Development – Daily Detroit What To Know And Where To Go In Metro Detroit Wed, 19 Sep 2018 01:50:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Detroit’s Getting A New Beach. This Is What It’ll Look Like. Tue, 28 Aug 2018 17:56:18 +0000 On Monday, a groundbreaking was held for the new Atwater Beach project on the Detroit Riverfront.

The 3.2 acre project, on a former Coast Guard buoy storage site (and former site of a couple cement companies) promises to be one of Detroit’s new must-see attractions when it’s complete.

Officials break ground on Atwater Beach. Daily Detroit photo.

Sven Gustafson caught up with Mark Wallace, CEO and President of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy to talk about the project on our Daily Detroit podcast.

Here are are some of the features in store, per the Conservancy:

  • A large, sandy beach area and lush green expanse for picnics.
  • A play scape inspired by a West Coast lifeguard station with areas for children to climb, slide and jump.
  • A musical garden that will offer children the opportunity to learn in an interactive way about different objects that make musical sounds and tones. Both the play areas will have seating for parents and caregivers.
  • A 1,000 square foot shed with large, garage-door style doors that’ll be home to special events and more
  • A barge for food and drink, spanning two boat slips in the water and offering great river views, with planters made of recycled antique truck tailgates from Detroit automakers and a vintage van that will serve as the bar.

Here are some renderings of the project, courtesy of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy.

On the barge.

The event space.

Musical garden and play area.

Construction is expected to begin immediately and is scheduled to be completed in summer 2019. Previous reports peg the cost at about $1 million.

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LISTEN: Trying Vegan Coney Dogs, Ford Is Spending Big Bucks In Corktown & Previewing Digital Summit Detroit Thu, 16 Aug 2018 01:58:21 +0000

Our show for August 15, 2018:

  • Ford expects to spend a lot of money — $738 million — to renovate the abandoned train station
  • Measles cases are on the rise in Michigan
  • Free showings of the film ‘Black Panther” at the Detroit Film Theater
  • We try the new Vegan Coney joint, “Chili, Mustard, Onions” (complete with delicious audio)
  • And we preview the upcoming Digital Summit Detroit in September with digital marketing expert Michael Barber (they’re also supporters of Daily Detroit – use code DD50 to get a discount!).


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PODCAST: Understanding the impact of PFAS in Michigan with Garret Ellison of MLIVE, election results, and your Detroit stories Thu, 09 Aug 2018 00:55:23 +0000

From the studios of Podcast Detroit in the Cass Corridor, this is your Daily Detroit News Byte recorded on Wednesday, August 8, 2018.

We have primary election results, headlines, and today’s deep dive is about P-FAS. The chemical, used in firefighting and a bunch of consumer and industrial applications, has caused a lot of environmental concern. Sven Gustafson talks with MLIVE and Grand Rapids Press reporter Garret Ellison who has been at the forefront of covering the crisis.

Also: We talk election results (including a squeaker of a race when it comes to transit)

The folks behind the Detroit Shipping Company have another project up their sleeves – plus an update on a future burger joint.

General Motors and ExxonMobil have rolled out a new feature for 2017 and newer model Buicks aimed at making buying gas simpler.

Ferndale and Detroit will be getting new public skate parks.

The 10 millionth Ford Mustang rolled off the assembly line in Flat Rock.

Belle Isle’s trees have seen extensive damage due to a quick but intense storm on Monday.

The Detroit News reports that Detroit is having a very tough time getting landlords to comply with new regulations.

And there’s a walking tour on Saturday, August 18th aims to show off the potential – and beauty – of some vacant houses in the Jefferson Chalmers and Riverbend neighborhoods.

Like the Daily Detroit News Byte? Don’t forget to subscribe free in your podcast app of choice and tell a friend.


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PODCAST: First Taste Test Of The New Little Caesars 5 Meat Pizza And Your Detroit News Tue, 31 Jul 2018 03:34:19 +0000

On your show recorded on July 30, 2018:

Residents of Detroit’s historic block of West Canfield Street dealt with a 30-inch water main break over the weekend. The break flooded more than a block with water up to the tops of the wheels of some cars and even took out a tree.

We have more details on the proposal to keep the Detroit Grand Prix on Belle Isle.

Crews have begun demolition of the Belle Isle beach water slide, and the Conservancy is raising money to replace it.

Ford Motor Company says it hit a self-imposed goal of lowering emissions from its car and truck plants eight years ahead of schedule.

Detroit is the nation’s second most affordable big city – but be careful about these numbers because Detroit is a unique market.

A long-time Detroit drinking institution is changing hands.

The Detroit Princess is known for cruises, like with that Alexander Zonjic flute guy. But here’s something a little different. A Cruise for Culture this weekend will put a skateboarding half-pipe on the Detroit Princess riverboat. Organized by “AsDetroitsOwn,” the top deck of the Detroit Princess will have sports, art, and live music this weekend.

And, Detroit’s historic St. Anne Parish has applied to become a minor basilica in the Catholic Church.

And our feature? At the end of the show, about the 8:52 mark, at the “office” some of the Daily Detroit contributors do a first-bite taste test of the new Little Caesars 5 Meat Pizza launched today.

Love the show? Be sure to tell a friend. It’s the best way to get the word out about what’s happening in Detroit.


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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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Watch A Walking Tour Of The New Detroit Shipping Company Fri, 13 Jul 2018 20:55:45 +0000
Today is the soft opening for the Detroit Shipping Company, the new food court/biergarden/art gallery/event space made out of shipping containers in Midtown the lower Cass Corridor. While it doesn’t open for real until July 30, we got a chance to check it out during a VIP preview party this week, and we shot this video to show you around.

The facility has six restaurants, two full-service bars, a Falling Down Beer Co. microbar, a combination coffee shop/ice cream parlor, popup retail space and indoor and outdoor seating. Plus, Podcast Detroit has a new studio there, where we figure to be recording lots of episodes while overlooking the back of the Masonic Temple and the downtown skyline.

It’s a super cool space and definitely worth a visit.

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Developers Demolish Pharmacy For New 7.Liv Project at 7 Mile and Livernois Fri, 13 Jul 2018 12:17:04 +0000 Activity at the site of the $8 million 7.Liv mixed-use development has entered a new phase with the demolition of a former pharmacy next to the long-vacant B. Siegel Department Store on the corner of 7 Mile and Livernois on Detroit’s Avenue of Fashion.

The corner has been busy for months, with crews working on underground infrastructure having dug up the entire corner. Today we were driving past on the way to grab lunch up the street when we noticed the entire former Revco pharmacy structure on the corner was demolished and being cleared.

A rendering of the 7.Liv development. | Bagley Forest Properties

Developer Bagley Forest Properties plans to restore the B. Siegel building and build a 10,000 square-foot retail building on the corner, with space for an anchor restaurant and retail businesses. Also planned are 10 residential units geared for students of the nearby University of Detroit-Mercy and Marygrove College, plus 29 underground parking spaces, according to Curbed Detroit. The development is being led by Matt Hessler, who redeveloped the building at Cass Avenue and Peterboro in Midtown that houses the Peterboro restaurant, 8 Degrees Plato and other businesses.

It’s further indication that the Avenue of Fashion is changing.


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LISTEN: New Cass-Henry Historic District With Eric Kehoe, MoGo Expansion, Red Bull Arts Detroit, & Amazon Hiring Wed, 11 Jul 2018 21:52:38 +0000

On today’s show, we dive into yesterday’s late-breaking news about Detroit City Council’s vote to establish the new Cass-Henry Historic District in the shadow of Little Caesars Arena.

The district includes two buildings owned by the Ilitch family that they’ve proposed to demolish as part of the District Detroit project.

We speak with Eric Kehoe, president of the board of directors at Preservation Detroit, about the significance of making it a historic district and what it means for those two buildings.

In other news, the MoGo bike-share program will expand to new neighborhoods in Detroit, plus five inner-ring suburbs: Berkley, Ferndale, Huntington Woods, Oak Park and Royal Oak. Starting next spring, MoGo will add about 150 bikes and roughly 30 new stations.

Red Bull Arts is expanding its contemporary arts program in the city with its newly renamed Red Bull Arts Detroit program and an expanded artists residency program beginning in 2019. It’s launching three new programs for artists and writers, with a five-person selection committee to evaluate applications.

And finally, Amazon is hanging a help wanted sign on its huge new fulfillment center in Romulus, where it plans to hire 1,500 full-time workers to pack and ship goods to consumers.

Like our show? Tell a friend. Or better yet, subscribe to the Daily Detroit News Byte wherever you get your favorite podcasts.


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What Metro Detroit Leaders Don’t Want To Tell You Is Our Region Has Been Losing Since 1970. Let’s Change That. Thu, 05 Jul 2018 19:47:38 +0000 The common story is that Detroit’s suburbs have done great while the city fell apart and just now is coming back. And a common storyline I’ve heard is that Detroit wants a “free ride” off of the successful suburbs.

Locally, people look at the city of Detroit’s decline as somehow separate from the suburbs. That after 1967 it all went to hell (although you should by know now that the city’s population peaked in 1950).

But what if I told you that the suburbs aren’t truly successful? That although the city of Detroit did decline, so did the entire region?


Although it may have felt like success to many in suburbia, which has seen more development since 1970, in fact, the entire Detroit region hasn’t been keeping pace with the rest of the nation for nearly half a century. Turns out it’s not just Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan who’s dealing with a population decline.

The reality is, according to the U.S. Census, the entire Detroit region has lost people between 1970 and 2016.

In 1970, the Detroit region’s population was 4,490,902. In 2016, it was estimated at 4,313,002. That’s a net drop of 3.9 percent.

The entire region has seen a decline while the rest of the country’s population grew 57.6 percent. In 1970, there were about 205.1 million people in the United States. In 2016, 323.4 million.

If metro Detroit was just keeping pace with the growth the rest of the country saw, our region would now have about 7 million people.

There are many reasons for this, but people haven’t been choosing our region to live or invest in for a long time. We need to look in the mirror and ask why. I don’t think we have far to look for one of the causes.

Up at the Mackinac Policy Conference, I heard squawking that Detroit’s becoming too powerful. That we’re back to animosity across 8 Mile. I was reminded (and inspired to write this) by a recent blog post on New Geography.

That animosity reminded me that many elected leaders and some businessmen know the numbers that I write above is true. That people have been voting with the feet for decades, so leaders (and many residents) feel we have to play a zero-sum game. That we need to steal pie from our neighbors instead of making more pie for everyone.

And back to the old, divisive tactics folks went. The attitude of “I’m gonna get mine” instead of looking to see how they can build something bigger. 

I believe a strong city of Detroit also means a strong Detroit region. We should be about lifting each other up, pulling ourselves out of the hole we’re all in. This hole that stretches across decades, across city, county and party lines.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

If we’re honest with ourselves, we’ve been on a losing path for longer than I’ve been alive — with many more years of insanity ahead unless we realize where we really are and make changes in our hearts and minds — and demand those changes of those we put in charge.

Why do I bring this up? Not to bring you down, but to bring us to action.

After all, loving Detroit means more than buying the T-shirt. The “brand” of Detroit seems to mean to folks that you believe in the power of hard work and making something.

Everyone has their own opinion, but in my mind, you don’t deserve to wear “Detroit” on your chest unless you’re willing to do work and take action for your community to make it better.

Working together seems to be the best way to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps. And if we’re going to work together, we need to demand that action of our leaders — and if they don’t do it, change our leaders.

One way to do this? We have a key set of elections coming up in cities, counties, the state legislature and yes, all the way up to the governor’s office. The registration deadline for the August primary election is July 9 — and there will be many more after that. It feels like a lot of folks on both sides are taking our votes for granted lately. Let’s make them earn it.

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New $108 Million “Lafayette West” To Be Built In Lafayette Park Tue, 03 Jul 2018 16:55:35 +0000

Detroit’s Lafayette Park neighborhood on the east side of greater downtown Detroit will be seeing yet another new development.

The developer, Ginosko Development Company, is currently calling it “Lafayette West.” It’ll bring 374 new residences to the city across 5.2 acres. It will replace the empty Shapero Hall that formerly housed Wayne State’s Pharmacy School just off of I-375 and Rivard.

So what will this look like? There will be a 12-story high-rise with 114 luxury rental units along with 200 lofts for rent, and 60 for-sale townhouses, carriage houses and stacked flats with attached garages. The design, we’re told, is going to be geared so that people can walk or ride their bike around downtown.

The $108 million Lafayette West project will be subject to Detroit’s Community Benefits Ordinances, that requires projects that get city incentives to have 20 percent affordable units. 

Additionally, 51 percent of the hours worked on the construction will have to be performed by verified Detroit residents. If they don’t make that goal the developer will contribute to the city’s Workforce Training Fund.

This story originally aired on the Daily Detroit News Byte.


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