of the stage from the water.

Andiamo Detroit Riverfront will provide refreshment and food concessions at several locations on the plaza. Outside food, beverages or coolers will not be permitted. Convenient parking is available for $5 per vehicle at the GM surface lot at the intersection of St. Antoine and Atwater, adjacent to the GM Renaissance Center.

The U.S. News Media & World Report’s ’2011-12 Best Hospitals’ rankings have been released and give high honors to several metro-Detroit hospitals.

The Detroit Medical Center is recognized with high honors within the nationally and regionally ranked hospitals in the U.S.

The latest rankings showcase 720 hospitals out of about 5,000 hospitals nationwide. Each is ranked among the country’s top hospitals in at least one medical specialty and/or ranked among the best hospitals in its metro area.

DMC hospitals earn high honors and rank in 20 specialties in the latest U.S. News Media & World Report’s Best Hospitals Rankings.

DMC Harper University Hospital stands out with national recognition for 7th consecutive year.

“We are proud to be recognized again by the U.S. News Media and World Report. Their rankings are a testament to the hard work and dedication of our physicians and clinical staff and exemplifies the depth of quality and specialty care delivered every day at Harper University and Hutzel Women’s Hospital,” states Thomas Malone, M.D., President, DMC Harper University Hospital.

DMC Children’s Hospital of Michigan garnered national U.S. News rankings in nine pediatric specialties just a few months ago.

Henry Ford Hospital has been ranked in four medical specialties:

    Ear, Nose & Throat,
    Neurology &
    Neurosurgery Urology

Click HERE for the full list!

The Detroit Historical Society will launch its Past>Forward campaign at a media event on July 20. Society representatives will provide details of the campaign, along with information on the changes taking place at the Detroit Historical Museum and Dossin Great Lakes Museum.

Several Detroit legends will be on hand to preserve their handprints and signatures in cement to establish the city’s first Detroit Legends Plaza, an outdoor tribute to some of Detroit’s top athletes, broadcasters, writers, entertainers and more.

Detroit legends Al Kaline, Dick Purtan, Elmore Leonard, Carmen Harlan and Mayor Dave Bing will preserve their handprints and signatures in cement during the news conference.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting the Motor City has the 9th largest number of millionaires. WSJ states "the comeback of the auto industry and the number of tax benefits for high tech firms are two reasons for the numbers."

Number 9: Detroit 
  • No. millionaires: 92,100
  • Change in millionaires: 3.4%
  • Change in home value: -13.3%
  • Fortune 500 HQ: Ford, GM
  • Unemployment rate: 11.6%

It is a surprise that Detroit has a single millionaire, let alone over 90,000. Both the car industry and the large number of companies that supported it with parts, technology and components like tires all suffered as sales fell. GM and Chrysler went into bankruptcy. But the industry has begun an unexpected renaissance. GM and Ford are routinely the top two manufacturers of cars sold in the U.S. Each has cut costs enough to insure profitability. Michigan has offered tax incentives to bring new industries to the Detroit area, helping it become a modest center for small tech firms.

Read the full article HERE
Photo from AP
Associated Press

A growing number of high-profile people are trying to capitalize on the Motor City’s rising reputation for being cool by offering Detroit-themed fashion nationwide and internationally.

Denise Ilitch is the latest Detroit-area designer to embrace the Made in Michigan theme, preparing to launch more jewelry and apparel next month from her Birmingham-based Denise Ilitch Designs.

And Joe Faris of "Project Runway" cable television fame plans to bring his own line of "industrial couture" clothing to stores Aug. 1, joining Detroit-area musician Kid Rock in the ranks of pro-Detroit marketers.

Though Detroit has made international news with its economic, political and pro football woes, the fashion resurgence shows "no place is just its headlines," said Birmingham-based brand consultant Mark Lantz.

"This new surge in Detroit spirit — particularly as it reaches beyond the hometown audience — is a way of putting the other side of the story out there," he said.

"When you buy a new Mac or iPad or iPod or whatever," Lantz said, "somewhere on the packaging when you first open it is the same five word sentence: ’Designed by Apple in California.’ Not just ’Designed by Apple,’ but ’Designed by Apple in California.’ That’s the kind of attitude we need more of in Detroit."

Detroit is home to Ilitch, whose family owns Little Caesars Pizza, MotorCity Casino Hotel as well as the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Tigers. Denise Ilitch Designs sells $25 graffiti-splashed Detroit logo T-shirts alongside $1,150 drusy and mother of pearl sterling silver bracelets — both designed by Ilitch herself — in the front of the office where she co-publishes Ambassador magazine.

DID has gained attention from the Detroit area’s fashion-forward since launching in 2005, but the company is trying to grow nationally, reaching out to Detroit expatriates in cities from New York to Los Angeles to market the MotorCity-themed clothing line.

The company has focused on word-of-mouth marketing and is featured in fashion spreads in Ilitch’s Ambassador magazine.

But "there is always potential for an international market," she said. "With the growth of social media and the Internet, the world becomes much smaller."

Ilitch is expanding her line of clothing and jewelry next month with the arrival of Detroit-themed charms, including the Olde English Detroit Tigers "D” and the Red Wings’ octopus mascot. There also will be a collection of 20 scarves, ranging from a $35 gauze shawl to a $400 hand-beaded gold lam�© wrap.

One lesson Ilitch learned at Ambassador is that "positive news sells," she said. "It is incredibly fulfilling to feature our community in a positive way."

Click HERE for the rest of this article!
Photo: Flickr/Thomas Hawk

Last weekend, the New York Times featured a story in its Style section about the onslaught of hip, young urban pioneers streaming into downtown Detroit. These “creatives,” as they are being called, are taking advantage of low rents and the opportunity to recycle this abandoned, blank slate of an urban landscape into something new and exciting. There are restaurateurs and entrepreneurs of all stripes living alongside environmentalists and urban farmers. The city, according to the Times, seems like “a giant candy store for young college graduates wanting to be their own bosses.” One woman said that there’s a cool party just about every evening. The article pointed out that even though recent census figures show that Detroit’s overall population shrank by 25 percent in the last 10 years, downtown Detroit experienced a 59 percent increase in the number of college-educated residents under the age of 35.

No doubt this is partly a word-of-mouth, grass-roots “movement.” But behind the scene, millions of public, private and foundation dollars are greasing the wheels. Last April, Blueprint America profiled an effort called Live Midtown, an incentive program created to lure some of the 30,000 employees of midtown’s major anchor institutions (Wayne State University, Detroit Medical Center and Henry Ford Health System) to move from the suburbs back into the city. By the end of June, 178 people were reported to have taken advantage of deep discounts on rent ($2,500 the first year and $1,000 the second) or purchases ($20,000 toward the purchase of their primary residence). We also looked at an effort by the mayor’s office to use federal stimulus money to lure members of Detroit’s police force out of the ’burbs and back into town.

Click HERE to read the rest of this article!
Michigan Acting

The Michigan Film Office announced today that the feature film “Sparkle” has been approved for a film incentive from the state. The film, set in Detroit during the height of the Motown era, follows the journey of a family of musically-driven sisters as they perform their way up from neighborhood jazz joints to the packed house of the Fox Theatre.

Sparkle is expected to shoot in the metro Detroit region and will be directed by Salim Akil who directed the feature film Jumping the Broom and the television series The Game. Debra Martin Chase, TD Jakes and Salim and Mara Akil will produce the film.

“The music and atmosphere that was the heart and soul of Motown in the 1960s is as much a character in this film as the individuals portrayed throughout the story,” said Carrie Jones, director of the Michigan Film Office. “This is an incredible opportunity to highlight one of Detroit’s most significant cultural exports of the last century. The project has also put a strong emphasis on hiring a Michigan-based crew to shoot the film, making it an overall great fit for the film incentives.”

Sparkle was awarded an incentive of $3,104,455 on $7,410,216 of projected in-state expenditures. The project is expected to hire 266 Michigan workers with a full time equivalent of 44 jobs.

This is the 12th project approved under the new policy and guidelines issued by the Michigan Film Office. In 2011, 14 projects have been approved with $22,748,375 in incentives being awarded on $54,644,552 of approved production expenditures for the year. These projects are expected to create 1,678 Michigan hires with a full time equivalent of 355 jobs.

Casting Call Details:

At this time no casting information is available.Casting details and directions on how to apply will be provided as soon as they are available.
By Larry Lage
AP Sports Writer

Jalen Rose could live comfortably off the millions he made in the NBA and the money he makes now as an ESPN Analyst.

The former Michigan and NBA standout created a foundation in 2000 that has helped 40 students attend college with scholarships, giving back in a way that shows he's thankful for his good fortune.

Rose, though, is motivated to do much more.

He has lately dedicated a great deal of his time and resources to creating the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, an open-enrollment, tuition-free charter school in his hometown of Detroit.

"Instead of trying to help five kids go to college each year, now I'm trying to help 120," Rose said.

Rose said 120 students have been selected by lottery to be the first ninth-graders at the high school. He said he wants to raise $10 million by 2013 to develop a school for 480 students that will compete with the best private institutions in the state.

Rose raised some money Monday at a golf event and has also gotten financial commitments from people such as one of his mentors, Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas.

"I think what Jalen is doing is great, so I'm trying to help him get the project off the ground with some of my resources," Thomas said in a telephone interview Tuesday. "The more athletes can re-connect with their communities the better off we'll all be. Some of us do a lot, and some of us don't do enough."

Rose said he has been inspired by what Sacramento mayor and former NBA star Kevin Johnson and tennis Hall of Famer Andre Agassi have done with schools in Sacramento and Las Vegas along with a program for kids run by Hall of Famer George Gervin in San Antonio.

Students in Detroit have been looking for an alternative.

One of the nation's worst public school systems graduates about 60 percent of its students, leading to its enrollment dropping about 30 percent in four years. Parents have been sending their kids to public and private schools in the suburbs along with charters in and out of the city.

The 38-year-old Rose is the founder of the school and he'll also be a teacher of sorts, helping his students learn life lessons such as the one he experienced after pleading guilty to drunken driving earlier this year.

"Life is really not what necessarily happens to you, it's what you do about it," Rose said. "When you have failures, a measure of a person is how you respond. I 'm no different. Being a testimony means a lot more than talking about something that you've never been through. ... I can tell you it won't happen again."

The Associated Press
By Mike Householder

The Obama administration is launching a pilot program designed to spark economic growth in urban America by partnering federal officials with local decision-makers in six cities, the U.S Housing and Urban Development secretary announced Monday.

"Too often, the federal government has been part of the problem, rather than part of the solution," HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan said during a news event in Detroit at which he unveiled the Strong Cities, Strong Communities plan.

The idea, Donovan said, is to create what he called , which will have employees from several different federal agencies work directly with local officials in Detroit; Chester, Pa.; Fresno, Calif.; Memphis, Tenn.; Cleveland and New Orleans.

The teams will be asked to help the six cities with issues their mayors have identified as important, such as developing transportation infrastructure and improving job-training programs.

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, who was on hand for Donovan's announcement, said he's excited to receive a different kind of investment from the U.S. government -- human capital -- rather than money that in the past hasn't always been managed efficiently by city leaders.

"One of the things that's happened historically with Detroit is that we've gotten financial support and we've not managed the finances very, very well," Bing said. "When I came into office, there was money that had been allocated to us years and years ago."

Donovan made the announcement at a loft development near downtown.

Update: Yes, the new “Evil Dead” movie is really for real this time and Bloody Disgusting has dug up more news on the film, revealing that Fede Alvarez will be directing the film. Who? Well, he made the hyped robot invasion short “Panic Attack!” that nabbed him a deal with Sam Raimi‘s Ghost House Pictures back in 2009. Looks like his big moment has arrived. Check out the short film below.

Who doesn’t love “The Evil Dead?” The film that launched the careers of both Sam Raimi and Joel Coen (who was an assistant editor for his pal), it remains to this day a grueling, grimy video nasty of the best kind, and was followed by a superior sequel, “Evil Dead II: Dead By Dawn,” which remade the basic premise as if it was a Looney Tunes cartoon, and the enjoyable, if messy, “Army of Darkness.” It’s a franchise of the old-fashioned kind, where the central character (as embodied in the role of his career by Bruce Campbell) kept coming back because audiences demanded it, rather than because he sold toys.

It’s close to 20 years since Ash and his chainsaw last appeared (aside from in a handful of video games and comics), although rumors of a revival have been rife for years: an attempt was made to incorporate the character into the “Freddy vs. Jason” franchise, and Raimi and Campbell have constantly been hinting at a fourth film, although it seemed like the kind of “one day, we’ll get to it” answer that rarely materializes into an actual movie. Except, for once, it actually seems to be happening.

Dread Central reported last night that a fourth film is gearing up for production in Detroit, and that Raimi’s regular collaborator, editor Bob Murawski, who worked with Raimi on all three “Spider-Man” films and “Drag Me to Hell” before winning an Oscar for “The Hurt Locker,” is heading that way to work on the project. Furthermore, after saying a couple of months ago that a script was in existence, Bruce Campbell took to Twitter overnight to tell a fan, and we quote, “Believe in the remake, dawg! The project is real. In the works. Cool as hell. Scary as hell.”

Click HERE to read the rest of this article!

The Detroit Historical Society continues its popular film series every weekend this summer from Saturday, July 9 through Sunday, September 4 with popular films from the past covering a range of Detroit history.

Each screening begins at 1 pm in the Detroit Historical Museum’s Louise C. Booth Auditorium and is free with regular admission.

Admission to the Detroit Historical Museum, located at 5401 Woodward Ave., is $6 for adults, $4 for students and seniors, and free for children ages 4 and under. Parking in the museum’s lot is $4 at all times.

The films being screened include the following:
  • “The Hudson’s Building” – July 9-10 and August 6-7
  • “Detroit Mob Confidential” – July 16-17 and August 20-21
    “Regional Roots: The Birth and Evolution of Detroit and Its People” – July 23-24, August 13-14, and September 3-4
  • Producers’ cut of “Dom Polski: Dance Hall Days of Detroit’s Polonia” – July 30-31 and August 27-28

For more information, visit or call 313-833-1801.

The DDF is a week-long festival in Detroit, including signature events that showcase Detroit design and designers, through exhibitions, installations, design shows, round table discussions, studio tours, and virtual discussions.

Through the DDF, Detroit creative practitioners will connect to each other, connect to new markets and consumers, and connect to global audiences, engaging not only Detroit’s design community, but the larger world, as Detroit becomes a global center of creative innovation.

We are looking for involvement from the following:
  •     venues
  •     artists
  •     fashion designers
  •     interior designers
  •     event designers
  •     industrial designers
  •     furniture designers
  •     chefs
  •     volunteers
  •     ..... and more!

Meetings will take place at the Detroit Creative Corridor Center, located on the first floor of the  A. Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education.

The first Info Session is scheduled for Wednesday, July 13th, at 6pm. Come on out and meet some interesting people, have a great time, and find out more about getting involved with DDF. Be prepared to have some good creative fun!


Future Info Sessions to be announced soon!

Check us out:
On July 9th, 2011, Detroit, MI. will host the inaugural CRITERIUM DETROITCITY RACE EVENT. The start and finish line of the race will be in front of the Boll Family
YMCA on Broadway in Detroit.

Offering all of the drama and excitement of a NASCAR race paired with the Tour de France. A Criterium bicycle race is a closed circuit race course made on city streets, where cyclists hurtle around at speeds up to 40 MPH. It offers the opportunity to view the whole fast-paced and exciting race while standing a hand’s breath away from the competitors as they battle it out for first place.

A USACYCLING sanctioned bike race that hasn't been seen in Downtown Detroit in over 20 years.

CRITERIUM DETROIT CITY will feature several different race categories. 12 individual races will be held with categories ranging from youth, to beginners, to professionals, as well as a kids race and a fun Detroit themed relay race.

**We are proud to announce the addition of the Boll Family YMCA Kids Race to the CRITERIUM DETROIT CITY race! We can't wait to watch all the kids aged 4-9 battle it out as they take over the roads! The Tigers mascot PAWS will lead the kids as they race. This race demonstrates and supports the Y's three major initiatives of Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility as we work towards strengthening our community. In addition to having a day filled with high-speed bike races, a relay race and a children's race, there will be a marketplace showcasing Detroit's creative talent set up in the Opera House parking lot, Additionally, the course has a wide array of dining establishments on it, all of which have outdoor seating, a perfect place to grab a bite to eat and not miss any of the action.

Registration is available online at until Thursday July 7th at midnight. 
Day of registration is available at the event for an additional $10 late fee.

Race Begins: at 8:00am July 9th.

For more information and to register visit:
The 2011 Chevy Rockin’ on the Riverfront summer concert series is ready to rock the ‘D’ for the sixth year by setting Riverfront Plaza’s scenic stage with some of classic rock’s most unforgettable bands and the latest lineup of cool Chevy vehicles. The concert series kicks off July 8 and will make the spectacular GM Riverfront Plaza THE Friday night destination for food, fun and FREE concerts.

In partnership with Detroit’s Classic Rock Station 94.7 WCSX-FM, Rockin’ on the Riverfront will feature six sizzling Friday night shows from 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. July 8 through August 12.

“Rockin’ on The Riverfront has now become one of the premier events in downtown Detroit,” said Doug Podell, afternoon personality at WCSX. “The event continues to make a positive impact on the community by offering high quality free talent, an outstanding staging area behind the Ren Cen with the Detroit River as the backdrop and room for over 5,000 people. Rockin’ on the Riverfront proves that great things are still happening in the Motor City.”

Leading the line-up of hot acts will be Three Dog Night, who will perform hits such as "Mama Told Me Not to Come", "Joy to the World" and "Black and White" at the July 8 kickoff concert.
Other bands performing throughout the summer on the scenic Riverfront include:

July 15: The Guess Who

July 22: REO Speedwagon

July 29: Grand Funk Railroad

August 5: Leon Russell and Mitch Ryder

August 12: Bachman & Turner 

“Detroit comes alive in the summer with Rockin’ on the Riverfront, and Chevrolet is excited to be part of it,” said Rick Scheidt, vice president of Chevrolet Marketing. “The riverfront creates the perfect atmosphere to enjoy music and food with friends and family on a warm summer night. We invite everyone to join us for a fantastic and memorable experience.”

Admission to the concerts is free and no advance tickets are necessary. Viewing space will be on a first-come, first-served basis and people are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs and blankets. In addition, boaters on the Detroit River are invited to anchor near the riverfront and enjoy the view of the stage from the water.

Andiamo Detroit Riverfront will provide refreshment and food concessions at several locations on the plaza. Outside food, beverages or coolers will not be permitted. Andiamo Detroit Riverfront will accept dinner reservations before and after the concert and invite guests to take advantage of its outdoor patio overlooking the Detroit River.

Convenient parking is available for $5 per vehicle at the GM surface lot at the intersection of St. Antoine and Atwater, adjacent to the GM Renaissance Center.

A viewing package is available at the Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center including a BBQ dinner and overnight accommodations. For reservations, call 1-800-352-0831 or visit Use promotional code L9Z for the viewing package.
Pick Mi Date is Celebrating the Release of the Movie
VIP Singles Mingle at Commune
Saturday, July 23rd from 7:00 pm -9:00 pm!!!
  • The Top 6 Who Receive the Most Votes Will Attend Our Singles Mingle at Commune's VIP Room Along with Food and Beverages Provided By Bastone, Vinotecca, and Cafe Habana!
  • One Male Winner Will Be Picked At The Singles Mingle For a Male-Makeover Including a $200 gift certificate to Somerset Collection, Personal Styling from Raffaella Moda, and a Service Package Provided by Barbara Deyo Studio!
  • All Attendees Receive VIP Seats to the Screening of "Crazy, Stupid, Love." Starring Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, and Emma Stone Along With Items From the Movie!
You Must Sign Up As a Dater By Sunday, July 17th 2011!

Voting Begins at 9am Monday, July 18th!

Directions To Register:
1. Go To
2. Click on the “Register To Date” Button
3. Fill Out The Most Hilarious Dating Form Online
4. Click “Submit”

100 Great Things About America
Fortune Magazine

1. Opportunity
We live in the land of it. It's knocking. And all the other adages -- all true.

2. The Interstate Highway System.
Road trip! Jack Kerouac, Hunter S. Thompson, Chevy Chase -- and you.

3. The Sears Tower
Naming rights are well and good, but the Willis Tower is still Sears (SHLD) to us -- and still the nation's tallest building.

4. Wal-Mart employees in Joplin, Mo.
Store employees saved lives during the tornado. Now that's service.

5. Navy Seals
They get the big jobs done, and they don't talk about it.

More than sports, it's a cradle of pop culture, coming from an unlikely-ville: Bristol, Conn.

7. FedEx
The iconic trucks with their orange-and-purple trim always come through.

8. Steve Jobs
The brain behind the iPhone, iPad, and iEverything finally managed to get the Beatles onto iTunes. What can't this guy do?

9. Whole Foods
It's a locavore market, it's a scene -- and if you bring your own reusable bag, most stores will knock a dime off the bill.

10. Microsoft Word
RTF, PDF -- these mean little to us. The doc is king.

11. Ford F-150
The bestselling pickup truck of all time.

12. The Rockefeller Family
The towering bloodline is synonymous with oil, power, and New York City, but its legacy includes Colonial Williamsburg, MoMA, Acadia and Grand Teton National Parks -- and much more.

13. Caterpillar
When you stick your neck out to gawk at a construction site on the highway, notice it's always Cat (CAT) machinery?

14. Detroit
Motown's rise, fall, and -- we hope -- rise again.

15. The Kindle
Savior to trees and book publishing alike.

Click HERE to see the rest of the items that made the list!
Megan Gibson
Time Magazine

Readers submitted their favorite beers to Zymurgy magazine, the official publication of the American Homebrewers Association, who then put together a list of the top 50 ranked by popularity (though there's an extraordinary number of ties). Who got top spot? Well, the winner is...

Russian River Pliny the Elder. Not familiar? Well, it should be as it's won this contest for the third year in a row. Maybe you should check it out. Though it's reportedly hard to come across on the east coast — not very fair to be included on America's list, then, some East Coasters are probably saying right now — but if you live out west, give it a whirl. Or give one of the other 49 beers a try.

(VIDEO: 5 Beers to Try This Summer)

Here's this year's top 10:

1. Russian River Pliny the Elder
2. Bell's Two Hearted Ale
3 (tie). Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA
3 (tie). Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout
5. Bell's Hopslam
6. Stone Arrogant Bastard
7. Sierra Nevada Celebration
8 (tie). Sierra Nevada Torpedo
8 (tie). Stone Ruination
10. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

For the full list, head to the Homebrewers Association's site.
Photo by Ara Howra
Jennifer Conlin
The New York Times

The rooftop party was in full swing when midnight approached on a warm Friday evening. Kerry Doman, 29, founder of an event planning business; Justin Jacobs, 28, head of a citywide recreational sports league, and Ara Howrani, 29, a photographer who runs a commercial studio, knocked back beers, while a group of office friends from a nearby dot-com chatted about the scratch-and-sniff wallpaper in their colorful new headquarters.

In another circle, a group of real estate brokers excitedly discussed the renovation of a 1920s office tower called the Broderick into a 127-unit apartment building with a restaurant, lounge and retail stores.

“I want the penthouse,” Jeffrey Hillman, 37, said jokingly as he pointed to the building’s ornate Baroque-style top in the distance. “I’ll fight you for it,” retorted Hank Winchester, 37, a local TV reporter.

The scene might have been run of the mill in Seattle or Williamsburg, Brooklyn, or other urban enclaves that draw the young, the entrepreneurial and the hip. But this was downtown Detroit, far better known in recent years for crime, blight and economic decline.

Recent census figures show that Detroit’s overall population shrank by 25 percent in the last 10 years. But another figure tells a different and more intriguing story: During the same time period, downtown Detroit experienced a 59 percent increase in the number of college-educated residents under the age of 35, nearly 30 percent more than two-thirds of the nation’s 51 largest cities.

These days the word “movement” is often heard to describe the influx of socially aware hipsters and artists now roaming the streets of Detroit. Not unlike Berlin, which was revitalized in the 1990s by young artists migrating there for the cheap studio space, Detroit may have this new generation of what city leaders are calling “creatives” to thank if it comes through its transition from a one-industry.

With these new residents have come the trappings of a thriving youth culture: trendy bars and restaurants that have brought pedestrians back to once-empty streets. Places like the Grand Trunk pub, Raw Cafe, Le Petit Zinc and Avalon Bakery mingle with shops with names like City Bird, Sole Sisters and the Bureau of Urban Living.

Those familiar with past neighborhoods-of-the-moment recognize the mood. “It feels like TriBeCa back in the early days, before double strollers, sidewalk cafes and Whole Foods,” said Amy Moore, 50, a film producer working on three Detroit projects. “There is a buzz here that is real, and the kids drip with talent and commitment, and aren’t spoiled.”

The rooftop party was hosted by a group called Move Detroit 11/11/11, started with the aim of getting 1,100 new people to move to Detroit by November.

“The Broderick project is huge because, believe it or not, there is not enough housing in the greater downtown area for all the young people moving to Detroit,” said Kevin Wobbe, 37, a founder of the group.

Kendyll Myles, 24, is one example of a new arrival. “I am mentoring young schoolgirls after work, modeling for a new fashion design company, and if I wanted, could be out every night at a different launch party or cultural event,” she said.

After finishing her master’s degree in public health last year, Ms. Myles had job offers from hospitals all over the country, including in Washington. Her family urged her to go anywhere but Detroit. “They thought I would be robbed and shot here,” she said.

But when she saw, a Web site profiling residents under age 40, she decided Detroit was the city for her. Those featured on the site (which she found after typing into Google “anything positive about Detroit?”) included Emily Doerr, 26, an M.B.A. candidate who recently opened Hostel Detroit, where guests pay as little as $18 a night for a bed; and Sean Gray, 29, who reimaged a British slogan, “Keep calm and carry on,” into posters and T-shirts for Detroiters. The site’s publisher, Margarita Barry, 26, this month will open “71 POP,” a retail gallery showcasing the work of 71 emerging artists and designers on the ground floor of a previously abandoned building that now has 30 environmentally friendly lofts and artists’ studios. (Rents start at $710 a month.)

Click HERE to read the rest of this article!
Detroit’s Fix-It Men: In Their Own Words
Joanne Muller

When we made the unorthodox decision to feature Detroit on the cover of Forbes’ list of the Best Places for Business, we knew there’d be some snickering and catcalls. This is a city, after all, that’s been beaten down for so long we’ve come to expect the insults.

But anybody who takes a moment to stop spewing outdated cliches about the city would see that Detroit right now really is a land of opportunity. The barriers to entry for business are fairly low, and getting lower. Real estate is cheap, there’s an abundance of skilled workers seeking jobs, and the business tax structure has improved dramatically under new Gov. Rick Snyder.

Tim Bryan, chief executive of GalaxE Solutions, a New Jersey health care software company that’s opening a 500-person outpost here, told me he thinks Detroit is “the most affordable city in America.” Dan Gilbert, chairman of online mortgage company Quicken Loans, is so bullish on the city he not only moved his company’s headquarters downtown from the suburbs, he’s buying up downtown office buildings left and right and filling them with new tenants with the aim of creating a digital hub in downtown Detroit. “There’s the smell of something special happening,” Gilbert told me. “Detroit’s going to be a big story here in the next several years for America, and I think (businesses should) want to be part of it.”

Boosterism aside, Detroit is still facing some really serious problems: failing schools, high unemployment, urban blight. And Mayor Dave Bing has his hands full trying to revitalize the city while saddled with a $185 million budget deficit and a shriveling tax base resulting from the exodus of 25% of the city’s population over the past decade.

Click HERE for the rest of the article and to watch videos with Bill Ford, Jr., Mayor Bing, Roy Roberts, and more!
Detroit-based Franco Public Relations Group (Franco)  received a Detroit Renaissance Award of Honor from the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) for its social media efforts on behalf of Panera Bread’s Day-End “Doughnation” program.

Franco’s Jim Miller, account manager, and Joe Ferlito, account executive, created a video about the Panera program to share with the WXYZ-TV #backchannel hashtag on Twitter.  Franco tweeted Stephen Clark, WXYZ anchor and #backchannel producer, and worked with him to reproduce the video for a WXYZ news segment that aired during the “Detroit 20/20” program.

"I get pitched a lot of stories and a huge percentage of them go unnoticed," said Clark. "But when Joe of Franco PR hit me up on twitter with the idea for a story on Panera Bread donating the daily leftovers to the homeless and hungry I was all over it.”

The Day-End Doughnation program donates unsold bakery products to local food banks and charities at the end of each day. Annually, Panera Bread bakery-cafes collectively donate a retail value of more than $50 million worth of bread and baked goods.

“Panera is very passionate about the Day-End Doughnation program; it is a core ingredient of what makes Panera a neighborhood bakery-cafe. We believe in giving back to the community and do this every evening by donating our leftover baked goods to non-profit organizations,” said Kirsten Collins, marketing manager for Panera Bread. “Franco was able to capture our passion and deliver information about our program in their backchannel pitch through video and interviews conducted with our Panera team members.”

 Established in 1964 in Detroit, Franco is Michigan’s oldest independent public relations firm. Its services include traditional and social media relations, crisis management, community relations, event planning and branding. Franco represents clients in manufacturing, retail, technology, nonprofit, professional services, entertainment and health care.

For more information, visit

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