Change Agents, City Transformation, News

Your Weekly Reading List: It’s Spring(wells) in Detroit

Red Bull House of Art in Eastern market photo by Nick Hagen

Another week, another 10 stories. Spring has decided to stay cold, but the pace of activity of things happening in Metro Detroit is hot.

This week on the blog we featured a story in Southwest Detroit, where a group near Springwells street is raising money to start a bike shop for the community (that also does youth programs). Add onto that a contest they’re involved in (the only Detroit entrant) to get $25,000 to help make even more murals made by youth happen, and it’s clear Urban Neighborhood Initiatives is working their tail off to do things with these two and their numerous other projects. They’ve been around since 1998 (1997 if you count the Neighborhood Center), so 15 years, give or take.

Red Bull House of Art in Eastern market photo by Nick HagenOur picture of the week is from the Red Bull House of Art. They are celebrating one year of giving creativity in Detroit wings. The photo is by Nick Hagen, and is of the front door of  the Eastern Market location during the recent Art X Detroit.

So check out 10 of the best stories about Detroit below, and have a great week.

Shipping container hotel “Collision Works” raises $41,064 online for Detroit prototype

Huffington Post Detroit: First Container would serve as a small pop-up model of the larger project, functioning as a mini hotel lobby with a table, couches and free internet. It would be built out of two eight-by-forty-foot containers and located on the corner of Russell and Wilkins Street, not far from the planned site for the completed hotel. During its six-month run, Kimen plans to use the space to host discussions on topics like art, science, design and neighborhoods. Afterwards, the pop-up will be moved to the Collision Works site to become part of the hotel’s lobby. Since this article was posted, they’ve raised the money they need online.

Detroit’s precarious recovery: ‘It just feels like something is happening here’

The Guardian: Three years ago as Detroit seemed on the edge of destruction Dan Gilbert moved his headquarters downtown and began snapping up swathes of real estate. His Bedrock property management company owns 22 buildings with more than 3m square feet in the city. He’s attracting big names back into the city. Gilbert’s vision of Detroit’s future is of a city filled with young people from local universities, the majority of whom now skip town on graduation. This summer he’ll have 1,100 interns working downtown, and he’s convinced many of his tenants to follow suit. The company gives employees who buy property in the city $20,000 on condition they live in the city for five years. Occupancy rates downtown are close to 100%.

Detroit District Rents Police

The Wall Street Journal: This cash-strapped city’s police force is so overwhelmed with murders—more than one a day on average over the past two years—and other major crimes that officers rarely have time or resources to respond to nonemergency calls like car break-ins. Along a 6½-mile stretch of East Jefferson Avenue, however, officers are roving in squad cars or walking the beat, interacting with residents and business owners and tackling quality-of-life issues like bar fights or open-air drug dealing. While these officers are members of the Detroit Police Department, dressed in their official uniforms and driving city-owned cruisers, they aren’t on the city’s clock.

Chrysler begins pivoting from its gritty tie-in with Detroit

Forbes: Chrysler is enjoying another “Imported From Detroit” moment these days with its sponsorship of Motown the Musical on Broadway. But it may be one of the last times that Chrysler emphasizes its relationship with the Motor City as foundational to its brand. That’s because Chrysler marketers finally have been looking for ways to pivot away from limiting aspects of the “Imported From Detroit.”

Wayne State plans second phase of South University Village

The Oakland Press: Wayne State University is issuing a request for proposals for the development of a mixed-use project including retail, residential apartments, and an event/conference area on 1.5 acres on Canfield between Cass and Woodward avenues. The project supports the university’s 2020 master plan by building upon the residential and commercial development in the South University Village District. The first phase, Studio One apartments and retail, was completed in 2008 and named Development of the Year by Crain’s Detroit Business. The anticipated second phase was delayed by economic slowdown in 2008. Midtown is at currently at 95 percent occupancy. Ned Staebler, vice president for economic development at Wayne State said, “We are excited to work with a private developer to bring new housing to the market for those who want to live in a vibrant, thriving community and be a part of Midtown’s revitalization.”

Mayor Bing hints at impending public/private parks and rec partnership at Downtown Detroit Partnership meeting

MLive Detroit: In hailing the recent, $8 million donation from the business community to fund a new fleet of emergency and police vehicles for Detroit, Mayor Dave Bing said a similar partnership for the city’s parks and recreation will be revealed next week.

Pure Michigan campaign results in $1.1 billion in visitor spending in 2012

CBS Detroit: The Pure Michigan campaign had its biggest impact ever in 2012, attracting 3.8 million out-of-state visitors to Michigan, where they spent a record high of $1.1 billion at Michigan businesses, according to a just-completed report by Longwoods International.

The report, released at the Pure Michigan Governor’s Conference on Tourism in Detroit, found the Pure Michigan campaign generated 580,000 more trips to Michigan in 2012 than in 2011. $79.1 million in new state tax revenues were generated as a result of the $1.1 billion spent by these visitors at Michigan businesses.

Analysis: Detroit raises large sums with high tax rates

Bridge Michigan: With Michigan’s largest city now under the direction of an emergency manager, statewide attention has focused on the city of Detroit’s finances. The Citizens Research Council, a nonpartisan, nonprofit research firm, has published an analysis of the city’s fiscal structure and trends — Detroit City Government Revenues. This report attempts to address a number of important questions to help readers be better able to develop and assess proposed policy solutions for Detroit’s fiscal crisis (a study of Detroit’s expenditures will be published by CRC shortly).

A few minutes with a duck farmer who’s found her place in the D

Detroit Free Press: Detroit is an odd big city, with treasures and surprises and things that make you smile, shake your head or do a double take. Suzanne Scoville, 42, put in a mail order for a couple of hatchlings. Three years later, she’s selling fresh eggs to a local restaurant, her friends and whoever finds her on Facebook. She sat down with Jim Schaefer while a couple of fuzzy ducklings skittered around her feet.

Pontiac sports facility to expand on former GM property to make largest “non-professional” soccer facility in the world

CBS Detroit: Pontiac could soon be known as “Soccer City.” Ultimate Soccer Arenas announced it’s expanding on land once owned by General Motors — adding 32 acres to its property to make way for what’s being called the largest indoor “non-professional” soccer facility in the world.

Red Bull House of Art in Eastern market photo by Nick Hagen

Red Bull House Of Art in Eastern Market during ArtXDetroit. Photo: Nick Hagen

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