Hey all,

Sorry I’ve not written in awhile. Behind the scenes, a lot was going on personally.

It took everything I had to get the daily podcast out, as I was nursing my beloved (very) senior dog. For a clue, she was around for when “Mr. Brightside” by The Killers was on the charts.

I cannot confirm or deny if she dealt with far too many bad ballads from the shower of mine from that era.

When I realized the situation with her, my goal became to give her the absolute best days possible — until one, no good, awful one. And thankfully, that was accomplished.

Since the money for our little local operation comes from memberships and sponsorships centered around the podcast, I’m sorry that I had to put that first for awhile.

I’d like to change that one day to get paid enough for both. Anyway, I’m back — and let’s do this.

houses near trees
Photo by Avi Werde on Unsplash

🌉 Brooklyn on my brain

One of the things I did to reset myself was to get out of dodge for a whirlwind trip to NYC.

A few things stood out right away. This wasn’t my first time; but the first time I was thinking intentionally about these things.

  1. Brooklyn is so much smaller in land area than the city of Detroit (about half the size).
  2. It has so many more people in that smaller space (four times as many).
  3. I loved being able to take a working subway everywhere.
  4. I loved having grocery stores and multiple restaurants nearby.
  5. Stop comparing (or worrying) Detroit will become Brooklyn or New York. It just won’t. They’re completely different animals.

I know people have panned the QLINE because it doesn’t go very far and the service intervals are irregular. Setting some of that aside, what if the other issue is it just doesn’t serve enough people within those three miles or so of track?

On my trip, everything I could ever want was within a few stop subway ride of me (not even getting to Manhattan). Sure the independents that I love to support, but also bigger brand stores like Macy’s, Best Buy and Target. I could order the rest. Grocery stores? Yep. The number of people on my side street would be considered busy in today’s downtown Detroit.

There was an irony to it all as the next day after coming back I was driving to a fancy Ford mobility event (ironically, partnered with a company, NewLab that started in Brooklyn) and you’re going down 14th Street the whole way, which is basically rural for miles with three lanes empty of traffic until you cross 75 and get to Michigan Avenue.

I was running an errand and there’s huge sections of the east side that are just gone. Flattened, like this picture I took on Mack recently.

It really set in that trying to rehab all 139 square miles in a city that’s the hub of a not-growing state is an absurd task, although speaking that clear truth is very politically unpopular.

I keep hearing that we need to keep young talent here in Metro Detroit.

I know from talking to listeners people want to be in places where things are happening. Density. Excitement. Energy. Opportunity.

Young talent needs to be in an environment of growth, because it allows for the next person to move up. Growing companies, growing organizations, growing places allow people to find their spot far easier.

The hard truth is most of Metro Detroit’s communities don’t want to change and align toward growing. Single-family housing with cul de sacs is the rule around southeast Michigan, and lots of people like it that way.

What we’re going to need to do if talent attraction is a goal is focus on and fund key areas that do want to embrace change, whether they’re individual inner-ring suburbs — or neighborhoods in the city proper. And focus on residents and adding new residents.

Stagnation, or an intense focus on keeping everything the same, kills opportunities for the next generation. The only openings appear when someone retires or dies.

Change is going to happen. It’s a choice of whether you want to shape that change to the positive, or you want to let it happen to you and let others decide your fate.

Coming back from NYC has been jarring the past few days, to be honest. I don’t have all the answers, but me and my Friday co-host discussed some more ideas on the latest podcast episode.

Either way, would love your thoughts. dailydetroit - at- gmail - dot - com. Let’s get to some stories.

Photo I took close to the opening of Founders in Detroit.

📰 What to know

» Founders taproom in Detroit’s Midtown has closed for good. They say it’s due to a lack of traffic, post-COVID. [Facebook] [ClickOnDetroit]

Opened more than six years ago on Charlotte, the Grand Rapids-based brewery ran into issues with this location in 2019 when they got embroiled in a racial discrimination lawsuit that became a social media firestorm. They were closed for a time in reaction, and then the pandemic hit. On the other side, I do know of a number businesses that are, in fact, not seeing the customers they did before the pandemic.

» Supino Pizzeria in Detroit’s Eastern Market is closed indefinitely after a fire upstairs from the well-loved establishment. There’s apparently a lot of water damage to the restaurant. But fret not, operations will continue at their New Center location. [Supino]

» Caribou Coffee is coming back strong into Michigan with 50 new locations as part of a 300 store expansion. Exact details on where are light right now. [Caribou]

I had some great dates at Caribou back in the day before I could go to bars and such.

» A new bar and dog park is opening up in Detroit’s West Village, and we talk about an Indian spot you’re not going to want to miss called Pink Garlic in Oak Park.

» Here’s a great read on the plight of Highland Park (and Michigan’s other small cities). The enclave that was once home to a huge Ford plant and Chrysler’s headquarters has been abandoned by tens of thousands of people and is on the brink of bankruptcy due to unpaid water debts. This paper makes the point that without structural changes, Highland Park and other small cities in Michigan may have to be dissolved. [CRC Michigan]

🏗 The build

» A mixed residential and retail project that’s expected to have a city-style Target at Mack and Woodward gets brownfield funding. [Urbanize Detroit]

I visited a city Target in NYC. It has pretty much everything you need, just fewer brand selections and no clothing section in a smaller physical footprint.

» A nine million dollar Detroit mansion? Detroit’s largest house is coming back on the market. The 35,000 square foot former Bishop’s residence built in the mid-1920s is up for sale. Originally built for Bishop Michael J. Gallagher and funded by the Fisher brothers, it sold in 2017 for $2.7 million and has been undergoing work inside and out. [Bishop Mansion]

🚙 Autos

» Stellantis is offering buyouts to 33,500 employees. They’re the umbrella company for the Jeep, Ram and Chrysler brands. They say there’s less profits due to electrification, and they need to cost cut to be competitive. [Bloomberg]

I didn’t realize until doing a little background on this that there’s only two Chrysler vehicles left for sale: Two versions of the Pacifica, and the Chrysler 300, retiring this year. The company says they’re going to use the moniker for future electric cars starting in 2024.

» GM also terminated hundreds of contract employees in Warren in a cost-cutting measure. [Free Press]

» General Motors plans to build a $200 million plant where the Palace of Auburn Hills once stood. Plans say it’ll create 1,000 new jobs. The plant will consist of more than a million square feet of electric vehicle parts assembly and distribution space, plus about 50,000 square feet of office space to support work at Orion Assembly. Local government approval is expected. [Crain’s Detroit] [WYXZ]

☕️ Two more things

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


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