Hey all - Jer here. Let's get into what's happening around town. As always, my thoughts are in italics.

Jer (me on the left) and Hilary Doe (right) at the Mackinac Policy Conference

๐ŸŽง On the podcast: Can we grow Michigan?

As long as I've done this project, growing Michigan, and getting it into gear to be competitive against the rest of the country has been a topic.

Honestly, it sometimes feels like I'm screaming down into the void as someone who is usually pushing for things to be better.

Because as much as we love our city, region and state, there's much to be proud of โ€” There is work to do. There has been for years.

Michigan is second to last in the nation for attracting people from other states. Mix that with our well-documented brain drain? It hasnโ€™t been a good recipe.

So how do we wrestle with all of this? 

Up at the Mackinac Policy Conference, I talked with Hilary Doe, Michigan's Chief Growth Officer for the podcast. [On Apple Podcasts] [MP3]

Key topics include:

Population Growth and Talent Attraction: Hilary shares insights from a new national poll targeting young talent in cities like Austin, Nashville, New York, and LA. Discover what factors are most important to young people when choosing a place to call home, with safety, community diversity, and walkability topping the list.

Public Engagement: We talk about the public engagement efforts undertaken by Hilary's office, including conversations with thousands of Michiganders and national polling. Hear how these efforts are shaping policies and initiatives aimed at retaining and attracting young talent.

Housing and Economic Realities: There's a critical issue of housing affordability and its impact on talent attraction. Hilary discusses the importance of down payment support and the need to address Michigan's rent burden to make the state more attractive to young professionals. It's not just about the cost of housing, but the cost as percentage of income. 

Legislative Momentum and Pilot Programs: We talk about some of the policy recommendations from the "Growing Together Michigan" report and the legislative momentum they've gained. Hilary outlines the pilot programs being rolled out to address regional specificities in talent retention and attraction.

Storytelling and Marketing Michigan: We get into the importance of storytelling in changing perceptions about Michigan. Hilary highlights the success of the "You Can in Michigan" campaign, which has already driven significant interest and won multiple awards.

Balancing Long-term Goals with Immediate Actions: Hilary discusses the importance of incremental progress and the role of every Michigander in promoting the state. Discover the specific policies and initiatives that are set to make a difference in the short term.

๐Ÿ—ž๏ธ What to know

>> A Detroit councilman is back at an ordinance that would require restaurants to post signage if they passed or failed city health inspection. Scott Benson's previous proposal met with fierce opposition by business groups, but this one is a simplified "green/red" for pass and fail; and doesn't include a scale of the level of violations. [Axios Detroit]

In between, there's been a volunteer pilot program that seems to have been successful where restaurants can choose to post a certificate if they did well.

I personally don't think food safety is a negotiable. I get there's a number of business groups against it and concerns about equity. But if you can't keep a clean restaurant, you shouldn't be open.

>> Plans were announced to renovate the historic Park Avenue House in downtown Detroit. [DBusiness]

The project is being led by Sam Nazarian, Project HQ Hotels & Residences, and is in partnership with Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. The goal, reports DBusiness, is to turn the building built in 1924 into a hotel with 174 rooms, a specialty restaurant, a cafe, and quick-service delivery.

No cost or construction timeline was provided.

>> For small developers, the city of Detroit's permitting system is an expensive, time-consuming mess. In one case, costing more than $20,000 and dealing with 10 city departments. [Outlier Media]

โ€œA lot of cities are way ahead of us in terms of facilitating development,โ€ Becker said. โ€œThere are so many examples of doing things differently, whereas we just keep trying to regulate more.โ€ 

>> Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and developer Woodborn Partners celebrated the grand opening of The Brooke on Bagley, a mixed-use and mixed-income development in Southwest Detroit.

This $23 million project includes 78 apartments and more than 2,100 square feet of retail space, with 16 units reserved as affordable housing. The development brings quality affordable housing to a growing community, offering amenities such as a fitness center, dog park, and community lounge space. [Urbanize Detroit]

This is right across the street from one of my favorite places in the city, Honeybee Market - and near Michigan Central.

๐Ÿƒ Where to go

>> Third Street Bar in Detroit's Midtown is reopening on Friday. That's according to a Facebook post by Marc Djozlija, who is a partner in some other well-known local establishments like Time Will Tell and Wright and Company. Hours on Friday will be 4p - 2a, and a band will be there from 8p - 10:30p. [Facebook]

I have many memories at Third Street and Forest, as a reliable campus bar with games like skee-ball, ring toss, and karaoke. It'll be interesting to see what's done with it going forward.

>> The UFO Factory, a popular Corktown bar and music venue in Detroit, is being transformed by new owner Roula David, of Spot Lite, into UFO BAR. Despite the change in ownership and name, the venue will continue to host its familiar programming and serve its staple menu items, with plans to introduce new features such as a late-night menu and a revitalized rooftop deck. [WDET]

Photo via Mother Handsome Instagram

>> A new spot is coming to Oak Park, "Mother Handsome." Opening June 20 for coffee and pastries โ€” and they plan to do pizza and cocktails once the state gets things done with their liquor license. Initial hours are 7a-2p and you can find it at 14661 W. Eleven Mile Road. [Instagram]

If you haven't already, be sure to sign up for future notes from me for free.

Until next time, thanks so much for reading โ€” and I'll see you around Detroit.


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