Prior to its recently embarrassing period of decay, the Paris of the Midwest represented just the opposite: for decades, Detroit’s powerful heartbeat determined the nation’s innovation pulse. By stagnating, Detroit’s muscle found itself disrupted and Detroit entered a dark period chock full of corruption, greed, tunnel-vision, and crime. Revitalizing a carcass of what once was a thriving city has been nothing short of insurmountable, but incredibly, it’s happening anyway.
This reclaimed city from within, Detroit 2.0, has taken shape thanks in large part to a few powerful, dedicated individuals working tirelessly. People across the nation can recognize these names: Mayor Dave Bing, the man committed to rebooting the city’s woeful financial structure, Dan Gilbert (my friend and partner at Detroit Venture Partners), the champion behind 3 million refurbished square feet of office space encouraging a comprehensive downtown lifestyle, and Mike Ilitch, owner of two downtown sports teams and world-renowned pizza chain, bringing millions of people into the city annually for sporting events.
So what about the rest of our city? These powerhouses will be responsible for billions in revenue, but a city only truly thrives with “little guys” on board as game-changers too. I’m not Pollyanna here – there’s serious problems that won’t go away without monumental effort in numerous fields, but people are taking steps to fix issues affecting all of us – and lessons they’re teaching us here are applicable elsewhere.
Andy Didorosi of The Detroit Bus Company:
Instead of whining, pointing fingers and carrying on about Detroit’s lack of mass transportation, a 25-year-old entrepreneur started a company to connect neighborhoods. His bio-diesel powered bus service operates on Friday and Saturday nights from 6 pm until 2 am. For $5, riders can get on and off both lines interchangeably all night, drink in hand. Even more compelling is DBC’s “We Ride” program: for every seat purchased, they’ll provide another Detroiter in need a free ride to work. As it stands, thousands of people don’t have a reliable, affordable way to get to work, so this company offers a homegrown solution for people to keep their jobs, and their dignity in getting there.
Lesson Learned: There’s always a better way to connect the dots, even those on a map.
Click HERE to read the rest of this article by Josh Linkner on Forbes (dot) com!
The 2012 Chevrolet Rockin’ on the Riverfront concert series welcomes one of the most belovedrock personalities of all time,a founding member and lead guitarist of KISS, Ace Frehley, to the GM Riverfront stageon July 27.The concert presented in partnership with Detroit’s Classic Rock Station 94.7 WCSX-FM and the new Soft Rock 105.1 FM will rock the riverfront stage starting a 7:30p.m.
An inspiration to musicians and music lovers around the globe, Ace Frehley has shocked us with his unique style both on and off stage. The mastermind behind the persona “Space Ace,” Frehley was a crucial member of KISS from its inception in 1973 until his departure in 1982. Returning to KISS bandmates in 1996 for the highly successful KISS Reunion Tour, Frehley also managed to launch a successful solo career with his own band, “Frehley’s Comet.” In 1988, Frehley returned to the studio once again with KISS to record “Psycho Circus” and completed his run in 2001 with the band’s “Farewell Tour.”
Frehley has continued to stay at the top of his game since his farewell to KISS in the early 2000s. He launched his solo career with “Anomaly,” debuting at number 27 on Billboard’s charts before touring the Unites States, Europe and Australia. As a solo artist, Frehley has shared the stage with artists including Slash and Pearl Jam.
Michigan band Finding Clyde will open the evening at 7:30 p.m. , and Ace Frehley will rock the stage beginning at 9 p.m.
Rockin’ on the Riverfront offers more than free concerts in its 2012 summer season spanning six consecutive Friday evenings. Located in the heart of the city, between the GM Renaissance Center and Detroit River, the event has become a summer destination for dining and entertainment in Detroit. Upcoming shows include: Lou Gramm of Foreigner on August 3; The Sweet & The Tubes on August 10; Mark Farner of Grand Funk Railroad and Marshall Crenshaw on August 17.
Admission to the concerts is always free and no advance tickets are necessary. Viewing space is offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs and blankets. In addition, boaters on the Detroit River are welcome to anchor near the riverfront and enjoy the shows from the water.
Andiamo Detroit Riverfront will provide refreshment and food concessions at several locations across the plaza. Outside food, beverages or coolers will not be permitted. Andiamo Detroit Riverfront and Joe Muer Seafood will accept dinner reservations before and after the concert and both restaurants offer outdoor patios overlooking the Detroit River and Rockin’ on the Riverfront stage.
Convenient parking is available for $5 per vehicle, starting at 5:00 p.m., at the GM surface lot at the intersection of St. Antoine and Atwater streets, adjacent to the GM Renaissance Center.
The Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center is offering two viewing packages. The Andiamo Riverfront package includes a four-course dinner and overnight accommodations. The Joe Muer Seafood package includes a four course dinner, overnight accommodations and breakfast at forty-two degrees north. For reservations specify the package and call 1-800-352-0831 or visit detroitmarriott.com. Use promotional code D60.
Fans are invited to watch FOX2 in the Morning every week to enter a FOX2 EXPOSED contest for a chance to win a VIP prize package, which includes two (2) VIP access wristbands and lanyards with front row seats, dinner for two (2) at Andiamo Detroit Riverfront in the Rockin’ on the Riverfront VIP section (the evening of the concert only), overnight accommodations for two (2) at The Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center (the evening of the concert only), free parking in the Beaubien Garage located on Beaubien Street (the evening of the concert only) and a band meet-and-greet (if available). To enter, access the online contest entry form on the MyFoxDetroit.com and follow instructions. Questions for the Ace Frehley contest will be read on Monday, July 23.
For updates and information, visit www.facebook.com/RockinontheRiverfront and www.facebook.com/GMRenCen or www.gmrencen.com.
Positive Detroit Original - Erin Rose
As much as people talk about the things they do not want in Detroit (I will refrain from giving examples for the sake of this article and your sanity), I would like to provide you with a list of things I do want. I fully admit that this is a selfish list, though I have a sneaking suspicion I am not alone in my desires and could quite possibly inspire some new ones (crossing fingers).
This post just so happens to coincide with the final week to submit your business idea to the Comerica Hatch Detroit contest (watch above video). Coincidence? Not really, just a little push to see some possible traction on the below list coming to life. Disclaimer: I am on the executive board.
For those of you interested in starting a business in Detroit and need some cold, hard cash to get started, you have one week left to submit to the Comerica Hatch Detroit 2012 contest for a chance to win $50K along with a matching value in business services (marketing, accounting, legal, web, photo ops with Joe Posch, etc).
So without further adieu......
1. Food Truck Park with a slew of amenities like seating, restrooms, wifi, bike racks, stroller valet, atm, live music stage, kid-friendly play area, gardens featuring local art and water displays, etc. Not to mention a host of events like beer gardens, tailgates, themed parities, concerts, movie nights, private rentals. The list goes on and on. I think there may be a parcel or two of land available for development, maybe squeeze in next to the area of Brush Park that backs up to Eastern Market. Just a thought......
Above is an example, the Soma Street Food Park in San Francisco that opened this year, which was inspired by Portland's Pods.
2. Better Hours. Jimmy John's on Monroe and Griswald, I would really appreciate it if you extend your hours past the national AARP bedtime. Same goes for you CVS.
3. More Active Detroit. Take a look at the below picture. Where was this taken? Florida Keys? No. El Lay. Err, wrong again. Belle Isle Beach. Yeah, the one here in Detroit.
This beauty opens opportunities for kayak, canoe, paddle boat, and stand up paddle board (SUP) sales, rentals, and lessons. Bike rentals to cruise around the island? Yes please.
|Photo taken 7/23/2012 by the lovely Michelle Srbinovich|
Personally, I would like to go back in time about a hundred years when Belle Isle looked like the below photos. Of course in full color, 25 mega pixel, smart phone captured, HD Videoed, with more photos than Instragram can handle.
Just think: it could be our very own Central Park, but way cooler because it is an actual island, not just on one.
*To help reopen the FIRST aquarium in the whole US of A that resides on Belle Isle, click HERE to donate (time and money, people).*
4. Independent Health Food Store, ie The Natural Food Patch in Fab Ferndale (I would like a piece of my former life in the burbs to follow me here to Detroit).
5. Roof Top Bars. Here is one example, The Empire Hotel in NYC, that was recently graced with a runway show by our very own Fotoula Lambros Design. A pool would be a nice addition as well.
6. More Delivery!!!! Good News: Michelle at Woofbridge Feed + Supply will deliver dog food to my apartment. Bad news: Who else delivers besides Michelle, Sgt. Pepperoni, Bucharest, and a few chains after 4 pm?
Actually, I think we should start with beer and then move onto food. My neighbor's friend brings over growlers of beer on his skateboard. Seems easy enough.
P.S. If you do want delivery between 11 am - 4pm, Hot Spokes can help you with a myriad of choices.
7. Art Boutique Hotels. Each room is designed by a different artist, catering to people who need a last minute room because they will be having way too much fun in Detroit and do not want to leave before sunrise.
8. Art Street Vendors. Since we are already on the topic of art, Detroit has a very talented artistic community. I would love to see the day that an area of Detroit was designated for people to display, sell, and create their art right on the city streets!
Best part: It didn't break the bank at $35 smackers! Nothing beats a night out on the town where you have the confidence in the way you look and can freely enjoy the company around you.
My favorite example is the Drybar. Drybar hails from sunny California and has locations up and down the West Coast, Arizona, Texas, Georgia and The Big Apple. I think its time to venture to the Midwest and open shop in Detroit, hint hint :).
10. Mae's. Real shocker here, right folks? Mae's serves up delicious breakfast and lunch in one of the most stylish locations in Metro Detroit. They are located in the 48069 and really, need to be in the proximity of 48226. Not only does Mae's serve up yummy meals, but they clearly know how to run a successful business with a 300% growth in sales from 2010-2011. As a new restaurant, beating the odds is an understatement. Exactly what Detroit needs, a business that has longevity and prides itself on buying local. How many other restaurants do you know of that refuse to sell Coke or Pepsi and stick with Faygo?
Now, due to a "secret informant" (apparently Curbed Detroit has......one), the owner's of Mae's aim higher and in addition to serving tasty breakfast and lunch, they would love to supply you with bottomless mimosas, McClure's Bloody Mary's, and their own tasty concoctions on Saturday & Sunday. Rumor has it thanks to the new law signed by Governor Snyder, it's way easier to get a liquor license in Detroit than the burbs.........
|Jess's latest creation: Salted Carmel Cream Filled Chocolate Chip Cookies. |
I'm sure they will be even more delicious in the 313.
11. Fitness Studios. You cannot mention food without following it up with fitness. Dear "Best of Hour" Five-Years-Running Nth Degree Fitness: Get your fine, well sculpted behinds down here already and give Charles Pugh a run for his money with your 6-pack abs! You too Bikram Yoga and GoCycle!
12. Somerset CityLoft opens up full time on Woodward, maybe on the former J.L Hudson site.........
13. Film Tours. Let's start highlighting all the Hollywood that Detroit has to offer!
The weather has not been the only thing hot here this summer. Check out all the action that's been going on in Detroit over the past few months.
- Brooklyn Street Local opened on Michigan and Brooklyn.
- Green Dot Stables is open past lunch thanks to the liquor license approval. I run an extra couple of miles a week thanks to their menu (specifically to these). Totally worth it!
- Corktown Businesses Receive $980K for Development Projects
- Great Lakes Coffee, aka Institute for Advanced Drinking (iFad) opened on Alexandrine and Woodward. Tell James I sent you.
- Yoga Shelter opened its doors to give us our daily dose of Zen
- The Bottomline Coffee Shop opened for business on July 23rd
- Whole Foods broke ground on Mack Ave
- Somerset CityLoft opened for second year
- Dan Gilbert has not bought another building. Bedrock is too busy lowering the commercial vacancy rate.
- Amazon.com exploring to build a software center
- AJ's Cafe is relocating from Ferndale
- US Patent Office opens first location outside of DC on the banks of the Detroit River
- Mayor Bing and Gov. Snyder announce construction of a new bridge to Canada
- Globe Trading Company Nature Center Development underway with $12.8M DNR investment
- $10M awarded to improve Eastern Market, link Dequindre Cut, Midtown, and Hamtramck
- $44M to expand the RiverFront to Belle Isle
The Yardbird will be one of the sandwiches competing for tops in the Great Lakes Region on this week's Adam Richman's Best Sandwich in America. See the show Wed night 7/25 @ 9pm on The Travel Channel.
Click HERE to donate to this project and get some really cool stuff!