Detroit’s always an interesting town. It’s a tale of what some say is two cities; if you’re going to go down that line of thinking, we’d argue it’s a tale of many cities depending on your perspective. But we have to remember that we’re not actually two cities. We have one government, we are our neighbor’s keeper and we need to bridge as many divides as possible to push Detroit forward.

With that in mind, here’s your list of interesting and noteworthy stories from around the web.

Check Out How Houston Remade Their Transit System Without Additional Dollars (Vox)

We were at the Detroit Policy Conference, and when it comes to the mass transit discussion, were frankly completely underwhelmed. Although their focus was “millage, millage, millage” with an eye toward getting a millage passed to fund the new Regional Transit Authority, it’s clear to us on the outside that asking for a millage before some sort of progress is made isn’t going to fly in Metro Detroit, a community skeptical about transit. Here’s something we found about how Houston has reimagined their transit system and implementing it with the resource they already have.

The new one is, plainly, much more extensive and broadly useful. With it, a person willing to make a transfer can get from most areas of the city to most other areas of the city without needing to rely on any extremely infrequent buses.

How is Houston able to pull that off with no additional funding? Well, as Jarrett Walker, one of the plan’s lead designers, explains it’s all about prioritizing routes that will plausibly attract riders. The old system, like many bus routes in the United States, expended a lot of resources on very low-ridership routes for the sake of saying there’s “a bus that goes there.” The new plan says that the focus should be to provide reasonably frequent service on routes where reasonably frequent service will attract riders. That does mean that some people are further than ever from a transit stop. But it means that many more Houstonians will find themselves near a useful transit stop. (Read More)

Is Palazuelo The New Gilbert That Will Captivate The Region? (Crain’s Detroit Business)

Fernando Palazuelo (sometimes called “The Most Interesting Man In Detroit” due to his good looks and accent) has already taken on the epic task of the Packard Plant. Now, he’s talking about taking over five of Detroit’s landmarks. He is going to, in his words, “Chase the animal.”

Palazuelo is a native of Spain who has been developing historic but dilapidated sites in Peru since losing everything in the recession. He said in an interview with Crain’s last week that he plans to make offers to buy five of greater downtown’s most storied buildings: the 255,000-square-foot Book Tower and adjoining 260,000-square-foot Book Building; the 996,000-square-foot Penobscot Building; and the Albert Kahn Building and Fisher Building in the New Center Area, which total 925,000 square feet.

But whether he’s actually successful in buying them is anybody’s guess. (Read More)

Should The Detroit 3 Be Looking In Their Review Mirror For Apple? (MLive)

A common complaint is that cars and the technology in them should be as easy to use as our phones … and it simply isn’t. But is it more than in-dash technology play by Apple, who has the ability to buy GM, Ford, and Chrysler in cash and have billions left over?

“I think the idea would be to move the market in a way that Detroit and other automakers would have to cooperate with them,” said Alan Baum of Baum and Associates in West Bloomfield. But should it decide to build complete vehicles, the iconic Apple brand could be a threat to Detroit automakers.

Josh Linkner, a Detroit entrepreneur and author, recently wrote in Inc. magazine that he believes Apple will build cars and should do so in the Motor City if it wants to succeed. “It’s going to happen, and the ideal spot on our planet is right here in Detroit,” he said. (Read More)

‘Good Men and True’ at Planet Ant is a celebration of local artists and Motown collaboration (DetroitUnspun)

You hear about supporting small businesses in Detroit, new and old. But how about supporting the area’s playwrights, directors and actors?

It’s an interesting idea that director Sara Catheryn Wolf threw out there for discussion when we were talking about the new play she’s helping create called “Good Men and True,” which opens March 6 at Hamtramck’s Planet Ant.

If we support Small Business Saturday, the “Shop Small” or “Shop Local” movements and the like, then there is something to be said for supporting local theaters. They’re small businesses, after all. And they’re run by independent contractors of every kind – they have to create their own marketing, advertising and pretty much everything else that comes with running a business. (Read More)

Downtown Detroit’s Surge Is “Just In Its Infancy” (Freep)

Dan Gilbert is talking big again, but there’s little doubt he’s going to invest the money to make things happen. But we’d add if the city is going to truly turn around, the story and the action needs to pivot from being all Dan, all the time. There needs to be more players, and more significant players, in the game.

“As the rush of many, many companies, new start-ups accelerates, realizing they have to be downtown, they have to open up an office or move an office, you’re really going to see something special going on,” Gilbert said. “There are still so many opportunities, so many blighted blocks of things that aren’t rehabbed yet. It’s really kind of endless.” (Read More)

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