What It's Like To Win A House (In Detroit)


Like most immigrants living in between two or three worlds, my relationship with the idea of home has always been complicated and messy. For much of my 20s, I spent most of my time on the road, without a permanent address, living out of an orange suitcase, with no real desire to settle down. But that lifestyle wasn’t sustainable for me, and so one year ago, on something of a whim, I applied to win a house. Today, I write this from the living room of my own home in Detroit, MI. I have achieved the American dream — at least part of it — in a very unusual way.

I was born to parents of Armenian descent in Iran in 1984; my family immigrated to the U.S at the height of the Iran-Iraq war in 1987. We had lived through the Iranian Revolution that had changed our homeland, and we came to America as refugees. We settled in Los Angeles, like many other Iranian and Armenian families did, to escape the violence and attempt to rebuild our lives. I learned English watching The Flintstones and The Jetsons, spent weekends navigating large family gatherings that included enough food to feed a small village, obsessed over the likes of En Vogue, and became a U.S. citizen at age 18.

My parents — along with many other immigrant families — reached a level of stability that allowed them to live comfortably and become homeowners. But for my generation, the economic crisis and rising housing costs meant that the same path was no longer a realistic option. This was especially true in L.A., the eighth most expensive city in the world. There, housing costs are so exorbitant, more than half of Angelenos can’t afford their rent, let alone owning a home.

I studied journalism in college and took a job working full-time at a media company. I spent long days editing material that didn’t excite me. I quit in 2011 to pursue a freelance reporting career that took me all over the world, but offered little pay. I was in love with the work and eked by, but there was no way I’d ever have the funds to buy a home. And that was fine for a while — until it wasn’t.

I didn’t really think I would win a home when I applied to the Write A House permanent residency program.

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Photo: ModelD Media 


WE Labs is one of several new work spaces with public-service missions that include supporting low-income and minority entrepreneurs, artists, and social enterprises—nonprofits or for-profit companies that put social goals first. Some of these spaces, like maker-oriented Ponyride in Detroit, are nonprofits; several, like HQ Raleigh in North Carolina, and WE Labs, are for-profit social enterprises called Benefit Corporations (B Corps).

This nascent national trend has been locally focused. "I found that there were communities across this country that were struggling with the same kinds of questions of building their entrepreneurial ecosystems up and trying to figure out ways that they can make them be inclusive," says HQ Raleigh
cofounder Christopher Gergen, "but they weren't talking with one another." He hadn't heard of WE Labs, for instance, nor had Brown heard of HQ Raleigh. Gergen and others are starting to coordinate nationally with the Forward Cities Collaborative—an affiliation of organizations and activists in Detroit, Cleveland, New Orleans, and neighboring Durham, NC, that trade ideas on business development in low-income and minority neighborhoods.

"If you're a WeWork—which is in major metro markets like New York and Chicago and San Francisco, Hong Kong, Berlin, et cetera—it has a very different mandate and a very different strategy for where it's going to go," says Gergen. Communities outside the major commercial centers may have different types of businesses, he says. Health care and food and beverage companies are big in the Southeast, for example. HQ Raleigh's tenants include the venture arm of green household products company Seventh Generation, a coffee roaster, and plenty of tech startups.

Ponyride opened in the hip Corktown neighborhood of Detroit in 2011 as a maker space and light industrial facility, with small businesses, including a furniture maker, clothing manufacturers, and a screen printing studio. "I would say in the ecosystem of Detroit we're in the middle of the road of taking someone who maybe started a business in their basement or their kitchen and are ready to expand," says Amy Kaherl, director of programming. Kaherl is also a long-time tenant and director of Detroit Soup, which hosts dinners to raise money for creative projects pitched at the events.

Detroit Denim, for instance, joined in 2012 with one employee renting 400 square feet. Having grown to eight employees, it recently moved to a new location with 8,000 square feet. A nonprofit called "The Empowerment Plan" makes a coat from recycled materials that converts to a sleeping bag for homeless people; it mostly hires women from shelters, whom it helps get housing and further education. Ponyride's building also has a desk-based coworking portion that includes a journalist, a health coach, and the Detroit Public Theater.

Even downtown Detroit's coworking scene looks different from what you might see in New York City or London. Bamboo Detroit has roughly 100 members ranging from Asia Newson, the 13-year owner of a candle-making company called Super Business Girl, to people in their 60s. About 45% of members are African American, and 40% are women, says CEO Amanda Lewan. Many Bamboo tenants are usual suspects for coworking spaces—such as game, app, and web developers and marketing consultants. It also has gigabit Internet provider Rocket Fiber and real estate developers jumping on Detroit's downtown boom.

Memberships start at just $99 per month for 24/7 access. Bamboo Detroit also offers several "open days" per month, when anyone can come in to work for free, as well as free events such as panel discussions and screenings of movies, often by local filmmakers or with a Detroit focus. The company turned a profit within about six months of opening, says Lewan. "We're a for-profit company with a social mission, and our mission is to provide an affordable option and to build a diverse entrepreneurial community," she says. Bamboo is incorporated as an L3C (low-profit limited liability company), a designation in Michigan and a few other states in the same spirit as B Corps, which are recognized in other states.

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Detroit’s automotive history may have earned it the nickname Motor City, but the city is also renowned for a strong sports engine, fueled by a championship legacy of professional teams and local youth clubs, that never stops running. The May 26 opening of the Nike Detroit Community Store aims to both power and accelerate this legacy.

Nestled in downtown’s historic F.W. Woolworth Co. building, at 1261 Woodward Avenue, the space was once home to the eponymous pioneer of the five-and-dime stores, which converted the complex into a significant shopping destination at the turn of the century. More than 100 years later, Detroit is focused on reinvigorating the area by reanimating vacant buildings as businesses and residences, introducing a light rail that connects the neighborhood to the bustling midtown and developing a shopping and entertainment complex across the street from the Detroit Community Store. Plus, a world-class hockey arena will soon open just a few paces away.

“Sport is a cornerstone of our state pride," explains Tom Izzo, Michigan State University head coach and Basketball Hall of Famer. "Fostering early, positive experiences with physical activity is incredibly important for young adults, which is why I’m thrilled to welcome Nike to the city of Detroit."

As with other Nike Community Stores, the new space operates with four key goals in mind. The first is the aim to hire at least 80 percent of its team from within a five-mile radius of the location. In some locations, like at the Nike East Los Community Store in Los Angeles, this number is virtually 100 percent.
The second goal is to capture the spirit of the city with the store’s curated local design and product offerings. In the Detroit store, the walls feature photography of local sport courts and landmarks, including the Decquindre Cut Greenway, and "Detroit Never Stops" artwork by local typographer Neil Tasker. The store also carries Detroit-specific tee's and sports team apparel from the Detroit Lions, the Detroit Tigers and Michigan State University for men, women and kids.

Thirdly, the store distinguishes itself by ensuring that its retail associates, known as “store athletes,” have an opportunity to give back to the surrounding community. In addition to the hours dedicated to community by all stores as part of the Nike Community Ambassador Program, Community Store athletes are allocated additional volunteer hours to support groups in their backyard.
In fact, even before the store opened, the Detroit team was focused on engaging its community by volunteering with the local Boys & Girls Club chapter: the Diehl Club. Store athletes have been supporting the organization’s sport, recreation and fitness programming, including the chapter’s flag football program, as coaches and rec leaders, with plans to expand its community involvement further following the store opening.

Finally, beyond its on-ground community activation, the Detroit Community Store is the first Nike Community Store to offer $40,000 in annual grants of $5,000 each to eight local non-profit groups via the expanded Nike Community Impact Fund, which also includes Nike Community Stores in Portland, Ore., South Chicago, New Orleans, the Ivy City neighborhood of Washington D.C., Brooklyn and the East Los Community Store in East Los Angeles. In total, Community Store teams across the U.S. will award $290,000 each year in their communities in partnership with CAF America and the Oregon Community Foundation.

"By expanding Nike's Community Store concept to include local grant programs, we look forward to fostering even deeper connections that empower young leaders where our store teams live and work," said Dennis van Oossanen, VP and GM of North America Direct-to-Consumer.
Photo: Sugar House
BY ALL RIGHTS, FIRST PLACE on any list of the best bars of the twenty-first century should go to Milk & Honey, founded in New York in 1999 by the late and much-lamented Sasha Petraske, who did more than anybody else to establish the parameters for the modern cocktail bar. Unfortunately, it closed a couple years ago, and there's no point in us listing a place you can't visit. That sends us—and, we hope, you—to Pegu Club. In our first Best Bars feature, we singled out this modern New York classic for proving that a bar today could do everything the legendary bars of the past could do. Years later, it's still doing that. Meanwhile, Pegu Club's bartenders have gone to every corner of America and opened their own bar, establishing the same thing over and over: Pegu was timeless when it opened, and it hasn't changed a bit. To sit there in the cool evening shadows sipping a Pegu Club Cocktail is to be drinking in 2006 or 1936 or 1916.






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(WARNING:  It Will Make You Thirsty)

Comcast Business wireless solutions allow Milkhouse to offer fast, convenient service to customers with reliable POS systems and Internet capabilities.

Comcast Business provides a number of small business solutions best suited to your industry, company size and service needs. Find the one that's right for you.

Head over to the Comcast Business Community page where you will find great articles that can provide insight on the latest trends in the small business world. New articles are added almost daily, so always check back to see what the newest articles are: http://goo.gl/nzxtir

Comcast Business partnered with bloggers such as me for this program. As part of this program, I received compensation for my time. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about any product mentioned in these posts. Comcast Business believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Comcast Business’ policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.

Detroit Startup Week™ Announces Marquee Speakers

Global initiative celebrates entrepreneurs in Detroit May 23-27 

Detroit Startup Week, powered by Chase, will feature over 100 events with 2,500+ participants expected over five days. Marquee speakers include: 
Detroit’s inaugural Startup Week™ will be the largest first-year event in the global brand’s six-year history.
“Our city is unlike any other, with both ingenuity and a welcoming spirit, brilliance and grit, and opportunities abound. Detroit Startup Week™ is designed to glue together those opportunities, celebrate what’s already working, and lay the groundwork for what’s to come,” said Kyle Bazzy, lead organizer. 

Detroit Startup Week, powered by Chase, celebrates and supports entrepreneurship in Detroit and beyond. All activities are free and startups, entrepreneurs, and enthusiasts are all welcome to attend to amp up their business skills, networks, and knowledge of opportunities in Detroit and the region. Ten learning tracks will be offered to entrepreneurs at all levels: technology, entrepreneurship 101, mobility, music, food-preneurship, art+design, civic innovation, neighborhood collaboration, social entrepreneurship and the Internet of things (IoT). 

“Entrepreneurs are playing an invaluable role in Detroit’s comeback,” said Jennifer Piepszak, CEO of Chase Business Banking, whose firm has committed $100 million over five years to Detroit’s economic recovery. “Detroit Startup Week is a great opportunity to recognize small businesses’ importance to the city’s recovery and to ensure they gain access to the necessary resources to support and grow.”

"More than a century ago, Ford Motor Company was a startup business that applied innovative thinking and collaboration to get where it is today,” said Bill Ford, executive chairman, Ford Motor Company. "We are proud to support the next generation of entrepreneurs at Detroit Startup Week who embody that same spirit."  

Sessions aligned with the ten tracks, including fireside chats and panels, networking opportunities, happy hours and even free headshots for entrepreneurs will round out the week. Events will take place all over the city at venues that include Civilla, Grand Circus, Techtown, Bamboo Detroit and more. Event headquarters are at the historic Masonic Temple, known for the week as #ChaseBasecamp.

To learn more to register for Detroit Startup Week, visit http://detroit.startupweek.co. 

Startup Week™brings entrepreneurs, local leaders, and friends together over five days to build momentum and opportunity around Detroit’s unique entrepreneurial identity. Detroit Startup Week is led by entrepreneurs and hosted in entrepreneurial spaces all over Detroit. Tracks include technology, entrepreneurship 101, mobility, music, food-preneurship, design/art, civic innovation, neighborhood collaboration, social entrepreneurship and the Internet of things (IoT). This Techstars initiative can be found in dozens of cities worldwide. Detroit Startup Week is powered by Chase and made possible by Ford Motor Company, Butzel Long, Microsoft, Liquor 43, Opportunity Detroit, Telemus, Social Enterprise Alliance Detroit, Billhighway, Solidea, Pixo Group, Detroit Regional Chamber and Verii. To learn more or register, go to http://detroit.startupweek.co.
Photo: Crain's Detroit

Like many Rust Belt cities, Detroit has been slowly rebuilding from decades of neglect and the catastrophic recession in 2008 that nearly destroyed the city's auto industry, the lifeblood of its economy.

On top of that, the housing market crash that kicked off the recession hit Detroit the hardest, carrying the highest number of foreclosures nationwide during that period.

In spite of these setbacks, Detroit has been seeing a new kind of renaissance as of late. The Midtown region has been slowly revitalizing with new businesses and property prices returning to pre-2007 levels. Young adults just starting their careers or families have been flocking to the Motor City as new businesses move in to be a part of the city's cultural and economic revival.

"It's almost like a duty, if you're from Michigan, to move to Detroit now because it kind of needs us more than ever," Andrew Meftah, a media and information graduate moving into a place on 7 Mile Road and Woodward Avenue, said.

Aside from growing up in the metro Detroit area, Meftah's reasoning to settle in Detroit comes from his own interests in DJing and producing. Given Detroit's long history with electronic music and hip-hop, it only made sense that Meftah would want to be a part of that returning scene.

"A lot of the community of people that I produce for and DJ, you know they all live out in Detroit, so I personally, you know, it's a lot to always drive out from Lansing to Detroit," Meftah said. "I'd just like to be in the middle of all the action."

Younger residents have also been drawn to the city not just for its arts scene but also for more practical purposes such as new job opportunities or to continue their education at one of the nearby universities, Keller Williams realtor Hulya Erol-Garvett said.

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Kaitlyn and Ryan Lawless of  Corbé.

A ceramic artist fires a plate in an industrial kiln in her bright studio loft, overlooking a community garden and a row of hip bustling eateries. This isn’t New York City. It’s Michigan.

There are parallel timelines in the history of Detroit. The popular version that gave the metropolis its “Motor City “ moniker and ended in bankruptcy and desertion is just one side of the story. Tell me if you’ve heard this one: the booming auto industry propelled the population to a whopping 1.85 million at its peak in 1950, providing over 296,000 manufacturing jobs, only to leave Detroit a rust and scrap metal graveyard, dependent on government handouts.

Sit back, put on some rose-tinted glasses and a Diana Ross LP, and let me tell you another version.

While industrialization and prosper gave way to plant closures and government scandal, a culture rich with music and arts maintained a constant, unwavering influence in the city. Detroit is the home of Motown Records, the birthplace of techno, and a driving force in the early-80s punk scene. The Detroit Institute of the Arts and The Scarab Club are centenarian fixtures in the community, a defunct GM design lab now houses the A. Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education, and The Heidelberg Project celebrates its 30th year.

It’s been said that hardship and suffering are artist-making. That the emotional aftermath of trauma makes beautiful music, and art that hits you in the feels. If there’s truth to it, Detroit embodies the tortured artist. In the wake of its collective financial suffering, the city has taken comfort in a steady old friend: the arts.

And what are abandoned buildings if not blank canvases? Who better to revive a city, while preserving its bones and honoring its roots than the artists and the makers?

Former NYC mayor, Michael Bloomberg, once told a group of business grads:

"Detroit is like New York City back in the ‘70s. When everybody had written us off, there were people who believed.

I believe. Detroit is one of my favorite cities, and home to some of my best memories. I have a knack for spotting the potential in fixer-uppers – the city is just another curbside armoire in need of a little paint and elbow grease. Blocks of empty structures are opportunities for lush urban gardens, and endless crumbling walls are a street-artist’s dream. I see what I want to see. And it’s good.

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8 Street Art Hot Spots In Detroit

The local Library Street Collective gallery hired artist Shepard Fairey, best known for his Obama campaign poster, to paint a mural on the side of Bedrock Detroit's One Campus Martius building, a downtown skyscraper. The 184-foot mural was Fairey’s largest to date when it was installed last May. “Shepard Fairey is an icon, so where he gets involved people pay attention,” says Anthony Curis, a partner and founder of Library Street Collective. “The mural he did here is part of the landscape now. You can look up and see it from Tiger Stadium, the Eastern Market—all different parts of the city.” 87 Monroe Avenue
Photo: Bedrock Detroit

Detroit has become a mecca for artists and entrepreneurs thanks to cheap real estate and plenty of space to bring creativity to life, so it’s no surprise that a flurry of new murals and public art projects are enlivening run-down corners downtown. Last fall a street art festival brought in talent from all over the world to add color to Detroit’s historic farmers’ market, and last spring Shepard Fairey peppered the city with murals when he was in town for an exhibition of his works. “The amount of public art that’s available just driving through the city has amassed to a critical level,” says Jesse Cory, founder of Innerstate Gallery. “We’ve reached a tipping point in 2016.” While all this new work is attracting attention and tourists, murals are nothing new for Detroit: It’s home to the 30-year-old Heidelberg Project, one of the oldest renegade art-for-urban-renewal initiatives in the country. Here’s where to experience Detroit’s street art boom.


The local Library Street Collective gallery hired artist Shepard Fairey, best known for his Obama campaign poster, to paint a mural on the side of Bedrock Detroit's One Campus Martius building, a downtown skyscraper. The 184-foot mural was Fairey’s largest to date when it was installed last May. “Shepard Fairey is an icon, so where he gets involved people pay attention,” says Anthony Curis, a partner and founder of Library Street Collective. “The mural he did here is part of the landscape now. You can look up and see it from Tiger Stadium, the Eastern Market—all different parts of the city.” 87 Monroe Avenue

In 2014 a large parking garage became an art attraction called the Z when Library Street Collective brought in 27 international street artists to add colorful murals along the glass stairwell and the walls of the ten-story structure. Park in the garage and head downstairs to the funhouse-style cocktail lounge, Punch Bowl Social, which occupies a 24,000-square-foot space on the ground floor and features games like pinball, skee ball, and bowling. 1234 Library Street


In 2014 a large parking garage became an art attraction called the Z when Library Street Collective brought in 27 international street artists to add colorful murals along the glass stairwell and the walls of the ten-story structure. Park in the garage and head downstairs to the funhouse-style cocktail lounge, Punch Bowl Social, which occupies a 24,000-square-foot space on the ground floor and features games like pinball, skee ball, and bowling. 1234 Library Street

Head to the Belt, a pedestrian alley and open-air gallery of sculpture and murals between the Z and the adjacent brick warehouses, for an incredible display. Openings at the Library Street Collective, where Shepard Fairey had an exhibition last May, spill out into the alley as well. The gallery commissioned some two dozen murals to fill the alley and has erected steel frames to show rotating exhibitions, with the intention of donating some of the work to the Detroit Academy of Arts and Sciences. The Belt

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'Shark Tank' Update: The Sharks' Sour Reaction to a Vinegar Company Now Tastes Sweet
Detroit's Jess Sanchez-McClary pitching her business, McClary Bros.
Photo: Shark Tank

Register to pitch your business at the Detroit Casting Call for ABC’s Shark Tank on May 16, 2016 with Brand Camp University at Grand Circus Detroit.

Values Partnerships is working with Shark Tank and our partners to support entrepreneurship and bring more diverse ideas and voices to the show.

On a first come, first serve basis, companies may be selected to pitch their businesses to the casting team from ABC’s Shark Tank.

Please note: Shark Tank occasionally features entrepreneurs who have a “good idea,” but the vast majority of entrepreneurs that appear on the show display market demand through user acquisition, sales, and/or intellectual property protection. We look forward to seeing you pitch your business.

This event is sponsored by Shark Tank, Grand Circus Detroit, Brand Camp University, and Values Partnerships.

Click HERE To Register!!! 
Colorful murals line The Belt alleyway, a public art space in downtown Detroit. 
Photo: Katie Hammel

Residents of Detroit — plagued with crime and blight for decades — have been waiting for it to become the “Renaissance City” that one of its nicknames heralds it to be since the 1980s

But it seems Detroit’s time has finally come, or at least, it’s on its way.

In recent years, the Michigan city’s been called “the new Brooklyn” enough to annoy residents of both areas, but with an influx of restaurants and creative cocktail bars that rival any in the U.S., and an art and design scene finally getting the attention it deserves, the comparison isn’t so far off.

For a look at the “new Detroit,” start in the city’s oldest neighborhood, Corktown. Once the home of the Detroit Tigers baseball stadium (it closed in 1999), the historic area is one of a growing number of hip micro-neighborhoods. Along cobblestoned Michigan Ave., within view of the city’s most iconic symbol of decay, the hulking remains of the Michigan Central Station, there are more than a half-dozen culinary hotspots where less than a decade ago, nearly all the buildings were boarded up.

Stop for a handcrafted cocktail at Two James (twojames.com), the city’s first post-Prohibition distillery, or at the speakeasy-style Sugar House (sugarhousedetroit.com), or get your caffeine fix at Astro Coffee (astrodetroit.com), which serves organic baked goods and coffee sourced from roasters around the country. Try Gold Cash Gold (goldcashgolddetroit.com), where Southern and Midwest dishes meet a farm-to-table sensibiity (think: keilbasa with apple and fennel saurekraut; pickle brine fried chicken with pepper gravy) housed in a former pawnshop. Or, head to the restaurant that kicked off the revitalization of the block, the always-packed Slows Bar BQ (slowsbarbq.com) for slow-cooked pulled pork and St. Louis-style spareribs. Named the country’s best new restaurant by Bon Appetit in 2009, its quality and popularity haven’t diminished since. Slows has since opened a carryout location in the nearby Midtown area.

Midtown, once known as the Cass Corridor (and still designated that way by most Detroiters) is another neighborhood on the rise. While some boarded up buildings remain, the streets around the intersection of Cass Ave. and W. Canfield St. have been given a major facelift. Alongside old favorites like Motor City Brewing Works (motorcitybeer.com), and Avalon International Breads (avalonbreads.net), there’s a new crop of restaurants, bars and boutiques making the area a walkable enteraintment district.

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The lobby of the 1915 David Whitney building reflects the 
grandeur of times gone by. It was converted from medical offices 
into residences in 2015, a 
century after it was built. 
Photo: The Roxbury Group

The City of Detroit has had more than its share of big, bad headlines in the last few years, but the bigger news is that not only is the greater downtown area rising like a phoenix but that its renewal is, in large part, being fueled by the old. Iconic skyscrapers, along with bread-and-butter office and factory buildings, are being transformed into apartments, hotels, chic shops and entertainment venues that are bringing in a new generation of employers and reverse-commuting residents to the once downtrodden city.

These projects form the backdrop for a wider revival that includes a streetcar line, a bridge across the Detroit River to Windsor, Ontario, and a 44-block arena and entertainment district. “This is the dawn of Detroit’s next golden age,” declares developer David Di Rita, principal of The Roxbury Group, which was founded in 2005 and has been working in the city since then. The so-called Renaissance City is in the perfect place and perfect time for a revamping. The story, appropriately enough, starts and ends with architecture.

Founded in 1701 by the French trader Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, Detroit came into its prime as a mercantile center in the 19th century, and the Gilded Age structures it erected reflected its power and prowess. The oldest, 1895s United Way Community Services Building, soon was joined by an illustrious set that included Detroit Cornice and Slate (1897), the Romanesque Globe Tobacco Building (1888) and the Wright-Kay (1891).

The automobile-fueled building boom all but put them in the dust, adding a constellation of Art Deco and Neoclassical spectacular structures by the likes of Daniel Burnham, Albert Kahn, Louis Kamper and Smith Hinchman & Grylls that still define its mighty Midwest skyline.

Burnham’s Ford (1909), Dime Building (now Chrysler House) (1912) and David Whitney (1915) led the way for Kamper’s Book Cadillac Hotel (1924) and Book Tower (1926); Albert Kahn Associates’ Cadillac Place (1923) and Fisher Building (1928); Writ C. Rowland’s Gothic Revival Buhl Building (1925), Penobscot (1928) and Guardian (1929); and John M. Donaldson’s David Stott Building (1929). During the succeeding decades, other buildings by other architects rose, but, for the most part, they were eclipsed by these historic gems.

The city’s fortunes continued to rise and fall with those of the rest of the nation, and by the turn of the 21st century, the Motor City had sputtered to a halt. Unlike some other cities that scalped their skylines to modernize, Detroit pretty much left things alone simply because few were willing to invest in what was perceived as its bleak future.

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A  Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education
460 W. Baltimore in Detroit’s New Center Area
Free parking is available on both campuses with shuttle service to and from the Taubman Center

Opening Night: Friday, May 13

Open May 14-27 to public – Free
Saturday – Wednesday: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Thursday and Friday: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Opening Night includes:
•       The Collectors’ Preview and Private Reception, beginning at 5:30 p.m., provides an exclusive opportunity to enjoy a VIP reception and browse and buy exceptional artwork before the doors open to the general public ($350 per ticket),
•       The General Exhibition and Opening Sale,  beginning at 7:00 p.m., for all general admission ticketholders ($50 per ticket)
•       Included in all ticket prices are food from local restaurants, wine and beer and entertainment from local musicians, event concludes at 10:00 p.m.

Get Your Tickets HERE!
Photo: Freep.com

Comerica Bank and Hatch Detroit announced the return of The Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest. The 2016 contest will include an expanded benefits package for the $50,000 grand prize winner as well as additional support for entrepreneurs and Hatch Alumni. Comerica is more than doubling its commitment for the contest, investing more than $125,000 to help launch even more small business successes in Detroit and help ensure the success of current Hatch Alumni.

“Comerica is deeply rooted in the Detroit community and we recognize the important role small businesses are playing in the resurgence of the city,” said Linda Forte, senior vice president and chief diversity officer, Comerica Bank. “We are proud to be the flagship sponsor of this contest, which has sparked other small business contests and economic development in the region.”

The additional funds will be strategically allocated to enhance the contest and its alumni through marketing and public relations efforts as well as a series of business planning sessions hosted by Hatch Detroit in their targeted neighborhood revitalization areas of Hamtramck, Jefferson East, Grandmont Rosedale and the Avenue of Fashion. Four workshops are scheduled during the contest application period:

·         June 2 – Hamtramck
·         June 16 – Jefferson East
·         June 29 – Avenue of Fashion
·         July 7 – Grandmont Rosedale

The free workshops will provide an opportunity for entrepreneurs to work with established business owners to strengthen their business ideas, solidify their business plans and develop a contest application that will make a strong impression on the Detroit community.

Comerica Bank has also expanded its commitment for contest alumni. Comerica has contributed $25,000 to the Michigan Women’s Foundation to establish a micro-enterprise loan fund offered exclusively to Hatch Alumni to help them meet short-term funding challenges. Comerica and Hatch Detroit will also host a business planning workshop later this year tailored to Hatch Alumni to address challenges related to opening and operating a storefront.

The business competition seeks entrepreneurs with a retail concept to submit their business plans to establish a brick and mortar location in Detroit, Highland Park or Hamtramck. Business applications will be accepted May 2 – July 15, 2016.

The winning business pitch will take home $50,000 from Comerica Bank, $25,000 in branding and logo design from global advertising agency Team Detroit, and a package of accounting, legal, IT, public relations, and counsel from Hatch Detroit and its partners.

“The Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest is a catalyst of business competitions. Not only does it help the winning businesses to establish storefronts, but it introduces us to the area’s top entrepreneurs,” said Vittoria Katanski, executive director of Hatch Detroit. “All contest alumni are continuously encouraged and guided toward opening their doors. The 14 Hatch Alumni who have operating storefronts and 16 more operating as pop ups or opening soon, proves this contest is really revitalizing Detroit.”

Hatch Detroit has experienced tremendous success igniting small business growth since it launched the contest in 2011. Comerica Bank became the first flagship sponsor of the contest in 2012 and has provided $200,000 in prize money as well as public relations and marketing support to Hatch Detroit and the contest alumni. The contest has garnered 1,400 business submissions with a combined 300,000 public votes that helped crown Hugh, La Feria, Batch Brewing Company, Sister Pie and Live Cycle Delight as contest winners, and helped push the doors open for numerous contest alumni including the Detroit Institute of Bagels, Detroit Vegan Soul and Busted in Detroit.

Click HERE To Submit A Business Plan!

It’s Time to Vote!

It's now time to decide which of the 30 Regional Winners will be the Comcast Business I4E Grand Prize Winners!

Public voting is now open and will be through May 13, 2016. Cast your vote to help determine which six will win an additional $20,000 and a special trip to Philadelphia– where they will meet with Business Innovation Experts to discuss how to put their technology plan into action!

Vote Now!

You can vote one time per day in each category (Startup/Entrepreneur).

Grand Prize Winners

From the 30 regional winners, six will be named as GRAND PRIZE Winners and will receive an additional $20,000 cash award…plus:

  • A chance to get advice from business innovation experts at our I4E specially-designed day long event to discuss the future of their business
  • Hear the latest techniques on managing financials, growth strategies, operations, marketing and business planning to set their business up for success and growth
  • An all-expenses paid trip to Comcast Headquarters in Philadelphia – a renowned entrepreneurial city! Check out these interesting facts about Philadelphia.
  • The total value of cash and prizes is up to $34,000!

I4E Grand Prize Event

Grand Prize Winners will spend a day meeting and brainstorming with business experts about how to grow their business. Past winners call this opportunity “life changing” and “unparalleled.”

The business experts currently include:  Anita Campbell, Founder, CEO & Publisher of Small Business Trends;  Danielle Cohn, Senior Director, Entrepreneurial Engagement, Comcast;  Denice Hasty, Senior Vice President, Product and Marketing, Comcast Business;  Robert Irvine restaurateur, TV star and entrepreneur;  John Jantsch, Marketing Consultant, speaker and best-selling author;  Jon Kaplowitz, Vice President, Business Development and Strategy, Comcast;  Bob Maiden, Startup & SMB Consultant;  Brian Meece, CEO, RocketHub;  Kevin O’Toole, Senior Vice President and General Manager, New Business Solutions;  Chuck Sacco, MBA, Assistant Dean, Charles D. Close Close School of Entrepreneurship;  Sam Schwartz, Chief Business Development Officer at Comcast;  Walker Tompkins, Financial Services Executive;  Louis Toth, Managing Director, Comcast Ventures;  Bob Victor, Chief Financial Officer, Comcast Business;  Orly Zeewy, Brand Architect.

Post is a paid sponsorship for Comcast Business.

Detroit has inspired a lot of nicknames: Arsenal of Democracy, Motor City, City of Trees, Hitsville, Hockeytown. All are out of date. Military spending headed west after World War II, the car industry started moving south in the 1950s, Dutch elm disease leveled the great archways of foliage in the '60s, Berry Gordy Jr. shipped Motown Records to L.A. in 1972, and the Red Wings haven't vied for the Stanley Cup since President Obama took office.

If there's a moniker that fits now, it's Cuba of the North. Like the onetime Pearl of the Antilles, Detroit is starting to emerge from decades of economic privation with an entrepreneurial energy that's reshaping the landscape. I grew up here, and, like other natives, I was depressed by the city's demise. But over the past year I began to notice a shift, a success that was sticking, particularly among the most skeptical demographic of all: Detroiters who had fled. People like musician Jack White, of White Stripes fame, and designer John Varvatos were returning to do business in their hometown.

Will Adler, whose family has been selling clothes in Michigan for 100 years, established his company, Will Leather Goods, in Oregon, but he returned in January to open a 9,000-square-foot concept store in a fabulously refurbished supermarket in the resurgent Midtown neighborhood. "Like the boxer who gets hit but keeps coming back, Detroit has never lost its heart," Adler says.

But, he adds, he's also seeing something new: a real thirst for freewheeling creativity, and not just in the community- based artists who are reconfiguring neighborhoods all over town. I saw it too, on a recent trip with my family. We found plenty to do, with or without the kids.

The city was built for drivers, with big six-lane boulevards left over from the Motor City days, and it's dotted with ethnic enclaves and their restaurant rows: Banglatown, Greektown, Mexicantown, and Corktown. Vintage neighborhoods such as Indian Village, Boston-Edison, and Palmer Park are holding on to their boom-era swank. In between there are the abandoned hulks of stamping plants and deserted residential areas, with many blocks turning into de facto nature preserves. It's not unusual to spot a pheasant, as my kids did, rising out of the ruins of a factory.

Evidence of renovation is everywhere, from the great stacks of wood on scissor lifts parked beside long-empty downtown department stores, to the many bike shops and craft distilleries and pickling plants popping up—the calling cards of neo-retro DIYers everywhere.

You still need a car to take in the scope of Detroit, but areas now exist where you barely do at all, like Downtown (a.k.a. City Center) or the Cultural Corridor. If you stay at the Westin Book Cadillac, a beautifully renovated 1924 hotel and residential high-rise in the Renaissance Revival style, you're right by Detroit's two big-league stadiums, Comerica Park and Ford Field, in the heart of City Center. For home games the Lions stay at the Book Cadillac, so you can, if you're 11 and wide-eyed, ride up and down in the elevator, as my son did, meeting football players as they make their way over to the stadium.

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