Housing deals boost Midtown’s revival in Detroit

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Matt Helms, Detroit Free Press 7:11 a.m. EST November 2, 2015 Companies look to continue housing incentives in Detroit in 2016 635814721636327368-Midtown-101615-006-rb-2-Buy Photo (Photo: Romain Blanquart, Detroit Free Press) Five years after the launch of an incentive program to encourage people to move into areas in and around Detroit’s Midtown, organizers of the effort say it has been a success at bringing a diverse mix of people into the neighborhood — so much that the incentives will likely keep going even after the pilot project comes to an end. The Live Midtown program was designed as a five-year deal to…

Bright, brick Vernors sign exposed after razing

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A golden-yellow and green Vernors ginger ale sign painted on bricks stands out among faded storefronts along West McNichols on Detroit’s west side. Freshly exposed after a neighboring building on the 7500 block of West McNichols was demolished, the image was well-preserved, apparently for many decades: “Drink Vernor’s Ginger Ale, mellowed 4 years in wood.” Vernors’ deep Detroit roots date back to the late 1800s, when Civil War veteran James Vernor, a Detroit pharmacist, returned from battle to a mixture he’d let age four years in an oak cask, according to the Vernors website. Vernors is now part of the…

Police beat Fire in epic coney-eating showdown

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The showdown was brief, but not exactly pretty. A coney-scarfing contest all but shut down American Coney Island in downtown Detroit. There was a small mob of spectators, half-joking insults between contestants and generally raucous and free-wheeling behavior. The main focus of the evening: a match between Detroit Police and the Fire Department. Five members of each group would eat their way toward a collective total, and the proceeds would go toward the winners’ Benevolent Fund. Just before the contest began, it was clear that some contestants had come prepared. Police Lt. Michael Nied brought his “Endless Shrimp” champion belt,…

Rugged Carhartt debuts Detroit Midtown store

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Detroit — Rugged workwear lovers, rejoice: Carhartt opens its first store in Detroit Thursday. The Dearborn-based apparel maker debuts its flagship store in a historic building at 5800 Cass Ave. It’s near the northern edge of Wayne State University’s main campus in Midtown. “The city of Detroit is experiencing a renaissance and rejuvenation led by small and large businesses alike,” Linda Hubbard, president and COO, said in a statement earlier this year. “Carhartt has been committed to the city for well over a century and we take great pride in calling Detroit home.” Carhartt is setting up shop in an…

Top 5 Startups That Emerged in Detroit

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Categories: Detroit in the News, Where to Work



For most of the 20th century, Detroit was the antithesis of a city whose economy was propelled by startups and small businesses. Huge corporations, most notably the Big Three automakers, General Motors, Ford and Chrysler, dominated the city. They provided, in one way or another, the majority of Detroit’s jobs and drove most of its growth throughout the century. During the later decades of the 1900s, however, out-of-control labor costs, increased competition from foreign automakers and other factors sent the Big Three reeling. Jobs were lost, profits dwindled and Detroit took it on the chin, suffering more than any other…

Central Kitchen + Bar opens Monday in Detroit

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By Sylvia Rector, Detroit Free Press Restaurant Critic 4:18 p.m. EDT August 7, 2015 Attorney Dennis Archer Jr. and partners wanted to create a place that was stylish, approachable and affordable enough to appeal to a wide audience. 635745549156135578-IMG-0385Buy Photo (Photo: Sylvia Rector, Detroit Free Press) Central Kitchen + Bar opens its doors in the First National Bank building in downtown Detroit at 11 a.m. Monday, bringing a stylish American gastropub menu and a cool, casual setting to yet another pocket of downtown. Central Kitchen + Bar opens Monday, across the streetBuy Photo Central Kitchen + Bar opens Monday, across…

Curtis’ mansion revival just the start for Brush Park

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The Ransom Gillis mansion, long a symbol of decay in Detroit’s Brush Park district, will be completely renovated in a few short weeks. 635744615940772828-Ransom-gillis-0806-dw-02Buy Photo (Photo: Diane Weiss, Detroit Free Press) 2978 The Ransom Gillis mansion, long a symbol of decay in Detroit’s Brush Park district, will be completely renovated and ready for new occupants in a few weeks. On Thursday executives of the Quicken Loans/Rock Ventures family of companies, which owns the mansion, joined HGTV host Nicole Curtis of the show “Rehab Addict” on a media tour of the home. Built in the 1870s at the height of Brush…

Spirits of Detroit: Bar-hopping with a beer-loving Okie

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By Robert Allen, Detroit Free Press 2:32 p.m. EDT August 5, 2015 635743622206746110-spiritsgrand My long-lost friend from Oklahoma had never been to Detroit. Its reputation, in his words: “A dirty, violent, sketchy place.” Two weeks after sending me a Facebook message, he arrived at my downtown apartment Friday afternoon — dropped off after hitching a 14-hour ride from a friend heading to a memorial service. Tim Landes, 33, of Tulsa arrived curious, with a camera strap on his shoulder. “Is it safe to walk around out there?” he asked, gazing out my 12th-floor window over Grand Circus Park. Most of…

For downtrodden Detroit, hopes of revitalization ride streetcar rails

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By Tom Rowley July 31 DETROIT — It is hardly the tidiest paperweight. At the center of Paul Childs’s coffee table in a downtown building rests a long, rusty chunk of 19th-century rail. This is one of the last remnants of a streetcar system that was the envy of cities throughout the country. Childs can still remember riding the trams as a boy, dreaming of the soda fountain at the end of the line that served as a treat after his doctor’s appointments. It was six decades until he could salvage this section of track from the miles of rail…