Hey, Jer here.

Thanks for opening this email. Lots to cover.

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A conceptual rendering of the Lakeside Mall space. The final project could look different.

📰 What to know…

» A billion-dollar redevelopment has taken a major step forward in Sterling Heights. Developer Out of the Box Ventures got approval Tuesday night from the local city council to proceed with the 110 acre site at Hall Road and Schoenerr.

Much of the old mall will be demolished for a street grid, city center concept.

Included would be more than 2,800 multi-family apartments, nearly 150,000 square feet of new retail and dining (plus the Macy’s and JCPenney that will stay open), 60,000 square feet of office space and a 120-room hotel.

The city would be bonding $45 million to pay for roads and utilities, but the payback would come through a special Tax Increment Financing district (or TIF) that will recapture those dollars and not impact the bills of other city residents. This is very common in downtown areas across Michigan.

But this project won’t happen overnight. It may take 12 years for the full project to be completed — if the layers of financing come together in 2023, demolition would start in 2025.

[City of Sterling Heights] [ClickOnDetroit]

Sterling Heights is one of the few communities that has grown in population in Metro Detroit from 2010-2020, and it seems they’re looking to take the next step to have a true central hub. If they can line up the financing (and it’ll be interesting to see what incentives happen to make this project come together) this will be one to watch. Definitely better than the sea of concrete there now and would bring on much needed housing units.

» There will be no food inspection grades in windows of Detroit restaurants. The plan would have been to put a color-coded placard to clearly communicate if an eatery was in compliance, under review or closed due to health concerns. The proposed ordinance was voted down 6-3, with southwest Detroit’s Gabriela Santiago-Romero switching votes after hearing concerns from the local business community.

In a statement, council president Mary Sheffield said, in part, “...I could not in good conscience support an ordinance which could potentially cause workers to lose pay or worse, lose their jobs and not be able to support their families.”

The Metro Detroit Black Business Alliance was also a firm opponent, and the head of the Greektown Neighborhood Partnership said that the placards would scare away customers.

[Fox2News] [Detroit News] [Facebook] [Bridge Detroit]

» Narrow Way Cafe on Livernois in Detroit is taking an indefinite pause. The cafe prides itself on being “stress free” for customers and according to their social media are temporarily closing Friday, November 4 to “ensure we're continuing to uphold that mission as we move forward.” This is as their long-time manager is heading to a new opportunity.

The black-owned spot on the Avenue of Fashion made a splash with their decor, service, coffee and smoothies. They worked to hire people within a mile or walking distance of the cafe. Open since 2017, I was among the first to report about them.

They say to keep an eye on their social media for updates.

I have some personal affection for this one, as some of the early drawing board days of our Daily Detroit podcast were spent planning and using it as a meetup spot when we wanted to change gears from my house nearby. I went up there today to get one last Almond Joy espresso drink before the pause. Sure, it’s a splurge — but why not? I hope they sort it out.

» The new Amazon facility in Detroit at the State Fairgrounds is delaying hiring 1,100 workers until 2023. Amazon is cutting costs as business slows. [Bridge Detroit]

I remembered while digging into this that the new State Fairground transit center in the old Dairy Cattle Building was promised to be around for the winter of 2022. That’s clearly not going to happen as contractor bids are going out now. As to the main facility, once a timeline slides, I’ve learned it can keep sliding.

» $20 million is going into Oakland County’s park system. The county will expand what they manage, including parts of Beech Woods Park in Southfield and Shepherd Park in Oak Park, Hawthorne Park in Pontiac, and Ambassador Park in Madison Heights. Improvements at some parks include a pickle ball court, an ice rink and more trails. About 3/4ths of the cost will be paid for with Federal ARPA funds. [Oakland County]

» The Spinal Column is ceasing publication after more than 60 years. Readership is at an all-time high for the community paper that serves western Oakland County, but the money coming in just isn’t keeping up with costs. [Spinal Column]

» We’re already taking out I-375 and turning it into a boulevard. How about removing more freeways? This thought piece makes the case for the deletion of freeways to the core of downtown and a chunk of the Lodge to the Davison to help knit the city’s urban fabric back together. [Detroitography]

» Fast-casual brunch spot “See You Tomorrow” opened this week on Woodward. It’s just north of Grand Boulevard. [Metro Times]

I’m excited to check this one out as this has been a long time coming, and I’ll share photos and thoughts when I do.

» The 2023 USA Boxing National Qualifier will come to Detroit's Huntington Place this March. More than 1,000 boxers are expected to compete. [Detroit Sports Commission]

🎧 On the podcast…

» Monday we dove into the history of magician Harry Houdini and Detroit. Did you know he met his untimely end here? John Cox of Wild About Houdini shares all the details.

» Tuesday we talked about Detroit City FC’s great season — but looked with clear eyes to the future of some names Le Rouge should look at to move up. For context, they finished from sixth in the USL Championship regular season and were eliminated in the first playoff round.

» Wednesday was grab bag of topics - from a sus announcement of $10 billion dollars to Highland Park to learning what artists our listeners jam to most on Spotify.

Do you have podcast guests you’d like me to talk to? Get in touch.

Since the Detroit City FC season is over, we’re looking to put our focus on some other places for the offseason. So a question:

🎢 Ride the pollercoaster…

Here are some select polls I wanted to highlight as it’s election season. Remember if you have an absentee ballot, mailing it now probably means it won’t get it there so drop it off at your city clerk. One poll I wish I had but I don’t think it’s been done recently is the transit millage for SMART in Oakland and Macomb counties.

» The three statewide ballot proposals are all leaning toward passing, with 1 and 2 stronger than 3, which is the most controversial one.  [ClickOnDetroit]

Proposal 3 would bring back the protections of Roe v. Wade. It has seen a decline in support, specifically among men who have swung eleven points against it since September.

If you don’t know what these three proposals do, none of them are confusing. Eric Lupher from the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan joined me to explain.

» Attorney General Dana Nessel (D) seems to have the toughest fight for re-election among statewide offices, and is in a statistical tie with Matthew DePerno (R).  [Detroit News]

» Looking at an index across multiple polls, Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D) is up by about five points. [FiveThirtyEight]

But polls don’t decide elections. Voters do. So go do the thing and vote, if you haven’t already.

And we’re done for today. Thanks for reading, sharing and supporting independent work from Detroit.

Remember that you are somebody — and we’ll talk real soon.


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