By CHRIS ZADOROZNY, Sports Editor
So about a month ago, the topic was redevelopments in the city. Guess what? We’re back on that topic, and it’s not just the same things being updated, these are new projects going on in the city.
The Detroit Free Press had a great front page this past Sunday, with the headline, “Is the turnaround turning a corner?”
I was ecstatic to see it, not because it was on the front page, although that was awesome, but because this is something I’m passionate about and have been writing about for quite some time.
So, let’s answer that question. Is Detroit turning a corner in it’s turnaround? Yes. Some will argue that Detroit will never be a high-class city that people will want to live, work, and play. These kind of people should just walk away right now and not come back to Detroit because that attitude isn’t going to help the city become better.
It’s going to take people and businesses, like the ones that follow to reinvigorate this city, and make it great once again.
What developments are exactly happening? Let’s start with Downtown Detroit.
The 1920s high-rise is now home to residents from all over metro-Detroit, and is 100% full. Right across the street, is the David Whitney Building.
Yes, there is a restaurant in Midtown, but that was actually the home of the man of which the building is named after.
If you were ever Downtown since late summer, you probably saw the Apple iPad sign on the facade of the building. Well, it’s finally coming down and the building could soon be on its way to renovation.
The David Whitney Building is set to become a new boutique hotel in 2014. Construction was set to begin back in September, but it hasn’t started yet. The removal of the ad could mean construction soon.
Aloft hotel brand will occupy the space, with condominiums on the top floors. So if the 97% occupancy rate is hurting you, just wait a few more years and a top floor apartment could be yours.
It’s not all about development though. Yet another company is coming Downtown from the suburbs. It’s an advertising agency that works with Chevrolet, Agency 720. They will be moving from their office of 6,000 square feet in Troy, to One Detroit Center’s 10,000 square foot office, with an option to acquire more space.
A parking structure is coming to Downtown Detroit, but it’s not what you think. Ok, yes, it’s another structure, just what Detroit doesn’t need, but it’s more than that. It’s owned by Dan Gilbert, the renowned businessman of Detroit that is working to bring this city back onto a new path.
He bought some land near the Compuware Building, a couple of lots, that literally form a “Z” shape for the Z Development. The ground floor will encompass retail on both sides of Library Street and Broadway Street.
In Corktown, more and more development is coming to the fastest growing area of Detroit. Two James Spirits will be a brand new distillery and tasting room in Corktown, right on Michigan Ave. It will open sometime in 2013.
Turns out it’s going right next door to McShane’s Pub (formerly Hoot’s on the Avenue), in the building that featured a facade of Rolling Stones magazines. That is now gone, and soon a nano-brewery will occupy the spot.
Will a few shops and developments save Detroit? Of course not, but it’s what a city thrives on. Yes businesses help the city come back, but it’s about bringing back a community. So while many of you naysayers sit back on your couch in the suburbs thinking that Detroit has no hope, I’ll be helping out in any way I can, writing about this comeback, making sure it does thrive.
To read the original post that appeared online only in The Michigan Journal, on Wednesday, November 28, 2012, go to www.michiganjournal.org