[Rendering by Project for Public Spaces]

To get the full scoop, head on over to Curbed Detroit for the deets! 

 Click HERE to download!

Roast, Detroit

Michael Symon’s steakhouse makes a big first impression with its gray-and-dark-wood décor—there’s even a 720-pound redwood communal table in the main dining room. But it’s the meat that takes center stage, literally. Every day, a glass-encased charcoal spit showcases a different whole roasted animal, and you’ll find pig ears, beef cheek, and veal sweetbreads on the menu. For purists, there are charcoal-grilled steaks, finished over a cherrywood grill and best paired with a local brew.

Click HERE for the full article!

Neumann/Smith Architecture, one of Michigan’s most distinguished design firms specializing in architecture and interior design for corporate, commercial, academic, and recreational facilities, today announced it will open a design studio in downtown Detroit’s Wright Kay Building, located at 1500 Woodward Ave., between Clifford and Farmer.

Neumann/Smith has been front and center in downtown Detroit’s recent revitalization, designing innovative workspaces that have helped to attract new businesses to the city.

The firm has been involved in transforming the M@dison Building at Grand Circus Park into a hub for high-tech entrepreneurial activity and designing renovations to the Chrysler House, One Woodward Avenue Office Tower and the First National Building, located in the city’s growing tech hub. Most recently, it was announced that the firm is designing Campbell Ewald’s new headquarters in the former J.L. Hudson Co. warehouse attached to Ford Field.

“We are excited about opening up a studio space downtown where we can be closer to our clients and the incredible revitalization taking place,” said Joel Smith, AIA, Neumann/Smith partner. “The new Detroit office will provide an opportunity for more face-to-face meetings, foster a closer client experience, and increase our involvement in the community.”

Headquartered in Southfield, the firm plans to move employees into the new design studio by June of this year, encompassing the entire third floor of the Wright Kay Building, which was purchased by Rock Ventures in December of 2011.

“As a creative company, nothing is more inspiring than to work in a city like Detroit, with its rich history of architectural design,” said Firm Principal and Historic Preservation Design Leader, J. Michael Kirk, AIA. “Our employees are looking forward to the opportunity to work in a downtown urban core.”

Bedrock Real Estate Services, Rock Ventures’ full service real estate firm, brokered the lease.

“Neumann/Smith is joining the fast growing list of companies who have a presence in downtown Detroit to leverage the dynamic creative tech hub that is quickly forming, ” said Jim Ketai, managing partner, Bedrock Real Estate Services.

Neumann/Smith hopes to expand its presence in Detroit and expects to hire more employees for its Detroit studio. For more information, visit

This spring, Detroit’s historic Pewabic Pottery is hosting a special exhibit showcasing the new work of Joe Zajac, a renowned talent on Michigan’s ceramic art scene. The exhibit kicks off with an opening reception on Friday, March 29 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and runs through Sunday, May 26.

Zajac’s new work features flat, tile-like ceramic pieces with surfaces that evoke the automobile in their perfection of surface, as well as the flash of contemporary jewelry and color-block clothing. Zajac’s beautifully hand-crafted ceramics feature bright colors enhanced by a shiny glaze for a mesmerizing look.

Zajac is one of Michigan’s more accomplished ceramic artists. He received his Master of Fine Arts from Eastern Michigan University and serves as associate department chair and professor of ceramics at Wayne State University. Zajac is a member of the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts and has served as president and director of the Michigan Ceramic Art Association.

“Joe Zajac’s handcrafted pieces are striking and a wonderful addition to our exhibition schedule,” said Barbara Sido, executive director of Pewabic Pottery. “It’s especially great to showcase a local artist who has garnered such respect amongst the ceramic community.”

Pewabic Pottery is a non-profit arts and cultural organization and National Historic Landmark which is dedicated to engaging people of all ages in learning experiences with contemporary ceramic art and artists while preserving its historic legacy.

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 Pewabic

Pottery is located at 10125 E. Jefferson Ave. in Detroit across the street from Waterworks Park.
Photo: Lundgren Photography

Downtowns: What's Behind America's Most Surprising Real Estate Boom

15 U.S Cities Emerging Downtowns


One of the main factors businesses consider when deciding on where to relocate or expand is the available pool of college-educated workers. And that has cities competing for college-educated young adults. “The American population, contrary to popular opinion, is not very mobile, but there is one very significant exception, what we call ‘the young and the restless,’” explains Lee Fisher, president of CEOs for Cities, a national not-for-profit organization that helps U.S. cities map out economic growth.

And there’s one place this desired demographic, college-educated professionals between the ages of 25 and 34, tends to want to live: tight-knit urban neighborhoods that are close to work and have lots of entertainment and shopping options within an easy walk. In fact this demographic’s population grew 26% from 2000 to 2010 in major cities’ downtowns, or twice as fast as it did in the those cities’ overall metro areas, according to a CEOs for Cities report based on U.S. Census data. That is one of the reasons city planners have been plowing money and resources into revitalizing their core business districts.

“The cities that capture the mobile, college-educated ‘young and restless’ are the ones who are most likely to revitalize their downtowns and accelerate economic progress in their cities,” says Fisher.

Detroit, Mich. 

Detroit has suffered a bad reputation for years now, thanks to its weak economy and mass exodus of residents. "It's a tale of two cities: the one that’s bankrupt and then there’s the one that’s revitalizing its downtown and attracting the 'young and the restless,'" says Lee Fisher of CEOs for Cities.

Detroit's downtown is transforming in large part thanks to billionaire Quicken loans founder Dan Gilbert who has poured millions into redeveloping the area's commercial real estate, relocating many of his businesses to the area.

In 2011, five companies (Quicken Loans, Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan, Compuware, DTE Energy, Strategic Staffing Solutions) pledged more than $4 million to encourage and aid employees in buying, renting or remodeling homes in the area. It's part of a larger initiative to attract 15,000 young professionals downtown by 2015, according to Forbes' Joann Muller.

Click HERE to read the full article! 

1) Boldly share your vision. With a national ad campaign and a matching website and presence, “Opportunity Detroit” is actively marketing to young entrepreneurs, targeting them to bring their ideas here. When nobody is in your corner, you have to be your own loudspeaker. Once people recognize your greatness they’ll get on their own soapboxes on your behalf – until then, spread your message yourself.

2) Focus on impact more than personal gain. If you’re championing a cause and making a difference, your results will be better and more widespread. Ted Serbinski, our Vice President at Detroit Venture Partners, moved to Detroit from San Francisco. People always ask him why he came here, to which he always replies, “Ten years from now, San Francisco will be just as good as it is today. But in ten years, Detroit will be a roaring city once again, defining a new technology hub at the intersection of muscle and brains. Where do you want to be in ten years? Status quo? Or one of the heroes that rebuilt a city?” Couldn’t have said it better myself.

3) Become a category of one. Figuring out your individual strengths is crucial – and sometimes challenging. It’s easy for people to question how Detroit can be the Midwestern Silicon Valley or the “New York City of Michigan”. Focus instead on being the “Detroit” of “Detroit” and be the best you can. No different for your startup, company, or career: if you’re not innovating something fundamentally unique, positioning yourself as your own category, I’m not interested.

4) Pay it forward. With success comes responsibility. When you’re in a position to help someone in a community that has supported your gains, you should do so. If you open a coffee shop and you’re the hottest new spot in town, source the baked goods you provide from an up-and-coming baker who’s looking to make a splash – get her the exposure you’ve been fortunate enough to have yourself. For every ounce, minute, and dollar you give back, you’ll receive tenfold in return.

Click HERE to read the full article!

To some, the idea of Michigan emerging as the next big North American transportation and logistics hub sounds ridiculous.

“There hasn't been any marketing of it,” said Jim Smiertka, senior vice president and general counsel of the East Lansing, Mich.-based Prima Civitas Foundation. “If you look at it, it”s a peninsula. A lot of people say, ‘How can Michigan be a logistics hub?’”

The Potential

But the doubters are missing a few important pieces of information, Smiertka said. First, the Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron and Ambassador Bridge in Detroit are the two busiest US-Canadian border crossings. Through these, Michigan has access to the Halifax Deep Water Port and three other deep water ports along the St. Clair River at the Canadian border crossing. Additionally, the Canadian National Railway flows right into Port Huron, Michigan.

Smiertka said the widening of the Panama Canal is also creating a ripe opportunity for these ports; others around the country are not deep enough to accommodate docking super freighters.

“Halifax is a natural deep water port,” he said. “Then you have that direct connection with the CN and the interstate system right into the US and through into Mexico.”

The Movements

Smiertka said that more than 90 percent of the cargo that currently comes through Michigan continues right on through to Chicago without stopping. Prima Civitas Foundation has been working to change that, developing partnerships with municipalities, chambers of commerce and others.

One of these groups is The Great Lakes International Trade and Transport Hub, which aims to take advantage of the freight traffic to and from the Port of Halifax through Detroit and Port Huron — with Canadian partners in tow. The international partners met for a summit in 2011 to brainstorm ideas for improving trade between Canada and the Midwest. A seven-year action plan delivered to the governor included increasing collaborations between businesses and marketing the region.

Click HERE to read the full article! 

The Michigan Film Office announced today the feature film Transformers 4 has been approved for a film incentive from the state. Transformers 4, expected to film this spring in metro Detroit, opens soon after the end of Transformers: Dark of the Moon, where a great battle left a city torn – but with the world once again saved.

“It speaks volumes about all Michigan has to offer that Transformers is returning once again to our state,” said Margaret O’Riley, director of the Michigan Film Office. “This project will shine another bright spotlight on Michigan and provide tremendous opportunities for our cast, crew and support services.

Transformers 4 was awarded an incentive of $20 million on $81,933,992 of projected in-state expenditures. The project is expected to hire 368 Michigan workers with a full time equivalent of 339 jobs.

Transformers 4 is the third film in the series to use Detroit as a backdrop. The first Transformers, released in 2007, and Transformers: Dark of the Moon, released in 2011, also filmed in metro Detroit.

In Fiscal Year 2013, 13 projects have been awarded a total of $30,962,806 on $120,172,305 of approved production expenditures for the year. These projects are expected to create 1,190 Michigan hires with a full time equivalent of 559 jobs.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) Film Review Committee, comprised of senior MEDC staff including the Michigan Film Commissioner, reviews all completed applications using the statute to guide approval decisions.

The Michigan Film Office was created in 1979 to assist and attract incoming production companies and promote the growth of Michigan’s own film industry. The Film Office also administers the incentive program for film, television and other digital media production in Michigan. For more on the Michigan Film Office, visit:

Spoilers HERE

Photo: Jocelyn Gonzales - NYC Event

Looking for a fun way to celebrate the first day of Spring? Detroit-born NYC composer and performer Patrick Grant will create Tilted Axes Detroit: Music for Mobile Electric Guitars, a procession of over two dozen musicians that will move its way through Midtown Detroit with stops at key locations today between 12:30 and 2:00 PM. 

For more information, click HERE

The Detroit Sports Commission (DSC) announced today that the direct spending for second and third round games of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament hosted by Oakland University at The Palace of Auburn Hills will reach an estimated $1.5 million.

“Our hospitality partners will working hard to make sure visitors have a pleasant experience while in the metro Detroit region," said Dave Beachnau, DSC Executive Director. “We encourage college basketball fans to sample our top entertainment options while they are here, from our bars and restaurants to our attractions, shopping and museums,” said Beachnau.

For more information about where to stay, where to eat and other things to do in metro Detroit go to and click on the Visit Detroit tab. You can also follow the DSC on Twitter at @detsports and join the conversation on Facebook at

For information regarding NCAA Tournament games hosted at The Palace of Auburn Hills on Thursday, March 21 or Saturday, March 23, visit or call (248) 377-8471.


On March 24, join 3,000 Cass Corridor revelers intent on banishing the Nain Rouge, the malevolent dwarf who’s haunted Detroit since the days of Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac. All are welcome at the fourth annual Marche du Nain Rouge – Detroiters and Detroit-lovers (or maybe just Nain-haters) will gather to drive the evil spirit out of our fair city for another year.


This year’s Marche begins with a run – the first ever Run du Nain Rouge, brought to you by the good folks at Tour de Troit. The 5k run begins at 11 a.m., at the corner of Cass and Canfield. The fee is $35, which includes a t-shirt. The top 10 (and bottom 15) runners will win prizes from City Bird.

Click here to register.


The Marche du Nain Rouge proper begins at 1 p.m. in the parking lot of Traffic Jam & Snug, 511 W. Canfield St., as revelers attempt to taunt and chant the dwarf into appearing.

The Marche processes along Cass Avenue through the North Cass Corridor, led by the ghosts of Detroit’s past and followed by the Detroit Party Marching Band. Revelers are encouraged to come masked or fully costumed; groups are encouraged to join in the fun with DIY chariots.

The Marche will culminate on Temple Street, where the sinister dwarf will surely appear, to be firmly banished, freeing Detroit from its woes (until next year).

But the fun’s not over!


What’s the word? After parties.

Masonic Temple’s Victoire – Fiery DJ Madness, 500 Temple St.
Haute to Death, Temple Bar, 2906 Cass Ave.
Nothing Elegant, Old Miami, 3930 Cass Ave.
Model D is hosting a pre-party on Saturday, March 23, The Last Temptation of the Nain Rouge.

Detroit Shipping Container Condos
Detroit firm Three Squared plans to build a 20-unit condo development at Warren Avenue and Rosa Parks Boulevard near Wayne State University. Construction is slated for 2013 with model units to be built in 2012
A local firm is proving Detroit development can get way wackier than Dan Gilbert's garish interior design scheme at the the Chase Tower. Three Squared will build a 20-unit, 26,000 square feet condo development constructed of shipping containers at Rosa Parks Boulevard and Warren Avenue.

Designed by local architect Steven Flum, the project has been in development for several years but was halted after the 2008 crash. Now, Three Squared plans to begin construction on a three-story model unit on Michigan Avenue by the end of the year to pre-sell condos, with the development itself slated to be built in spring 2013. According to the Detroit Free Press, the development will cost $3.4 million, and notes they received a $603,000 tax credit.

Click HERE to read the full article!

The sun sets behind Detroit's skyline in this lovely shot from the riverfront 

 Each day, CNN producers select a user-submitted photo to be our Travel Photo of the Day.

Have a gorgeous travel photo of your own to share? Submit it for the gallery at CNN iReport!

Faygo Beverages is introducing its newest flavor, Faygo Gold, with a contest to win gold from its promotion partner, Tapper’s Diamonds and Fine Jewelry and Tapper’s Gold Exchange. The campaign is launching during the St. Patrick’s Day season with the tagline, “At the End of the Faygo Flavor Rainbow… is Gold.”

The promotion features opportunities to win a “Pot of Gold” - a cauldron of Faygo Gold pop, T-shirts and a 24K, solid gold bar from Tapper’s; - a social media photo contest on Instagram; and an in-store contest and product sampling at Tapper’s Diamonds and Fine Jewelry and Tapper’s Gold Exchange locations.

“With a 105 year history of pop innovation, Faygo fans have come to expect new flavors that are bold and unique,” said Al Chittaro, executive vice president of Faygo Beverages, Inc. “Consumers are already voicing rave reviews for Faygo Gold, a rich, zippy, ginger ale. Our partnership with another celebrated Michigan brand, Tapper’s Jewelry, is a great way to celebrate the launch of Gold with our loyal fans.”

Faygo Gold joins more than 60 flavors in Faygo’s beverage line. Gold is available now throughout Michigan in 24oz and 2 liter bottles. Diet Faygo Gold is available in 2 liter bottles.

#FaygoGold Social Media Photo Contest Starting on Friday, March 15, through Friday, March 29, Faygo fans are asked to take a photo of “what” or “who” is most valuable to them and upload the photo to Instagram with the hashtag, #FaygoGold. The top three Instagram photos generating the most “likes” by 6 p.m. on Friday, March 29, will win. The winners will be announced on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and will receive a “Pot of Gold” that includes Faygo Gold and a 24K, solid gold bar valued at $250 for first place; $100 for second place; and, $50 for third place.

Faygo Gold Contest in Tapper’s Stores On Saturday, March 16, and Sunday, March 17, noon - 5 p.m., Faygo fans who visit any of the 12 participating Tapper’s Diamonds and Fine Jewelry stores and Tapper’s Gold Exchange locations, can get a free sample of Faygo Gold and enter to win a “Pot of Gold” that includes Faygo Gold and a one-third ounce 24K solid gold bar valued at $550. The final drawing will take place on Sunday, March 17 at 6 p.m.

Nothing goes better with basketball than free Detroit-style pizza! That’s why the Oakland University (OU) Grizzlies and the University of Detroit-Mercy (UDM)’s Titans basketball players and fans are amped up to win.

Both the OU and UDM athletic programs are participating in a basketball points promotion which offers event-goers one free 4-square cheese pizza each, with a ticket stub or coupon, when the men’s teams win with 80 or more points and when the women’s teams win with 65 or more points.

UDM Director of Athletic Marketing and Promotions Brandon J. Longmeier said the partnership between Buddy’s Pizza and the school has been beneficial for both parties. “We’re so appreciative of what Buddy’s is doing for our athletic program,” said Longmeier. “The points promotion really motivates the team and gets the crowd excited for free Buddy’s pizza after the game.” Titan fans are additionally offered $3 off 8-square pizzas when their team wins.

Just like at UDM, the students and fans at OU can be heard chanting for “Pizza” during Grizzly basketball games. “The points promotion electrifies the atmosphere during our games,” said Tim Dameron, assistant athletic director for OU marketing and sponsorships and a longtime Buddy’s Pizza fan. “The fans’ excitement helps the team perform better, and everyone gets to celebrate with a delicious Buddy’s pizza.” Grizzly fans additionally receive coupons valid for $4 off 8-square pizzas at each game.

Basketball fans following their favorite teams through the NCAA Tournament can do more than cheer on their favorite teams this year; they can enter for a chance to become one of Buddy’s Final Four Finalists during a Facebook sweepstakes beginning mid-March.

Participants need only enter their name and email into the designated Facebook app. Weekly winners will be chosen to receive four free “Elite 8-square Buddy’s Pizzas” throughout the course of the month-long promotion. At the end of the sweepstakes, one grand prize winner will be selected at random among the Buddy’s Final Four Finalists to receive a Buddy’s Pizza Ultimate Fan Basket.

The sweepstakes begins at midnight on March 18, 2013 and ends at 11:59 p.m. on April 11, 2013. For details and official rules visit

The fastest-growing cities in the country when it comes to technology jobs posted on Dice may have been unexpected in the past. But, with communities coming together to support start-ups, court large employers and fund STEM education initiatives – no one should be surprised that “traditional tech centers” needs a new definition. 

Detroit Tech City

Detroit is the only two-timer on the list, having worn the crown for fastest growing city in 2011, as measured by job postings on Dice.

Back then Detroit had more than 800 tech jobs posted on any given day, now it’s more than 1,100.

Automation Alley, Michigan’s largest technology association, ranked the Greater Detroit region among the best for its strong record of students completing Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) degrees.

Click HERE to read the full article! 

Click HERE for the interactive map to see the change in your community! 

Historic Pewabic Pottery will celebrate 110 years of service to the metro Detroit community with a birthday celebration Saturday, March 16 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at its National Historic Landmark building, 10125 E. Jefferson Ave. in Detroit.

The free event is open to the public. Guests will enjoy giveaways, birthday cake, refreshments and demonstrations from talented ceramic artists. Guided tours of Pewabic’s museum and fabrication studio will also be given at 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m.

“At Pewabic Pottery, we are humbled to be part of Detroit’s history for the past 110 years,” said Barbara Sido, executive director of Pewabic Pottery. “It’s an honor to work in such a vibrant city and we’d like to say ‘thank you’ to the metro Detroiters that continue to visit our museum, tour our pottery, join our classes and help continue the tradition.”

Founded in 1903, Pewabic Pottery quickly established itself as a fixture in Detroit’s arts & crafts scene and through the years has evolved into a respected, cultural and educational institution.

Pewabic Pottery, the milestones:

Founded in 1903 by Mary Chase Perry Stratton and Horace Caulkins and produces first commission for Burley and Company in Chicago.

  • In 1907 moved to its current East Jefferson location, designed by architect William Buck Stratton. In 1909 introduced signature iridescent glazes.
  • In 1928, Pewabic’s Saarinen house fireplace is featured at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. 
  • In 1937 featured in an exhibition of ceramic art at the Whitney Museum of Art in New York City. 
  • In 1947, founder Mary Stratton is awarded the coveted Charles Fergus Binns medal, the nation’s highest award in the field of ceramics. Pewabic wins this prestigious award again 1993. 
  • In 1961, Mary Stratton passed away and Pewabic is run by her assistant, Ella Peters. From 1966 to 1979 Michigan State University owned and operated the pottery as part of its continuing education program. In 1971, Pewabic Pottery is named to the National Register of Historic Places. 
  • In 1979 the Pewabic Society was established to handle the pottery’s day-to-day operations.
  • In 1980 granted nonprofit status. In 1981 ownership was transferred to the Pewabic Society. 
  • In 1991 the pottery and its contents were recognized as a National Historic Landmark. 
  • In 1999 created murals for Comerica Park, the new home of the Detroit Tigers. 
  • In 2011, Pewabic’s iconic chimney is restored. In 2012 launched Copper & Clay: Pewabic’s New Leadership Initiative, a committee of engaged, young professionals providing skills and experience in support of the nonprofit’s mission.

Pewabic’s handcrafted installations and collections can be found in churches, schools and buildings throughout Detroit, including the Guardian Building, Comerica Park, Detroit People Mover Stations, the Detroit Institute of Art, and the Scott Fountain on Belle Isle. Pewabic ceramics can also be found nationally at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, Rice University in Houson, Texas, the Nebraska State Capitol Building in Lincoln, Neb. and at the Freer Gallery at the Smithsonian Institution and Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington D.C

Detroit Quote Of The Day

Charlie LeDuff visited the studios of HBO's 'Real Time With Bill Maher' to discuss his new book, "Detroit: An American Autopsy."  Below is my favorite quote from the interview, which you can watch HERE.

Bill Maher: "Are you hopeful about Detroit?"
Charlie LeDuff: "Yeah."
Maher: "Really?"
Charlie LeDuff: "Yeah, we're going to be there."
Maher: "It's going to go up again?"
Charlie LeDuff: "The Roman Empire fell and Italians are walking around with nice shoes on, man. We're going to be fine."

The City of Detroit sends its former mayor to jail -- and THIS is how the city responds. I love Detroit.

For those of you not old enough to recall, click HERE for the Jefferson's Theme Song.

New Republic: The Detroit Project


But it (Detroit) is hardly the worst and certainly not hopeless. Europe is filled with cities that have risen from similarly miserable conditions.

Take Belfast, which suffered not only industrial decline and disinvestment, but also paralyzing religious guerrilla warfare. Although it received the same sort of hammer blow from globalization as Detroit, it now has steady job growth after decades of losses. Its economic output leapt 35 percent
per capita between 2000 and 2005. And, throughout the European continent’s industrial belt--the parts that are distinctly not Disneyland for American yuppies--there are many other examples of old redoubts of manufacturing (Bilbao, Leipzig, Sheffield, St. Étienne) that have enjoyed the very same sort of dramatic recoveries. This is not to oversell the optimism that these cities should inspire. They will never recover their full manufacturing might or swell with quite so many residents as before. Still, they represent realistic models for the rescue of Detroit.

It is strangely fitting that the recent auto bailout endowed Detroit with a new corporate patron hailing from Turin, Italy. Like Detroit, Turin was once a grand capital of the auto industry, which accounted for 80 percent of the city’s industrial activity, most of it with Fiat, Chrysler’s new owner. But the Italian auto industry didn’t fare much better than the American one in the face of new competition. Fiat’s Turin operations went from 140,000 workers in the early 1970s to a mere 40,000 in the early ’90s. And with the collapse of Fiat came the collapse of Turin. Its population plummeted almost 30 percent in 25 years. National and local leaders focused more on combating domestic terrorism from the Red Brigades than on providing basic services. The city spun through four mayors in seven years and accumulated a budget deficit in the mid-’90s of 120 billion lira.

Recovery from this kind of spiral begins with political leadership. And, in 1993, the city elected a reformist mayor, Valentino Castellani, who devised a breathtakingly ambitious plan for the city. Potential investors were never going to have faith in Turin unless the city spelled out its strategy with specificity, so the plan laid out 84 “actions” for development, which Turin vowed to implement by the year 2011. Despite its gritty condition, the city promised to develop a tourism industry and the transportation network to support it. It used its own funds, plus money from national, regional, and provincial governments and private companies, to create a range of institutions--business incubators, foundations, research laboratories, venture-capital funds, and technology parks--that would promote its information-technology and green-energy industries. Other efforts built on Turin’s historical strengths. Turin may no longer have had cheap industrial labor, but it still possessed people with a deep understanding of production and design. They simply needed new outlets and markets for their core competencies.

Turin’s plan worked. By 2006, it posted its lowest levels of unemployment ever and its highest levels of economic activity in half a century. The city reinvented itself as a center for design, not just of cars, but also for aerospace, cinematography, and textiles. Plenty of parts suppliers still depend on business from Fiat, but they have also found new customers in China and other growing markets. Physical regeneration accompanied the economic recovery. The city submerged the old central railway line that had bifurcated the town, transforming that route into a boulevard that serves as Turin’s new backbone. What Turin shows is that even a decaying industrial base can be the foundation for a new economy. That is, the industry may fade, but expertise doesn’t. Detroit’s American cousins, Akron and Toledo, have already shown how specialties developed for car manufacturing can be repurposed. As Akron’s tire-making industry declined, companies, working with local universities, shifted their focus and research efforts into the related business of polymers. The former Rubber Capital of the World now makes polymers and plastics that can be used in clean energy and biotech. Or take Toledo, which long specialized in building windows and windshields for cars. One industry leader, known locally as “the glass genius,” started tinkering with solar cells in the 1980s. The University of Toledo showed an interest in his work, and the state gave the school and two companies some money to investigate photovoltaic technology. That spurred other business and university collaborations, which drew more infusions of state economic development funds, and the region now has some 5,000 jobs in the solar industry.

Institutions developed at the height of Detroit’s postwar prosperity remain--and provide the city with advantages that similarly depressed industrial cities cannot claim. It has educational institutions in or near the city (the University of Michigan, Wayne State) and medical institutions (in part, a legacy of all those union health care plans) that are innovative powerhouses and that currently generate private-sector activity in biomedicine, information technology, and health care management. And there is already a smattering of examples of old industrial outposts that have reacquired relevance. An old GM plant in Wixom has been retrofitted to produce advanced batteries. There’s a new automotive-design lab based in Ann Arbor. And Ford, the most promising of the Big Three, has made a decisive shift toward smaller, cleaner cars.

Retooling Detroit’s old industries and advancing its new ones will take public money, and the feds are the only ones with money to give these days. But Washington already spends heavily on Detroit--$18.4 billion went to the city and the surrounding county in 2008. This money, however, isn’t invested with any broader purpose, a sense of how all this spending can add up to something grander. A better return on federal investments will take a functioning local government as well as leadership in suburban counties that is willing to collaborate closely with the city. And, with so much sclerosis, change will only emerge with a strong hand from above. State and federal governments should place the city’s most dysfunctional agencies in receivership as a quid pro quo for federal investment--a milder version of the federal takeover of Washington, D.C., in the 1990s. These higher-level governments should also insist that the city and its suburbs end their wasteful bickering and act as one on issues that naturally cross borders, like transportation and the environment. The region’s elected officials should be strongly encouraged to replicate the metropolitan mayors’ caucuses in Chicago and Denver, or a strong metropolitan transportation and land-use agency, as in Portland or Minneapolis. Business will never have faith in Detroit with local government in its current condition and with the metropolis so riven by old city-suburb divisions.

The point of Turin is that dramatic reform in local and metropolitan governance, coupled with strategic interventions from above, catalyzes market revival. Turin reoriented manufacturing with smart, subtle, and relatively minimal government interventions. And there are plenty of opportunities like this in Detroit. The metropolitan region is packed with companies that supplied parts to the Big Three. Because of the current credit desert, these companies should receive low-interest loans that allow them to reconfigure their plants to produce parts that can be sold to the international auto market--or for other types of machinery. And local government (or NGOs, even) can play the role of industrial planner. That is, they can look across the map and find instances where research institutions and manufacturers should collaborate on new ventures.

Click HERE to read the full article! 

Art X Detroit: Kresge Arts Experience will take over Midtown this spring as the free, five-day arts experience celebrates Detroit’s arts scene April 10-14, 2013. Throughout more than a dozen venues in the vibrant Midtown district, the public is invited to experience an exciting collection of visual art installations, dance, musical and theatrical performances, literary readings, and much more created by the Kresge Eminent Artists and Kresge Artist Fellowship Awardees. Art X Detroit is funded by The Kresge Foundation. A complete schedule of events is available at

“A thriving arts and cultural community not only enriches the quality of life for residents and visitors to southeastern Michigan, but inspires fresh ideas and fuels the creative vitality of the region,” said Rip Rapson, Kresge’s president and CEO. “In attracting local, national and international audiences to experience the works of these artists, Art X Detroit celebrates the Detroit metropolitan area as a hub of innovation and human energy. We’re proud to support the event and celebrate the Kresge Eminent Artists and Artist Fellows.”

The Kresge Foundation has provided $2 million to support more than 70 artists living and working in Metro Detroit through its Kresge Eminent Artist and Artist Fellowship programs since 2008. The Eminent Artist and Artist Fellowship programs are administered by the College for Creative Studies.

Art X Detroit Highlights

The event will feature exceptional works and performances by acclaimed Eminent Artists Bill Harris and Naomi Long Madgett, and art enthusiasts will experience some of Detroit’s most creative talents at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD), the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Detroit Symphony Orchestra Hall, the College for Creative Studies and other great venues in Midtown’s Cultural Center. A special visual arts exhibition runs through April 28 at MOCAD.

The opening night of Art X Detroit is a multi-venue celebration on Wednesday, April 10, 6:15 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. at MOCAD and the N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art, with special live performances at the First Congregational Church and Wayne State University. The opening night reception is free to the public; however, registration is required. RSVP by Monday, April 8 at or call 313.420.6000.

Art X Detroit captures the creativity and imagination of the Kresge Eminent Artists and Fellows whose works will be on display across Midtown, including:

“Have Mercy” and “Booker T. & Them: A Blues” by 2011 Kresge Eminent Artist Bill Harris. Award-winning playwright, poet, critic and novelist, Bill Harris’ plays have been featured in more than one hundred productions nationwide. In “Have Mercy,” Harris collaborates with Detroit’s own Reverend Robert Jones (a master blues historian and guitarist) for a demonstration of theatre at its most basic, in the tradition of Homer and African djelis, or griots. This one-act monologue will take place at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, GM Theater, to be followed by an excerpt from Harris’ book, “Booker T. & Them: A Blues,” directed by innovative stage director, Aku Kadogo, also a Detroit native.

Naomi Long Madgett - Poet and Publisher. With a career as a published poet that spans eight decades, 2012 Kresge Eminent Artist Dr. Naomi Long Madgett has amassed numerous accolades for her exemplary life of service and creative expression. The annual Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award, established in 1993, has helped shine a spotlight on African American writers – recognizing 20 young poets to-date and attracting the attention of major publishing houses. Madgett will read from her own work as well as present a program of readings and dialogue reflecting on the careers of five of the awardees: Bill Harris, Claude Wilkinson, Nagueyalti Warren, Edward Bruce Bynum and Esperanza Cintrón. Readings at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, GM Theatre.

“¡Viva America!” by Maria Costa. In her new comedy special film ¡Viva America!, renowned actress/comedian/writer Maria Costa portrays an array of hilarious and thought-provoking characters whose lives are profoundly affected by immigration in the U.S. Following this premiere screening, there will be a question and answer session and a muy caliente salsa music and dance after-party with the cast – be sure to bring your dancing shoes! Film screening at the DIA Detroit Film Theatre followed by Q&A and dancing in the DIA.

“My Brightest Diamond” by Shara Worden. Worden presents a new, 360 degree, surround-sound instrumental composition for The Detroit Party Marching Band. The performance begins at MOCAD for the opening ceremonies of Art X Detroit 2013, and is followed by a music procession with the marching band, leading the audience from the art museum to the First Congregational Church, where the indie-rock band My Brightest Diamond (fronted by Worden) will begin a full length concert choreographed by Jessica Dessner. Concert performance beginning at MOCAD and moving to First Congregational Church.

Passalacqua: The Experience Part 1 & 2. Together, Detroit-based MCs Mister and Blaksmith form Passalacqua. The duo is responsible for inventive live presentations, conceptual, theatrical, almost performance art, which are altogether curious and highly engaging. In Part 1, they present a documentary retrospective of their group as told by friends, collaborators, and themselves. In Part 2, Passalacqua performs their complete discography live and exclusively debut their newest songs. Film screening and performance at the Michigan Science Center’s Chrysler IMAX® Dome Theatre.

“The People’s Vision,” a mural by Hubert Massey. Massey, whose work can be seen at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Paradise Valley Park and Campus Martius, works in a variety of media to create large public art installations and is noted for collaborating with communities to create art that tells their stories. For Art X Detroit, Massey is creating a 30’ x 60’ mural to be installed on the WSU Press Building at the corner of Woodward and Warren avenues. At MOCAD, Massey’s preliminary drawings of the mural will be on view throughout the month of April. Mural installation at WSU Press Building, drawings at MOCAD.

“Corner Store” by Design 99. Corner Store is a three-channel video installation inspired by experiences during two days when plywood boards covering the Design 99 studio/storefront space in Hamtramck were removed. Design 99 video recorded the reactions and questions of the neighborhood’s residents as they passed by. These reactions will form the basis for the video in the Corner Store installation. Three-channel video, mixed media installation at MOCAD.

“An Evening with Charles McPherson” by Mark Stryker. Stryker, Music Writer for the Detroit Free Press, presents “An Evening with Charles McPherson,” one of the important figures in Detroit's modern jazz explosion in the 1950s. At 73, the alto saxophonist has had a major career and remains at the top of his game. This evening with Charles McPherson is designed to illuminate Detroit's remarkable jazz legacy and influence. Discussion and performance at the DIA Detroit Film Theatre.

Art X Detroit is made possible by The Kresge Foundation and is supported by its partners ArtServe Michigan, the College for Creative Studies and MOCAD. It is produced by Midtown Detroit, Inc., a nonprofit organization that has spearheaded reinvestment in Midtown through the arts, beautification and economic development.

For a complete schedule of events, visit and Facebook for exciting updates. For more information on the Kresge Arts in Detroit program, visit,

"Forbes, enjoy your private, billionaire getaways. I'll take Detroit."

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Photo Credit: Andy Galbraith

11:30 am Annual Corktown Races  Register HERE!

2:00 pm 55th Annual Detroit St. Patrick’s Parade. Parade assembles at 1:00 pm on 6th Street and Michigan Ave. Starting promptly at 2:00 pm. The Parade, which includes marching and pipe & drum bands, color guard units, floats, clowns, novelty groups and marching units, moves west on Michigan Ave., passes the reviewing stand and disperses at 14th Street, approximately 2 hours later.

For all your pub crawling info, check out Visit Detroit's "Get Your Green On In The D."


Private industry is blooming here, even as the city’s finances have descended into wreckage.

In late 2011, Rachel Lutz opened a clothing shop, the Peacock Room, which proved so successful that she opened another one, Emerald, last fall. Shel Kimen, who had worked in advertising in New York, is negotiating to build a boutique hotel and community space. Big companies like Blue Cross Blue Shield have moved thousands of workers into downtown Detroit in recent years. A Whole Foods grocery, this city’s first, is scheduled to open in June.

On Friday, just as Michigan’s governor, Rick Snyder, was deeming an outside, emergency manager a necessity to save Detroit’s municipal finances, the once-teetering Big Three automakers were reporting growing sales.

“It’s almost a tale of two cities here,” said Ms. Lutz, who is 32. “I tripled my projections in my first year.”

Around the country, as businesses have recovered, the public sector has in many cases struggled and shrunk. Detroit may be the most extreme example of a city’s dual fates, public and private, diverging.

At times, the widening divide has been awkward, even tense. As private investors contemplated opening coffee bean roasters, urban gardening suppliers and fish farms, Detroit firefighters complained about shortages of equipment, suitable boots and even a dearth of toilet paper.

“You’ve got to walk before you run, and for many years we weren’t even walking,” William C. Ford Jr., executive chairman of the Ford Motor Company, said of the developments of late within Detroit’s private sector. “But now it’s really interesting. Even as the political and financial situations continue to deteriorate, in spite of that, there is very hopeful business activity taking place.”

In the eyes of some, the signs of a private sector turnaround have only served to accentuate divisions: a mostly black city with an influx of young, sometimes white artists and entrepreneurs; a revived downtown but hollowed-out neighborhoods beyond; an upbeat mood among business leaders even as the city’s frustrated elected officials face diminished, uncertain roles under state supervision.

Click HERE to read the full article! 

Whole Foods Market, the world’s leading natural and organic foods supermarket, will open a 21,650-square-foot store in Detroit, MI on Wednesday, June 5 at 9a.m. The much-anticipated store, located at Mack Ave. and John R. Road, will add to the vibrant, growing food scene in Detroit. The store joins more than 345 other Whole Foods Market stores in North America and the United Kingdom.

Larry Austin, a 14-year veteran team member, will be the Detroit Store Team Leader. Most recently, Austin led the West Bloomfield location. “As a long-time Michigan resident, I am personally excited to open a Whole Foods Market in Detroit, and bring some career opportunities to the community,” said Austin.

The Detroit store will needs to fill approximately 75 positions before opening day. Team member positions will post online at on April 2. Candidates interested in learning more about working at Whole Foods Market can attend four open houses the company will host next week. Details about event locations and times can be found at