Hello, Daily Detroit readers! Detroit had a lot of interesting stories this week. There’s a little extra “thought” in the “thought-provoking” equation as even if you don’t agree with the points being made by various writers we found this week, it’s clear that the conversation about Detroit isn’t slowing down.
So without much ado, here’s the list.
Meet the Detroit graffiti gaffe. First, inspectors ticketed a bunch of buildings for tickets for ordinance violations.. many buildings whose owners had given their approval to have street art on their walls. Ooops. Mayor Mike Duggan quickly apologized, and at this point it’s looking a lot more like a run-of-the-mill government goof-up than an all-out war on street art. Not to justify it, but screwing up is what big cities have done for centuries (especially on nuanced decisions, like in this case of art vs. vandalism). The key takeaway is Duggan quickly apologized for the error worked to rectify the situation. That said, Mike Duggan doesn’t like graffiti very much, during the time he was prosecutor he took a lot of action against it. [WXYZ]
70,000 properties in Detroit (and an additional 10,000 in Wayne County outside of the city) are about to be foreclosed on. A good reminder that we’re in no way out of the woods yet. In the past, Wayne County hasn’t been as aggressive on foreclosing on properties delinquent on property taxes, and it seems that policy is no more as “the economy is improving” according to the Wayne County Treasurer. Obviously, not all of these homes are going to finish the foreclosure process, but expect this to be an interesting year around foreclosure.. as the mess from the housing implosion still hasn’t been cleaned up in America. [Curbed National]
Detroit entrepreneurship is being pushed forward with co-working week, and although this news article would make you think Grand Circus in the only game in town, there are actually a bunch of co-working spaces in the city participating, and more than one in general. There are nine participating spaces and you can get more information here. If you’re like most of our readers and have no idea what co-working is, check out this link and this link on why it’s here to stay considering the trend toward independent workers. [Detroit News, CoLab Detroit, TechTarget, Forbes]
Could Detroit be the next fashion hub? A conference in its second year seems to think so. One of the interesting points raised is that Shinola’s interest and investment here is “opening doors” around manufacturing in the city. Another was that ““It took a company from Texas to show us that Detroit could be a part of a luxury brand.” I’d add why there’s so much interest in Shinola.. by all accounts they’re actually selling the watches, and a lot of them (as well as other goods). They also just opened up an e-commerce store in Europe. [DetroitUnspun]
Apparently Detroit is a froyo and ice cream desert. Or dessert? I’m hungry now. Turns out we have the lowest number of frozen yogurt and/or ice cream shops per capita. And for some reason, pinning Detroit at the bottom of this list made my strange sense of humor happy. Maybe someone needs to start a fracas over froyo? Do we need more froyo? Ok. Yeah, we know, on to more important things. [WalletHub]
Some feel on the sidelines of Detroit’s comeback. A couple of pieces this week talk about this. Alex B. Hill put together a set of charts and a narrative around the racial makeup of those involved in Detroit’s revival and the picture he paints is very… white. Secondly, Crain’s looked at businesses in Corktown. Some feel like they’re in on the turnaround, and others, well, call it “Corklandia” which is a riff on of the show “Portlandia” which had good sport making fun of hipsters. This story thread isn’t ending any time soon. [Alex B Hill, Crain’s Detroit Business]
Drone races happened at the Detroit Dorais Velodrome and there’s not more for us to add about that. Check it out. Except that if this happens more often should the venue be renamed the “Velodrone?” [MLive]
This cynical ex-pat was surprised by their parents reaction to Detroit’s comeback. A quote from the piece we’ll give you is:
“While driving to the diner, I tell Mom why I’m in town. “They’ve brought a bunch of us expats back to sell us on Detroit.” I expect her to take the bait—to rant and reminisce, like always. Instead, she shakes her head and says, “I think Detroit is coming back.”
So there are some interesting reads for the week. It seems that the consensus is beginning to form that Detroit is moving forward but something tells me the “how” Detroit moves forward is going to be a much more interesting conversation than the “if” ever was. If you have any thoughts, leave them in the comments and of course, if you have story ideas for us to cover or to include in our list, hit up the “Submit” button in the menu.
Take care, Detroit!