Development – Daily Detroit What To Know And Where To Go In Metro Detroit Thu, 13 Dec 2018 23:30:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 PODCAST: Ground Breaks On Dan Gilbert’s Monroe Block Development. We Discuss Its Past, Present and Exciting Future Thu, 13 Dec 2018 23:28:57 +0000 The big news around Detroit today is the groundbreaking on the Monroe Block. That’s the two-block site adjacent to Campus Martius where Dan Gilbert and Bedrock plan an $830 million development to add 1.4 million square feet of housing, office, retail and public space.

On today’s podcast, we discuss the Monroe Block’s colorful history as a theater district, its mostly moribund present and its potentially very exciting future. Gilbert, through Bedrock Detroit, plans to build two new towers — a 35-story office tower, and a 17-story residential building — with a more than 1-acre central courtyard featuring landscaping, seating areas, a catwalk and retail and food amenities.

It will incorporate Farmer Street, which bisects the Monroe Block, but close it off to vehicle traffic.

The architects were asked to adhere closely to good urban-design principles. The result is an attempt to connect different downtown districts, bring in a mix of uses and create vibrant open spaces.

It’s something that a lot of downtown Detroit still lacks, frankly. Think of the relatively lifeless west side of downtown. Or the sea of surface parking lots that still comprise much of the CBD.

We encourage you to do a virtual fly-through in the video above, and you can of course listen to the episode in the player below.

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PODCAST: Michigan Central Depot Progress, Lame Duck Shenanigans & Lyft’s Most Popular Detroit Destinations Tue, 04 Dec 2018 23:44:55 +0000

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On today’s show:

Jer was back at Michigan Central Station today and checked in on the progress of the restoration and renovation as phase one kicks off.

The Michigan Legislature is taking up a set of controversial bills, most with the aim of blunting the voice of voters, watering down successful ballot initiatives and taking power away from the incoming Democrats.

The Fillmore is getting a new marquee and it’s the talk of the town, and maybe for not the right reasons. Sven adds history and context. Photo:

Ridesharing service Lyft has released the most popular destinations in Detroit. We break them down.

Remember we’re wherever your favorite podcasts are found.

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PODCAST: A Block In Detroit’s North End Makes A Beautiful Transformation Fri, 30 Nov 2018 19:50:03 +0000

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Today’s podcast checks out a project in Detroit’s North End neighborhood.

There is a set of buildings along John R between Kenilworth and Westminster streets that has just had a huge transformation.

Four of the businesses along the block were Motor City Re-Store winners and received a matching grant to improve the exterior of the building.

The four businesses were Rebound Design Build, R66 Consulting & Publishing, Kan Bookstore, and Transformation Barbershop. 

Through the Motor city Re-Store matching grant, $100,000 has been spent on landscaping, new siding, awnings,  signage and decorative lighting. Storm water drainage within the sidewalks  and solar safety lighting were also installed.

To say the transformation is amazing is an understatement.

Above is what the building looked on Google Street before they began work in May of this year.

Below is a Google Map if you want to go check out these places for yourself.

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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: Ford’s Sunny Madra Talks About Buying Spin, Karen Dybis Is Chronicling Detroit’s Delray & More Thu, 08 Nov 2018 22:04:49 +0000

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On November 8, 2018:

Ford made news today by buying Spin, an e-scooter mobility company. Jer head to the Ford World Headquarters to talk with the VP of Ford X, Sunny Madra, about the purchase and what they plan to do with the service. And, it’s beginning service in Detroit.

Ford also has chosen an architect and construction manager for their massive Michigan Central Station project.

Plum Market is opening in downtown Detroit (More here).

Karen Dybis talk with Sven about the Knight Arts Challenge Grants. She’s a winner for her project to chronicle Detroit’s vanishing Delray neighborhood.

Then, we chat about what’s happening around town, including a signage cleanup at Bakers, an infamous motel known for being dirty getting remodeled and rebranded, and what’s happening at the old Diablo’s space in downtown Royal Oak (there are more in-depth details here).

Thanks for listening! Don’t forget to tell a friend about the Daily Detroit podcast.

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LISTEN: Hotel Strike Ends, New DIA Asian Art, Detroit-Style Pizza & More Tue, 06 Nov 2018 00:04:48 +0000
Welcome to Monday, friends. Here’s your Daily Detroit for Nov. 5:

  • The workers strike at the Westin Book Cadillac hotel is over, as the Unite Here union announces a settlement and a new contract. 
  • GM has rolled out e-bikes as part of its focus on mobility and cracking urban mobility markets. But it wants help from the public in coming up with a brand name.
  • Beaumont Health and Universal Health Services will open a $40 million, 150-bed inpatient mental health hospital in Dearborn.
  • An oil spill fouls the Red Run in Macomb County. Once a small network of rivers, the Red Run is now mostly used for sanitary and storm sewer runoff into the Clinton River.
  • The Detroit Institute of Arts has opened an expanded gallery of Asian art, courtesy of the founders of Buddy’s Pizza.
  • Detroit gets a new bike signal on the edge of Palmer Park.
  • And speaking of pizza, Melody Baetens at The Detroit News has the details about the new Detroit-style pizza being cooked up by the new owners of Como’s in Ferndale. The place doesn’t open until spring, but it inspired Jer and I to discuss pizza and the finer (and less fine) points of Detroit-style pie.
  • Tomorrow is Election Day, so GET OUT THERE AND CAST YOUR VOTE! We offer you three ways to arrange transport, if you need it, to your local ballot box.
  • Lastly, Brian McCollum at the Freep reports that a long-delayed Aretha Franklin performance documentary called “Amazing Grace” is finally set to see the light of day after more than four decades.

Don’t forget two things:

  1. Vote tomorrow.
  2. Subscribe to Daily Detroit wherever you download podcasts.


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Chef Godwin Talks About His New Restaurant, Matt Friedman On Ilitch Sports TV, Golden Tate Gone & News Tue, 30 Oct 2018 21:37:51 +0000

This is your Daily Detroit recorded on October 30, 2018.

On today’s show, more than 200 medical marijuana businesses face closure in Michigan. Golden Tate is no longer a Detroit Lion. Brenda Jones wants to be a congressperson for more than a few weeks.

Chef Godwin Ihentuge stops by to talk about his upcoming brick and mortar African and Caribbean eatery in Detroit’s New Center. Here’s a link to his Kickstarter:

And media and public relations expert Matt Friedman chats with Sven Gustafson about the possibility of a new regional sports network owned by the Ilitch family.

Like the show? Leave a review in Apple Podcasts or even better, tell a friend about the podcast.

Thanks to our episode sponsor, Milo Digital.

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PODCAST: Detroit Riverfront Gets Huge Grant For Park, Michigan Leads Nation In Identity Theft Complaints & More Wed, 17 Oct 2018 22:06:00 +0000

Your stories for October 17, 2018:

– Detroit’s riverfront just took another major step forward. The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation is making a $50 million grant to redevelop West Riverfront Park.

– Keeping with the theme, here’s a second story about foundations making an impact. The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan announced $20 million in grants to a variety of local organizations.

– During a search for drugs in a house in 2015, Detroit Police officers killed three pet dogs. What has ensued since then has been a legal battle that has been raising questions around pets and property and police power.

– Corktown is getting a new MoGo bike sharing station thanks to help from the Ford Motor Company.

– Michigan ranks highly for something I’m pretty sure we’d rather not. Our state is in the top ten for states most vulnerable to identity theft & fraud. Nuri Gocay joins us from the IT in the D podcast to share what you can do to protect yourself. Supporting link:

– Could one of Greektown’s mainstay Greek restaurants be closing? Maybe so. More:

Thanks to our sponsor for today, Milo Digital.

Like the show? Don’t forget to subscribe to the Daily Detroit podcast wherever fine podcasts are found.

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$50 Million Gift From The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation Will Transform West Riverfront Park Wed, 17 Oct 2018 14:13:48 +0000 Detroit’s riverfront just took another major step forward.

The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation — in honor of what would be Ralph C. Wilson’s 100th birthday — is making a $50 million grant to redevelop West Riverfront Park.

Who gets what: $40 Million will go to the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy (a group that’s been on a roll as of late) and $10 million will go to the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan to seed an endowment to support the park.

A big step forward: We’re in the final phases of designing the park, according to press materials. The total park cost will be $55-60 million, so this doesn’t pay the whole freight but the Detroit RiverFront conservancy is adept at fundraising and has exceed their goals in the past. West Riverfront Park is now estimated to be completed in 2022.

West Riverfront Park will be renamed “Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Centennial Park.”

A twin project in Buffalo: The overall gift is $200 million. $100 million to the Detroit area, and $100 million to Buffalo. Buffalo is getting a riverfront park, too. Additionally, there’s $50 million set aside to build and maintain a network of recreational trails in each city.

Just who was Ralph C. Wilson? He was the owner of the NFL’s Buffalo Bills and a Metro Detroiter, living in St. Clair Shores. He died in 2014, and the $1.2 billion endowment in the Ralph C. Wilson foundation was made mostly from selling the Buffalo Bills after his death for $1.4 billion. He had a minority stake in the Detroit Lions at one point, too.

What will it look like? Here are some preliminary renderings.

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PODCAST: Video Shows White Man Shooting At Black Teenager, Detroit’s Tallest Skyscraper Gets Taller & Ammunition For Weekend Warriors Thu, 11 Oct 2018 21:03:11 +0000

Friends! We have nearly made it to the weekend, and (temporary) salvation is nigh. Here’s the rundown of what you’ll find on the Daily Detroit podcast recorded on Thursday, Oct. 11:

  • Newly released surveillance video contradicts the claims of a white, former Detroit Fire Department lieutenant that he tripped and accidentally discharged a gunshot at a 14-year-old black student who had knocked on his door, seeking directions.
  • Dan Gilbert already wanted to build Detroit’s tallest skyscraper on the former site of the J.L. Hudson’s department store on Woodward Avenue. The latest site plans, obtained by Crain’s, show it getting even taller.
  • Eastland Mall has been purchased! An unexpected bidding war produced a $3.125 million sale price.
  • A report by WXYZ says it took Detroit Police four days to respond to a 9-1-1 call about a domestic abuse emergency. Wasn’t improved response times supposed to be one of the department’s new crowning achievements?
  • Ann Arbor, Detroit, East Lansing and Ferndale received perfect scores in a ranking of municipal protections and equality measures for LGBT employees that go beyond state laws.
  • Construction work is behind schedule on I-696 because of a labor dispute, but the freeway might reopen before winter weather arrives, even if the work isn’t technically done.
  • You know how expensive it is to use another bank’s ATM? Well, a new study finds that Detroit has the highest average ATM fees in the nation. Yay?
  • Residents of a historic building in downtown Detroit that is known as an affordable living option for low-income residents have received notices that they have 30 days to move out and find a new place to live. It’s the latest in gentrification growing pains for Detroit. The Freep has the story.
  • Kid Rock visits the Trump White House again, and Kanye West returns to Detroit for some sushi.
  • And we have all the ammunition a weekend warrior needs about upcoming new restaurants and bars in the region.

Thanks for listening as always!

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