Hey friends,

We’re coming close to wrapping up another year in the Motor City. I can’t say enough how thankful I am that you spend some of your valuable time reading notes like this and listening to our podcast.

We are coming out of a very cold weekend; but next weekend? Friday is predicted to hit almost 50 degrees. I imagine if the weather is in the 40s through New Year’s Eve, it’s going to be a busy one.

If this is your first time here, welcome. Be sure to sign up for free to get future notes. My thoughts on individual stories is in italics.

📰 What to know

person holding grey tongs and kush
Photo by Budding . on Unsplash

» The City of Detroit approved the first 33 recreational adult-use marijuana retail licenses last week.

Michigan voters approved this four years ago, but it’s been a long and winding legal road to get this going in Detroit. Many suburbs have had their operations going for years, but city officials wanted to be sure to include residents of communities disproportionately impacted by past marijuana law enforcement in ownership.

20 Equity applicants and 13 non-equity applicants were approved, and you can see the full list and their scores here. [City of Detroit]

Most of the locations are near the city border with the suburbs.

No consumption lounge (commercial locations where people can consume) or microbusiness (growing, processing and selling of less than 150 plants) licenses were approved in this first round, and there were fewer applicants than slots available.

We discuss more on our latest podcast:

» Campus Martius was named one of the 10 best public squares in America. The park came in fourth, according to the USAToday 10Best reader’s choice. First? Church Street Marketplace in Burlington, VT. [USA Today]

» Detroit officials denied a permit for a concrete crushing facility in the Core City neighborhood. More than 1,000 came out against it. [Bridge Detroit]

This isn’t necessarily the end as there is an appeals process. I’d expect to see a lot more resident pushback against industrial land use in the city going forward.

» There’s a big push to get more hotel rooms built in the city. The goal is to make downtown Detroit more competitive with other cities like Indianapolis, Cleveland, Nashville, and Pittsburgh. Also important to attracting conventions, VisitDetroit officials say, is building a 750-800 room hotel west of Huntington Place. [Detroit News]

Huntington Place (formerly TCF Center, formerly Cobo) could get a major expansion and a re-imagining of the area behind Huntington that’s not attractive for pedestrians right now. Officials say there’s $100 million a year that’s being missed out on. [Crain’s Detroit]

Occupancy for hotels is near 70 percent, which is right around the number where some experts say it’s time to expand rooms.

» The editor of the Detroit Free Press is laying himself off to save newsroom jobs. Peter Bhatia is trying to blunt the cuts that their parent corporation, Gannett, is losing money. The target before this announcement had been to cut 14 jobs through voluntary or forced layoffs. It’s expected the cuts will come this week. [Detroit Free Press] [Detroit News]

» Property tax reform will be delayed at least another year in Detroit. There’s two things at issue. First, a change to the assessment process and second, possible compensation for overtaxed residents. [Outlier Media]

🍞 A holiday between bread

The people of Metro Detroit make some amazing sandwiches. I’ve been writing about the best sandwiches for years.

So when I heard about Sandwich Week, I had to know more.

Sandwich Week started December 26, with lunch events at five spots across town and a dinner-time Friday send off at 6pm. I talked to founder Carlos Parisi about what makes a great sandwich and the six spots selected on the podcast.

The remaining locations for Sandwich Week are:

  • Tuesday - Gonella’s (noon)
  • Wednesday - Mudgies (noon)
  • Thursday - Rose’s (noon)
  • Friday - Ernies (noon), Rocco’s (6pm)

More about Sandwich Week, including schedule: [Instagram]

Farmington pocket park rendering

» Downtown Farmington is crowdfunding a new park. They’re looking to raise $75k for the space south of Grand River Avenue, off Farmington Road. The money would activate a matching grant. [Patroncity]

» Oakland County is getting $9 million in federal community project funding. Projects include:  [Oakland County]

  • $4 million for the Evergreen Farmington Pump Station Improvement project. The aim is to reduce combined sewer overflows.
  • $2.269 million for Oakland County Farmer's Market. The money will be used to increase capacity, provide community spaces, and establish business incubator services for local food businesses.
  • $1.6 million for the Royal Oak Township Water System Improvements project. Royal Oak Township will use the money to replace water mains.
  • $1.2 million for the Oakland County Health Division's Health Lab expansion project.
  • $1 million for the Northwest Sanitary Sewer project. The sanitary sewer from the Genesee County border will be extended into Oakland County, along Dixie Highway to Grange Hall Road, to serve Holly and Groveland Townships and eventually provide service to Brandon Township and the Village of Ortonville.
  • $410,000 for the Oakland County Sheriff's project for training equipment, including physical fitness equipment for wellness programs, firearms training equipment, a defensive tactics mat room, and de-escalation/use of force training suits.

» Northville Township is getting a new skatepark in 2023. Contracts were approved and Unity Skatepark will be constructed at Millennium Park. That’s just south of Six Mile and west of Sheldon in Wayne County, near Northville Hills Golf Club. [Instagram]

» Downtown Wyandotte is getting a new music venue called District 142. It’ll be in a historic, hundred-year old building and open in March of 2023. Spanning 15,000 square feet, the owners say they will host national rock and country artists, regional and local bands, themed events, weddings and private parties. They’re working with Live Nation for ticketing and it’ll have a capacity of about 700.

» Grosse Pointe City has approved a four story development near their downtown. It’ll have 77 apartments and 4,000 square feet of retail space. Construction starts on the development on St. Clair in 2023. It’s expected to bring in $242,000 in various property taxes annually. [Grosse Pointe News]

🗓 Where to go…

» Looking for brunch on New Year’s day? This guide has you covered with 11 spots around town. [Eater Detroit]

» The Delray BBQ food truck is now the Detroit Hot Sandwich Co. The menu flips from BBQ staples to a signature Detroit Hot Sandwich that is shredded Italian beef or ground Italian chicken on an 8-inch bun; topped with coney chili and optional cheese sauce. They’re also serving Philly and Chicago style sandwiches. [Facebook]

» The Detroit Institute of Arts will have extended holiday hours. [DIA Events]

  • Through this Thursday they’ll be open until 7pm
  • Friday, 12/30: 9am - 9pm
  • Saturday, 12/31: 10am - 4pm
  • Then closed Sunday and Monday (1/1/23-1/2/23)

⏩ Looking forward to 2023…

Do you have suggestions for 2023 for the podcast or email newsletter? Things you’d like to see? Either email - dailydetroit - at - gmail - dot com or we have this handy dandy Google form.

I’m aiming to grow this thing in 2023. With so much shifting and shutting down in local media in Detroit, Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties over the last year, we want to be sure we’re serving what our community needs.

Thank you so much for reading. If you find what we do valuable, consider becoming a member on Patreon or support us with a one-time thing at Buy Me A Coffee.

That (along with our occasional sponsors) helps keep our newsletter and podcast free for all to enjoy.

Remember that you are somebody — and I’ll see you around Detroit.


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