Hey, it’s Jer. I hope Tuesday finds you well. Let’s dive into what to know and where to go in Metro Detroit. 🤿

My thoughts, as always, are in italics.

What to know…

» Dan Gilbert is part of a group bidding on Chelsea FC, one of the most storied clubs in the world. They’re the current world soccer champions, and are going through a forced sale as their owner is a Russian oligarch with strong ties to Vladimir Putin. [Sky News]

  • To give you an idea how big of a deal this is, a comparison. Facebook fans aren’t everything, but the Detroit Tigers have 2.2 million of them. Chelsea FC? More than 49 million.

  • Soccer journalist Fletcher Sharpe joins me to discuss it on our latest podcast. We also preview upcoming Detroit City FC matches against the Michigan Stars and Atlanta United 2. [Daily Detroit]

We lost some big people in the community in the last week or so, and I want to acknowledge them.

» Joe Messina, member of the legendary Motown band the Funk Brothers and an accomplished jazz guitarist, has died at 93. He had been battling kidney disease for a dozen years. He was part of many Motown tracks you know and love, TV shows like Soupy Sales, and was generous with his time with musicians. [Freep]

  • If you don’t know about the Funk Brothers, be sure to go watch “Standing in the Shadows of Motown.” It’s a documentary that’s about 20 years old now, but very good. [Decider]

» If you’ve been a regular around the Cass Corridor, you’ve surely met Larry “the Drummer” Hull. He moved here in 1976 and touched many people with his colorful, philosophical and kind nature. He had been missing for weeks. [WDET]

» President Emeritus of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra Anne Parsons passed this week after a long battle with cancer. She was 64. Over her 17 years of service to the organization she led it through a time of immense change. Not only did she bring the DSO closer to the local community, she helped spread the sounds from Detroit around the world with online programs. [Detroit Symphony Orchestra]

» The longtime owner of the now gone 1515 Broadway theater cafe (and resident upstairs) Chris Jaszczak is gone. He was 74 and the cause was also cancer. He created one of the vital spaces of Detroit creativity.  [Freep]

My favorite memory (of many) at 1515 Broadway was after an evening during Movement some years ago. After a long day of crew work, I just blended into the driving, magical energy that is in our city, eventually dancing until dawn at various spots around town. But it started there. Every time I walk by — I remember that evening of pure fun and freedom.

» Can they do that? A Westland man got a parking violation from Olympia Development. Can, or should, a private entity be issuing tickets? According to the story, he paid someone when he entered, but the workers for the Ilitch-owned company went around dropping $50 tickets on every car in the lot anyway. [Freep]

  • Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel wants people to get in touch with her if a private business has issued you a parking ticket.

My two cents: I’m disappointed (but not surprised) the Mayor’s office is staying out of this one. Yes, there is the whole messed up implications of a private company handing out some sort of citation. Needs to be looked into.

BUT ALSO — Isn’t this a terrible way to treat a customer, or potential customer? Why would someone want to patronize a place if they think that might happen to them? Let’s say there was a screw-up. Let’s say someone hustled the lot at the beginning of the event, pretending like they ran the place. Wouldn’t that be on Olympia if they allowed that to happen on their property? Do better.

» The Residences at 150 Bagley broke ground. The $75 million project redo of the  Ilitch-owned United Artists building will have 148 apartments (with 20% set-aside as affordable). [Urbanize]

  • Plus, 10,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space.
  • First discussed in 2017, the project will demolish the old theater that developers say can’t be saved. Some preservationists strongly disagree, but it appears they have lost that battle.
  • The Bagley Development group is taking the lead, and longtime Detroit powerbroker Emmett Moten Jr. is the managing partner. He was the economic development director under Coleman A. Young.
  • A little history: The UA is beautiful 18 story building that has sat vacant for half a century. [Historic Detroit]

» The Detroit Food Commons is one step closer to reality. The group behind it says they have assembled all the land they need to start building. Construction at Euclid and Woodward in Detroit’s North End will begin before May 1. [Detroit People’s Food Co-op]

» Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan has COVID. He announced it on social media and to the press on Sunday. With mild symptoms, he’s working from home via Zoom. [Mayor Mike Duggan]

» Olive’s Bloombox in Ferndale is expanding to a second location. They’re taking over the old Dye Hair Salon spot on West Nine Mile, across from the former Rosie O’Grady’s. They aim to be open in mid May. [Olive’s Bloombox]

  • Dye is still open and recently moved to a larger spot up Woodward. [Dye]

» 🎙 Royal Oak’s Main Art Theater is in danger of demolition. Built in the 40s and heart of the indie film scene, I talked to the head of a dedicated group trying to save it from becoming a mixed-used development. [Daily Detroit]

» Building contractors are in short supply in the city of Detroit. In Metro Detroit, there are more than 1,300 contractors. In the city, there are just 66, despite $5 billion in commercial projects every year. A new Motor City Contractor fund is being piloted to help Detroit-based contractors compete and have the resources they need. [Rocket Community Fund]

Where to go…

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» A new pizza spot opens Friday, April 8. The black-owned establishment is at 7316 W. McNichols (Six mile) west of Livernois. Funded in part by the Strategic Neighborhood Fund, the 4,500 square foot pizzeria has — so far — hired 100% from the city of Detroit and almost all of those people are within two miles of the restaurant. I want to get in there for a first look soon. Always up for a good slice.

» 🎙 Yemeni coffee house Haraz is adding locations. With spots in Dearborn and Warren, there are two new ones coming to the city of Detroit. Also listen for Devon’s recommendation if you’ve never tried it before. [Daily Detroit] [Haraz]

» If you haven’t been to Warda Patisserie, get over there. Their James Beard nomination is well deserved. 70 W. Alexandrine, Detroit.

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If you really like what we’re doing and can swing it, consider buying us a coffee or two. It helps keep this and our podcast free for everyone else to enjoy. Thanks to Justin who bought me, Fletcher and Engineer Randy literal coffees at a recent Detroit City FC match.

Remember that you are somebody, and talk soon.


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