Hey, it’s Jer. Welcome to Thursday. Let’s catch up on what to know and where to go around Metro Detroit.

If this is your first time here, three things:

  1. My analysis and context is in italics.
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📰 What to know

» Detroit has new city council districts. The changes come after the 2020 Census showed that the especially the east side of the city lost population. [Bridge Detroit]

On the podcast, we discuss if more seats are needed to properly represent neighborhoods. After all, in cities like Chicago their Aldermen represent about 54,000 people; where in Detroit it’s north of 90,000.

» Speaking of council, member Mary Waters has entered the race for the 13th Congressional district. She joins Former State Senator Adam Hollier and incumbent U.S. Representative Shri Thanedar.

Her race begins with an endorsement from controversial Hamtramck Mayor Amer Ghalib and main planks include raising Social Security payments, reducing crime, environmental protection and calling for an end to the war in Gaza. She plans to keep her Detroit council seat while running. [Metro Times] [WDET]

This district has been a hot spot of conversation, as Thanedar’s victory meant a large section of Detroit is not represented by Black leadership. However, the district contains a good chunk of the suburbs - some that are becoming demographically more diverse.

Included cities beyond Detroit are Hamtramck, parts of the Grosse Pointes, Lincoln Park, River Rouge, Taylor and Romulus.

This is one where the Democratic primary will probably prove decisive. It’s my thought that the math means every additional candidate helps an incumbent, unless one breaks out with name recognition. Almost very time I drive out I-94 west, I see Shri billboards.

» What is the tallest point in Detroit? It’s up for debate. Detroit is generally considered very flat, but there are hills. You’re going to need to look to the northern end of the city and learn a little about the last ice age. [Outlier Media]

🏗 The Build

» Nearly 500 apartments opened up on the Detroit riverfront on the old Joe Louis site. The Residences at Water Square are on the higher end of the prices in city; in part because they took no incentives to be built. Prices range between $2,275 and $4,700 a month. [Urbanize Detroit]

» The Detroit Clothing Circle has closed their brick and mortar shop in Midtown. They had been open nine years; but they intend to continue with online sales [Instagram]

aerial city shot
Photo by Josh Garcia on Unsplash

» The fountain in Hart Plaza will run again. That’s thanks to $5.8 million in ARPA funding approved by the city. The goal is to get it going for the spring; obviously, the NFL Draft is approaching. [Urbanize Detroit]

On the first warm-ish day, if it runs in a way where I can take a dip like when I was a kid, I’m going out there with swim trunks on. This makes me real happy. This fountain has been an icon of unrealized potential for years, and I’m glad to see some dollars going into it. Our fountains should work.

» What’s the way forward with education in Detroit? Detroit’s “comeback” can only go so far as long as the schools face the challenges they do. I had a conversation with 482 Forward’s Tinu Osoru about the challenges — and more importantly, ideas on how to fix the issues.

🌯 News Bites

» Gilly’s on Woodward is coming along. The facade is now visible, and the future sports bar looks to be well underway. Reports have said that the goal is for it to be open in “early 2024.”

» We now know the name of the Fabio Viviani concept going into the old Calexico space. It’ll be called “Adelina,” and it’s across from the Hudson’s project. Friday podcast co-host Devon O’Reilly pressed his face to the glass and said it looks like they’ve made a lot of progress inside.

It seems like a lot of places are trying to get ready ahead of the NFL Draft.

» Pie Sci in Oak Park is ready to open this weekend. Located on West Nine Mile, the concept has an original location in Detroit’s Woodbridge neighborhood. They’re known for creative pizzas. They break their menu into Primary, Secondary, Collegiate and Graduate pizzas. Open five days a week to start. [Pie Sci]

Judging by the level of texts I got, the anticipation is high on this one.

💾 Black Tech Saturdays

I wanted to highlight that this weekend Black Tech Saturdays is happening at 6001 Cass in the TechTown area of the city. The group promotes innovation, diversity and community. The events themselves are a vibe.

I had Alexa and Johnnie Turnage over to our studio this week; and their energy is awesome. I love it when people put their shoulder to the wheel and make the Detroit they’d like to see. They’re making a platform to lift others up, which is THE WORK.

Although that podcast conversation airs very soon (and also includes the wizard behind the city of Detroit’s fast-growing social media accounts, Ethan Lloyd), I wanted to give the heads up that this is happening this weekend in case you wanted to check it out. [Eventbrite] [Black Tech Saturdays]

Thanks for reading! Remember that you are somebody, and I’ll see you around town.


p.s. - This edition was created to “Holding On,” because I needed some danceable disco dub looking at all that sunshine and warmth. 56 degrees in February feels wrong — but I’m going to choose to live in the moment for now.

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