Downtown Developments Sprucing Up the City

All kinds of chatter circulating around town about renovations/activations happening in the downtown area.

The Free Press reported this morning that Dan Gilbert of Quicken Loans and Detroit Venture Partners fame has purchased the Dime Building (a beauty designed by Daniel Burnham). The Free Press has not reported too many details in terms of what Gilbert is planning to do with the Dime, but you can bet it probably has something to do with the work Detroit Venture Partners is doing– the venture capital firm that Gilbert, Josh Linkner and Brian Hermelin started last year. In speaking engagements throughout last year, both Gilbert and Linkner have said repeatedly that the plan is to create a Silicon Valley in Detroit by supporting the startup of early to mid-stage tech companies. In doing so, they invest in the companies, house them in the incubation space at the Madison Building (adjacent to the Broderick Tower) and then move the companies to larger space as they begin to grow. It seems reasonable that the space purchased in the Dime Building could support that movement. But, again, nothing has been confirmed. Just throwing out some thoughts here.

Separately, just up the street at the David Whitney Building, there were reports at the end of May that Roxbury Group, a local development firm, is working with another investment firm in Farmington Hills to get an $80m project off the ground that would have it renovated as a boutique hotel. Reports show that other similar hotels in Detroit like the Book-Cadillac and DoubleTree are doing well financially, which makes a strong case for the development of the David Whitney Building.

Investor confidence is up. Buildings are being rehabbed. Businesses are being cultivated. Bring it on, Detroit.

City Soccer League Continues to Blaze Trail

The Detroit City Futbol League continues to make the news as it brings together neighborhoods, friends and those just looking for an excuse to drink and watch soccer. Donna Terek did a nice article and video in the Detroit News this past weekend covering the league. So far, the standings are as follows (team/wins/ties/losses):

Corktown 6/1/2
Downtown 4/2/2
Cass Corridor 4/2/2
Hamtramck 4/2/2
Woodbridge 4/1/3
Midtown 4/0/4
Hubbard Farms 3/2/3
Mexicantown 2/2/4
The Villages 2/2/4
Green Acres 2/2/5
New Center 1/2/5

As the season nears its end this week, each neighborhood is vying for the higher seeds as the Copa Detroit Championship tournament approaches on July 31. Ohhhhhhhhh yeah. On that Saturday, all teams will compete for the COPA DETROIT, a day-long tournament crowning the champion with an actual trophy (that you can drink out of nonetheless) on Belle Isle. There are going to be taco trucks, BBQ, drinks, live music, an emcee, confetti cannons and a whole lot of other stuff that has yet to be revealed. It’ll surely be a fun time for the whole family and all proceeds are benefitting ThinkDetroit/PAL. Whoo. Check out the Facebook event invite, and come on out for the tourney.

Sports to the Third Power

Still riding the wave from the Lions victory this past Sunday, it’s really not a bad idea to wake up every morning and read this article. Mitch Albom, the go-to Detroit optimist, the man capable of delivering firebolts of emotion with simple words and uniquely styled paragraph texture, delivers once again. The city continues to rally as we stay tuned to the Tigers and their run for the pennant race. Ol’ Curty Granderson, the Detroit champion that he is, continues to impress with homers in three consecutive games. And while we’re at it, the Red Wings Premiere week starts Thursday. So how about it, Detroit sports really telling a good story these days.