Business – Daily Detroit What To Know And Where To Go In Metro Detroit Fri, 20 Jul 2018 20:42:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 PODCAST: A Retractable Roof For Ford Field? Clutch And Throttle Motorcycle Shop Opening In Detroit & More Tue, 17 Jul 2018 02:55:15 +0000


Friends, we have returned from a quick weekend getaway — Jer went up to Mackinac Island, while Sven drove down to Columbus, Ohio for a Courtney Barnett show — and are back with a fresh new show. And it’s our first one recorded in the new Podcast Detroit studio inside the Detroit Shipping Company, which had its soft open on Friday and remains, uh, softly open?

In today’s show, we discuss:

  • Ford Field’s future retractable roof?
  • The future of the Belle Isle Grand Prix
  • Detroit misses out on hosting the NCAA Final Four
  • The Gordie Howe International Bridge groundbreaking
  • Detroit’s skyrocketing housing prices
  • The Detroit Institute of Bagel’s bagels
  • A new production by “Hamilton” playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda comes to Detroit
  • And Jer has a chat on the show with Brad Touchette, owner of Detroit’s new motorcycle accessory shop, Clutch and Throttle.

Ford Field might get a new retractable roof to help its bid to lure a Major League Soccer franchise. That’s what Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Daily reports, and various other outlets have confirmed.

What’s behind this? The billionaire duo of Tom Gores and Dan Gilbert have been aiming to bring a Major League Soccer team to Detroit. Together with Lions owner Martha Firestone Ford, they’re pitching Ford Field as the home stadium starting with the 2022 season.

But MLS prefers that new franchises play in an outdoor, purpose-built stadium — and Ford Field ticks neither box. The league has said that abandoning plans for a new stadium built on the former Wayne County Jail site hurt the group’s bid.

In an interview with WJR, Lions President Ron Wood said that he hasn’t seen the final numbers but the cost would be “significant,” and that we’d know in the next couple weeks if this is going to happen.

It’s also not clear who would pay for a retractable roof — and whether taxpayers would be asked to foot the bill. Some experts peg the cost of adding a retractable roof in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

The Detroit Grand Prix is proposing to give more money to the state as part of its pitch to continue to stage the race on Belle Isle.

Grand Prix organizers presented their proposal during a Belle Isle Park Advisory Committee on Friday that drew a reported 200 opponents and supporters of the annual event.

Organizers are seeking a new three-year contract with an optional two-year extension. They also propose to increase the annual fee the event pays to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to $300,000, from $200,000, plus an annual contribution toward a project to be determined by the DNR. And they say they’d shorten the time spent setting up and tearing down the race infrastructure.

Opponents object to the noise and disruption to the island park, but some supporters say the race has benefited the city and Belle Isle. Organizers say they have no other Plan B locations to stage the race.

The DNR will review the application and is accepting public comments through Aug. 2 at A tentative decision on the proposal is expected that same day.

Gov. Rick Snyder and elected officials from Michigan and Canada will appear at a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday for the Gordie Howe International Bridge. The ceremony in Delray is the latest sign that work on the new Detroit-Windsor span is proceeding toward full-scale construction starting later this year.

As we reported here previously, the Moroun family have recently appealed to President Trump for help blocking the project with an ad falsely claiming that the bridge will use only Canadian and imported steel. The Morouns own the nearby Ambassador Bridge and have spent years fighting against the new public bridge.

Officials are targeting a completion date in 2022 or 2023.

Home prices are rising in metro Detroit — and they’re skyrocketing in the city of Detroit.

According to a report by Realcomp, purchase prices in the Detroit region are up almost 5 percent from last year when the median sales price of a home or condominium was around $195,000.

Now in the city of Detroit? The median sale price is up 41% from a year ago, to $38,500 in June.

Reports suggest that most transactions are cash sales from outside investors or new residents moving in, often from other regions of the country.

Supply is so short in the city and region that 90 percent of buyers are paying above asking price and waving things that are otherwise smart to do before a purchase, such as a home inspection.

In the city, the hottest neighborhoods are starting to shift to outside of downtown. They include Bagley, University District, East English Village, and Sherwood Forest. The core of the city still sees high demand but there is almost no ready-to-move-in supply.

Detroit has missed out on hosting the NCAA Basketball Final Four. Although we were one of seven finalists to host the prestigious Final Four in 2023, 2024, 2025 and 2026, we came up empty-handed.

Houston, Phoenix, San Antonio and Indianapolis were picked as the host cities.

via Detroit Institute of Bagels FB page

New Yorkers tend to think that they are the only people who can have good bagels. But Thrillist has just named Detroit Institute of Bagels as one of the best places to get a bagel outside of New York City.

The list features 11 bagel shops across the country that quote “may represent the best of the best, it only proves that great bagels don’t depend on water, tradition, or location..”

The Corktown bagel shop opened in the fall of 2013 after operating out of the kitchen of one of the founders. It has grown a passionate local following for its bagels, sandwiches, and schmears.

ITH Promo Video 3

For real though! We are so proud of this production and we hope you will join us when "Washington Heights" aka IN THE HEIGHTS invades #Detroit at New Center Park July 18-22, gates at 7:00, show at 8:00pm. FREE thanks to @Midtown Detroit, Inc., The Kresge Foundation, and First American Title!!!

Posted by The DATC on Sunday, July 15, 2018

“In The Heights” is the first musical written by Lin-Manuel Miranda of “Hamilton” fame. This week, you’ll have a chance to see it right here in Detroit.

The Detroit Actor’s Theatre Company will be performing the Tony Award-winning show this week at New Center Park, across the street from the Fisher Building. There will be five performances of the musical starting on Wednesday, July 18 through Sunday, July 22.

“In the Heights” takes place over three days in the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City. The musical shows the struggles of the Hispanic people who live in the neighborhood, and what happens when someone in the neighborhood wins the lottery.

Daily Detroit’s Shianne Nocerini spoke with Eric Swanson, the executive director of the Detroit Actor’s Theatre company, about designing a streetscape set in the middle of a city park, on today’s show.

This is the final production in the theatre company’s “Create For Action” series. This show will address the issues of immigration, race, ethnicity and the gentrification of an inner-city neighborhood.

Along with the theme of the show the theatre company will be collecting donations for the Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation.

Gates open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8. Feel free to bring lawn chairs and blankets to sit on.

The performances are free to attend thanks to sponsorships from the Kresge Foundation and Midtown Detroit Inc.  There will be concessions for purchase before the show.

You you can find more information about the show on the Detroit Actor’s Theatre Company’s Facebook page.


via Clutch and Throttle

For today’s interview, Jer spoke with Brad Touchette, owner of a new, 2,000 square-foot motorcycle accessory, service and repair shop called Clutch & Throttle. Brad stopped by the Podcast Detroit Shipping Company studio to talk about it and their grand opening party.

Lastly, a couple fun links to Detroit-related material we thought you’d enjoy:

The New Yorker has a nifty new video on Detroit as part of its “Then and Now” video series. It presents past and present images of downtown Detroit streetscapes and automobile assembly lines.

And the Detroit Free Press has a neat photo gallery of Belle Isle back in the 70s and 80s.

Thanks for reading our email newsletter and listening to our show. We’ll see you tomorrow.

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Friday Is The Last Day To Apply For The Hatch Detroit Contest For A Chance To Win $50,000 For Your Small Business Wed, 11 Jul 2018 15:38:43 +0000

If you’re looking for a way to get $50,000 in funding for your brick and mortar business or business idea that’s based in Detroit, Hamtramck or Highland Park, Hatch Detroit might be the answer.

The contest is in its eighth year, and through a popular voting and judging process selects a winner to receive not only $50,000 in funding thanks to Comerica Bank, but also there’s a suite of business support services.

The list of Hatch Detroit winners and alumni that have opened their businesses continues to grow. So far 34 have opened and there are 11 more businesses opening in the next 14 months.
You might have heard of some of the winners of the Hatch Detroit Contest; Baobab Fare, Batch Brewing, Live Cycle Delight, Meta Physica Massage, Sister Pie, and La Feria.

You can apply for the 2018 Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest here. Just a reminder, the application process closes on Friday, July 13 at 11:59 p.m.


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Better Made Chips Is Expanding Distribution To 14 New States Tue, 10 Jul 2018 19:11:55 +0000

Beloved hometown brand Better Made says it plans to expand distribution of its chips and snacks to 14 new states.

The company says its taking advantage of small distributors and demand from Michigan ex-pats now living in other states. 

Soon you will be able to buy Better Made potato chips and other snacks in Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia.

Crain’s Detroit Business also reports Better Made has distributors in Japan and Qatar. It plans to expand to more states later in the year.


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$1.2 Million Goes To Detroit Businesses. We Talk With A Winner, Dr. Paul Thomas Tue, 26 Jun 2018 15:35:38 +0000 A number of Detroit businesses won grants or interest-free loans totalling $1.2 million dollars over the weekend at Quicken Loans Demo Day.

The event was judged by three entrepreneurial stars Charles Adler, a co-founder of Kickstarter; former Detroit Lion Ron Bartell, who’s also the founder of Kuzzos Chicken & Waffles, and Anne Sempowski Ward, the CEO of CURiO brands.

There were three categories Start, Grow, and Scale, where 7 businesses took home prizes at an event at the Detroit Music Hall.

Let’s begin with the Start category winners:

Plum Health, providing Direct primary care health care services came home with $50,000.

A potted plant delivery service, Bloomscape, was awarded $75,000;

And Lush Yummies, a pie place focusing on local ingredients, got $100,000.

The Grow winners were:

Cynt-Sational Popcorn, $150,000;

Home accessory and toymaker Tait Design got $200,000;

And the hot and popular TEN Nail Bar, got $250,000.

The Scale winner was:

Michigan Farm To Freezer, the company helps connect local farmers to local markets by freezing and packaging their produce, received $300,000.

Three of the businesses received an additional $25,000 grant as winners of the “People’s choice.” Michigan Farm to Freezer, Lush Yummies and Cynt Sational Popcorn.

To talk about it, we’re joined by Dr. Paul Thomas of Plum Health Direct Primary Care. He and his business took a $50,000 award. The interview is below. 

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Adient Will Not Be Moving Downtown After All Wed, 20 Jun 2018 16:43:47 +0000 While Ford is making a big splash about its plans to come into the city, another automotive company is now pulling back on its plans to move to downtown Detroit.

The seating supplier Adient says it has decided to scrap plans to move its corporate headquarters and 500 employees into the Marquette Building on Congress Street over concerns about the cost of renovation. It’ll instead remain at its current location in Plymouth Township.

Advent announced plans to move to Detroit in 2016, and crews have been working to redevelop the building for its offices. The company says it plans to sell the building.

Adient last month reported a quarterly loss of $168 million. It recently named former General Motors CEO Fritz Henderson as interim CEO.

This story first appeared in our daily local news podcast show, the Daily Detroit News Byte.

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LISTEN: FlashFoodBox Delivery Service Opens In Detroit Fri, 08 Jun 2018 14:24:11 +0000 Getting food from a farm to your table through traditional grocery stores can take as many as 40 days. That adds a lot of cost and a lot of hands. Not to mention, 40 days doesn’t really sound very fresh.

So there’s a new delivery service called FlashFoodBox that is opening up in Detroit as its first U.S. city.

The company is looking to change the game by delivering fresh food right to people’s doors.

Each FlashFoodBox is filled with ten pounds of produce and five pounds of protein. That breaks down to between 14 to 15 meals each week. Each box cost $35.99, so each meal costs roughly $3.

FlashFoodBox works directly with farmers to fill each box. The produce is might be weirdly shaped, but is still packed with nutrients and is perfectly fine to use.

See, many times grocery stores will not take produce that does not meet their strict visual requirements, so farmers will just leave them in the field. That is wasteful.

Another important part of this company is their partnership with Forgotten Harvest. For every box that is ordered FlashFoodBox will donate 5 pounds of protein to Forgotten Harvest. There is also an option for people to donate a box for someone in need.

“When we decided on Detroit, one of the reasons was because of Forgotten Harvest. We reached out to them to see how we could make this work, so we can benefit the people they cater to,” said Domingues. “There is not going to be one company or organization that can solve this problem across the board, it’s just too hard to. So forging partnerships is the most important part.”

The complete interview with Josh Domingues, their founder, is in the player below.

You can find more information about how to order your own FlashFoodBox online.

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Pay Gap Between Men And Women In Metro Detroit Among Worst In Nation Fri, 08 Jun 2018 14:11:32 +0000

Turns out Metro Detroit has one of the biggest pay gaps between men and women in the nation.

New data from RentCafe shows that Metro Detroit women earn 64.9% of what men do. That’s significantly below the national average of just over 80%.

That makes Metro Detroit the 5th worse region in America for gender pay equality.

More interesting Detroit-centric data from the study focusing on the best and worst regions to live in, touches on individual fields, and what you make compared to the cost of living and how much money you have left over.

This should not be a surprise, but if you are a high-level manager or an executive, you’re the best off. After covering all living expenses, management workers in the Detroit metro are left with $63,100 annually. This field ranks as the highest paid in the area.

Now, the worst off? Your food workers and servers. You are working to lose money, running a $3,300 debt on average each year after your cost of living expenses.

This story first appeared on the Daily Detroit News Byte.

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FlashFoodBox Launches in Detroit, Marijuana Ordinance Proposed in Detroit, Como’s Bought & More News Thu, 07 Jun 2018 21:29:02 +0000

You Daily Detroit News Byte Podcast (subscribe free here!) recorded on June 7, 2018.

– Members of Detroit City Council will debate a new proposal to regulate medical marijuana businesses in the city.

– The Republican-controlled state House and Senate have adopted a citizen petition to pull the prevailing wage law off the books.

– City councils in two of Oakland County’s largest cities, Troy and Novi, say voters should be allowed to decide the fate of a regional transit tax in November.

– It’s one of the Detroit area’s hottest and most closely watched pieces of real estate. And now, the former Como’s Restaurant at Woodward and Nine Mile in Ferndale has a new owner.

– Nearly $98 million in Federal money, pending congressional approval, will be coming to help fix Mound Road.

– Skateboarding legend Tony Hawk will be in Detroit this weekend. He’s headlining the re-opening ceremony on Saturday for Wayfinding, a combination public art installation and skate park next to Campus Martius.

– Motor City Pride festival is this weekend.

– There’s a new delivery service called FlashFoodBox that’s opening up in Detroit as its first U.S. city. The company is looking to change the game, and get fresh food delivered to people, right to their door.

Jer caught up with their founder Josh Domingues at WeWork Thursday morning.

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MGM Grand Casino Pays The Most Property Taxes In Michigan, In Top 100 Of Nation Tue, 05 Jun 2018 16:57:04 +0000

The property that paid the most taxes in Michigan in 2017 — and among the most in the country — is right here in Detroit.

MGM Grand Casino Hotel in downtown Detroit came in 90th in the nation, according to a new national ranking by Commercial Cafe. It also ranked 20th in the nation for properties outside of New York.

So how much did MGM Grand Detroit pay last year in property taxes? $16,669,312, to be exact.

No other Michigan properties made the top 100 list, though a property built by an iconic Detroit name, General Motors, came in second nationally. That’s the General Motors Building in New York City that GM built in 1968 and sold in 1982 for $500 million.

Although General Motors still technically leases three floors, they’re currently under sublease to other companies. Instead of an iconic auto showroom, the ground floor’s most popular attraction is the world-famous glass cube Apple Store.

This story originally appeared on the Daily Detroit News Byte podcast.

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Albert Kahn Building In Detroit’s New Center To Be Converted To Residential Tue, 05 Jun 2018 16:54:23 +0000

The historic Albert Kahn Building in Detroit’s New Center has a new owner.

The new owners are Adam Lutz, of Lutz Real Estate Investments and Matthew Sosin of Northern Equities Group. They plan to convert it into more than 200 apartments. They purchased the building from a joint venture including Detroit-based The Platform, which is redeveloping a number of nearby New Center properties. The purchase price was not disclosed.

Plans are still being formulated, but the new owners say they also plan to include about 60-thousand square feet of retail and office space on the first floor and lower level. Redevelopment will also result in more than 300 parking spaces and other amenities.

Detroit-based Kraemer Design will head up the design while Cunningham Limp is the general contractor.

The 11-story building opened in 1931.

This story first appeared on the Daily Detroit News Byte Podcast. 

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