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Thread: Positive Things Happening In Detroit

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Wannaplan?'s avatar
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    Positive Things Happening In Detroit

    This thread is dedicated to btrage! Let's see... where to start...

    Okay, how's this?

    If GM buys Chrysler, then it will be a positive thing happening in Detroit because the Chrysler HQ is located in Auburn Hills and GM is located in Detroit.

    Not sure which emoticon to choose on this one: or

  2. #2
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    The Westin Book Cadillac

    The original Book Cadillac hotel opened in downtown Detroit in 1924 and at 31 floors was the city's tallest building and the world's tallest hotel. More historical information can be found here at wikipedia.

    To make a long story short, the hotel had various owners through the early 1980's and shut down in 1984.

    Just recently, after major renovations, the Book Cadillac has reopened as the Westin Book Cadillac hotel, and also provides residential units at the top floors. A "Grand Opening Gala" is being held tomorrow to celebrate the rebirth of this Detroit landmark.

    More information about the new hotel can be found here.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    I positively drank a few too many Ghettoblasters in Detroit last night.

    On a slightly more serious note... I ran the Detroit Marathon this past weekend and really enjoyed seeing all the people downtown at 6:30 a.m. It was actually sort of strange to see that many people all crowded into a few blocks so early in the morning in Detroit!

    I have taken many bicycle rides and drives through various parts of the city but being able to run across the Ambassador Bridge as the sun was coming up was absolutely gorgeous.

    And if you are curious, you can see some pictures of me running the marathon at http://www.runphotos.com. My bib number was 2809.

    (and if it looks like I am walking in a few of those photos, I only slowed down so that the camera could catch me!)
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

  4. #4
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Wanigas? View post
    If GM buys Chrysler, then it will be a positive thing happening in Detroit because the Chrysler HQ is located in Auburn Hills and GM is located in Detroit.

    Not sure which emoticon to choose on this one: or
    I surely hope this is sarcasm. As much as I would like to see Chrysler downtown, I think I prefer the 30,000 to 50,000 jobs in the region. Then again I'd rather see a merger than having one of them fold and the other folding later.

    These days I am having a hard time being optimistic. There are about 10 foreclosed homes on my block, 3 have burned in the last year. Up until this year I have lived in a neighborhood I would not characterized as blighted. I can't say that any longer.

    Here are a couple of pluses I can add. DDOT has recently recived enhancement funds to put bike racks on the front of their buses. This means all buses in the region will have bike racks; from Port Huron to Ann Arbor. The clearing has begun for the segment of the riverwalk between Joe Louis Arena and the Ambassador Bridge. We will need these improvements. With the way the economy is going we are going to need to use our bikes a lot more.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  5. #5
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by WSU MUP Student View post
    I positively drank a few too many Ghettoblasters in Detroit last night.

    On a slightly more serious note... I ran the Detroit Marathon this past weekend and really enjoyed seeing all the people downtown at 6:30 a.m. It was actually sort of strange to see that many people all crowded into a few blocks so early in the morning in Detroit!

    I have taken many bicycle rides and drives through various parts of the city but being able to run across the Ambassador Bridge as the sun was coming up was absolutely gorgeous.

    And if you are curious, you can see some pictures of me running the marathon at http://www.runphotos.com. My bib number was 2809.

    (and if it looks like I am walking in a few of those photos, I only slowed down so that the camera could catch me!)
    How long were the Customs delays at the bridge and tunnel?

    <ducks!>

    (hehehehehe)

    Speaking of the Ambassador Bridge, how is construction on its new I-75 interchange going? That should loosen things up a LOT there, but not as much as a (yea, dream on!) parallel bridge and a Canada-USA customs union would.



    Mike

  6. #6
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mgk920 View post
    Speaking of the Ambassador Bridge, how is construction on its new I-75 interchange going? That should loosen things up a LOT there, but not as much as a (yea, dream on!) parallel bridge and a Canada-USA customs union would.
    We hit the 50 percent complete mark of the final phase back in early September. Look for an opening early fall 2009.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  7. #7
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy has been doing great things over the past few years in terms of opening up access to the Detroit River in the downtown area.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    AIB Emily Gail, "say nice things about Detroit"

    Looks like this was a brief thread. (Insert joke here.)

    In the Freep: Downtown condos afford great views of the parade

    http://www.freep.com/article/20081126/NEWS05/811260308

    The big balloons are "right in my windows....sometimes on the television we can see ourselves looking out the window."

  9. #9
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    With all the news of involving the auto industry these days, I have taken a good, long look at Detroit just out on my facsination of industrial boom and bust towns like this.
    It is good to see things happening there.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  10. #10
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Emily Gail? I wanna go get some T-shirts, Ice Cream, and play video games!
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Wannaplan?'s avatar
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    My wife and I went to the Fisher Theater to see Avenue Q last Saturday night. Funny and entertaining show! Some positive things I would like to share about Detroit:
    1. Great entertainment at the Fisher Theater
    2. Excellent dining at the MGM Grand
    3. Reasonable taxi fares
    4. Nice hotels in the downtown area

  12. #12
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Couple months back, the Detroit News had this article about future mass-transit in the Detroit region, involving light rail and bus rapid transit.

    DetroitPlanner - any insight as to whether any of this will become a reality?

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner View post
    Emily Gail? I wanna go get some T-shirts, Ice Cream, and play video games!
    I miss Silver's.

    And...
    Frank's Nursery stores
    Milky the Clown ("twin pines!")
    Bob-Lo boats
    Hudson's (it is not Macy's, Marshall Field's, or whatever else they try to call it)
    Adler Schnee
    Last edited by Veloise; 26 Nov 2008 at 2:48 PM. Reason: saying some more nice things

  14. #14
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by btrage View post
    Couple months back, the Detroit News had this article about future mass-transit in the Detroit region, involving light rail and bus rapid transit.

    DetroitPlanner - any insight as to whether any of this will become a reality?
    This is as promising we have ever seen it. There is a perfect storm for support right now, but there is also incredible problems with financing projects. I can see this most likely forming as a highly coordinated system of separate lines with some odd governance. The lines will most likely take several modes with BRT on some lines and ranging up to heavy rail on others. We also want to tie into Toledo as the Ohio Hub Project has shown a great desire to get to both Detroit's CBD and Metropolitan Airport.

    The biggest issue to overcome is financing. The next hurdle is governance.

    In terms of lines ready to implement it is as follows:

    Ann Arbor to Metro to Detroit (most likely governed by a hybrid of Amtrak and SEMCOG)
    Howell to Ann Arbor (Private company with Ann Arbor Transit)
    Woodward (ain't touching that one!)
    Last edited by DetroitPlanner; 26 Nov 2008 at 3:15 PM.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  15. #15
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    How many cities can you fit in Detroit?

    Here is an interesting comparison that a UDM professor did of Detroit to Boston, San Fransisco and Manhattan.
    http://www.freep.com/article/20081215/NEWS01/812150342

    It seems all three can fit into Detroit proper with room to spare. I have no idea where the park number came from, Detroit has two massive parks and lots of smaller ones. Belle Isle and Rouge dwarf Central Park. Even some of the smaller ones such as Eliza Howell or Palmer are greater than a square mile.

    One thing it glosses over is that Detroit has always been a very different City to the ones that it is compared. There is a considerable amount of space devoted to industry, while the other three are more associated with trading. This accounts for Detroit's smaller downtown core.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  16. #16
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Great minds think alike! I opened a new thread in the land use forum section.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian CJC's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner View post
    One thing it glosses over is that Detroit has always been a very different City to the ones that it is compared. There is a considerable amount of space devoted to industry, while the other three are more associated with trading. This accounts for Detroit's smaller downtown core.
    Very much agreed - it's not a fair comparison. A lot also has to do with the timing of industrial booms - even when SF or Boston had some industry, it wasn't the type of industry that required thousands of acres.

    You could do the same map with LA, Houston, Phoenix, etc - and all of those are at least relatively healthy cities that just developed in a different time and way.
    Two wrongs don't necessarily make a right, but three lefts do.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by CJC View post
    Very much agreed - it's not a fair comparison. A lot also has to do with the timing of industrial booms - even when SF or Boston had some industry, it wasn't the type of industry that required thousands of acres.

    You could do the same map with LA, Houston, Phoenix, etc - and all of those are at least relatively healthy cities that just developed in a different time and way.
    Yeahbut...if this doesn't budge the 313 several feet closer to its sorely-needed transit system, I'll eat a spare tube.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Better not eat the tube yet. By the end of the year every public bus in the 313, 248, 734, and 586 (and some of the 810) will have bike racks.

    To illustrate that business, government, and the public are finally on the same page with it comes to improving transit: http://www.semcog.org/GetOnBoard.aspx
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  20. #20
    Cyburbian Mark's avatar
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    Birmingham/Troy Transit Center

    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner View post
    This is as promising we have ever seen it. There is a perfect storm for support right now, but there is also incredible problems with financing projects. I can see this most likely forming as a highly coordinated system of separate lines with some odd governance. The lines will most likely take several modes with BRT on some lines and ranging up to heavy rail on others. We also want to tie into Toledo as the Ohio Hub Project has shown a great desire to get to both Detroit's CBD and Metropolitan Airport.

    The biggest issue to overcome is financing. The next hurdle is governance.

    In terms of lines ready to implement it is as follows:

    Ann Arbor to Metro to Detroit (most likely governed by a hybrid of Amtrak and SEMCOG)
    Howell to Ann Arbor (Private company with Ann Arbor Transit)
    Woodward (ain't touching that one!)
    Cities of Troy and Birmingham are working on a multi modal trantsit center that will be located on an existing Amtrak line, and replace a very modest station. In addition it is a stone throw from the Oakland Troy Executive Airport. Research indicates the Pontiac-Detroit-Chicago Amtrak Corridor is the 9nth busiest in the USA.

    The Troy Planning Commission and Birmingham Planning Board have met jointly three times and have decided to work on creating a Joint Planning Commission. This would include joint planning and potentially joint zoning.

    The Cities hired a lobbiest to secure funding for design and construction of the transit center.

    Metro Detroit must innovate if we are to survive!
    Ohhhh Mama, can this really be the end!

  21. #21
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Mark View post
    The Troy Planning Commission and Birmingham Planning Board have met jointly three times and have decided to work on creating a Joint Planning Commission. This would include joint planning and potentially joint zoning.

    The Cities hired a lobbiest to secure funding for design and construction of the transit center.

    Metro Detroit must innovate if we are to survive!
    I would agree that we need more of this cooperation in this region. I hope they are using the Regional Transit Plan to site this. It is a good location (between Big Beaver Businesses and Downtown B'ham.) Consistency with adopted regional plans would make things go much smoother.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  22. #22
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Kilpatrick text message scandal now a satire at Second City

    The original satire covers Kilpatrick's tenure as mayor. In it, he's put on trial by the Spirit of Detroit statue, which takes Kilpatrick back to revisit scenes from his life in an echo of the classic premise of "A Christmas Carol."

    The play touches on the well-known points of the Kilpatrick scandal, from the text messages to the rumored party at the Manoogian Mansion.

    There also are many outrageous fantasy scenarios, says the author and director...

    "Kwame a River: The Chronicles of Detroit's Hip Hop Mayor," a new show with a local cast, is set to open Dec. 31 at Second City-Detroit in Novi.
    http://www.freep.com/article/2008121...ES01/812180454

  23. #23
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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  24. #24
    Cyburbian cellophane's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by btrage View post
    The original Book Cadillac hotel opened in downtown Detroit in 1924 and at 31 floors was the city's tallest building and the world's tallest hotel. <snip>
    Just recently, after major renovations, the Book Cadillac has reopened as the Westin Book Cadillac hotel, and also provides residential units at the top floors. A "Grand Opening Gala" is being held tomorrow to celebrate the rebirth of this Detroit landmark.
    good to see old buildings get new life.

    http://detroityes.com/home.htm has some great images and history of detroit's former glory. one of my favorite images ever is the parking garage in the old michigan theatre.

  25. #25
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    The Courage of Detroit

    From the print edition of the Freep:

    When Sports Illustrated asked him whether anybody still cared about Detroit, Mitch Albom knew what he needed to do.
    Take a break from his holiday vacation. Write a personal defense of his city and state.
    Thus was born "And yet..." -- the signature article in this week's edition of the country's leading sports magazine. In it, Albom shows his pride in Detroit and his weariness of the multitudes who treat it like "the gum on the bottom of America's shoe." ...
    "It would be a sin almost to be given that opportunity by SI and then turn my back on it," Albom said. "In all my years, nobody has ever asked me to write in a national publication what it's like to be a Detroiter."


    http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/a...=2009301100004

    Here's the ending:
    We will have a good year

    Here is the end of the story. This was back on Christmas night. After the visit to the church, I drove to a suburb with an old friend and we saw a movie. "Gran Torino." It starred and was directed by Clint Eastwood, and it was filmed in metro Detroit, which was a big deal. Last year, the state passed tax incentives to lure the movie business, an effort to climb out of our one-industry stranglehold, and Eastwood was the first big name to take advantage of it.

    He shot in our neighborhoods. He used a bar and a hardware store. He reportedly fit in well, he liked the people, and no one hassled him with scripts or résumés.

    The film was good, I thought, and familiar. The story of a craggy old man who loves his old car and stubbornly clings to the way he feels the world should behave. He defends his home. He defends his neighbors' honor. He goes out on his own terms.

    When the film finished, the audience stayed in its seats waiting, through the closing music, through the credits, until the very last scroll, where, above a camera shot of automobiles rolling down Jefferson Avenue along the banks of Lake St. Clair, three words appeared.

    MADE IN MICHIGAN.

    And the whole place clapped. Just stood up and clapped.

    To hell with Depression. We're gonna have a good year.

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