detroit recovery
Gilbert, left, and Chrysler's Sergio Marchionne announced the 'Chrysler House', the first time the company will have an office downtown. Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Sandra Patterson's face lights up at the mention of Dan Gilbert. She works the car valet desk at Detroit's Greektown Casino Hotel, which the entrepreneur has just taken over. "It's like he's sprinkling rose petals all over my city," she says beaming. "He's really rooting for Detroit."

And how. A self-made billionaire Gilbert, 51, was born and raised in Detroit. His father owned Saskey's, a bar in the city, and his grandfather ran a car wash. In the 1990s Gilbert and partners including his brother Garry started a mortgage business that became Quicken Loans, now the US's largest online retail mortgage lender.

Three years ago as Detroit seemed on the edge of destruction he moved his headquarters downtown and began snapping up swathes of real estate. His Bedrock property management company owns 22 buildings with more than 3m square feet in the city. He's attracting big names back into the city. Gilbert convinced Chrysler to take office space downtown and renamed a building after the car firm; he recently toured the city with Microsoft's Steve Ballmer. He's effectively created a business campus in the heart of a city some had written off as dead. A death that had been a long time coming.

Detroit had a population of nearly 2 million in the 1950s, and now it's below 700,000. People and their money fled to the suburbs decades ago. The city is struggling with $14bn in long-term liabilities, falling tax revenues and declining services, 60% of its children live in poverty. It's a decline that has been a long-time in the making.

"People around 55 and down have no memory of what people call the good Detroit. You'd hear from your parents and grandparents how incredible Detroit was," says Gilbert. For his generation those golden years were just stories. "The 1967 race riots are my first memories," he says.

Gilbert's vision of Detroit's future is of a city filled with young people from local universities, the majority of whom now skip town on graduation. This summer he'll have 1,100 interns working downtown, and he's convinced many of his tenants to follow suit. The company gives employees who buy property in the city $20,000 on condition they live in the city for five years. Occupancy rates downtown are close to 100%.

"Detroit has the bones, the infrastructure, the people, to be a very special city. We have to do a lot of clean up then we have to start playing offense. The part that is difficult is here already. Look at these buildings. It's laid out well; there are parks. It's like a lot of great hardware with no software," he says.

Click HERE to read the full article!




Silicon Valley transplant Jerry Paffendorf chose Detroit: "I thought I should look at big problems. You know, let’s get real."


In addition to her retail shop, Margarita Barry runs a design business and a website for young entrepreneurs.


Alicia and John George faced down financial hardship and endless bureaucracy to create the only coffee shop for miles.
When a much-touted light-rail project stalled, 26-year-old Andy Didorosi stepped in: "We're the other option, all of us scrappy folks."


Click HERE to read the full article from Fast Company!


"What’s amazing to me about Detroit and Detroiters is they are IN. They’re 100 percent in. You hear it in their voices: ‘This is my city, I don’t care what you say about it. I love this city. I’m here. I’m not leaving.’ That passion is really important. It will happen. It’s not a matter of if. It’s a matter of when. It will."

-Jessica Goldman Srebnick, CEO of Goldman Properties.  Full article by the lovely Karen Dybis HERE!




Art X Detroit: Kresge Arts Experience makes its return to Midtown this Wednesday, April 10, through Sunday, April 14. For five days, an exciting collection of visual art installations, dance, musical and theatrical performances, and literary readings will debut throughout 15 cultural venues in the vibrant Midtown district, featuring the 38 Kresge Artist Fellows and Eminent Artists awarded in 2011 and 2012.

The biennial Art X Detroit (AXD) attracted thousands in its 2011 debut, and Detroit’s arts scene continues to generate excitement nationally and internationally. Attendees will experience new works and performances at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD), the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) and Detroit Film Theatre, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra Music Box, the College for Creative Studies and other venues in Midtown’s Cultural Center. Due to capacity at many of the venues, attendees are encouraged to arrive early to ensure access to some events.

Highlights:

· Opening Reception - Art X Detroit will kick off with an Opening Reception on Wednesday, April 10, 6:15 -11:00 p.m. This multi-venue celebration will include a number of live music and dance performances.

Registration is required at this event and can be done through ArtXDetroit.com or by calling 313.420.6000.

· Hubert Massey’s Mural Unveil - Known for his large public installations, Hubert Massey will unveil his new 30’ x 60’ mural titled, “The People’s Vision,” during a public ceremony on Thursday, April 11, at 2:30 p.m. outside of the Wayne State University Press Building at the corner of Woodward and Warren. The mural’s imagery is based on discussions that took place during community forums held by Massey as part of his artistic process. A post-unveil reception will take place at MOCAD from 3-3:45 p.m. and his preliminary drawings of the mural will be on view at MOCAD throughout April.

· DFT Film Screenings - On Friday, April 12, the DIA’s Detroit Film Theater will host a variety of film screenings. Films include Corrie Baldauf’s, “Frames for the People: A City of Halos,” Ken Meisel and Passalacqua’s “Never Alone,” “Star by Star: Naomi Long Madgett, Poet and Publisher,” and Maria Costa’s premiere of “¡Viva America!” Following each film screening, attendees have the opportunity to attend a Q&A session with the artists and filmmakers.

· AXD 2013 Exhibition - MOCAD will keep the spirit of Art X alive throughout the entire month of April by hosting the Art X Detroit 2013 Exhibition. From April 10 - 28, the creative works of all twelve Kresge Visual Arts Fellows and one Kresge Literary Arts Fellow will be featured in the exhibition. From paintings to sculptures, photography to mixed-media installations, this exhibition provided the artists an opportunity to showcase recent or new works, collaborate with others or explore an altogether new medium for their work.

· AXD Panel Discussions - Six engaging Art X Detroit Panel Discussions will take place April 10-13 at MOCAD. Nationally-recognized panelists, along with local arts practitioners, will dive into a number of topics, including community engagement through the arts, creative placemaking, arts coverage in the media and higher education in the arts.

For a complete Art X Detroit schedule visit www.ArtXDetroit.com. Visit Art X on Facebook for updates and for behind-the-scenes information. For more information on the Kresge Arts in Detroit program, visit www.kresgeartsindetroit.org.

Art X Detroit is funded by The Kresge Foundation and produced by Midtown Detroit, Inc., a nonprofit organization spearheading reinvestment in Midtown through the arts, beautification and economic development. Supported by ArtServe Michigan, the College for Creative Studies and MOCAD.



Excerpt:

Detroit's creative class is located along the lakeshore in the city, as the map above indicates, in a narrow strip that runs north along Jefferson Avenue from downtown through historic Indian Village towards Grosse Pointe. Home to Wayne State University and major arts and cultural institutions, rapidly revitalizing Midtown has also drawn a growing creative class population.

The purple blotch in the north is upscale Palmer Woods, noted for its large Tudor homes close to Detroit Golf Club. The neighborhood was founded in the early 20th century as an exclusive enclave for auto industry barons, including the founders of Fisher Body, and is where a number of Motown recording artists live today.

Greater Detroit's class divides overlay and underpin its long history of white-flight and racial cleavage. Reviewing the various causes of the city's decline, Daniel Little, chancellor of the University of Michigan-Dearborn, recently pointed to race segregation as the most significant factor over on his blog "Understanding Society":

Despite the economic pounding it has taken, or maybe because of it, the revitalization of Downtown Detroit has gained significant momentum as I pointed out in the Financial Times today.

With its fraying social fabric and the imposition of an emergency manager to cope with its collapsing finances, it would be easy to argue a city that was a global centre of carmaking and musical innovation 50 years ago has passed the point of no return.

Easy, yes; but wrong. Detroit’s days as a manufacturing powerhouse – like those of many industrial cities in America, Europe and elsewhere – are irrevocable. But its downtown is rebounding, thanks to the kind of central location, affordable property, improved efficiency and productivity also bringing people and businesses back to struggling former industrial hubs such as Cleveland and Pittsburgh. 

According to recent report, Detroit's Greater Downtown spans 7.2 square miles: across the city's riverfront from the central business district to trendy Corktown, home of Slows Bar B Q, Astro Coffee, Sugar House, Brooklyn Street Local, and the Honor & Folly inn; Mies van der Rohe's verdant Lafayette Park and Rivertown, north to the Eastern Market, Detroit's farmer's market; the Cass Corridor, with arts institutions; Midtown, home to Wayne State University and Detroit Medical Center, up Woodward Avenue to Tech Town and New Center. This corridor has a population of 36,550 people, or 5,076 people per square mile. It is more affluent, diverse, and educated than the city as a whole. College educated residents between the ages of 25 and 34 made up eight percent of the population for Greater Downtown, compared to just one percent for the city as a whole, three percent for the state of Michigan, and four percent for the nation.

One of the things that nearly killed downtown Detroit was the misguided notion that its function as a location for offices and headquarters could be transplanted to its suburbs. The region can no longer afford the outmoded and incorrect notion that it can build an alternative "downtown." As I pointed out in a recent talk to the Detroit Regional Chamber's Policy Conference, "Anyone who believes you can build an alternative core out there in the suburbs need a head examination."

A new generation of business leaders understands this, like the billionaire entrepreneur Dan Gilbert of Quicken Loans, who has moved more than 3,000 jobs from the suburbs to downtown, purchasing millions of square feet of office and residential space to accommodate them. (Gilbert owns 15 buildings with 2.6 million square feet of commercial space and two parking garages with some 3500 spaces). Compuware has brought thousands of professionals, techies, and creatives into downtown Detroit as well. "[W]e realized we needed to control the hardware, or the buildings -- the real estate," is the way he put it.

University of Michigan's Little points out in an email: "The influx created more racial and ethnic diversity in the center of the city as 20- and 30-somethings are moving into office buildings retrofitted as rental housing." This was not just based on community altruism, it was also good business. Gilbert realized that locating his business in the center of the city was more attractive to many employees and cheaper. "The good news was there was a skyscraper sale going on in Detroit at the time," he added.

A major new initiative by the highly regarded Project for Public Spaces has outlined plans to animate the district with dozens of pop up food markets, cafes, and shops. It is based on PPS's landmark "Power of 10" framework that proposes "a great city needs at least ten great districts, each with at least ten great places, which in turn each have at least ten things to do." PPS describe this strategy as a "Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper strategy that will include installations, pop-ups, and other activities in key public spaces like Cadillac Square, Capitol Park, and Grand Circus Park." The aim is to reorient downtown Detroit from its historic focus on streets for cars to a place for people and pedestrians. As PPS's Fred Kent put it when presenting the vision in Detroit: "We want to create a city where you don't drive through the center, you drive to it."

Detroit's Greater Downtown district is home to the region's major arts institutions — the Detroit Institute of Arts Museum, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the Max M. Fisher Music Center, the Bonstelle Theater and the Fox Theatre. The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, founded in 2006, is part of the Sugar Hill Arts District. Midtown is also home to the vaunted music venue The Magic Stick. Writing in the New York Times, Maynard described it as the veritable epicenter of the contemporary Detroit music scene, where acts like The White Stripes and The Von Bondies among others got their starts.

Long home to a cutting edge music scene which spanned soul, jazz, rock, pop, electronic, and techno, downtown Detroit also features a world class design community, which we profiled in our "Detroit Rising" series.

In an email to me, Christian Unverzagt, a Detroit-based architect who lives in Lafayette Park and teaches at the University of Michigan's Taubman College, pointed out the transformation that the Cass Corridor has undergone. Long home to activists and artists, its gritty, windowless galleries and practice spaces have given way to a variety of renovated spaces including Green Garage (a co-working space), Great Lakes Coffee, and small retail shops such as City Bird, Nest, Hugh, and Nora, along with several yoga studios.

The area has become so attractive, Unverzagt adds, that there is now a shortage of rental housing. As a further signal of how far its transformation has progressed, a Whole Foods (the standard bearer for gentrification) will open there, a few blocks from Ye Olde Butcher Shoppe, another market that opened in 2012. Unverzagt notes that even hard-hit Hamtramck, a diverse working class community, has more recently become a destination for artists who are buying homes to both live in and experiment on. Its downtown has seen an influx of several storefront galleries and restaurants, and the artist-initiated Ride-It Sculpture Park and the skateboard shop Chiipss, relocated there from Plymouth, a suburb 25 miles to the west, have become the hub of a local skateboard culture. As Roy Strickland, a leading urban designer who heads the urban design program at the University of Michigan (he was previously director of the urban design program at Columbia University and a faculty member at MIT), pointed out in an email, downtown Detroit is being powerfully revitalized around four key legs: higher-ed, health, arts and culture, and technology. The confluence of these forces has brought considerable revitalization to a core that was once virtually hollowed-out. Put a rectangle around this area, he adds and "Detroit looks pretty healthy."

On top of that, the greater Detroit region broadly remains economic powerhouse. Even with its diminished population in the city, the metro area's population puts in the same league as San Francisco and Boston. With $200 billion in economic output, its economy is the same size as Ireland's, Hong Kong's, or Singapore's. It is connected to the world through its airport. On top of this, the region is home to an incredible cluster of universities and knowledge based institutions, the University of Michigan in nearby Ann Arbor, long a center for top researchers and now an emerging nexus for tech start-ups, Michigan State in East Lansing, and Wayne State in Detroit. The region's talent base is especially deep in engineering, design, and industrial know-how. Before all those assets can be fully-leveraged, suburban interests must come to the table, and transit must be extended outside the core to the suburbs and ultimately all the way out to Ann Arbor.

Detroit's nascent turnaround is different than slum clearances of the past; its impetus comes from a very different place than the redevelopment programs of the 1970s, '80s, and '90s, that staked huge sums of public money on ill-conceived mega-projects. The initiatives that are making the difference today are more market-driven and less top-down; they are organized not by the federal, state, or local government but by a unique coalition of profit-driven entrepreneurs, old-line philanthropic foundations, and grass roots neighborhood groups.

A consortium of companies and foundations including Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, the Detroit Three, Quicken Loans, the Kresge Foundation, Penske Corporation, and Platinum Equity have announced plans to purchase 100 police cars and 23 ambulances and lease them to the city of Detroit.

The Kresge Foundation's Complete Neighborhoods program has channeled millions of dollars to "[f]oster sustainability, increase economic opportunity and stabilize property values and the city's tax base by investing in neighborhoods that are magnets for new residents and that sustain existing residents," while its Detroit Future City initiative will provide $150 million to create more concentrated economic development, reuse the city's 100,000 vacant lots, add much needed parks and green space, and create more economically viable and healthier neighborhoods. With backing from local businesses, foundations, and the federal government, a new light rail system will help connect and consolidate development across the several distinct creative class clusters that have developed across this corridor.

The challenge for the city and region moving forward is to spur further urban economic revitalization while bridging this class divide.

Such dramatic change has stoked considerable demographic shifts, which mirror the region's class and racial divide. "On one hand, you see a 'new' Detroit. Young, white, educated, and employed are the characteristics of those who are taking a chance on the city," argued Karen Dumas, former press secretary to Mayor Bing in the Detroit News this past summer. "They stand in stark contrast to native Detroiters — most of whom are African-Americans and many who are undereducated and unemployed — who have stayed and stuck it out over the years, through challenge and controversy." The challenge for the city and region moving forward is to spur further urban economic revitalization while bridging this class divide. That will require greater cooperation between the city and its suburbs.

Still, what's happening in and around downtown Detroit should not be minimized: It is a critical step, if only a first step, toward creating the jobs, economic activity, and tax revenues that are needed to underwrite broader recovery and building. As is the case in most of America's older industrial cities, Detroit's days as a manufacturing powerhouse are irrecoverable; its future economic growth will turn on its creative and knowledge industries — and the transformation of its low skill, low pay service jobs into higher-wage, family-supporting jobs by involving workers in continuous productivity improvement. A new urban social compact is desperately needed to make this happen: to upgrade its underfunded schools and to train and connect more workers and residents to the new economy that is emerging downtown. The same kind of compact is needed in cities like New York, San Francisco, and even London which, while more affluent, suffer from the similar if not worse inequality.

All that said, the new developments downtown, taken together with the broader region's economic assets, put Detroit on a much better economic footing than has been the case for a couple of generations. While the jury is out on the city's long-term future, "the resurgence at its heart," as I note in the FT, "provides grounds for real hope tempered with cautious optimism."

Click HERE to read the full article! 



influencers: veronika scott at home

What is it about Detroit that makes you want to call it home?

In Detroit, everyone is doing something engag- ing and of their own creation. The city is a hub of creativity, whether you’ve lived here your whole life or moved here to start something new. We have a strong entrepreneurial community, where the people who own businesses and buildings have their own proactive ideas for the future of the city. People in the city recognize that for the success of the whole—we need to look beyond individual success and work together as part of a bigger system. There are many issues that need to be tackled, and no one person can do it on their own. I have lived in many places, but Detroit will always be the one I call home, because I know that I would have never been able to start the Empowerment Plan in any other city in the world.

Tell us a little bit about the building you live in and how you designed your space. 

People have many preconceived notions about Detroit, but where I live we walk around at night, ride our bikes around the neighborhood, and new businesses are always popping up. The Canfield building is located in the heart of the city. The building is an old manufacturing facility that is now home to a beautiful loft space, as well as three different storefronts. I have been a nomad most of my life, and this is the first time I have really settled into a home. Because of my job I travel quite frequently, and I am doing construction projects every few months. In picking a place to live I wanted a safe haven that was easy to maintain and relaxing. When I moved in, there was a rather interesting color scheme—purple and green—I had to change it. I used white to open up the space and a relaxing yet vibrant blue instead of a more aggressive color. The loft bed was already in place but I built the wall under it so that people wouldn't be looking at a bed from the living room. Most people don’t even realize it’s there until I point it out.

Any tricks to living in just 750 square feet?

You have to have the ability to minimal-ize, which was easy for me because my possessions were few when I moved into the loft. But realistically it’s all about the hidden storage that you can create in a small space. The bed is on top of a walk-in closet and there are shelves and bins throughout the space for everything else. I enjoy the small space because when I was in a larger loft, I felt like I couldn’t make it my own. I couldn’t afford to furnish a large space, and with my loft now I am able to personalize it and really enjoy it as my home.

Click HERE to read the full article! 



Opportunity Detroit is looking for innovative, creative, and inspired designs for a new building that will sit on the historic Hudson’s site, one of the most beloved locations in downtown Detroit.

First Prize: $15,000
Second Prize: $5,000
Third Prize: $2,500

Register before April 30th: http://bit.ly/Yipx83

Detroit Collision Works


As I wrote in my last post, Detroit Collision Works is a new 36-room shipping container hotel under development near the sprawling Eastern Market in downtown Detroit. Founder/CEO Shel Kimen is presently raising money through Kickstarter to build a pop-up prototype called FIRST CONTAINER that will consist of two containers near the permanent site. Like the hotel, the pop-up is designed to be a gathering place with scheduled programming where locals and visitors can gather to discuss the future of community development, food production, sustainable design, green transportation and other New Urbanism topics. Kimen’s priority is creating a place for sharing stories—a platform for people to talk about what’s important to them, both personal and professional.

I have spent the majority of my career walking through hotels around the world and interviewing thousands of hotels reps for a variety of consumer and industry media. Over the years, certain hotel groups have established trends that other hoteliers copied. The Kimpton and Morgans collections, for example, started the designer/boutique hotel movement in the 1980s and 90s. Ace/James hotels invented the residential-style hipster hotel early this century. NYLO Hotels, 21c, Unlisted Collection and others are bringing “industrial-chic” into the mainstream.

Collision Works has the chance to be the next big thing because, like those mentioned above, it’s dialed into both the mindset of today’s traveling public and socio-economic themes of this era. Here are five reasons why Detroit Collision Works is a game changer.

IT’S IN DETROIT

No other city in the country suffered from the Great Recession as much as Detroit. Once the symbol of the American dominance in manufacturing and the American Dream, Detroit lost 25% of its population from 2000 to 2010. That was the largest drop of any U.S. city over 100,000 people, including New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. But as celebrated urbanist Richard Florida writes in The Atlantic, Detroit is rebounding with a renewed spirit of innovation and cultural arts at the grassroots level. The people making up this community need places to share ideas. Collision Works is purposefully designed to meet that demand.

In effect, Collision Works is moving into a new “community accelerator” hotel niche and venue for people to learn more about local start-up companies. In New Orleans since Katrina, the rate of start-ups is about 30% higher than the national average. In Detroit, organizations such as I Am Young Detroit and Detroit 4 Detroit are spurring the same drive among community entrepreneurs. Detroit Collision Works will tap into that energy and knowledge and share it with visitors.

SHEL KIMEN, SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR

Can one person in America make a difference? The rise of Social Entrepreneurship is one of the most exciting and fastest growing developments in business today. The idea that a company can have a sustainable business model and make a positive impact on the community is highly attractive to the Millennial generation. By leveraging that interest, Collision Works is the hotel of the future where locals and guest can learn about social issues in both a fun and experiential manner.

Founder/CEO Shel Kimen (read her story here) says:

“Everyone loves a good story. Stories make place and bind communities. I wanted to create a project in Detroit that creates lasting and sustainable value for both the people that live here and the people that visit. A combined hotel/co-working space built around stories seemed like the best way to do that. Detroit needs a super cool hotel that helps visitors understand what Detroit is really about and it needs places for people to gather and work beyond coffee shops. It also comes from a belief that great design and rich experiences do not have to be expensive.”

URBAN ECOTOURISM

Hotels have been trumpeting their corporate social responsibility by becoming greener and leaner over the last decade, and that’s great. Detroit Collision Works is designed from the ground up to be low impact. Basically it’s the birth of “urban ecotourism,” and how cool is that?! Container architecture is a fast growing building technology in both residential and commercial applications all over the world, from the Re:START village in Christchurch to the FREITAG store in West Zurich. The Platoon project in Berlin might be the coolest urban culture/arts development in the world right now.

There is a glut of shipping containers in cities around the country because freighter companies often find it more affordable to buy new containers in Asia versus rerouting the boxes back to America’s ports. And that supply continues to grow due to North America’s trade deficit within the Pacific Rim. While there are downsides to using containers for building purposes, the process attracts a huge interest among consumers. And that type of heightened exposure is pivotal for generating discussion among the masses about the future of America’s urban cores.

IT’S SCALABLE

Memphis mayor A.C. Wharton Jr. wrote a letter to Kimen in March requesting that she consider building another Collision Works in his city when Detroit is up and running. The beauty of Collision Works is that it’s easily scalable around the country and simple to adapt to any commercial urban setting. Think of this. If a Collision Works hotel was in your city, would you visit? Chances are yes, especially if you’re a creative professional, because there’s nothing like this right now.

The idea of a community think-tank “attraction” proved itself with the opening of the popular BMW Guggenheim Lab in New York’s East Village in 2011, followed by a road trip through Berlin and Mumbai that ended in January. Data and discussions collected from the project will be displayed at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York later this fall.

Now imagine if this type of discussion could take place every day in every major city in America, with a network set up to share all of the information among all of the hotels with the public. This is where Detroit Collision Works gets especially exciting.

Click HERE to read the full article! 



"Go to Detroit. It's more honest. Also, there's a great art museum, a proper public market, some of the country's best architecture, the music scene is fun, the food scene is better than it has been in ages and the beer is better and much cheaper. Everything's cheaper. Also: Detroiters are friendly -- Chicagoans are just polite. There's a big difference."

Bring The Summer X Games To Detroit (video)!






Lemonade Day Detroit launched its third year by welcoming a famous local “lemonader” and announcing a new partnership with Detroit Public Schools.

Lemonade Day Detroit will take place June 8, and is already teaching local children how to start, own and operate a business through the simple and time-honored act of running a lemonade stand.

Mike Fezzey, president of Huntington's East Michigan Region and third-year presenting sponsor, announces that Joshua Smith, the 10-year-old Detroiter who ran a lemonade stand to raise money for his financially strapped city, is joining forces with Lemonade Day Detroit to share its message of entrepreneurship.

Fezzey added, “We’re also very excited to share our partnership with Detroit Public Schools. For the first time, DPS teachers are integrating the Lemonade Day program into their curriculum. Our goal in combining this program and our outreach is to empower 50,000 young entrepreneurs in 2013.”

Children pre-K to grade 12 can register for Lemonade Day backpacks, full of easy tips and suggestions that are age-appropriate for each group. Register online at detroit.lemonadeday.org, and pick up backpacks at locations listed on the website.

“Lemonade Day’s mission is to arm our youth with tools that help them see that they can do whatever they want, and be successful,” Fezzey said. “Lemonade Day walks children and caring adults through every step of setting up a business, and they are also learning life skills. Everyone needs to learn to balance a budget; who knew it could be fun?”

A key message of Lemonade Day, a national event that includes 260,000 kids in 39 cities, is for its young business owners to “spend a little, save a little and share a little,” donating a portion of their profits to a local charity of their choice.

“I want kids to know that you can make a difference, no matter how small you are,” Smith said, adding that he was able to raise and donate almost $4,000 to the City of Detroit. He plans to have another successful stand on June 8.

To register, or learn about ways that everyone can get involved in Lemonade Day Detroit June 8, visit detroit.lemonadeday.org.

For information about sponsorships, partnerships or donations, please contact Emily Paraskevin at 586.219.4014 or LemonadeDayDetroit@gmail.com.




On Friday, April 12, the innovative Red Bull House of Art kicks off its 2013 season with a gallery opening unveiling its latest batch of artists. The opening — hosted in historic Eastern Market from 7pm to 11pm at 1551 Winder Street and free to the public of all ages — is ringing in Red Bull House of Art’s one-year anniversary, which has offered residencies and unlimited artistic opportunities to 32 local artists since its launch.

The fourth cycle of artists is made up of eight metro-Detroit artists — Lisa Poszywak (oil paints), Tylonn J. Sawyer (oil paints), Kristin Adamcyzk (mixed media), Lindy Marie Shewbridge (oil paints), William Harris (oil paints), Kevin Skinner (mixed media), Greg Siemasz (oil paints) and Ellen Rutt (digital & physical collage).

With a heavy emphasis on oil paint as a medium, Red Bull House of Art curator Matt Eaton is looking to redefine the expectations placed upon the art form by pulling from a diverse range of artists, each with their own style and approach to their craft. While Kevin Skinner builds cosmetically stunning ‘budget rayguns’ out of found items, Tylonn J. Sawyer and William Harris look past the paint to share a richer, in-depth narrative. Lindy Marie Shewbridge uses her day-to-day human interactions to fuel her art whereas Greg Siemasz is removing the human element to draw on animal instincts and how we respond to the wild. Likewise, Kristin Adamzyck’s mixed media approach allows her to anatomically dissect the world around us without sacrificing story as Lisa Poszywak and Ellen Rutt celebrate the basic beauties that surround us every day.

Red Bull House of Art has been dedicated to growing and supporting the thriving art scene in Detroit, breaking down barriers for artists and revolutionizing the local art scene by doing so. By giving local artists the tools they need to create art in a curated space, Red Bull House of Art has created a space for artists to have the freedom to show and publicize their work on a national and global scale.

In addition to two more gallery openings in 2013, the house also participates in Eastern Market's "Third Thursday" — a citywide initiative that opens up galleries, workspaces and more to the public each month — as well as hosting guest lectures from influential artists including Tristan Eaton and Glenn Barr. The Red Bull House of Art has also launched artist workshops on Saturdays, inviting the public become more familiar with new and innovative styles in the modern art world.

The gallery opening will feature music by Brian Gillespie.


 Click HERE to learn more and donate!
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Cocktails at the Conservatory is the Inaugural event for the Belle Isle Conservancy's Emerging Patrons Council. Explore the conservatory, and learn more about the Emerging Patrons’ plans for Belle Isle…all while giving back to the park.

Ticket includes: networking, refreshments, cocktails, and entertainment. Light appetizers provided by Hatch Detroit 2012 Winner La Feria.  Tickets are limited and this event will sell out!

The conservatory is the nation’s oldest, and it is our goal to add contemporary flair to this classic landmark.


*Note* Cocktails at the Conservatory attendees can enjoy $20 off their first Uber.com ride with the code "BelleIsle." Valid through the end of May 2013. 
Code: BelleIsle


The Emerging Patrons Council is an auxiliary group within the Belle Isle Conservancy that works to engage young professionals in the Conservancy’s mission to protect, preserve, restore and enhance Belle Isle as a public park for the enjoyment of all – now and forever. Through the use of social media, organized events, recreation, and community engagement, the Council will provide exposure to the positive things happening on the island, and serve as an outlet to engage young professionals in the process of restoring it.



Host Committee 

Dominic Arellano 
Bryan Barnhill 
Maggie Brookens 
Kerry Doman 
Tatiana Grant 
Evette Hollins 
Meredith Kerekes 
Erin Rose 
Ed Siegel 
Christianne Sims 
Michelle Srbinovich 
Terrence Thompson
PFPS.jpg
[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. roastdetroit.com

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 http://www.neumannsmith.com


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 www.pewabic.org. 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

Excerpt:

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: MichiganFilmOffice.org.

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 www.detroitsports.org and click on the Visit Detroit tab. You can also follow the DSC on Twitter at @detsports and join the conversation on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dsports.

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



IT’S TIME TO MARCHE

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.

BEFORE THE MARCHE

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.

 MARCHE DU NAIN ROUGE

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!

A PRÈS LA FÊTE

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 Multihousingnews.com notes they received a $603,000 tax credit.

Click HERE to read the full article!
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