Hey everyone and welcome to the latest edition of the newsletter. I just got back from a great long weekend off, so let’s dive into some stories around town.

As always, my thoughts are in italics, and if you’ve not been here before consider signing up for future notes, free:

Roosevelt Park re-invention

» One of the most visible signs of Detroit’s turnaround is the redone Roosevelt Park, out front of Michigan Central Station. But how did the project come together?

That’s the focus of the conversation that I had with a couple of people behind making Roosevelt Park what it is today. Patrick Droze and Jon Kramer from OHM Advisors were involved in the restoration and redesign of this newly-polished gem in Corktown.

I learned some interesting things.

  • There were plans back when the station was built in the 1910s for a 200 foot wide boulevard running from Roosevelt Park through neighborhoods and up to about Warren and Woodward.

If you’ve ever wondered why the station is set at an angle, it’s not just about the tracks. Detroit was growing fast at the time, and the idea was to connect two hubs of the city.

As you drove down the boulevard, the giant station would always be in your horizon — and there would be a direct connection to both Woodward and Grand River. Obviously, this never happened.

  • If you’re curious why a project hasn’t started, ask if it actually has funding. This had Federal ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) and that money really kickstarted the process.
  • Remember that the park itself is a city amenity. Whether it’s BBQ grills, picnic tables, or swinging benches — this is a city park in the shadow of Ford’s development. You’ll be able to book it for events, weddings, anything as a resident would.

It was a good conversation about everything from benches to trees to park paths, and I hope you check out the rest of it on our website or on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

⚡️ What to know

» Longtime broadcast booth analyst and 1968 Detroit Tigers championship team member, Jim Price, has passed away at the age of 81. No cause of death was shared.

Price joined the Tigers' broadcast team in 1998 as a radio analyst and later contributed to TV coverage. He and his wife established the Jack's Place foundation to help those impacted by autism, named after their son.

Jim was relatable and people really resonated with that. He was a great complement to Ernie Harwell and Dan Dickerson, a couple of the best in the business. Through his career he really touched’em all… from being World Series champion in 1968, to his charity work, to the many sports fans that knew his voice well.

» Sixto Diaz Rodriguez, the Detroit singer-songwriter, known to most nationally from the documentary "Searching for Sugar Man," has passed away at 81. Born to Mexican immigrants, he released albums "Cold Fact" and "Coming to Reality" with songs like "Sugar Man” in the early 1970s.

They sold poorly at first, but his music got unexpected popularity in South Africa, becoming anti-apartheid anthems.

In 1998, he toured South Africa and in 2009 his albums were reissued, leading to recognition back here in the United States.

Rodriguez then performed globally after decades of obscurity.

We talk about both (and more) on our most recent podcast.

» The head of the UAW threw the Stellantis contract proposal in the trash. Shawn Fain in a livestream called the proposed changes "concessionary," including holiday and vacation days, absenteeism, and 401(k) contributions. The UAW has said it wants double-digit pay raises, citing 40% pay raises on average over the last four years for the CEOs of the companies — and the restoration of defined benefit pension plans. [CNBC]

The contract deadline for all of the Big Three is September 14. Strikes are a real possibility.

» The District Detroit missed the date for the first groundbreaking. It had been set for late July. Apparently, the land still hasn’t been acquired to do the work on that particular site. No new date has been set. [Freep]

  • What did happen was the official kickoff of their new “Opportunity Center,” with information available in-person on jobs, job training and affordable housing. It’s located in a former Starbucks. [Axios]

» WeWork has “substantial doubt” they can continue operating, citing canceled memberships and high costs. Locally, there are two locations now in Detroit, three blocks from each other in downtown. A third location (it was quite beautiful, actually) recently shuttered over on Cass. [Bloomberg]

Although another blow to the local office space market, this would not leave Metro Detroit without co-working options. There’s Bamboo Detroit with spots in Detroit and Royal Oak, Hunt Street Station and the non-profit business service organization Techtown at Wayne State (and there’s more). Although there are overall headwinds, what WeWork did was get over its skis pretending it was a technology company, when really it’s co-working with pretty furniture and a well-known brand.

» There’s a new dog park coming to Detroit’s Palmer Park. The grand opening is August 26 — National Dog Day — and there will be a party! 2-4pm, parking is at 1441 W. Seven Mile Road.. [Palmer Park Unleashed]

I’m excited to have another dog park option a short drive up the road. When my dog gets near the dog park, she starts signing the songs of her people in the car a couple of blocks out she’s so excited. Can she learn two locations? We will see!

🌯 News bites

» Devon tried the new Tiliani in Dearborn, and gives the Halal coastal Italian eatery a big thumbs up. More on the show…

» Yellow Light Donuts on Detroit’s east side and Ray’s Ice Cream of Royal Oak have teamed up. Their first collaboration is coffee ice cream with salted caramel swirl, available now at Yellow Light on Jefferson and Marlborough. [Link]

» Production is resuming of Sanders toppings. It had been paused for more than a year. [WXYZ]

Now I can break out that jar I’ve been hoarding in the cupboard.

» Awrey’s Bakery in Livonia is on the verge of closing after 113 years in business. Better get out there for any last minute baked goods. The plant would close in September, and more than 60 people would lose their jobs. [Hometown Life] [WDIV]

Business hasn’t rebounded after the pandemic, and people are buying less sweets than they used to. But man, coffee cakes. I do love them.

» The Kitchen by Cooking with Que is expanding to a second location on Detroit’s Avenue of Fashion. They’re going to have more space for healthy cocktails, mocktails, and vegan wine. [Metro Times]

I’ve been to a couple of events there. It’s a tasty concept. I noticed this not just with our happy hour, but in general - younger people are turning away from alcohol. Gen Z is drinking about 20% less per capita than millennials did at the same age, and more are abstaining completely.

🏅 We’re finalists for best News and Politics podcast!

That’s right. Top 10 in the News and Politics category! Thanks to your support and the folks at the Podcast Awards, one of the industry’s oldest national awards.

I’m very proud of our little team as we do all of this with few resources and a lot of passion. Most of our competition has a lot more money behind them. I don’t mean this as shade to the individuals working there (we all gotta eat), but some with billion-dollar-holding-company level money.

So considering the cards we have, I’m taking this as a win. I’m proud of all of our contributors large and small who make this happen.

And thanks to you all. Without listeners, without your support, without the sponsors we find, there’s no way this can happen.

If you’d like to support:

You can tell a friend about the show and newsletter! Word of mouth is how this thing has grown. It matters.

You can buy us a coffee (or four). (Thanks Bob! I’m glad the piece on Roosevelt Park resonated with you).

You can join us as a monthly member.

Or email me at dailydetroit - at - gmail - dot - com if you’d like to sponsor.

Until next time, remember that you are somebody. I’ll see you around Detroit.


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