Few people recognize the growth that is occurring in Detroit and its surrounding cities. Between the auto industry layoffs and the plethora of decaying buildings, the mainstream media has painted a picture of disaster and despair. Contrary to those reports, there are thousands of individuals working hard to turn Detroit around. Some of them manufacture new televisions -- others produce components for new watches. Many of them will help a major automaker complete its IT transformation .

Then there are the dozens of men and women that have helped Benzinga transform into a dynamic and innovative financial media outlet.

"It is crazy to think that two-and-a-half years ago this started in my basement," said Jason Raznick, the President and co-founder of Benzinga. "Now we're in an 8,000 square foot office with almost 30 people."

Raznick, who said that Benzinga has a "really big vision" for the future, was one of five Detroit entrepreneurs who spoke on a panel at Opportunity Detroit this week. He was joined by John Fikany, the VP of Microsoft's (NASDAQ: MSFT ) U.S. commercial sector; Michael Webster, Executive VP of Kelly Services; Nathan Labenz, co-founder of Stik.com; and Shinola's Jacques Panis.

"Us being in Michigan, we feel like we have something to prove much more than if we were in another state," said Raznick. "I don't know if we work harder but we think we do. There are guys that are in the office throughout the night."

Raznick spoke proudly about Benzinga's partnership with Microsoft. "John from that little company, Microsoft, became a client of ours for the Windows 8 launch," he said. "We're one of the main [financial sites] there alongside Reuters and The Wall Street Journal. We have competitors. The only way that happens is that we outwork our competition, and we do that time and time again. That's why Microsoft came to us for more and more stuff. We're building really cool things."

Ultimately, Raznick said that Benzinga's goal is to "change the investment game."

Click HERE to read the full article!!! 


Welcome to SPD's Cover of the Day, a portfolio of brilliant magazine and newspaper cover design from around the world. Its time to choose your favorite of the year! Round 1 starts with covers from January, February, and March (in alphabetic order). Look for Round 2, 3, and 4 in the coming days. Then come the finals!

Click HERE to see all the covers and vote for Boat Magazine's Detroit Cover



The city of Detroit is turning red to raise awareness of the final days metro Detroiters can donate to The Salvation Army’s 2012 Red Kettle Campaign, which ends when red kettles leave storefronts across metro Detroit on Christmas Eve.

The second annual Paint the City Red celebration kicked off at 12:01 a.m. Monday, Dec. 17 when the General Motors Renaissance Center began glowing red. The Detroit skyline’s most identifiable riverfront building will beam The Salvation Army’s iconic red shield from its main electronic sign on the center’s tallest tower through Christmas Day. The bands around each tower will also glow red for the duration.

The Ren Cen going red is a precursor to Paint the City Red festivities slated for Friday, Dec. 21 when:

the Compuware and Chase Buildings will join the Renaissance Center in sporting a rosy glow.

· several of Detroit’s most beloved churches will simultaneously ring their bells for one minute at 9:50 a.m. Scheduled to ring are: Cathedral of St. Paul, Mariner's Church of Detroit, Old St. Mary's, St. Bonaventure, St. Florian, St. Francis D’Assisi, St. John's Episcopal and St. Joseph Sweetest Heart of Mary.

· bell ringers will man red kettles throughout the workday at the Griswold Street entrance of the historic Guardian Building in the heart of downtown Detroit’s central business district.

The centerpiece of the Paint the City Red observance is a lunchtime celebration in Campus Martius Park from 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21. The Salvation Army is partnering with Quicken Loans to host a variety of activities around the downtown Detroit outdoor venue, including:

Noon – 1 p.m. - a friendly bell-ringing competition for red kettle fundraising bragging rights among Quicken Loans’ top executives, including Bill Emerson, CEO; Mike Lyon, vice president of operations and Tim Birkmeier, vice president of banking. Jeff Eisenshtadt, CEO of Title Source will also join in the bell ringing contest.

11 a.m. - 2 p.m. - a gathering of food trucks serving fresh fare, including fan favorites El Guapo and Mac Shack. Refreshments will also be available from Campus Martius’ Arctic Zone.

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. - appearances by the Detroit Tigers’ mascot Paws and the Detroit Lions’ mascot Roary

Noon – 12:30 p.m. - an appearance by cast members of “Jersey Boys,” who’ll sing carols, ring bells and pose for photos with red kettle donors Noon – 1 p.m. - a live performance of holiday classics by The Salvation Army Brass Band

In addition, the Campus Martius Park ice rink will be hopping from noon – 1 p.m. as Quicken Loans team members lace up for an open skate and warm up with hot chocolate, courtesy of the mortgage company.

Capturing it all will be WWJ Newsradio 950, which will share live interviews and reports from Campus Martius Park from 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. The station will also air feature interviews with Salvation Army officers and clients throughout the day to encourage public donations during the final days of the 2012 Red Kettle Campaign.

“We invite everyone to rally together with us to Paint the City Red in support of our 2012 Red Kettle mission,” said Major Mark Anderson, General Secretary and Metro Detroit Area Commander of The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit. “This is the home stretch of our campaign and we’re relying on the community to help us reach our $8.5 million goal.”

Paint the City Red revelers looking to continue the celebration can visit Somerset Collection CityLoft, located two blocks north of Campus Martius Park at 1261 Woodward. Cityloft, and the entire 1200 block of Woodward between Grand River and State, will be open for last-minute shopping from 12 p.m.-9 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 21. Merchandise from 40+ Somerset pop-up stores and quirky outdoor retailer Moosejaw will be available for shoppers to find the perfect gift for that special someone.

To make a tax deductible contribution to The Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign:

· Drop a donation into one of nearly 450 red kettles at storefronts across metro Detroit through Dec. 24, or Christmas week at area Kroger and Busch Fresh Food Market locations, which will continue hosting red kettles through Dec. 29

· Visit www.salmich.org · Call 877-SAL-MICH · Text "GOODMICH" TO 80888* (an automatic $10 donation) · Send a check or money order, made payable to The Salvation Army, to: 16130 Northland Dr., Southfield, MI 48075


Rock Ventures today announced the purchase of five additional properties, wrapping up a year in which it acquired eight buildings totaling 630,000 square feet of commercial space.

The newest acquisitions bring Rock Ventures’ downtown Detroit real estate investments to 15 buildings totaling 2.6 million square feet of commercial space, and three parking structures for a combined 3,500 parking spaces.

In addition, Rock Ventures broke ground on a 33,000 square-foot specialty retail development and 10-story parking garage last month, renovated 633,000 square feet of commercial space, and located 45 companies to the city, including Twitter, Chrysler, Metro-West Appraisal, and numerous technology related start-ups. Rock Ventures’ family of companies, including Quicken Loans and Title Source, has brought 7,000-plus people to work in downtown Detroit since August 2010.

“It has been an exciting year of opportunity in Detroit,” said Dan Gilbert, Founder and Chairman of Rock Ventures and Quicken Loans. “Our focus in 2013 will be on the three R’s – residential, rail and retail – all of which are vital in creating the vibrant, thriving urban core that we all envision.”

Rock Ventures’ newest building acquisitions include:

1201 Woodward - Kresge Building

The 54,000 square-foot property built in 1891 was home to the former Kresge store. The nine-story building, located on the northwest corner of Woodward Avenue and State Street, will be renovated to accommodate first floor retail and either office or residential space above. A portion of the first floor currently houses The Detroit Shoppe and Detroit Artist Market pop-up stores.

1217 Woodward

This five-story 30,000 square-foot building is located on the west side of Woodward Avenue, immediately north of the Kresge Building. Built in 1891, the building will be renovated and used for first floor retail and either office or residential space above. A portion of the first floor currently houses Santa’s Wonderland, a seasonal store specifically for children with proceeds benefitting Detroit Goodfellows, ensuring there is “No Kiddie without a Christmas.”

1412 Woodward

Located on the east side of Woodward Avenue between Grand River Avenue and John R Street, this three-story building was built in 1916. The 6,000 square-foot building is currently unoccupied, but will feature first floor retail with office space above.

1301 Broadway - Cary Building Lofts

The 20,000 square-foot building, built in 1906, is located on the west corner of Gratiot Avenue and Broadway Street. The five-story structure will undergo extensive renovations to accommodate first floor retail space with residential space above. · 1521 Broadway - Small Plates Building The 9,300 square-foot building is 100 percent occupied by Small Plates restaurant on the first floor with four residential loft apartments above. The five-story building is located on the west side of Broadway Street between John R and Witherell Street.

The building purchases were brokered by Bedrock Real Estate Services, Rock Ventures’ full-service real estate firm. Bedrock leases, develops and manages all of Rock Ventures’ buildings, and has helped locate more than 65 companies to downtown Detroit since August 2010.

“The need for retail and updated office and residential space in downtown Detroit is keeping Bedrock extremely busy,” said Jim Ketai, Managing Partner at Bedrock, adding that the firm has grown by nearly 60 percent in the past year to keep up with the demand.”


Best Mac and Cheese in the U.S. Every chef has a version of ultra-comforting macaroni and cheese, with nuances ranging from how many gooey cheeses can fit into a single batch to crunchy toppings like sourdough bread crumbs. Here, where to get the best mac and cheese in the country. —Justine Sterling

Slows Bar BQ, Detroit

Brian Perrone’s superrich mac-n-cheese is so intense that it has been called “a truly life-changing experience” by Man v. Food host Adam Richman. The signature side dish includes medium pasta shells, creamy béchamel sauce and mild cheddar cheese. For a final cheesy touch, Perrone grates more cheddar on top and broils it. “It is really quite luxurious,” Perrone says. slowsbarbq.com

Click HERE to see who else made 'The Best Mac And Cheese In The U.S.' List!

He shoots: A student goes for a penalty shot in a game of basketball inside the Cass Tech sports hall as other players wait for the throw to be completed
He shoots: A student goes for a penalty shot in a game of basketball inside the Cass Tech sports hall as other players wait for the throw to be completed

Ghosts of students past: Fascinating pictures of a derelict Detroit school... mixed with evocative images from its heyday Photos of Cass Technical High School in Detroit, Michigan, whose alumni include Diana Ross and Jack White

School moved to new building in 2005 which left original facility empty and it was later demolished last year Largest school in Michigan by 1942 with 4,200 students attending eight-storey brick and limestone building

From shooting hoops to eating lunch and from marching bands to disco dancing, these extraordinary photographs capture a bygone era in US education.

The amazing images of Cass Technical High School in Detroit, Michigan, from detroiturbex.com combine old pictures of school life with recent views of the abandoned building.

Cass Tech, which counts singer Diana Ross and rocker Jack White among its alumni, moved to a new building in 2005 which left the original facility empty.

Click HERE for more of these amazing photos on Daily Mail! 
Abandoned houses with overgrown yards may be the image most people associate with Detroit, but the city’s downtown and midtown neighborhoods have the opposite problem: a shortage of rental apartments to meet a growing demand for an urban lifestyle.

 The Broderick Tower downtown is also in demand.

Developers say occupancy rates in these areas are at least 96 percent, spurred by young professionals, students and empty nesters who want an easy commute to school or work and a short walk to local cafes and bars.

“To us it feels like there’s an insatiable demand,” said Fred Beal, manager of Motown Construction Partners, which led the recent renovation of the 124-unit Broderick Tower downtown.

Built in the late 1920s, the 34-story building near Comerica Park had been vacant for decades, but is fully leased after opening in November. Penthouse units that are 2,300 square feet command $5,000 a month, Mr. Beal said, though most of the studios and one- and two-bedroom apartments rent for $2,000 or less.

To take advantage of tax credits available for renovating historic buildings, the apartments must be rented, not sold, but developers say the demographic currently testing the waters in Detroit — many young, first-time city dwellers — isn’t ready for the commitment of buying a condominium anyway.

These tax credits make it easier to renovate old buildings than build new ones, but one exception is the three-story Auburn building, which also opened in November. Located near Wayne State University in midtown, the Auburn has 58 apartments and 11 retail spaces, that are “leasing very well,” according to David Di Rita, a principal at the Roxbury Group, one of the building’s developers.

Retail tenants include a spinning studio, a bookstore, a Thai restaurant and a home goods store, Mr. Di Rita said, while the apartments — mostly one-bedrooms around 600 square feet — rent for “just south of $1,000 a month.”

The thriving apartment market in these neighborhoods is a bright spot in an otherwise grim financial picture for Detroit. Once the nation’s fourth-largest city, its population has dwindled and its finances are floundering. State officials have warned that a state-appointed emergency financial manager may be in the city’s future, so enticing former suburbanites to live and not just work or go to school in Detroit has involved some financial incentives. But a crucial factor is creating the thriving neighborhood hubs that places like San Francisco and New York have long offered.

Click HERE to read the full article on The New York Times!

Detroit Dog Park, an non-profit organization based in Detroit, has entered into a three-year agreement with the city of Detroit to turn Macomb Playlot into Detroit's first true off-leash dog park.

The three-year agreement will allow the organization to build and maintain an off-leash, enclosed dog park that is free of charge and open to the public.

The parcel is Macomb Playlot, a 0.7 acre park at the intersection of Rose and 17th Streets in Corktown. The project is part of the city's Adopt-A-Park program, in which community groups and grassroots organizations commit to restoring city parks that are underutilized or in need of maintenance in exchange for helping define what programs and uses the park will have. Macomb Playlot is a former playground that sits next to Roosevelt Park and the Michigan Central Depot in the heart of Corktown.

"This is a tremendous day for the Detroit Dog Park family," said Carly Mys, chair of DDP's Board of Directors. "We are excited about the opportunity to work with the city to build a dog park for the community, by the community, and can't wait to get started."

Brad Dick, director of Detroit's General Services Department, which oversees park maintenance, said the agreement is an example of the good works that can happen when groups collaborate.

"I think it is great when neighborhood groups partner with the city to tell us what they want - and it is even better when we can make something happen together," he said.

With a projected opening during the summer of 2013, Detroit Dog Park is seeking donations through Kickstarter, a crowdfunding platform for creative projects. Until Dec. 17, friends of the dog park can donate at http://kck.st/RJAFpq. The goal is to raise $15,000 to defray between half and one-third of startup costs. For information about the organization, including preliminary designs for the park, visit the Kickstarter page or detroitdogpark.org. For event information, visit facebook.com/detroitdogpark.

Detroit Dog Park is a not-for-profit organization that is dedicated to building an off-leash park for people and their dogs within Detroit city limits. Our goals are to revitalize a space for people and dogs to meet and play in Detroit, to partner with neighborhoods in cultivating community and economic activity for present and future Detroiters and to create, to transform and to grow.


AlphaUSA has a long history of serving its community and regularly helps with initiatives here in southeastern Michigan, including many local projects such as back-to-school drives, and high school scholarships. Alpha’s local commitment includes serving on community chambers of commerce, Rotary, and other civic, arts, and educational organizations. But, even though Alpha’s first commitment is to its Michigan region, when they learned through a Philadelphia customer of a national effort to rescue the historic ocean liner SS United States, they jumped on board.

AlphaUSA was approached by the Philadelphia-based SS United States Conservancy because Detroiters are known for their fundraising. Initially, they sought contact information for Lee Iacocca in the hopes the retired auto executive-turned philanthropist could help raise the needed revenue as he had for the Statue of Liberty restoration. But when they heard about the ship’s technological importance and the looming possibility that she could be lost forever, Alpha turned to innovative ideas gleaned from fellow Detroiters to propose and subsequently invent a new way to fundraise for historic preservation.

The Conservancy liked what it heard from Detroit and asked AlphaUSA to oversee the creation of what eventually became savetheunitedstates.org, an interactive online model of the ship that not only teaches people her history, but lets them choose, buy, and personalize any square inch of its surface for only $1. It was a monumental task coordinating the merger of ship's plans and historic facts and assembling a team of programmers able to divide the ship into tens of millions of square inches, making any one of them accessible within two mouse clicks. AlphaUSA orchestrated the project from start to finish in less than three months.

“Without AlphaUSA’s Detroit roots, this national campaign would never have become a reality,” explains David Lawrence, AlphaUSA’s CAO, who now serves on the Conservancy’s Advisory Council. Inspiration was drawn from outside-of-the-box ideas like Loveland's "Buy an inch of Detroit" and Erik Proulx's $1-per-frame producer rights for Lemonade Detroit. As a manufacturer, and part of the Detroit's innovative industrial legacy, the company was also drawn to what the SS United States symbolized. She is still the fastest ship ever built and is a monument of technological innovation, engineering know-how, and America's can-do spirit to accomplish anything.

Many Detroiters actively advocate for our city and stay plugged into the great things happening here every day. Like AlphaUSA, they can also bring our local-style of grassroots outreach to a national level and become a part of this online social media event by buying their own inch of the ship. Once this new technique for preserving our history proves successful, these same methods can be put it to use to save Detroit's own endangered structures.

About AlphaUSA

AlphaUSA is a product development and design based manufacturer located in Livonia, Michigan. Founded in 1957 by WWII veteran George Strumbos, the company specializes in creating metal fabrications and assemblies including machined components, specialty fasteners, and low to high volume stamped products. AlphaUSA has received numerous quality awards and is a leader in its community having been named 2010 Large Business of the Year by Wayne County and the City of Livonia Chamber of Commerce.

Pewabic Pottery invites metro Detroiters to “shop local” this holiday season its annual Holiday Shopping Night on Wednesday, Dec. 12 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Guests can join in celebration for a night of tasty holiday snacking, live entertainment courtesy of the Jazz Merchants and great discounts. To top it off, shoppers can find the perfect gift for loved ones from a selection of beautifully handcrafted ceramics by more than 100 artists.

The night will be full of surprises with giveaways every 30 minutes, and "special purchases" available throughout the evening. Upon entry, visitors will receive a numbered ticket, entering them for a chance to win Pewabic items including ornaments, t-shirts, and even an iridescent vase valued at $100.

In addition to the great deals, Pewabic Society members will receive double their regular discount (up to 20%).

“The Holiday Shopping Night is a fun year-end celebration, filled with surprises, entertainment and holiday cheer” said Barbara Sido, executive director of Pewabic Pottery. “It’s a great opportunity for metro Detroiters to shop local and support community artists.”

Visitors can also take this time to view Pewabic Pottery’s annual holiday exhibition, Earthy Treasures, on display through Dec. 30.

Pewabic is a historic working pottery which is open to the public year round and offers classes, workshops and tours to children and adults. Pewabic creates giftware, pottery and architectural tile, showcases more than 80 ceramic artists in its galleries, and operates a museum store that features pottery and gift tile made on-site. Visitors are welcome, free of charge, Monday - Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. To learn more about Pewabic Pottery call (313) 626-2000 or visit www.pewabic.org.

Pewabic Pottery is located at 10125 E. Jefferson Ave. in Detroit across the street from Waterworks Park.
The holidays have arrived and Buddy’s Pizza is giving thanks and giving back as Detroit’s #1 square pizza contributes to a local charity and receives international recognition for its delicious pies.

In observance of breast cancer awareness month, Buddy’s Pizza featured the Leon & Lulu pizza in October. The healthy, gourmet pizza came on a multi-grain crust with asiago, brick and parmesan cheeses, tomato basil sauce and was topped with shredded carrots, sautéed spinach, fresh broccoli and Italian spices.

For each Leon & Lulu pizza sold Buddy’s donated $1 to the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute in support of breast cancer research. Additionally, staff was given the opportunity to wear jeans on Fridays throughout October with a $5 donation as well as purchase a special Buddy’s t-shirt, all benefiting Karmanos. With an overwhelming response from Buddy’s staff and guests, Buddy’s Pizza was able to present Karmanos with a $3,000 donation on Dec. 3.

“At Buddy’s Pizza we strongly believe in supporting worthy local causes,” said Robert Jacobs, president of Buddy’s Pizza. “The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute is a leader in cancer research and it’s based in our hometown. It’s a pleasure to partner with such a great organization.”

At the same time, Buddy’s Pizza was internationally recognized by Zagat, the world’s first provider of trusted restaurant ratings and curated restaurant reviews, as one of the top “10 pizza joints across the U.S. that are worth a road trip.”

The Zagat critic described Buddy’s Pizza: “. . . it’s square, it's deep-dish and instead of the sauce being on the bottom underneath the cheese, it sits atop the toppings in big, healthy blotches. . . the rich and buttery, but not too heavy crust is perfectly crispy and chewy, and the sauce is the perfect balance of sweet and savory.”

“We are honored to have our pizzas recognized by Zagat,” said Wes Pikula, vice president of operations at Buddy’s Pizza. “It’s exciting to hear they rank our pies as the quintessential Detroit-style pizza.”

For more information on Buddy’s Pizza, visit www.buddyspizza.com.


A one-of-a-kind, 24-foot Menorah designed and built by the highly acclaimed Nordin Brothers of the Detroit Design Center will be lit to celebrate Chanukah. Thousands are expected to head downtown for the second annual “Menorah Lighting in The D” that will also feature a free soup bar, donuts, dreidels, live music, ice skating, and more.

The Menorah is a traditional symbol of Chanukah, an eight-day festival, and is lit to commemorate the miracle of one day’s oil burning for eight days. “The public lighting of the Menorah is rooted in Chabad tradition and is celebrated in major locations worldwide, from the White House to the Eiffel Tower, so it’s only fitting that downtown Detroit be included for the second straight year,” said Itty Shemtov, Director of Education at The Shul.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012 from 5:00 p.m.- 6:30 p.m.

A crowd will gather near the Menorah located in Cadillac Square Park, adjacent to Campus Martius Park.

A Motorcycle Jacket Made Out of Cadillac Upholstery & Parts


Rusty Blazenhoff
Laughing Squid 

At the recent IDEO-hosted craft festival, Wunderfaire, I met Dustin Page, the founder of Platinum Dirt, an Oakland-based company that makes fashion accessories and jackets out of reclaimed leather automobile upholstery. At Wunderfaire, he had on display one of his VIN Jackets, a motorcycle-style jacket made out of (in this case, Cadillac) upholstery and parts. It not only used the leather from old Cadillac seats, it also incorporated its hood ornament (as a zipper pull), its embroidered wreath (as a sort of perfectly-placed crest), its metal logo and its metal VIN tag (as an adornment). The VIN Jacket is a special order and can be made with leather from Cadillac, Mercedes-Benz, Lincoln, BMW, or Volvo vehicles.

All of the Platinum Dirt products are available to order online.



The 40th annual Noel Night will take place on Saturday, December 1st, 2012, from 5:00pm-9:30pm in Midtown Detroit's Cultural Center Area. Over 60 Midtown venues, including the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the Detroit Historical Museum, and the Detroit Public Library, amongst many others, open their doors to the public FREE of CHARGE during this Cultural Center-wide holiday "open house." Activities include horse-drawn carriage rides, holiday shopping, family craft activities and performances by over 120 area music, theatre, and dance groups. The evening's festivities culminate with a community sing-along on Woodward Avenue led by the Salvation Army Band — a long-standing Noel Night tradition.

Noel Night activities take place in and around Midtown Detroit's Cultural Center institutions, primarily between Cass and John R and Kirby and Willis. Free shuttle service is offered between participating venues. Convenient parking is available in area lots. Noel Night is produced by Midtown Detroit, Inc., a nonprofit community development organization that supports economic growth in Detroit's Midtown district.

For more information, click HERE or contact Midtown Detroit, Inc. at 313.420.6000.

Shoppers are invited to Pewabic Pottery’s (Pewabic) National Historic Landmark building for a unique evening of shopping, celebration and charity as Copper & Clay: Pewabic’s New Leadership Initiative hosts its first Gift & Give holiday shopping benefit on Thursday, Nov. 29 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Browse ceramic art from more than 100 artists to find the perfect gift for family and friends all the while supporting Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation’s Healing Arts Program. Ten percent of the event’s sales will benefit the Healing Arts Program that allows young patients to brighten up hospital visits by exploring their creativity through art.

Guests will also be treated to light fare from Avalon International Breads and Whole Foods, coffee and tea from Germack Coffee Roasting Co. and an assortment of beer and wine.

The Gift & Give holiday shopping benefit is free and open to the public.

The vision of Copper & Clay is to “engage, network, cultivate” with the goal of expanding membership among young adults. The committee is dedicated to growing Pewabic’s associate level membership for persons under age 35 by creating a rotation of events and cultivating the energy and passion of metro Detroit’s young professionals.

Pewabic is a historic working pottery which is open to the public year round and offers classes, workshops and tours to children and adults. Pewabic creates giftware, pottery and architectural tile, showcases more than 80 ceramic artists in its galleries, and operates a museum store that features pottery and gift tile made on-site.

Visitors are welcome, free of charge, Monday - Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. To learn more about Pewabic Pottery call (313) 626-2000 or visit www.pewabic.org. Pewabic Pottery is located at 10125 E. Jefferson Ave. in Detroit across the street from Waterworks Park.




Zagat Blog
By Kelly Dobkin

The recent Thanksgiving holiday had us returning home to our native Michigan for five days of eating sleeping, and well, eating. The trip gave us the opportunity to visit one of our favorite pizza joints on the planet, the legendary Buddy's Pizza, who specializes in Detroit-style pies. What exactly is Detroit-style pizza? Well it's square, it's deep dish, and instead of the sauce being on the bottom underneath the cheese, it sits atop the toppings in healthy blotches. We realize many of you NY-style pizza fans may be cringing at this point, but the pies at Buddy's are truly delicious. The rich buttery, but not too heavy crust is perfectly crispy and chewy and the sauce is the perfect balance of sweet and savory. If you happen to be in the Detroit metro area, you should give these Midwestern pies a whirl.

“She’s (Veronika Scott) changing the world, one coat at a time.” 
-Caroline Kennedy 

Veronika Scott started a project in Detroit that hires shelter residents to sew coats for the homeless that convert into sleeping bags.

Stacey Abrams is the first woman to lead either party in Georgia’s General Assembly, a Democrat who’s known for working across party lines to pass legislation.

On Monday evening, both won public service awards bearing John F. Kennedy’s name in a Boston ceremony that included the late president’s daughter, Caroline Kennedy.

“As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy presidency, it’s inspiring that my father’s call to service is still being answered by people like the two young Americans we honor today,” Kennedy said.

The annual New Frontier Awards honor those younger than 40 who have become role models for a new generation of public servants by showing qualities of civic-mindedness, pragmatism, vision and tenacity in finding and addressing public challenges.

The prizes are a collaboration of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation and the Institute of Politics at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

Scott, now 23, was a student at College for Creative Studies in Detroit when she launched her project by working on a class assignment with this direction: “Design to fill a need.”

“It’s amazing to be here and think of where this really started,” she said after the audience saw a short video about her work.

Scott spent months at a Michigan shelter getting to know the homeless. While there, she began working on a design for a coat prototype for the homeless that weighed 20 pounds and took 80 hours to make, earning her the nickname of the “crazy coat lady.”

But Scott streamlined her design. She now employs homeless women to work in a formerly abandoned warehouse where they use donated materials and equipment from General Motors and Carhartt to make warm convertible coats for the homeless. Scott expects that her nonprofit, The Empowerment Plan, will produce 800 coats by year’s end.

Click HERE to read the full article in the Washington Post! 


2013 Best Detroit Zagat List:

1. Supino Pizzeria, Detroit. Food score of 29 out of a possible 30 points.

2. Moro’s Dining, Allen Park

3. The Lark, West Bloomfield

4. Common Grill, Chelsea

5. The West End Grill , Ann Arbor

6. Union Woodshop, Clarkston

7. Texas de Brazil, Detroit

8. Roast, Detroit

9. Assaggi Bistro, Ferndale

10. The Hill Seafood & Chop House, Grosse Pointe Farms


After six months of renovations, the Detroit Historical Museum is set to re-open to the public Thanksgiving weekend with free admission. More than 70 percent of the museum’s exhibitions have been reimagined, marking the first major renovations to the facility since the 1960s.

The renovations and technology upgrades were made possible by the Detroit Historical Society’s $20.1 million Past&Forward campaign to support new and expanded exhibits at the Detroit Historical Museum, the Dossin Great Lakes Museum and the Detroit Historical Society’s Collection.

Among the new exhibits are The Allesee Gallery of Culture, the Kid Rock Music Lab, Detroit: The “Arsenal of Democracy,” and The Gallery of Innovation. Among the revamped and enhanced offerings are the Streets of Old Detroit, Doorway to Freedom – Detroit and the Underground Railroad and America’s Motor City exhibits.

Be sure not to miss these exciting interactive elements of the newly renovated Detroit Historical Museum:

· Visit the Innovation Station – Test your skills at mixing your own soda pop flavor in the Gallery of Innovation.

· Enjoy a “Rock” Concert – Take in the sights and sounds of Kid Rock’s 40th birthday concert at Ford Field in the Kid Rock Music Lab.

· Catch a Ball Game – Relive the Detroit Tigers’ 1984 World Championship Season in the Allesee Gallery of Culture.

· Hear the Call to Arms – Listen as President Franklin D. Roosevelt urges Detroit to become the “Arsenal of Democracy” in Detroit: The “Arsenal of Democracy.”

· Find Your Way to Freedom – Step across the Detroit River into Canada as you make your way along the Underground Railroad in the Doorway to Freedom – Detroit and the Underground Railroad.

· Enjoy a Taste of History - Step up to the counter at a replica of the first Sanders Confectionary store on Woodward Avenue during the 19th century in the Streets of Old Detroit.

· Go Hand to Hand with Gordie Howe – Match your handprints to that of more than 20 of Detroit’s cultural icons in the Detroit Legends Plaza.

· See the Motor City’s Finest – View a rotating display of some of our region’s most exceptional automobiles in our new Automotive Showplace in America’s Motor City.

· Become a Conductor – Control the model trains in the re-designed Glancy Trains exhibit.

Re-Discover Your Family – Visit the new Family Discovery Room and experience family life in 19th century Detroit with hands-on activities in the Streets of Old Detroit.

More information: detroithistorical.org.
This year, downtown Detroit will experience the kind of holiday season it hasn’t seen in decades.

“Winter Magic,” Campus Martius Park’s seasonal celebration, will kick off on Friday, November 16 at 5 p.m. with the traditional Detroit Tree Lighting Ceremony presented by the DTE Energy Foundation. Quicken Loans is the presenting sponsor of the Winter Magic Season.

“Holiday DLight: Made in Detroit” will bring retail back to downtown Detroit for the holiday season. The stores, sponsored by Quicken Loans and Somerset Collection’s CityLoft, will debut on Friday, November 16 and will be open Thursday-Saturday through December 22.

“We are thrilled to make our traditional Winter Magic celebration even better with additional activities during which Campus Martius Park and Woodward Avenue will be bustling with events for people of all ages,” said Robert Gregory, President of The Detroit 300 Conservancy, the non-profit organization that oversees Campus Martius Park.

Quicken Loans and Somerset Collection’s CityLoft are partnering to activate the storefronts on the 1200 block of Woodward, between Grand River and Gratiot.

“We are very excited to partner with Somerset Collection to bring new retail to downtown Detroit for the holiday shopping season,” said Dan Gilbert, Chairman and Founder, Rock Ventures and Quicken Loans.

Tree Lighting The season kicks off with the Tree Lighting festivities on Friday, November 16 at 5 p.m. in Campus Martius Park, sponsored by the DTE Energy Foundation. The tree will be lit at approximately 7:45 p.m. There will also be:

Ice skating shows
Activities for children
Horse-drawn carriage rides
Musical performances

 “The Detroit Tree Lighting has evolved into a holiday tradition for many Detroit families,” said Paul Hillegonds, DTE Energy senior vice president, Corporate Affairs. “The DTE Energy Foundation is proud to sponsor this event for the past nine years, and we are honored to usher in Winter Magic with a memorable, family-oriented celebration for the city.”

This year’s 55-foot tall tree weighs over 10,000 pounds and has a 30-foot span of branches that will be decorated with more than three miles of wire and 19,000 LED lights. An additional 170,000 LED lights will be installed on 78 trees throughout Campus Martius Park and 32 trees along the 1200 block of Woodward between Grand River and Gratiot.

Christmas Wonderfest Holiday Market & Holiday Cheer Garden Friday-Sunday from November 16 - November 25, Campus Martius Park will be home to the Christmas Wonderfest Holiday Market. More than 50 retailers will offer gifts including holiday imports, unique art and apparel, Detroit merchandise and more.

At the Holiday Cheer Garden, guests can enjoy craft beers, holiday wines, warm winter cocktails and more from popular bars and restaurants, including E.G. Nick’s, which will have a special eatery.

Woodward Retail Shopping

During Holiday DLight: Made in Detroit, the following retailers will open shop on the 1200 block of Woodward:

Somerset Collection’s CityLoft, an assortment of more than 40 stores from the upscale mall in Troy

Moosejaw, popular national outdoor retailer
The Detroit Shoppe, a store with Detroit-themed merchandise
Santa’s Wonderland, a shop where children can buy and wrap inexpensive gifts for family members
Detroit Art Shoppe, a market featuring original work from Detroit artists
Spinergy, a fitness studio with stationary bikes
Papa Joe’s Snack Rack, a mini-market with a sampling of products from Papa Joe’s

For more information about Winter Magic and Holiday DLight: Made in Detroit, please contact The Detroit 300 Conservancy at (313) 962-0101 or visit www.campusmartiuspark.org. For more information about opportunities in Detroit, please visit http://opportunitydetroit.com/.
Photograph Daniel Lippitt

Excerpt:

“There are a lot of schemers that show up in this city who think they’re going to save Detroit,” says Zak Pashak. “Coming here and starting a business does a great thing for the city, but don’t say you’re saving it. This is a serious place to come to. It’s not frivolous. People are coming here to try and contribute to a really interesting community.”

To convey the spirit of his plan to make bicycles in Detroit, Zak Pashak feels a tour is in order. At the wheel of his worn Toyota Prius, the 32-year-old entrepreneur narrates as the sprawl of Detroit unfolds, revealing a city broken but not dead. We pass the obvious blights symptomatic of a long-depressed city: rampant vacancy, overgrown land and lots of people sitting on stoops with nothing to do. But there are also signs of life, including a patch of downtown streets that people have taken to walking again and new businesses spun from an emergent entrepreneurial spirit. Local leaders are hoping these seeds will help to pull the city out of its 40-year funk. It was partly this spirit, partly an “irrational fascination with Michigan” and partly a need for change that drew Pashak to the Motor City from his hometown of Calgary two years ago.

Many Calgarians will know him as a precocious bar owner and music promoter who lost a close race for city alderman in 2010. Pashak’s latest venture, however, has nothing to do with Calgary or concert spaces. It’s a company called Detroit Bikes. Pashak plans to mass-produce bicycles in a city that was once famed for auto manufacturing but is now known more for its murder rate and the sheer scale of its emptied neighbourhoods. Since the 1950s, Detroit’s population has dropped from nearly two million to roughly 700,000, shedding 25 per cent of its residents in the past decade alone. The decline runs deep, some say starting with the race riots of 1967, followed by a long history of corrupt local government, rapid suburbanization and the fall of car manufacturing, compounded more recently by the global recession.

As we cruise the wide, empty boulevards into the city’s grittier pockets, Pashak points out his favourite buildings, ornate vestiges of better times. There are at least two he half-heartedly considered buying (for practically nothing) and remaking into some kind of business, perhaps a concert hall. Unlike Detroit’s heyday as a boomtown, its utter blankness and thirst for revival is now attracting a new kind of industrialist, people like Pashak who have money, ideas and the audacity to carry them out.

Overdressed on this muggy day in long sleeves and oversized chinos, Pashak walks with small quick steps and talks about everything in the same even, unexcitable tone. It might be that he is someone who’d rather do than talk about doing, but when it comes to media attention he’s used to reciting his story. He comes from a well-known Calgary family: his father, Barry Pashak, was a local NDP MLA; his mother, Jackie Flanagan, is a philanthropist and founder of Alberta Views magazine; and his ex-stepfather, Allan Markin, is a wealthy oilman and the former chairman of Canadian Natural Resources. Pashak has also garnered his own attention: starting businesses in your twenties gets you in the papers.

At an early age, Pashak showed an interest in money and, particularly, how to grow it. When he was eight, he requested that the child-support money his mother had been saving for him be invested in his step-dad’s oil company. It was a sweet boyhood gesture that would spark a passion for investing. “Every morning I’d wake up and read stock reports and make investments,” Pashak says of his high school years. “I had brokers.” By the time he was 20 he’d made enough money to buy a house just before Calgary’s real-estate market took off. The well-publicized divorce of his mother and Markin landed her a sizeable settlement, of which she gave Pashak and his sister “a small amount,” he says, enough for him to open a music club in 2004 called Broken City. (He’s since sold it, but still owns a quarter share and the building.) “That ended up being a significantly helpful investment, just the real estate,” he says.

Click HERE to read the full article! 


Detroit Lions Standout Wide Receiver Nate Burleson is excited to host his 2nd Annual ‘Nate Burleson Celebrity Server Night’ presented by Quicken Loans. This is an exclusive fundraising event for Burleson’s CATCH Foundation at Morton’s Detroit (Troy), located at 888 W. Big Beaver, Ste. 111, on Monday, November 12, 2012 beginning at 7 p.m.

The evening will feature Burleson and many of his Lions teammates trading their pads for aprons and serve a four-course meal to guests for this special evening. Last year’s special servers included Calvin Johnson, Titus Young, Stephan Logan, Rob Sims, Drew Stanton, Maurice Stovall and more of the 2011 Detroit Lions Roster. The event will also include live and silent auctions.

"Last year was such a great time it seems like everyone is ready to participate in this event again. The guys had a blast serving all the guests, we were able to raise a lot of money last year which helped us adopt families in the Metro Detroit area for Christmas, take kids shopping for their holiday gifts and this year we hope to expand on that and continue to help more throughout Detroit this season,” said Burleson. “Again, I have to thank Quicken Loans for helping put on this event and Morton’s for the great venue. I hope we can sell this event out again and make it a huge success!”

The purpose of the Nate Burleson CATCH Foundation, which was started in 2009, is to reach and teach area children and their families by providing them with educational tools to succeed as well as enriching their lives by showing them how to care for others, themselves and their future.

Tickets for this exclusive event are $250/ticket (Sponsor tables of 8 are also available) and can be purchased by calling Sherrie Handrinos, Boost 1 Marketing, at 734-341-6859. For more information, please visit, www.nateburlesonfoundation.org.
The Detroit Historical Museum will re-open its doors for a grand evening of history-making during the Re-Opening Gala. The evening will serve as a first glance at the museum’s new and renovated galleries, as well as a celebration of Michigan history and roots through Detroit-centric food and beverages. Guests will also enjoy fabulous entertainment by The Contours, Ben Sharkey and Marion Hayden.

Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012
6 pm - 11 pm
Detroit Historical Museum 5401
Woodward Ave. Detroit, MI

A ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the reopening of the newly renovated museum with honorable guests: Mayor Dave Bing, Bob Bury, Maggie and Bob Allesee, Ann and James B. Nicholson and legendary Detroiters Tommy Hearns, Diana Lewis, Ted Lindsey, Martha Reeves, Devin Scillian and Paul W. Smith.

VIP soiree with live entertainment, a strolling dinner and Detroit legends.

An afterparty featuring live entertainment and dancing, as well as Detroit-themed snacks and drinks.

Those in attendance will include:
Mayor Dave Bing, mayor of Detroit and basketball legend
Tommy Hearns, boxing champion Ted Lindsey, hockey legend
Martha Reeves, Motown artist
Devin Scillian, veteran anchor at WDIV-TV
Paul W. Smith, emcee and WJR-AM radio host
Bob Bury, executive director and CEO of the Detroit Historical Society Members of the DHS board of directors

TICKETS:

 Legend: VIP soiree and ribbon cutting - access begins at 6 p.m. for $1,000 a person.

Patron: Full access of museum and strolling dinner - admitted entry at 7:30 p.m. for $500 a person.

Next Generation: After-hours party and late night snacks - access begins at 9 p.m. for $150 a person.

The Re-Opening Gala is the first opportunity for the public to view the museum’s new exhibits, including The Allesee Gallery of Culture, the Kid Rock Music Lab, Detroit: The “Arsenal of Democracy,” and The Gallery of Innovation, as well as the revamped and enhanced Streets of Old Detroit, Doorway to Freedom and America’s Motor City exhibits, all of which are a result of the Detroit Historical Society’s $20.1 million Past&Forward campaign. Three levels of tickets are available, offering each guest access to exclusive event-going experiences, including: a VIP Soiree and ribbon-cutting; a Detroit Legends meet and greet with strolling dinner; and an after-hours party highlighting various Detroit brews, spirits and classic late-night snacks.
Having your brand name become part of the common lexicon is a marketing coup of the highest order. It’s debatable, though, whether or not that applies when the expression in question is "You don’t know shit from Shinola." But with the idea that any name recognition is good name recognition, the folks at Bedrock Manufacturing decided that Shinola, the popular mid-century shoe polish brand, was just the right mark to reintroduce for their new line of American-made watches, bikes, and other leather goods. As they’ve started putting their manufacturing operation in place, however, Shinola has proven not only to be a familiar name but also a reminder of how products can benefit from the stories behind them.

The brand revival started last year, when Bedrock set out to create a new line of high-end leather accessories. From the start, the venture was not only about the products themselves but where they would be produced: Here at home, in the U.S. In Bedrock’s eyes, the new company would be a throwback to a time when goods were built to last, when customers weighed price points with quality, and, most importantly, when those customers had an interest in who was building the products--and where.

It would be a company steeped in the values of an older era, and the founding team wanted a name to match. "We didn’t want to try to invent a name that had heritage and pretend there was history behind it," COO Heath Carr says, so they looked for inactive brands that were on the market. They eventually came across Shinola, along with the "ever-so-famous saying that comes with the name," Carr says.

Next came finding a new home. After looking at a number of cities, the team decided to establish the company in Detroit, the former manufacturing powerhouse and something of an American throwback itself. It’s a tidy fit that, like the Shinola name, Detroit too is in the early stages of a 21st-century reinvention.

In Detroit, the first order of business was finding a building to house their new watch factory, and the location they settled on was one that surprised everyone involved. The visiting Shinola team had been invited to tour the College of Creative Studies, a design school located in the historic (and recently renovated) Argonaut Building, simply to get a taste of Detroit’s young creative talent. An elevator malfunction, Carr recalls, lead to a serendipitous discovery: "The elevator, for unknown reasons, accidentally stops on the fifth floor. And the fifth floor is completely empty. And we looked around and said, 'This is perfect! You guys mind if we build a watch factory here?'"

Click HERE to read the full article! 

The College for Creative Studies (CCS) is pleased to announce that Mitch Albom has renewed the Detroit Dozen Challenge. Last year, Albom pledged $60,000 to sponsor CCS students and he put forth a challenge for other donors to join him. This past academic year, Albom’s challenge resulted in four new students receiving scholarships to attend CCS. He hopes to attract even more donors to support next year’s incoming freshmen.

“I am so encouraged by the progress of efforts to provide Detroit students with art and design education. We all know that talent is not the issue in Detroit, but access to an affordable education is a major obstacle to many gifted young people’s dreams,” says Journalist and Philanthropist Mitch Albom. “That is why it is so important that people with means join us as we provide resources to help young people with artistic aspirations. By fall 2013, I would like to see seven additional deserving Detroit students receive scholarships to attend CCS.”

Mitch Albom's Detroit Dream Scholars Fund provides scholarships for students from Detroit to attend CCS as undergraduates. Albom is challenging seven more people from the community to join him in the campaign. A scholarship may be funded for $15,000 per year for four years, or gifts of any size can be contributed to this initiative. Each scholarship recipient is required to create a piece of public art so that their work will benefit the community as a whole. Sherell Garrison, the 2011/2012 scholarship recipient, is a Fine Arts major at CCS and has, so far, participated in two community arts projects. It is important to Albom that all of the Detroit Dream Scholars give back to Detroit.

“It is not enough to be given an opportunity. Those of us who are fortunate, must also share that good fortune with others,” says Albom. “That is why each Detroit Dream Scholar is required to develop a piece of art that directly benefits the city of Detroit.”

The 2012/2013 scholarship recipients are: Illustration Freshman Kyle Jordan, Entertainment Arts Freshman Kellye Perdue, Interior Design Freshman Beverly Robinson, and Graphic Design Freshman Kevin Beltran. To donate to the Detroit Dream Scholars Fund, contact Mary Boyle at 313.664.7472.

The College for Creative Studies (CCS) is an integrated learning community located in Detroit. A private, fully accredited college, CCS enrolls 1,400 students pursuing Master of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees. CCS also offers visual art opportunities for learners of all ages through its Community Arts Partnerships and Continuing Education programs. For more information, visit www.collegeforcreativestudies.edu.

Moosejaw Detroit Shop Opens TODAY On Woodward!



Moosejaw, the quirky national outdoor retailer, today announced it will open its first ever retail store in downtown Detroit for the holiday shopping season on Thursday, November 1. The store will be located at 1275 Woodward Avenue between Grand River and State streets, adjacent to Somerset Collection’s CityLoft.

The Moosejaw Detroit shop, which will remain open through December 22, will feature products from popular outdoor brands including The North Face, Patagonia, Arc’Teryx, Sorel, Timbuk2, as well as the newest line of outerwear from Moosejaw and many more. True to its famously unique and fun brand, Moosejaw’s Detroit shop will have a foosball table, disco-themed dressing room, mobile cash-free checkout, a living habitat in the window, and much more.

“Moosejaw is recognized as an innovator within the retail industry when it comes to our store concepts and marketing, so it only makes sense for us to open a shop in downtown Detroit - the country’s newest hotspot for creativity and innovation,” said Eoin Comerford, President and CEO of Moosejaw.

To celebrate its first downtown store, the company will hold a grand opening bash on Friday, November 2 from 12 p.m. - 9 p.m. The shop will serve a steady supply of beer to those 21 and older from Atwater brewery in Detroit, and give away Moosejaw SWAG. “We’ve been proud of our connection to the city ever since Moosejaw opened in metro-Detroit 20 years ago, so we’re thrilled to also now be located in downtown Detroit,” said Bryan Lively, Vice President of Retail at Moosejaw, referencing the company’s first location in Keego Harbor and current headquarters in Madison Heights, Michigan. “Distinctive retail is necessary to create a thriving urban core, so we’re happy to bring the Moosejaw brand to Detroit to help the city’s resurgence.”

Moosejaw’s lease was brokered by Bedrock Real Estate Services LLC, Rock Ventures’ full service real estate firm. Rock Ventures is the umbrella entity for Dan Gilbert’s portfolio of companies, investments and real estate.

“More than 60 companies have joined us in downtown Detroit since August 2010, and Moosejaw’s shop in the city is proof that momentum is building and national retailers want space on Woodward Avenue,” said Dan Mullen, Real Estate Developer at Bedrock. “Not only will Moosejaw’s Detroit shop help the city, it will be great for the company as downtown Detroit shoppers are eager for new and great retail options.” The Moosejaw pop-up shop will be open Thursday - Saturday from 12 p.m. - 9 p.m. through December 22.

For more information, please visit www.moosejaw.com/detroitshop.


Rock Ventures LLC announced today it will build 33,000 square feet of ground floor retail space and a 1,300 space parking garage in downtown Detroit's Central Business District.

Construction on the 535,000 square-foot Z-shaped retail and parking development will begin in November 2012, and is expected to be completed by December 2013. The structure will zigzag from the corner of Broadway and East Grand River to the corner of Library and Gratiot, occupying what is currently a surface parking lot. The parking/retail development will be a distinctive structure utilizing color, glass, and original artwork.

Rock Ventures is developing the property to help alleviate the area's parking shortage in and around downtown Detroit's Central Business District, and just as important, bring more unique retail and dining options to the area's fast growing tech and creative corridor and employee base, said Dan Gilbert, Founder and Chairman of Rock Ventures and Quicken Loans.

"Downtown Detroit's population is growing every day, as new start-ups launch and other companies move downtown. In two years alone, the number of people who work in the Central Business District has increased by more than 10,000 people. These folks need parking, and more places to eat and shop. Our new development will help meet some of this demand," said Gilbert.

Rock Ventures, the umbrella entity providing operational coordination and integration of Dan Gilbert's portfolio of companies, investments and real estate, has moved more than 6,500 team members into the Campus Martius area, many of whom will benefit from the added parking (some are currently being shuttled to their office, decreasing foot traffic vital to urban cores). Since August 2010, more than 60 companies have moved into or launched in Rock Ventures-owned buildings.

George Jackson, President, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, said this kind of development is exactly what the city needs to continue its revival.

"More parking, more retail stores and more restaurants….all of these conveniences and services are part of what is required to create a thriving urban core that people want to live in and visit," Jackson said. "We are very excited about this new development."

Bedrock Real Estate Services LLC, Rock Ventures' full-service real estate firm and developer for the project, will be responsible for managing the property and leasing the retail space. Bedrock is working with Michigan-based Neumann/Smith Architecture and parking consultants Rich and Associates Inc. to design the structure. Colasanti Construction Services Inc./Sachse Construction, a joint venture, are the construction managers for the project.

Vince Keenan

Do-it-yourself Detroit is on borrowed time. Working around the democratically elected government of the city isn’t a long term strategy. One day soon we’ll have to figure out how to address the future of this city that stretches out beyond the horizon of our lifetimes, past the excitement of this burst of energy, past the frustration and decline that has plagued Detroit for 50 years. Inspiration and desperation come in waves. Good government provides consistency over time; failing government erodes stability. At some point we are going to have to institutionalize our best ideas and noblest principles.

There are many stories about the positive energy in Detroit, from bright new enthusiasm to hardscrabble ingenuity. There are residents in communities that have every right to give up yet somehow find the reserve to keep things going. There are stories of large deliberate efforts and small but inspiring injections of hope. Not all of these stories get the same airplay, but many share the same theme: citizens doing it themselves.

Detroiters are finding ways to fill in gaps that shouldn’t exist. People are pulling together to solve problems, from rescuing parks to community patrols to informal business support groups to dynamic large scale and small scale investments that drive a vision for economic development. There is a resolve that excites us even if city government isn’t working the way we want. It is a resolve that says this city can come back. It’s good and necessary and ... fun. Today, we are focused on what we can get to work, to grow every spark into a flame and make sure every domino is close enough to knock down the next.

Click HERE to read the full article! 
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Astro Coffee in Corktown, a Detroit neighborhood luring new businesses.

At the ragged corner of Michigan Avenue and Trumbull Street in the historic neighborhood of Corktown, where the Detroit Tigers played for 87 years, all that remains is a slice of an entrance gate, a flagpole and a barren field.

After the last out in 1999, the Tigers departed what locals call "the Corner," for the new Comerica Park downtown. The American League champions host baseball's World Series there this weekend. Back in Corktown, redevelopment proposals for the surrounding blocks foundered, and when Tiger Stadium finally was razed in September 2009, many feared the neighborhood would be lost to history. But Corktown is stirring again.

Young entrepreneurs have homed in on Corktown's main drag, which is now dotted with small businesses: a nationally acclaimed barbecue joint, a burger bar, a craft-cocktail nightspot and a hip coffee shop. A few boutiques selling sports apparel and vinyl records have sprouted along blocks that were once largely shuttered.

"When the bike racks are full, you know things are humming," said Dave Steinke, owner of the new Mercury Burger Bar, who plans to open an Italian restaurant on Michigan Avenue next month. "When you see some strollers on the street, you know they'll be back again and again."

Corktown—named for County Cork by the Irish farmers who settled there in the 1800s—isn't bustling, local boosters concede. But for Detroiters, the seeds of commerce in an area left for dead are sparking hope that some of the city's most forlorn neighborhoods can be resurrected. That hope hasn't touched other neighborhoods. New stadiums, office buildings and hotels have helped Detroit's downtown area recover from its gloomiest days. But farther out, residential and commercial corridors bear deep scars of population loss and business flight.

Click HERE to read the full article!


 6. Erebus Haunted Attraction in Pontiac, MI
  www.hauntedpontiac.com

Michigan is the haunted attraction capital of the world with more than 70 haunts in a 50 mile radius. Erebus prides itself as one of the most unique haunts in the country by building almost all of their own props in-house. This is not the haunted house you went to as a kid, but the one that makes you scream as an adult. Things will grab you, bite you, and land on top of you. Walk through a swamp. Be placed inside a room, door slammed, and get dumped on by 10,000 balls as you’re buried alive! How long can you hold your breath? Erebus, in Greek Mythology, is the son of Chaos and the brother of Night, this year they are bringing in the "Mother" - Chaos is coming fall 2012. Chaos is unleashing an all-out assault! She'll hit you from every angle with full on fear... and show no mercy.

Visit www.hauntedpontiac.com for more haunted house details.

Click HERE for the full list! 
Detroit-Labs_615x327.jpg

When Detroit Labs co-founder Nathan Hughes recruits employees for his mobile and web app development company, he often faces resistance about the company's location.

"A lot of people have that hesitation," he says. "They're not sure about moving to Detroit."

The city, which has lost half of its population in the wake of the auto industry collapse, has a bad reputation. Many buildings are abandoned, and thousands of residents live in some of the most extreme poverty in the country.

But Hughes, a Michigan native, and his Detroit Labs partners saw the potential of the city as fertile ground for a thriving tech startup--and after visiting, their candidates do, too.

"We bring them down to our office in a beautiful old building," says Hughes. "We show them what's going on in the area, and they change their minds. People are really loving it here."

The city is home to a small, but thriving tech community, with companies including Quicken Loan, Compuware Ventures, and Galaxe Solutions based downtown. And while many storefronts are vacant, the local businesses that do exist are all worth visiting, says Hughes. "There aren't 50 or 100 restaurants to choose from, like you'd see in most cities, but the 10 or 20 that are there are very high quality."

Will McDowell, a recent grad working as a business analyst for Detroit Labs, lives downtown, as do many of the business' younger employees. "I think we have just as much fun here, and just as much to do at a lower price than in any other city," he says.

Click HERE to read the full article! 

Photo: Lundgren Photography 
4. Detroit, Mich.

Jobs added from 2010 through 2012: 92,407 (up 5 percent) According to a report published by think tank Brookings Institution, Detroit tops the nation — coming second only to Charleston, SC — as the area that's added the most manufacturing jobs in the country from January 2010 through 2011.

Source: CareerBuilder and Economic Modeling Specialists (EMSI)

Click HERE for the full article on Business Insider. 

The final weekend of Tashmoo Biergarten is here! On Saturday, October 27 Tashmoo will run in conjunction with the Villages Fall Festival, and on Sunday, October 28 Liquid Table Beverage Solutions is coordinating The Brewers’ Brunch as the final event of the 4th Annual Detroit Beer Week.

Many local brewers, as well as the Detroit Beer Week staff will be on hand to discuss the beers. From 12 noon until 3 pm, enjoy a Michigan Bloody Mary bar, coffee and beer drinks from Great Lakes Coffee, and a menu of suggested food and beer pairings featuring our participating food vendors: Simply Suzanne, Corridor Sausage, Treat Dreams and People's Pierogi.

Last year a vacant patch of land in Detroit’s West Village was transformed by a group of local artists, foodies, designers and writers into the Tashmoo Biergarten, a pop-up, European-style Biergarten. After serving more than 7,000 people and raising funds for multiple community organizations,

Tashmoo came back in 2012 for three consecutive weekends, Saturday, October 27 and Sunday, October 28, being the last.

Saturday, October 27- Sunday, October 28
Tashmoo Biergarten
1416 Van Dyke
Detroit, Michigan 48226

About Tashmoo Biergarten
Since it has opened, Tashmoo Biergarten has brought over 7,000 people to West Village, raising awareness for the historical neighborhood, with proceeds from past events going to the Villages Community Development Corporation and to the Waldorf School. Tashmoo is made possible by the hard work and dedication of Team Tashmoo, and army of volunteers and the generous support of our partners, lovio george | communications + design, Marvin Shaouni Photography, Vitamin Water, Simply Suzanne and the Villages of Detroit. All of the funds raised go to the Villages Community Development Corporation.

Find out more about Tashmoo Biergarten at tashmoodetroit.com, or on Facebook at www.fb.com/TashmooDetroit or www.facebook.com/DetroitBeerWeek
The Michigan Film Office announced today three projects – the Internet program Detroit Rubber, the feature film RoboCop and the web series The Castle – have been approved for film incentives from the state.

“All of these projects present an opportunity to showcase Michigan – whether through our filmmakers, our iconic locations, or the talented cast and crew we have here in the state,” said Carrie Jones, director of the Michigan Film Office. “We are seeing the rise of young entrepreneurs through Detroit Rubber and the return of RoboCop to Detroit, which is a testament to the range and diversity of projects we are supporting in the state.”

The feature film RoboCop was also awarded an incentive of $294,312 on $1,057,356 of projected in-state expenditures for second unit shoots in Detroit. The project expected to hire 81 Michigan workers with a full time equivalent of three jobs.

In RoboCop, the year is 2028 and multinational conglomerate OmniCorp is at the center of robot technology. Their drones are winning American wars around the globe and now they want to bring this technology to the home front. Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) is a loving husband, father and good cop doing his best to stem the tide of crime and corruption in Detroit. After he is critically injured in the line of duty, OmniCorp utilizes their remarkable science of robotics to save Alex’s life. He returns to the streets of his beloved city with amazing new abilities, but with issues a regular man has never had to face before.

Scenes shot in Michigan include various Detroit landmarks and other exterior shots.

Click HERE to read the full article!

ChallegeDetroit_615x327.jpg

Can 30 creative thinkers make a difference to a city in need? A Detroit economic and entrepreneurial development organization called The Collaborative Group is betting on it.

Devastated by the collapse of the auto industry that fueled the region's growth, Detroit has fallen into dire straits. The city, which has a poverty rate of 37.6 percent, is the poorest major city in America. Residents are moving out in droves: Detroit's population has shrunk by a quarter in the past decade.

Led by the vision of The Collaborative Group board member Doyle Mosher, the group's Challenge Detroit initiative is focused on building a young, educated workforce in the region, starting with just 30 people.

In September, Challenge Detroit brought 30 talented young people--hand-picked from a group of nearly 1,000--to Detroit for an innovative one-year program that challenges them to live, work, play, and give in the nation's most impoverished major city.

The 30 Challenge Detroit Fellows are a mix of recent college graduates, artists, lawyers, urban policy specialists, and other innovators. As Fellows, they've received year-long job placements with local host companies from large businesses like Quicken Loans and Chrysler, to startups like ePrize and HiredMyWay.

"We found companies that were willing to step up and take a chance on innovative thinkers," says Deirdre Greene Groves, executive director of The Collaborative Group. "Some had defined roles in mind, while others said, 'When we meet the person we want, we'll know and let them define the position.'"

Click HERE to read the full article on The Atlantic! 
Jeanette Pierce stands on an outside balcony in the high-rise apartment building she lives in downtown Detroit, Michigan on October 16, 2012. REUTERS-Rebecca Cook
Jeanette Pierce stands on an outside balcony in the high-rise apartment building she lives in downtown
Detroit, Michigan on October 16, 2012. 

Credit: REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

When Jeanette Pierce moved into a downtown Detroit high-rise seven years ago, she could always count on getting into The Well, a local bar with wood-paneled walls, dartboards and an X-Box in the corner. Now she can barely squeeze in.

"There could be a line with as many as 150 to 175 people at the bar," said Pierce, 31, co-founder of a nonprofit that promotes Detroit. She's wistful for the nights when just 50 patrons would show up.

Pierce's neighborhood is an example of the renaissance and growth seen in a handful of areas in Detroit, a city whose overall fortunes and population have tumbled, especially in the last decade with the contraction of the American auto industry.

City officials and business leaders, who bristle over media fixation on crime and budget misery, are hoping to turn attention to Detroit's green shoots: bustling restaurants, community gardens and long waiting lists for apartments.

Last month the nonprofit Detroit Regional News Hub, which connects journalists to people and organizations involved in rebuilding the city, held a promotional day-and-a-half event. "Transformation Detroit" featured talks by city officials, including Mayor Dave Bing, business owners, real estate developers and others invested in the city's recovery.

Among them was Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, which recently finished moving 3,400 employees who had been based in the suburb of Southfield to a complex of five buildings huddled near the Detroit River.

The city is also home to 1,400 gardens tended by 15,000 to 20,000 mostly volunteer gardeners, said Rebecca Salminen Witt, president of the Greening of Detroit. The 23-year-old nonprofit agency seeks to reclaim open spaces and restore the local ecosystem through tree planting and urban agriculture. The produce - 200 tons are harvested each year - is distributed to the community and sold at neighborhood farmers' markets in Detroit, and the income is plowed back into the collaborative.

The event was partly sponsored by the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, a nonprofit whose board is appointed by city officials.

"We have to create the kind of environment to make people stay," Bing, a Democrat elected three years ago, told reporters. "We're well on our way to doing that."

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