Your Detroit weekend reading list for Feb 2-3, 2013

Kickstarter to Save Detroit Parody

There’s no deal with Belle Isle, but there IS a Kickstarter to save Detroit. Kinda. Sorta. Well, at least you’ll laugh. And Laura wrote what amounts to love letter from North Carolina. You know what, Laura, maybe it’s time you came home. Oh, and Dan Gilbert has a 9 by 5 foot model of downtown Detroit in a back office somewhere. My guess? He already has a miniature light rail that goes to somebody else’s model of Pontiac, with trips every fifteen minutes.

On to the Detroit news reading list!

So it comes to this: ‘Save Detroit’ Kickstarter campaign is hilarious

Kickstarter to Save Detroit ParodyDeadline Detroit: You know that moment when something satirical hits just a little too close to home?  If you don’t, watch this video for the “Save Detroit” Kickstarter campaign in which Earnest White Girl explains how she and some “really talented people” have spent two years trying to save Detroit. They’re work is “almost complete,” but they need some help to finish the job. Because Detroit is out of money. That’s where you and your generous donation to the $500,000,000 Save Detroit Kickstarter comes in. Watch the video!

I Heart My City: Laura’s Detroit

National Geographic: Freelance writer and editor Laura Bastian grew up in the Detroit area, and currently lives in Durham, North Carolina where she writes about travel, food, events, and business. Laura has spent time all over the world — from Hong Kong to Boston — but here are a few of her favorite things about her hometown, Motor City, USA.

Leg up for Downtown Detroit

Wall Street Journal (subscription required): In a back office at the headquarters of mortgage company Quicken Loans Inc., workers are assembling a 9-by-5-foot scale model of Detroit’s modest downtown that will be used to plot the district’s future. Down at street level, Chief Executive Dan Gilbert is already seeking to piece together that vision, buying up real estate along Woodward Avenue, the city’s main commercial corridor, and cultivating a new crop of businesses in an attempt to create a self-sustaining mix of residential and commercial development. In the past decade or so, other Detroit boosters have had some success in similar efforts to rehabilitate the city’s downtown district, which lost hundreds of businesses to suburban outposts.

Detroit start-ups move into empty auto plants

USA Today: Classic Fords and Chevrolets under restoration are parked in neat rows, including a Mustang customized for the ill-fated revival of the Knight Rider television series and another that’s a custom prototype for the Chinese market. A 2014 Chevrolet Silverado pickup, yet to appear in showrooms, waits to be prepped for auto show display. So far, two small auto companies share the cavernous space in the former auto plant in this Detroit suburb.

Entrepreneur group says its Detroit members will hire more workers in next 6 months

Detroit Free Press: A majority of established Detroit entrepreneurs expect to hire more full-time and part-time workers in the coming six months, an indication of growing strength in the local economy. The Entrepreneurs’ Organization, a global non-profit network of more than 8,000 businesses in more than 40 countries, said its recent survey of members showed that a majority of Detroit-area entrepreneurs believe the economy is moving in the right direction, with 80% reporting positive feelings about starting a new business in the next six months.

Detroit housing’s for sale, and global investors want in

Bloomberg/Business Week: Speculators from the U.S. and abroad are scooping up Detroit homes, in some cases by the hundreds, for as little as $500 at Wayne County’s tax-delinquent property auctions. The county sold 10,461 of the 18,897 Detroit properties offered last year, according to public records. “Detroit is the hottest thing happening,” says city native Jasmine McMorris, who has purchased 332 homes in the past two years for an average price of $2,500. She’s rented some at a profit while selling others to investors as far away as Australia and Cambodia. “No place else can I buy a house for $1,000 and put in $3,000 to fix it up and get a 40 percent return on my investment monthly,” she says.

Feds may form team to restore more Detroit sites

The Detroit News: U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said he would consider recommending the Obama administration form a “strike team” that would find ways to restore more historic Detroit buildings. “Detroit can become almost a laboratory of what we are doing,” Salazar said, referring to federal historic tax credits that are a key part of financing for developers who restore buildings. The Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives Program has helped preserve and restore 70 tax credit projects in Detroit since 2000, representing more than a half-billion dollars in private investment.

City on the move: Detroit Media Partnership

The Michigan Journal: Just last week, it was announced that the Detroit Free Press and Detroit News will be moving to a new location, yet to be determined, in Downtown Detroit sometime in the next 12-18 months. It was a shock to many as the Detroit News building has been a beacon of journalism for the past 96 years. But where will the DMP end up? That will be up for speculation for the next year or so as they begin to look for places to move to or heck, even build, although that will probably be out of the question. The best bet is that the DMP will end up somewhere around Campus Martius Park.

The David Whitney Building receives funding for revival in downtown Detroit

Examiner: The historic and stunning David Whitney Building, located at 1553 Woodward in downtown Detroit, has become the next big project for the area. The state of Michigan approved Whitney Partners LLC for a $1 million community revitalization grant with a $7.5 million loan.

Eminem gives Prince Fielder special Jordans on first episode of ‘Detroit Rubber’

HuffPost Detroit: Prince Fielder, Detroit Tigers slugger, had a big request when he appeared on the first episode of “Detroit Rubber,” a new show on the YouTube channel LOUD — one that led him all the way to the show’s producer, rapper Eminem.  Fielder visited Burn Rubber, a sneaker shop in Detroit suburb Royal Oak that is the focus of the new web series. He asked owners Ro Colt and Rick Williams to help him find an elusive shoe, the Air Jordan 4 Retro, Eminem Encore edition. Only 50 pairs were produced for Eminem’s circle, according to the site But that didn’t stop Fielder.

Food waste is turned into kilowatts at Novi Energy’s digester plant

Detroit Free Press: The sun and the wind seem to get all the attention in renewable energy. For Novi Energy, an overlooked fuel source for the future is a raucous and potent blend of food wastes and livestock manure. Just go easy on the manure.

6 lessons from America’s comeback kid — Detroit, MI

Forbes: If Rocky Balboa taught us anything, it’s that America loves rooting for the underdog. Comebacks are always uplifting, reminding us that resilience isn’t a trait held by all; for the people who exemplify this strong determination, rewards are plentiful. Detroit has personified the brash willpower demonstrated by Rocky – gloves up and out – and is reaping the benefits.

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