The city of Detroit is rumored to have numerous haunted sites sprinkled throughout its historical streets. From a bloody battle site in Pontiac’s War to the rumored Detroit omen, the Nain Rouge, and a notorious mobster hangout, there is no shortage of creepy stories to be told of the city.
To celebrate the spooky legends, Wheelhouse Detroit is inviting the brave to attend their “Haunted Detroit” bike tours every weekend in October.
Yes, the narrative seems to be changing. Those outside of Detroit are finally starting to come around and realize what many of us already knew.
But, here’s where the biggest challenge begins, at least I think so. Because, for so long Detroit has been the underdog, the hopeless city, the forgotten town that always had to prove itself.
Now that we’ve finally gotten the attention we deserve, we can’t simply declare victory because we’re nowhere near the finish line. Truth is, there’s a lot of work that still needs to be done. There’s still unemployment, there’s still a failing public school system, and Detroit’s population is still not where it should be.
But at least now, the rest of the country, and maybe even the world is watching, and maybe now they’re more willing and eager to root us on than tear us down.
And what sparked this latest wave of affection from afar? Growing signs of a rebound. And the same thing that so often draws the national spotlight: our sports teams. With an almost perfect storm of success, the undefeated Lions, the Yankee-killing Tigers and winning seasons for our two big college football teams are once again driving the deconstruction, reconstruction, explanations and excuses of an underdog town.
Check out some of the coverage the D has received recently:
The developer behind the $200 million renovation of the Westin Book Cadillac Detroit is interested in buying another downtown building.
Cleveland-based John Ferchill says he is one of the bidders to purchase up to three empty buildings in Detroit’s Capitol Park area that are now under the control of a group of economic development agencies. Capitol Park is a triangular enclave bounded by Shelby, Griswold and State streets. It’s just west of Woodward Avenue and one block away from the Westin Book Cadillac on Washington Boulevard.
"The only detail you’re going to get out of me is that I’m working with a partner," Ferchill said. "Obviously, I think that area will be a great success because of the success of the Book Cadillac. There are more people around that building all the time."
The deadline for bids was Friday. Officials plan to make a final selection by Dec. 15. Interest in the three buildings appeared to be strong, said David Di Rita, a principal with The Roxbury Group development firm, who gave tours to developers of the area. But Di Rita declined to be specific.
For now, Capitol Park is more promise than reality. Named because it was home of the state’s first Capitol building, the cluster of 17 buildings bordering the park is plagued by vacancy. Detroit economic development officials would like to see plans for a walkable neighborhood with new apartment buildings and retailshops.
In 2009, Detroit’s Downtown Development Authority, a branch of the Detroit Economic Growth Corp., bought two buildings — the former United Way Building for $1.75 million and the Capitol Park Building for $1.9 million. Michigan’s land bank bought the Farwell Building for $3.3 million.
In addition, money and planning for the Capitol Park project comes from Invest Detroit, the Wayne County Land Bank, the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority.
Longtime Detroit investor Dennis Kefallinos owns three of the buildings around Capitol Park and is excited by the level of investment taking place in the park and the nearby structures.
"If they get something going, I think I can finally find tenants," Kefallinos said. "I don’t want to sit on the sidelines."
Hatch Detroit is putting on a contest for $50,000 plus services for the business with the most votes at the end of its contest. The Workroom lost it’s fourth place standing, but it can get it back with your help!
The Workroom aims to establish a garment and fashion district in Detroit, and why not? We already have the space to produce garments, and we know Detroit is full of creative people. This is just the type of business the city of Detroit needs right now — one that is interested in investing in something bigger, and in the future.
So please, vote for The Workroom! Or vote for another Detroit business. But vote vote vote!
Hey! This was in the email WSU sent out. " It was just brought to our attention that the City of Detroit will be working on campus streets Wednesday, October 12th and Thursday, October 13th. The milling process of existing asphalt will occur Thursday, October 13, 2011 on the following streets.-Hancock between Woodward and Third"
Re: Hancock street closing/construction/whatever it is.
I need help.
The no parking signs say Monday-Saturday, but they just put them up today and today is Wednesday… so does that mean it’s for the remainder of the week or does this whole inconvenient ordeal begin on Monday?
Roger Penske says the roar and excitement of the Grande Prix is coming back to the Motor City with his full support. Mayor Bing says this is a great day for Detroit and a key part of our recent winning streak!
If there’s one thing I know from growing up in the Detroit area, it’s that the Somerset Collection Mall is the destination for shopping. When I’m visiting home, I’m either planning a trip to Somerset or talking to someone who is about to go there. (You seriously cannot have a conversation without the word “Somerset” somehow making a cameo.) So I was psyched when I could finally tell everyone from my hometown that we were finally opening a Madewell there (in the old North Face space). It was like the ultimate talking point (they’ve all heard enough about my dog, anyway). So in honor of Madewell’s Detroit-area debut (today, yay!), here are a few of my all-time favorite local spots and hometown heroes.
1. Commonwealth Coffee — I make it a point to get a C-latte within 24 hours of landing at Metro Airport.
2. Avalon Bakery — An amazing organic bakery in the Cass Corridor (i.e., smack-dab in the middle of downtown). Seriously good bread and vibes.
3. While you’re in the ’hood, stop by Pewabic Potteryto check out their famous colored tiles.
4. Mae’s — A supercute retro diner (also my brother’s favorite new lunch spot).
5. Indian Village — It’s fun to take a Sunday fall drive around this historic neighborhood. Fun fact: Jack White lived in a turn-of-the-century manse here for a few years.
6. The Motown Museum — Two unassuming houses filled with Detroit’s amazing musical history. Don’t miss the studio tour, where the original sheet music for “My Girl” still sits on the piano (I got chills the first time I saw it).
7. Still hungry? Head over to Ronin for delicious sushi or go straight for dessert and get a Sanders hot fudge cream puff atThe Hill.
8. Detroit Eastern Market — My mom used to go every weekend to pick up plants and fresh produce, and now they’ve invited the coolest local food trucks to gather there on Tuesdays. This is so great for the city and, selfishly, for me (looks like I’ll be taking a long weekend home soon).
Newly Announced Corktown Bed and Breakfast Is the Next Step In Michigan Avenue's Ongoing Makeover
Recognize the building above on Michigan Ave? Until earlier this summer, it was the office of O’Connor Real Estate on the first floor and home to Slows BBQ owner Phil Cooley on the second floor. Now O’Connor is two doors down on the other side of Astro coffee and this space is being primed to become the next big thing for Corktown. And by big thing, we mean little twee thing. Meghan McEwan announced on her super chic blog designtripper yesterday that she will create a bed and breakfast in the second floor apartment. It’s going to be tiny (two rooms!) but it might change the game in Detroit tourism. The B&B will offer the full neighborhood immersion experience, showing out-of-towners a different side of the city than the big downtown chain hotels. She’s calling it Honor + Folly.
Location, location, location! Honor + Folly is important because itcompletes a power play of changes down its Michigan Ave block. More than any other street in the city, this one is making a serious effort to have it all and the addition of a place to stay might be a feather in its cap. Let’s start at the far left. Slows BBQ is undoubtedly the rallying-call that brings locals and tourists together over deliciousness. Not to mention it has been a major player in Corktown redevelopment and will eventually expand into the first floor under Honor + Folly, to the right. Moving down the block, they’ll also be next to Astro Coffee, whose summer opening might be the most press-lavished event the city has ever seen in caffeination. Next up, we’ve got the new O’Connor location. No big changes there, but in terms of the Detroit real estate game, this power player for the neighborhood has been working hard at bringing in new residents. Skip past the bars and what you see at the end is an old Pawn Shop space that’s been bought by several partners such as Phil Cooley and Toby Barlow (an author, Ad man, and local celebrity) for development into a restaurant. What the addition of two hip bedrooms means is that this block is officially a highly-sought destination. Because you don’t open something super cute in places that make the rest of the world afraid of Detroit. Meghan has already booked her first guests and it doesn’t open until mid-November. Stay tuned for interior design obsessions and opening buzz!
"Today marks the next step in the effort to transform downtown Detroit into a work, live and play epicenter where young professionals come to plant roots and grow their careers,” said Dan Gilbert, Founder and Chairman of Quicken Loans, the nation’s largest online home lender. “More and more people, investors and businesses are joining the initiative to build something very special here.”