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» Ann Arbor News Roundups for November 2007

Detroit News Roundup for November 2007

Detroit riverfront Conservancy Announces West Riverfront Property …

Purchase of Former Printing Plant Site Will Allow RiverWalk to Continue from Bridge to Bridge and Beyond DETROIT, Dec. 3 /PRNewswire/ — The Detroit RiverFront Conservancy (DRFC) announced today that it completed the purchase of the West Riverfront property located at 1801 W. Jefferson Avenue from the Detroit Media Partnership. The property is the site of the closed Detroit Free Press printing plant. The purchase of the 26-acre property marks the DRFC’s first significant move on the West Riverfront. Since the organization’s inception in early 2003, the focus has been on completing the East Riverfront project - 3 1/2 miles from Joe Louis Arena to Gabriel Richard Park, just east of the Belle Isle Bridge. In June 2007, the DRFC announced that more than 75 percent of the East Riverfront — including two plazas and pavilions and close to 2 1/2 miles of RiverWalk — were completed and open to the public. The overall vision for the Riverfront encompasses an additional 2 miles on the West Riverfront — from Joe Louis Arena to the Ambassador Bridge — which includes the Detroit Media Partnership property.

Senator Levin, along with the entire Michigan congressional delegation, was instrumental in securing $40 million in federal money for the Detroit Riverfront project, with $37 million designated for the West Riverfront.

The completed project will span 5 1/2 miles of riverfront property, from the Ambassador Bridge to Gabriel Richard Park, just east of the Belle Isle Bridge, and will include a continuous RiverWalk along with public parks and green spaces.

[via PR Newswire (press release)]

Riverfront proof of government, business cooperation

The specific trigger for Monday’s gathering of U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano and executives from General Motors Corp. and the Detroit Media Partnership is the completion of a deal to sell the 26-acre site of a now-dormant printing plant to the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy.

That land sale is an important marker in the expansion of the city’s riverfront vision from east to west. With a $300-million overhaul of the 3.5-mile stretch from Hart Plaza to Belle Isle already well under way, the conservancy is now moving on to a second stage of the makeover, a 2-mile stretch of waterfront from Joe Louis Arena to the Ambassador Bridge.

[via Detroit Free Press]

Build up airport with a better transit system

Ron Dzwonkowski’s column last Sunday about expanding Metro Airport had a good message (”Prepare airport for takeoff”). Southeast Michigan needs to take advantage of every opportunity to expand globally and locally, and to provide work, income and a better environment. So environmental impacts need to be considered for the future well-being of the region.

One of the most needed additions at Metro is a fast transit system to Ann Arbor, Detroit, Troy, Mt. Clemens and so on. A light-rail or monorail system, or a dedicated bus lane, or a combination thereof is vital. A transportation hub in the New Center would help, or, if not, Troy will probably do it.

[via Detroit Free Press]

Livonia Digs For Oil

They’re hoping to strike oil in Livonia. The Detroit News reports crews this week are working on an 11-acre site that Traverse City-based West Bay Exploration Co. hopes will produce bubbling crude. The company last week completed a 3,000-foot deep directional well beneath Interstate 275. Some environmentalists are wary of the plan, citing odors from hydrogen sulfide and possible groundwater contamination. But Livonia officials signed onto it in January, in part because it could net the city $3 million in royalties over 20 years. Michigan is hardly known for oil production. The Energy Information Association says the state ranks 17th nationwide, producing about 6.4 million barrels in crude in 2004.

[via WILX-TV]

Bobby Flay Signs With Food Network and Kohl’s to Develop Branded Kitchenware and Entertaining Products

NEW YORK, Nov. 30 /PRNewswire/ — Food Network and Kohl’s Corporation today announced that Bobby Flay has signed on to develop his first collection of kitchenware and casual entertaining products to launch exclusively at Kohl’s in spring 2008. Flay is the first celebrity talent to collaborate with Food Network on a branded line of products.

“Bobby Flay’s bold and colorful approach to cuisine is a great fit with Kohl’s and Food Network’s mission to translate culinary expertise into unique and exciting products,” said Sergei Kuharsky, general manager, Food Network. “Bobby has been an important member of the Food Network family for more than 13 years. We are excited to extend our partnerships with Kohl’s and Bobby Flay.”

Food Network is distributed to more than 90 million U.S. households and averages more than seven million Web site users monthly. With headquarters in New York City and offices in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit and Knoxville, Food Network can be seen internationally in Canada, Australia, Korea, Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines, Monaco, Andorra, Africa, France, and the French-speaking territories in the Caribbean and Polynesia.

Food Network has an office in Detroit?
[via CNNMoney.com]

New Italian market approved to open at Five Mile, Haggerty

A new Italian market, the Cantoro Market & Bakery, will open in the future at Five Mile and Haggerty roads.

Mario Fallone of Milford, a native of Cassino, Italy, opened his Cantoro Market in Detroit in 1965. In 1974, the market moved to its present location on Middlebelt Road between Seven and Eight Mile roads.

[via Northville Record]

Mass transit in metro Detroit deserves more consideration

But as gasoline skyrockets toward $4 a gallon and higher, it might not be such a nasty idea. At least it should be considered.

And throw in the newly reported fact younger adults are desiring more “walkable urban settings,” maybe its time has come or is at least near.

The Oakland Press advocating mass transit? What has the world come to? And admitting that people want pedestrian city neighborhoods?
[via Oakland Press]

Detroit Institute of Arts draws 56000 for reopening weekend

DETROIT — Weekend events for the reopening of the Detroit Institute of Arts drew more than 56,000 people.

The Detroit News reports attendance during the weekend of free admission exceeded a target number of 42,000 visitors. It included 32 consecutive hours of events starting Friday morning and a day of events Sunday.

[via WOOD-TV]

travelmode: Hipsters Guide To Windsor

Where else can you go for a pleasant afternoon of haggis eating, record shopping and absinthe sipping all topped off with an inquisition by the U.S. border control? Yup, Windsor, Ontario, just a hop, skip and jump either over or under the Detroit River.

Like Detroit, Windsors more obscure, hidden jewels are spread out, so its best to take your car across the border and explore on wheels. Once in Canada, tune in to FM 91.5, CJAM, for non-mainstream music Ska, punk, jazz, Indie rock and every sound in between as you cavort through three hip neighborhoods: Olde Walkerville, Via Italia, and downtown. These funky districts are replete with food to nosh, beers to drink, and grand old junk to be purchased.

While those are indeed some cool neighborhoods I also recommend Chinatown along Wyandotte and Olde Sandwiche Towne (I hope I got all the e’s right).
[via Metromode Media]

Nonprofits try retail Detroit

In a small warehouse on Detroit’s west side, Cass Community Social Services workers were busy.

Some were weaving intricate mud mats from the rubber of discarded tires. Others labeled and packaged microwave popcorn and catnip for shipment to grocery and pet stores.

The operation, only a few months old, is being conducted in a CCSS warehouse just down Woodrow Wilson Street from the nonprofit’s administration building.

Throughout metro Detroit, dozens of nonprofits like CCSS have entered the world of entrepreneurship to support their programs after cuts in funding and private donations.

[via Detroit Free Press]

Northwest has near perfect Thanksgiving period

Northwest Airlines Corp. canceled only three flights during the five-day Thanksgiving travel period, reaching a completion factor of 99.94 percent.

Northwest carried about 558,000 passengers during the busy five-day holiday weekend.

[via Bizjournals.com]

Online promoter to hire 110 for new Southfield office

PrizeLogic, an online promotions company, plans to hire 110 employees to work as sales and marketing staff for its new location in Southfield.

We see Michigan as an ideal place to operate an online promotion company as there is such a vast talent pool for this industry in the metropolitan Detroit area, said PrizeLogic president and managing partner Keith Simmons in a news release.

[via Detroit Free Press]

Online promoter to hire 110 for new Southfield office

PrizeLogic, an online promotions company, plans to hire 110 employees to work as sales and marketing staff for its new location in Southfield.

We see Michigan as an ideal place to operate an online promotion company as there is such a vast talent pool for this industry in the metropolitan Detroit area, said PrizeLogic president and managing partner Keith Simmons in a news release.

[via Detroit Free Press]

Royal Oak familys no-car Sunday makes a green statement

Bavonese, 50, as they set out for a 10:30 a.m. service about a mile from their house.

There was no griping from the kids because theyre used to it since starting car-less Sundays in September, 10-year-old Noah said.

[via Battle Creek Enquirer]

WWE News: wrestlemania 23 economy impact report says $30 million …

WWE sent PWTorch.com the following press release… WWE Bolsters Detroit Economy As WrestleMania 23 Generates $29.7 Million Economic Impact STAMFORD, Conn., November 20, 2007 World Wrestling Entertainment’s WrestleMania 23, which drew over 80,000 ecstatic fans to Detroit’s Ford Field in April, generated an estimated $29.7 million in economic impact for the city according to a study by Enigma Research Corporation of Toronto. According to the report, WrestleMania also supported the equivalent of 334 full-year jobs. The $29.7 million estimate includes direct, indirect and induced impact derived from spending by non-locals visiting specifically for WrestleMania 23 as well as operational spending related to the event. Fans from 50 states, 6 Canadian Provinces and 24 countries converged on Detroit for WrestleMania 23. Spending related to the event in Detroit also generated $4.7 million in tax revenue for federal, state and local government.

[via Pro Wrestling Torch]

Pontiac: The ‘last frontier’

When Peter Kelley was looking for new office space, one thing was for sure — it wasn’t going to be in a typical office park.

The new home for i3Logic had to be someplace with character where the 25-person firm could attract young professionals. Kelley wound up moving i3Logic from Troy to Pontiac, and into 5,000 square feet in the downtown area.

[via Crain’s Detroit Business]

Downtown rebounds, but still has a way to go

I have been living downtown for all of the eight months I’ve been back in Detroit, but I might as well say I’ve been living on the moon.

Talk about new frontiers, and totally foreign landscapes. For most of my life, downtown was dead, abandoned, decrepit, lifeless. You went for the Thanksgiving parade, maybe a few times a year for late-night Coneys.

[via Detroit Free Press]

Aerotropolis seen as key to reviving Detroit area

Known as an aerotropolis, or airport city, the goal foresees a day when tens of thousands of people would work in shipping, logistics, air cargo and other businesses linked to the global economy by convenient air transportation.

The goal of an aerotropolis remains elusive and faces daunting challenges. But Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano, who champions the plan, says it’s critical to the region’s future.

[via Detroit Free Press]

Next Shot Golf Center Opens at Michigan State Fair Grounds

DETROIT, Nov 21, 2007 (BUSINESS WIRE) — FGRD | charts | news | PowerRating — Next Shot Golf Center, announces the opening of Phase I of its indoor high tech learning center featuring Nike Golf concept pro-shop at Woodward Avenue and 8 Mile (Michigan State Fair Grounds). The concept for phases two through four have been reviewed and approved by the Board of Directors for the Michigan State Fair Grounds. This is the only Detroit-based full service golf shop and indoor learning center in the city of Detroit. The center will feature indoor About Golf simulators for leagues, practice Bays and open play. PGA Instructional programs will be offered along with K-Vest bio-kinetic technology.

[via Trading Markets (press release)]

Mix of creative firms will help grow region

In the new economy, ideas and innovation will drive economic growth. A group of business sectors, called the “creative economy,” will likely form the new economy’s core. They include sectors such as architecture, marketing, design and information technology.

These sectors leverage the power of ideas and technology to develop new products and services. Regions around the world are gearing up to grow their creative economies because they understand that those who do well will generate the best jobs and incomes.

[via DetNews.com]

Oakland Mall sold to Chicago company

Chicago-based retail management and development company Urban Retail Properties L.L.C. has acquired the Oakland Mall in Troy.

“When it comes to the Detroit market, the perception is not the reality,” said Urban CEO Ross Glickman. “We’re bullish on Detroit and see a lot of upside to this.”

[via Crain’s Detroit Business]

Love Me Some Detroit

Sorry we didn’t have any news up over the weekend, all, but we were taking a little R&R in Detroit, Michigan. Here are 5 reasons why Detroit is an awesome place for a weekend getaway:

[via ConnieTalk]

Detroit’s gain a boost for ‘burbs?

What makes for a better Detroit and a better Quicken Loans Inc. also may buy greater economic vitality for the region — even though it’s not a net gain in jobs.

“It’s a terrific move. It gives new life to downtown Detroit, and as a region, you need a strong urban center,” said Doug Rothwell, president of Detroit Renaissance Inc. and a former director of the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

[via Crain’s Detroit Business]

Book-Cadillac Keeps Condo Hope Alive in Detroit

Real estate in Detroit is pretty dismal overall but there is one bright spot, the Westin Book-Cadillac. The old 1924 building is being turned into a hotel, restaurant and residential complex. The condos, which sell for $375,000 to $1.5 million, are going fast, 61 of the 67 units have already been sold. The $180 million project sold 40 units in just the first day they were put on the market over a year ago. The Book-Cadillac’s noble past is part of the allure; it was Detroit’s top hotel for years. It came on hard times in the 1980s when it was closed and the city couldn’t even put together enough money to raze it. The top six floors of the building will be condos and the hotel will have 455 rooms and is set to open next fall.

[via Luxist]

CCS cleared to start Argonaut project

If the College for Creative Studies decides to go ahead, construction could begin as early as March on a project to renovate the historic Argonaut Building in Detroit’s New Center into a second campus.

The Detroit City Council this week voted to approve rezoning the property to make the transfer from General Motors Corp. to CCS possible. Also this week, the city’s Brownfield Authority approved an agreement that would help finance the project through tax incentives.

[via Detroit Free Press]

Eminem Strikes Worldwide Publishing Deal

Signaling a strategic move towards global consolidation of assets and transparent online copyright administration, Detroit-based Eight Mile Style Music, which together with Martin Affiliated LLC owns and controls 225 compositions on multi-million selling albums, including all of rap artist Eminem’s first four solo albums, has orchestrated a groundbreaking administration, technology and marketing pact between Eight Mile Style, global independent online music-publisher Kobalt Music Group and Los Angeles-based licensing and administration company Music Resources. The announcement was made today by Joel Martin, principal of Eight Mile Style Music and Willard Ahdritz, CEO and Founder of Kobalt Music Group.

Through the unique publishing and marketing deal, Kobalt will become Eight Mile Style’s publishing administrator for all worldwide territories outside of the U.S and Canada, and will collect, process and track royalties for the catalog on a worldwide basis. Music Resources will administer the Eight Mile Style catalog for the US and Canada, and will collaborate with Kobalt on synchronization and creative/A services. Music Resources will utilize Kobalt’s transparent, online music publishing administration technology and will exclusively debut the new “Powered By Kobalt” services brand.


Proposal for Harmonie Park development to be unveiled

A proposal for development of the Paradise Valley Cultural and Entertainment District in Harmonie Park will be unveiled at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Harmonie Club Building, 311 E. Grand River Ave.

The plan, developed by the University of Detroit Mercy School of Architectures Detroit Collaborative Design Center, includes recommendations for land use, redevelopment strategies and cultural and artistic elements.

[via Crain’s Detroit Business]

New DIA makes quite an impression on members

“Honest to God, it gives me goose bumps,” says Detroit artist Jon Strand on his first visit to the new Detroit Institute of Arts, which gave its members a sneak peek today — one week before its Nov. 23 official inauguration.

“I don’t know if it’s because it’s all so fresh,” Strand says, marveling at a room titled “The Grand Tour of Italy,” “but I’ve walked into galleries and let out gasps. I really have.”

[via DetNews.com]

Troy, Birmingham officials on board with transit center concept

They’re hoping a proposed Troy/Birmingham Transit Center and walkable urban environment will create more jobs, increase property values and quality of life and invite more people to call Michigan home.

It’s a vision that was shared during the 21st annual University of Michigan/Urban Land Institute Real Estate Forum in Troy. A panel of experts representing the cities of Troy and Birmingham, as well as the University of Michigan, assembled to discuss what a walkable urban setting could bring to the community.

[via Royal Oak Daily Tribune]

Book-Cadillac condos: Hot, hot, hot

DETROIT — The Book-Cadillac is becoming a coveted address.

Despite southeastern Michigan’s sickly housing market, condominium sales have been brisk at the 1924 building, being revived as a hotel, restaurant and residential complex. Already, 61 of 67 condominiums in the Louis Kamper structure are spoken for.

[via DetNews.com]

Up in smoke: Cigar-making in Detroit

Long before Detroit became known for automobiles, the city had earned a national reputation for the manufacturing of cigars and chewing tobacco. Tobacco companies, in fact, were among the city’s leading employers at the turn of the 20th century. Even in the mid-1920s, it was estimated that 210 million cigars and 14 million pounds of chewing tobacco were produced annually in Detroit, providing jobs for more than 10,000 workers.

Detroit’s history as a tobacco center dates to the years before the Civil War. With the influx of German and Jewish immigrants, the new arrivals brought with them the skills of cigar-making.

[via DetNews.com]

Region makes progress toward economic change

Accountability is a word that industry, government and education need to take to heart. Too often accountability is lost in the daily status quo of big business and politics. We need accountability to see where we’ve been, isolate problems, make improvements, and then move on.

Last year Detroit Renaissance announced a series of initiatives to transform the regional economy called the “Road to Renaissance,” and accountability was an integral part of the plan.

[via DetNews.com]

Hamilton Anderson outgrows its offices as staff size grows to 130

Architecture and urban planning firm Hamilton Anderson Associates has leveraged its work with MGM to launch itself onto the national stage. It has grown from its humble 1994 beginnings, with two people, to 130 employees and a second office in Las Vegas.

The firm will relocate in 2008 from Harmonie Park to the First National Building.

[via Model D]

Studio One Apartments leasing center will open Thursday

Studio One Apartments will open its leasing office on November 15 after a 3 p.m. press conference that will announce confirmed ground-floor retail tenants.

Studio One is indeed first in a couple of categories: It is the first development that Wayne State University has undertaken as a public/private partnership and it is the first market-rate new construction rental apartments built in Detroit in 30 years.

[via Model D]

Hamtramck’s Disneyland

Dmytro Szylak, a Ukrainian immigrant who came to America in 1950, was faced with a problem: “What to do after retirement?” After 32 years working for General Motors Corp., Szylak started tinkering in building small, wind-powered contraptions that grew into larger assemblages and eventually into Hamtramck’s Disneyland.

Spanning two garages off the alley of Klinger Street, Szylak’s collection of handmade, found and castoff objects spin, whirl and creak to the delight of visitors from across the country as well as overseas. Szylak, now 85, still maintains and adds to his creation that has grown from its humble beginnings in 1987. Layered in numerous coats of brightly colored paint, polka-dotted birds fly alongside plastic carousel horses as a large, handmade 300-pound helicopter piloted by Santa Claus whirls amid wooden soldiers and paintings of landscapes and bullfighters.

[via DetNews.com]

Grocer to open at Lafayette Park

DETROIT — A new independent grocery store will open in March at Lafayette Park, just east of downtown, Southfield-based developer First Commercial Realty & Development Co. Inc. announced Tuesday.

Downtown Foodland will occupy 14,000 square feet in The Shops at Lafayette Park strip mall, at the intersection of Lafayette and Orleans in the Mies van der Rohe historic district.

[via DetNews.com]

Grocer to open at Lafayette Park

DETROIT — A new independent grocery store will open in March at Lafayette Park, just east of downtown, Southfield-based developer First Commercial Realty & Development Co. Inc. announced Tuesday.

Downtown Foodland will occupy 14,000 square feet in The Shops at Lafayette Park strip mall, at the intersection of Lafayette and Orleans in the Mies van der Rohe historic district.

[via DetNews.com]

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» Ann Arbor News Roundups for November 2007