Jer Staes – Daily Detroit What To Know And Where To Go In Metro Detroit Mon, 10 Dec 2018 23:44:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 PODCAST: The Weed Is Freed In Michigan Plus 6 Things To Know Around Detroit Thu, 06 Dec 2018 22:46:25 +0000 On the show:

Michigan is the first state in the midwest and the tenth nationally to legalize recreational marijuana. The ballot measure passed last month with almost 56 percent of the vote, and it became official law today. There are few key things you need to know before you roll.

Detroit’s Town Pump – a long-standing drinking establishment – is moving across the street. Their “one last pump” party is this January. Link:

This one is just breaking as we record the show… the Detroit News is reporting that Fiat Chrysler will activate the old Mack Avenue Engine II plant in the city of Detroit. More, with info on the car being built that wasn’t available when we recorded:

The rent is high! A new report says that our very own Motor City has seen the highest rent increases of any U.S. city. Also, it costs 47% of the average Detroiter’s income just on rent.

For the first time in nearly two decades, the city of Detroit is back to borrowing on its own credit. The city sold $135 million in bonds with the aim of using it to purchase land around the city for eventual development.

The new Fort Street Galley food hall concept opens its doors to the public on Friday in downtown Detroit.

The Lions make their best pickup of the year: Daniel Radcliffe of Harry Potter fame as a possible fan.

Have a listen:

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The Stupid Move Of Demolishing A Historic Building For A Parking Lot Might Happen Yet Again Thu, 29 Nov 2018 21:20:10 +0000 Here we go again.

Yet another Detroit developer with ideas rooted in the 1980s is trying to bring down another great, old building that has been part of the fabric of the city.

The latest is the news that the first Detroit Saturday Night Building at 550 Fort that has a target on it to be demolished by the same folks who own the Fort Shelby Hotel. There’s a petition online to save the building built in 1911 by Preservation Detroit.

The Historic District Commission has a meeting about it on December 13, but since the building isn’t located in a historic district, the vote would be a suggestion and not binding.

Following the paper trail, Emmett Moten, Jr. looks to be the owner of the building in question and the surface parking lot next door. Also, importantly, he’s the orchestrator of the nearby Fort Shelby hotel that received a huge bucket of incentives to be built.

He’s also very connected in town with roots going back to Mayor Coleman Young, serving as his director of community and economic development from through most of the 80s. He was one of the folks behind the development of the General Motors Detroit-Hamtramck (we happen to have a clip of a resident back then cursing his name in our podcast on the subject).

Some say he was instrumental in bringing the Ilitch empire downtown for the Fox Theatre deal, too. Moten is now in the private sector and involved in their District Detroit projects, too.

He has access to people and capital, so here’s what’s perplexing about this move. Detroit real estate is in demand. Talking to multiple real estate sources over the last year, it’s stuff with character and age that people moving downtown really want. And we really don’t have much of it left.

After all, no one moves to Detroit for the surface parking lots.

In Detroit, we’ve decimated our downtown and our community fabric in a quest for the tin holy grail of suburbanite sportsball traffic and easy parking. Now, I love the sportsball as much as anyone, but there’s no reason as a major city we can’t have both a neighborhood and attractions.

Except lack of vision.

The market has changed. Folks like Dan Gilbert and The Platform have proven that it can be done, and done well.

I’ve been here long enough to remember the series broken grand promises and seemingly forever empty buildings.

And yes, it’s great the the Fort Shelby was renovated. But that was 10 years ago. That doesn’t give you a free pass forever.

Just walk around the block of the Shinola Hotel and you’ll see what I mean. There was a surface parking lot filled with a beautiful, new building and historic rehabilitation around the entire block. The Madison block next door, too. There are plenty of examples.

And if the hotel needs more parking (that’s going to be my educated assumption knowing the ownership connection), there are plenty of ways to incorporate old and new. And a surface parking lot is the least, worst best use of land in a major city.

Just like we should have affordable opportunities to keep long-term residents in the city, we should have development that keeps the long-term character of our city.

Maybe I’ll hit Warby Parker on the way home and buy Mr. Moten a new set of glasses to help him have a little better vision.

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PODCAST: Winter Blast Expands, MoGo Bike Share Report, Esquire Highlights Two Area Restaurants And More Thu, 29 Nov 2018 03:10:06 +0000

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On today’s show, we talk about the news that Hard Rock closed. Also, the bike share service MoGo shared a new report of ridership and usage.

The Winter Blast is expanding and has a new sponsor. Shianne has all the details.

And, two Detroit area restaurants get nods from Esquire magazine for being among the best new restaurants in America. Congrats to Voyager and Lady of the House.

Reminder: Our live show is on Saturday at 5 p.m. at the Detroit Shipping Company. Come by and have a drink!

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Report: Avalon Packs Up Their Pop Up At The Mike Ilitch School Of Business Mon, 19 Nov 2018 14:15:23 +0000 Pop-ups sometimes don’t work. Avalon, the well-known local purveyor of many breads, sweets and other tasty goods, had opened a spot in the Mike Ilitch School of Business. The announcement was in June, and the opening a bit later. Now, the South End reports that the shop’s location is no more.

To take its place in the 1,000 square foot of retail it leaves behind will be two spots, one being a rotating pop-up.

The article also says that the Avalon space didn’t have a direct door with access to the school. Students would have to leave the building then go to the Avalon.

More here.

Two Cents Take: You might think being right next to the stadium is a perfect location for things, but outside of game days, that particular block is often very quiet. This is part of the issue with stadium-focused development in general. Outside of game traffic, unless you do more than the stadium, it’s a dead zone. You also have New Order Coffee right straight up the street with a great ambiance and an established clientele.

If you’re not going to hyper-serve the school (not having direct access seems like a totally dumb move), there’s not going to be much else for a coffee shop there since it’s not like many of the Ilitch’s plans for District Detroit have happened on that side of the street.

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Dan Gilbert Just Bought The Dictionary Thu, 15 Nov 2018 17:52:06 +0000 In a hilariously verbose press release, Dan Gilbert’s Rock Holdings announced Thursday that they have purchased both and

The purchase price wasn’t disclosed.

Rock Holdings is the umbrella company that owns a variety of Gilbert’s businesses, including Quicken Loans, StockX, Benzinga and many others. and are the online destinations most people think of when they’re looking for the definition of a word. They’re based in Oakland, California.

Together, they garner 540 million pageviews a month, as the release says, “per lunar cycle.”

I wouldn’t normally do this, but I’m just gonna paste the thing below. Enjoy, word nerds. It uses an astounding number of four syllable words.

Detroit-based Rock Holdings, Inc., progenitor to considerable FinTech and other online enterprises, inclusive of Quicken Loans – the nation’s largest mortgage lender – today disclosed the acquisition of Oakland, California-based and in accord with their begetter, IAC. These forums are the nation’s preeminent online erudition resource and information concourses, eliciting in excess of 540 million page explorations per approximate lunar cycle.

“From the genesis, we admit to invariable conjecture in the unmitigated competency of online mechanization to ameliorate the total sum of completed undertakings throughout our mortal existence. Cognition and discourse are conjointly associated,” said Dan Gilbert, Founder and Chairman of Rock Holdings. “Whilst the cosmos that encompass us are invariably in flux, an aphorism has perpetually prevailed – the desideratum for efficacious articulation to connote doctrine, conjecture, et al. Comparatively we persevere, maneuvering a terrain glutted with permutation, crystal clear communication will always be the key to success. In addition, over the past two decades, these ‘raw materials’ of language are in essence not only the ‘vessels’ of all communication but at the same time they are also becoming the currency of the digital age.”

Established in 1995, and hold notorious for engendering consequential network exchange and assignation as the globe’s copious digital-forward English lexicon and onomasticon, pro rata. Their technological infrastructure has been pivotal in accommodating an agglomeration of recrudescing global patrons with incorrupt entrée to a multiplicity of delineations, equivalencies, phonic syllabifications, precedent sentences, transliterations and the facilitation of orthographic study. Likewise, the gamut burgeons clear of cyberspace, exceeding 110 million digital utility downloads from antiquity to the present day for consumers to promote the analysis of words originating at the interior of the individual’s own metacarpus.

The annexations of and append a prodigious coterie of inestimable content proprietaries to Rock Holdings and its affiliated companies such as Rocket Mortgage,, LowerMyBills, StockX, Cleveland Cavaliers, Robb Report, and Genius, among others.

“This is an exhilarating juncture for and We endeavor to excogitate amidst a portion of the eminent monikers in industrial science,” said Liz McMillan, CEO of “Rock Holdings is the epicenter of a plethora of headmost enterprises in the commonwealth of cyberspace and we apperceive that considerable capability for additional ontogenesis is situated within the aforementioned alliance. Additionally, this is a prodigious and advantageous ethology that will accouter our platforms amidst the mechanisms to endure about the preeminent perimeter of perspicacity and the junction of consumer praxes.”

As a consortium that emulates a For-More-Than-Profit ontology, Rock Holdings and affiliates are fixated on expenditures in steadfast quarterage, scholarship and vocation in its hometown municipalities of Detroit, Cleveland, Phoenix and Charlotte.

The new titleholder of these enterprises, foresees an explosion of innovative and creative functionality, products and integration opportunities that will propel this enterprise into leading a viral era of knowledge expansion and communication skill development across the nation from preschool well into senescence. and retain upwards of 50 contingent partners situated in Oakland, California – with approximately 75% concentrated on product and engineering.

The stipulations of the procurement remain unavailable.


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Detroit City FC Going Pro As Part Of New League Thu, 15 Nov 2018 16:59:17 +0000 Detroit’s popular semi-pro soccer team, Detroit City FC, is about to drop the “semi-” part of their description.

In a move that’s been desired for awhile (CEO and co-owner Sean Mann as much telegraphed this in multiple interviews, including one on our podcast near the beginning of this season), Detroit City FC has figured out a way to move to a professional league and extend their season.

By being part of creating a new league.

They’re one of 11 National Premier Soccer League teams that are “established” that are creating a new league in association with the NPSL. The announcement says that the clubs will compete in the first-ever NPSL Founders Cup competition and it will run from August to November 2019.

And in 2020? There will be a full schedule and all the clubs will be making full-time commitment to their markets and will include professional players, coaches, and staff.

“We are very excited to bring a new brand of community-based soccer to the U.S. market,” said NPSL Chairman Joe Barone. “Beginning with the Founders Cup, fans will be able to enjoy watching authentic clubs compete with professional players and staff. This new venture will build upon the success and experience of NPSL and its nationwide network of local soccer club members.”

The 11 founding members include ASC San Diego, Cal FC, California United Strikers FC, Chattanooga FC, Detroit City FC, FC Arizona, Miami FC, Miami United FC, Milwaukee Torrent, New York Cosmos, and Oakland Roots, and plans are being developed to add additional clubs.

There are still details to come, as the format, player roster information, and schedule will be announced at a date later this winter.

This is an interesting move for Detroit City FC, a club that has been the most popular iteration of soccer in Metro Detroit as far as attendance goes bringing thousands to games to Keyworth Stadium in Hamtramck. In previous interviews with Daily Detroit, Detroit City FC CEO Sean Mann said that they need to expand the season and professional players would help the quality on the field.

This also may put the pressure on the billionaire duo of Dan Gilbert and Tom Gores who have had a so far unsuccessful bid to get a Major League Soccer team in Detroit. The bid has ran into a series of snafus. If Detroit City FC can extend their season and build market position, soccer fans — a notoriously loyal bunch — might not be as interested in what Gilbert and Gores put together.

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PODCAST: How To Successfully Crowdfund Your Project With Overworld Board Game Designer Nemo Rathwald Wed, 14 Nov 2018 01:54:31 +0000

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Detroit’s been known for a lot of things over the years. Cars. Stoves. Cigars. But what about board games?

Jer’s guest for today’s Daily Detroit podcast is Nemo Rathwald. He’s the designer and creator of the board game Overworld, a recently successfully funded and delivered Kickstarter project.

What does it take to get your project successfully crowdfunded? What are some tips Nemo has for Kickstarter? And why is Michigan great ground to make board games?

Enjoy the interview above.


Overworld Kickstarter:

Game page:

Cover art:

The box art of Overworld.
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It’s Last Call For Cheli’s Chili Bar In Downtown Detroit On Nov. 24 Tue, 13 Nov 2018 23:52:03 +0000 One of the bars that’s a mainstay if you’re coming down for a Tigers, Lions or Red Wings game is going to pour their final shot. According to a social media post, Cheli’s Chili Bar is closing.

Recently, Detroit Red Wings alum Chris Chelios (who the bar was named after) took a job with the Chicago Blackhawks organization. He’s also opening a new eatery there, Cheli’s Cantina. Why the switch up? “I love Mexican Food now,” he told the Chicago Tribune.

The post (embedded below) says that there will be a closing party this Saturday and there will be “memorabilia specials,” so I wonder if that means memorabilia will be sold.

Daily Detroit reached out for comment and background for either a post or our podcast and hasn’t gotten anything back at the time of this writing.

The Women’s Exchange Building that the bar is housed in is one of Detroit’s few remaining buildings from the 1880s. The location is sure to draw interest and is privately owned. In 2005 it was purchased for $1.25 million.

The building alone should fetch much more than that in today’s much hotter market> Liquor licenses are also in high demand and running at a premium right now.

Cheli’s Chili Bar opened in 2006. The Detroit eats and drinks scene has changed a ton in the intervening 12 years. From personal experience, Cheli’s was often not open on non-game days.

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Dearborn’s Al Ameer Named As One Of America’s “Best Restaurants” And An Icon Tue, 13 Nov 2018 19:04:51 +0000 Let’s start this off by saying this. If you live in metro Detroit and have not been to Al Ameer in Dearborn yet, you need to change your calendar plans.

I know, I know. It’s middle eastern food. Specifically, Lebanese. Some of you might be saying — because I get the feedback and I’ve read it — “But pizza!” “But I like burgers!”

Get over your reservations, get over yourself, and give. It. A. Go. If you’re not willing to try this place, I’m gonna revoke your foodie card.

Having gone multiple times myself, this is more than a shawarma. It’s transcendence on a plate. But let’s get to what Eater had to say, as they were the ones who gave this nod.

Among Dearborn’s cache of Lebanese restaurants, this is the paragon. Kahlil Ammar and Zaki Hashem’s family business includes an in-house butcher facility, so the unrivaled stuffed lamb (and also lamb liver, a traditional breakfast dish) exhibits exceptional freshness.

They also named it one of their “icons,” that they couldn’t see their list without. It’s the only Michigan restaurant on their national list.

Dearborn and nearby has an amazing array of food choices. As someone who’s taken someone on a date to to a gas station hamburger place (Taystees), maybe I like to push the norms a little bit. But it’s a culinary adventure you need to be willing to take.

One thing I noticed on the Al Ameer website? They’re taking franchise applications. Soon, the whole country could falafel in love with their tasty dishes.

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98.7 “Amp Radio” Becomes “987 The Breeze,” Attempts To Pry You From Your Spotify Playlist At Work Tue, 13 Nov 2018 16:27:59 +0000 In the often format-shifting world of corporate radio, there’s been a move in the Detroit market.

The Entercom-owned WDZH-FM has moved from “98.7 Amp Radio” to “987 The Breeze.” The new format, according to the company, will feature artists like Elton John, Fleetwood Mac and Boyz II Men to Adele, Alicia Keys and Sara Bareilles. The idea is that they’re relaxing favorites at work.

If you use Nielsen ratings as your guide, WDZH sits at the lower middle of the ratings pack in the October period, just above the Classical radio station and the National Public Radio stations out of Ann Arbor and Detroit.

“We are excited to launch 987 The Breeze and to fill this void in the Motor City’s music scene,” said Debbie Kenyon, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Entercom Detroit in a press relase. “We know the station will become a must-listen to make your work day breeze by.”

987 The Breeze will play 10,000 songs commercial-free, starting Tuesday at 5:00 p.m.

My Two Cents: I know music radio is a big thing in Detroit. After all, the classic rock station is number one here. And Entercom should be lauded for putting former WXYZ anchor Stephen Clark and JoAnn Purtan on the air over on WOMC, investing in local content when many others are pulling away from it.

But I can’t help but think this move is just trying to stave off the time when we all just get everything from Spotify, Sirius, Apple Music or Pandora.

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