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Old August 23rd, 2011, 06:24 AM   #961
testdrive
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He certainly is following thru on his commitment to draw workers back into dt. I am sure other business types are looking at establishing a presence. I am trying to remember where I read an article about companies from out of state looking at the favorable costs of prime office space and wanting to establish a footprint
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Old August 23rd, 2011, 06:40 AM   #962
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Stumbled across this little tid bit thought it was a nice plug for the city.

James Franco: Actor, teacher, explorer ; And with his plate so full, the guy's single again

Andrea Mandell , USA TODAY
USA Today
08-05-2011
Franco also is a natural explorer. During the past month prepping for his role as the Wizard in Disney's new prequel Oz: The Great and Powerful, he found an artistic Renaissance blooming in downtown Detroit.

"You can feel that there's energy there," he says.

The Disney film, co-starring Mila Kunis (Theodora), Rachel Weisz (Evanora) and Michelle Williams (Glinda the Good Witch), also is part of a commercial resurgence in the area, shot on huge stages in a former General Motors truck manufacturing plant. "The office building we're (shooting) in used to be offices for the executives and designers," he says.
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Old August 25th, 2011, 05:13 AM   #963
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Has the Cobo renovations started yet?
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Old August 25th, 2011, 07:30 PM   #964
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mudhen419 View Post
Has the Cobo renovations started yet?
heres a current rundown of work in downtown/midtown

http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article...FREE/110819901
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Old August 25th, 2011, 09:39 PM   #965
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LMichigan: "I wonder what downtown Detroit's worker population is, these days?"

From the information I've looked at -- it seems to be somewhere between 80,000 and 85,000.
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Old August 26th, 2011, 02:44 AM   #966
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That's what it was back earlier in the last decade. I don't think there has been any kind of census of downtown workers done since then. My interest is to see how much it recovered from the recession.
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Old August 30th, 2011, 03:15 AM   #967
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Quote:
As Detroit's offices fill up, suburbs feel pain

Louis Aguilar | The Detroit News

August 29, 2011

When MyInsuranceExpert.com announced last week it is moving its headquarters and 85 workers from Troy to one of the downtown Detroit office buildings bought by entrepreneur Dan Gilbert, the online life insurance brokerage firm joined a growing trend.

And most of downtown Detroit's gain is amounting to some pain for the suburban office market.

The employee relocations of major companies such as Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Gilbert's Quicken Loans Inc. and DTE Energy eventually will leave a hole of empty office space in suburbia that's bigger than Comerica Park. About 9,700 workers will leave the suburbs, creating an estimated 871,000 square feet of empty space.

...

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is moving 2,000 workers from its 10-story building at 11 Mile in Southfield to the Renaissance Center downtown. The Blue Cross workers will move into the RenCen's 500 and 600 towers, occupying 435,000 square feet of space for at least 15 years.

The move raises the RenCen's occupancy rate to 92 percent and reduces by 6 percent the amount of vacant Class A office space downtown. Blue Cross estimates it will save $40 million on real estate costs during the 15-year lease. The state's largest health insurer will have 6,100 employees in Detroit by early next year.

...
http://www.detnews.com/article/20110...90342/1001/biz
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Old August 30th, 2011, 05:04 AM   #968
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That's such great news about downtown Detroit's office gains. I wonder what has caused this reversal in a long trend of businesses leaving downtown for the suburbs? Is it cheaper rents? The city's relatively new leadership? Or is it just a momentum shift where success is breeding more success?

Another question is how the workers themselves feel about moving downtown? Surely some people working in Southfield live 30 minutes or 45 minutes north or west of Southfield, and commute to Southfield everyday. How are these employees taking the news that now they will need to add an additional 20 minutes to their already long commutes, to an area that many of them either dislike or are even afraid of, and where they will need to pay for parking? I worked in a Southfield office for about a month where some (not all) people fit that mold. Hopefully many more people will be excited about their moves to a downtown work space, and hopefully downtown will grow on the folks that are hesitant to relocate there now.

Overall this is very exciting news for Detroit and hopefully a commercial and residential revival of the core of the city will follow this trend.
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Old August 30th, 2011, 09:12 AM   #969
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Take a look at the article. The catalyst was Dan Gilbert moving Quicken Loans downtown.
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Old August 30th, 2011, 08:42 PM   #970
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Not to mention tax credits... I'm sure some workers will be displeased, however that's what they get for moving 40 miles outside of the city center. They could take part in the housing incentives or if they are worried about crime/schools they can choose cities like Dearborn, the Grosse Pointes, Royal Oak, etc.
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Old August 31st, 2011, 03:38 AM   #971
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The tax credits had been around forever (got in just before Snyder cut the state-funded incentives. lol). It was Gilbert's move, and then him dragging his others companies with him to create a critical mass, that's really kind of jumpstarted the downtown office market, again.
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Old August 31st, 2011, 09:32 PM   #972
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Great news!!!!!!
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Old September 2nd, 2011, 01:18 AM   #973
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If so many companies that have lived in the suburbs move to Downtown Detroit, they obviously have heard about the population of Detroit being at 710,000 and have had enough of the decline, so that was probably one of the reasons they moved to the downtown area from the suburbs.
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Old September 2nd, 2011, 04:26 PM   #974
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Wayne County to build new high-tech jail in downtown Detroit

Wayne County officials agreed Thursday to spend up to $220 million on a new jail, replacing three current facilities, including two downtown jails and another in Hamtramck.

"I think it's a win-win," said Sheriff Benny Napoleon. "It's going to cost less to operate and it's going to result in a cleaner, safer, more secure facility."

The County Commission voted 14-0 to approve the project. The county awarded the contract to a joint venture between Detroit-based Walbridge and Pittsburgh-based DCK Worldwide.

Walbridge Chairman John Rakolta Jr. attended the meeting, and Assistant County Executive Alan Helmkamp congratulated him after the vote.

The companies will spend about four months on an engineering study before presenting the county with a guaranteed maximum price, Helmkamp said. The county has bonds that are authorized to pay for the project.

The new jail is expected to take three years to build and will have 2,000-2,400 beds. It will be built across from the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice on property bordered by Gratiot, St. Antoine, Clinton and the Chrysler Service Drive.

It likely will include a connection to the courts, either through a tunnel or a bridge.

The two downtown jails were built in 1929 and 1981, respectively, and likely will be demolished shortly after the new one opens. The fate of the Hamtramck facility, open since 1991, is unclear, Napoleon said.

County officials visited several jails around the country looking for best practices, and Napoleon said he expects to rely heavily on new technology to bring down operational costs.

"I fully expect that it will save the county between $20 (million) and $30 million a year," Napoleon said. He said he expects savings from streamlining services such as food, laundry and medical care.

Napoleon said visits will occur via video link at the jail or perhaps even from the homes of inmates' families with an Internet connection. Deputies won't have to pass visitors through security, and prisoners won't have to be transported outside their pod of housing cells.

http://www.freep.com/article/2011090...wntown-Detroit
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Old September 2nd, 2011, 04:29 PM   #975
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Old Detroit Uniroyal Site Could Get Redevelopment

DETROIT -- Detroit Mayor Dave Bing has scheduled a news conference for Friday morning to discuss redevelopment of the former Uniroyal plant site on East Jefferson Avenue across from Belle Isle.

The 40-acre parcel of land was purchased by the city in 1981 and the Uniroyal plant was removed.

Hopes were high for a spectacular waterfront redevelopment. However, cleanup costs associated with bringing the land up to residential use have been estimated at anywhere between $15 million and $20 million.

It has been 30 years of false starts and dashed hopes, but maybe now the city has someone to help get it done.

In 2004, former Mayor Kwame Kipatrick approved NFL star Jerome Bettis' plan for a large development on the site with office space, retail space and condos. Since cleanup costs were unresolved and the U.S. economy went south, nothing happened.

Bing has called for a 10 a.m. Friday news conference to address the future of the site. A representative for Bettis said he will be in attendance Friday.

http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/29056156/detail.html


UPDATE:
Detroit Mayor Dave Bing: Cleanup to begin at Uniroyal plant site

A quarter-century after the old Uniroyal tire factory came tumbling down in the mid-’80s, an environmental cleanup of the prized riverfront site has finally begun.

Mayor Dave Bing and other civic leaders announced the $20-million cleanup this morning at Mt. Elliott Park on the edge of the 42-acre Uniroyal site, which is just west of the MacArthur Bridge to Belle Isle.

Long delayed by disputes over paying for the work, the cleanup will unlock the potential to redevelop a site that, like the Michigan Central train station, has become one of the symbols of Detroit’s decline.

The cleanup will remove huge volumes of contaminated soil and otherwise get the site ready for redevelopment. MichCon, Michelin and other corporations that once did business on the site or owned companies that did are paying for the cleanup.

“Our riverfront real estate is some of the most valuable land that I think we have in the city of Detroit, and for years and years it’s been totally underutilized,” Bing said. “But I’m pleased today that we’re taking a major step forward to clean up the prime example of promises that have been made over a long period of time.”

“It took a long time and a lot of work for us to get here,” said George Jackson, president of the Detroit Economic Growth Corp., who over several recent years brokered the cleanup agreement with the corporations.

The cleanup of the western third of the site will take about 18 months. Jackson said DEGC is negotiating for the cleanup of the rest of the site.

Faye Alexander Nelson, president and CEO of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, said she expected to begin construction next spring on extending the Detroit RiverWalk from Mt. Elliott Park across the Uniroyal site at the water’s edge to link up with the piece of the RiverWalk at Gabriel Richard Park just east of the MacArthur Bridge.

Meanwhile, former NFL football star Jerome Bettis, working with Pittsburgh-based developer Charles Betters, has been working on plans to redevelop the site as a series of mixed-used residential and retail projects.

http://www.freep.com/article/2011090...xt%7CFRONTPAGE

Last edited by deepdive282; September 2nd, 2011 at 08:05 PM. Reason: update in story originally posted
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Old September 2nd, 2011, 04:48 PM   #976
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Detroit seeks ideas to remake Capitol Park district

The city of Detroit is seeking ideas from developers to remake the historic but dilapidated Capitol Park district on downtown’s west side into a vibrant live-work-play enclave.

Specifically the city is asking for proposals to redevelop three vacant buildings that the city took control of in the recent past – 1145 Griswold, 1212 Griswold, and the Farwell Building at 1249 Griswold. The three buildings comprise more than 250,000 square feet of space.

The request for proposals released this week by the Detroit Economic Growth Corp. represents the city’s effort to focus the same sort of attention on downtown’s west side that in recent years went to Woodward Avenue and the area just to the east, including Harmonie Park (now called Paradise Valley), Greektown, the stadium district and elsewhere.

A copy of the city’s request for proposals is available at the DEGC Web site www.degc.org.

The city has already remade the streetscape of the small wedge-shaped public park at the center of Capitol Park, so-named because it was the site of Michigan’s first state capitol building. That work included the relocation of the burial site and monument to Michigan’s first governor, Stevens T. Mason, from one portion of the park to another.

The DEGC request for proposals calls for “a high quality and transformative project.” Proposals must be submitted by Oct. 14. The DEGC that final selection of a developer could take place by the end of the year.

http://www.freep.com/article/2011082...xt%7CFRONTPAGE


Here is a direct link to the pdf file for the development proposals:http://www.degc.org/images/gallery/C...RFPFinalv5.pdf
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Old September 2nd, 2011, 07:25 PM   #977
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It would be nice if they could find other uses for the 1929 jail and especially the old police station. The jail is relatively simple, and wouldn't be that big of a loss, but the police station should definitely be saved. Let's hope Dan Gilbert can come up with a plan for either.

Also it sucks that they're going to use that entire megablock to build a stupid jail. It seems like they should be able to fit it into a smaller area unless they want a campus setting. But why would a jail need a campus?

Last edited by hudkina; September 2nd, 2011 at 07:42 PM.
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Old September 3rd, 2011, 01:40 AM   #978
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I didn't take the announcement that they are going to use the block to mean that it's going to be a campus. Sound to me like it's going to be more low-rise building, and of course a big part of the block will probably be used for surface parking. If it's less than half I'll be surprised. lol At the very worst it may turn up being configured like the juvenile detention center across the street, but it won't since it'll have more office/adminstrative space.

So, so glad to hear about the beginning of the clean-up of the Uniroyal site. That's one thing less a developer has to worry about when it comes to developing the site.
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Old September 3rd, 2011, 03:00 AM   #979
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I just wish they could fit it entirely within the block bounded by Clinton, St. Antoine, Mullett, and the service drive. I would rather have a smaller building in the five or six story range than a massive complex in the two or three story range.
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Old September 3rd, 2011, 04:32 AM   #980
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I'll wait to see the site configuration before I really judge it. So long whatever is built is built to the corner of St. Antoine and Clinton or maybe St. Antoine and Gratiot, I think I might be able to stomach what they come up with. They say they want a bridge or tunnel to Frank Murphy, so I assume whatever is built will probably at least be built up to and front St. Antoine.

What I'm really concerned about how much is scheduled for demolition in that area. It is possible that before the decades out, everything but Frank Murphy will have been demolished along the 500 block of Clinton, and I sadly don't expect much to ever be built in that area, which would be a crime.

BTW, you wouldn't happen to have any pictures of the old Wayne County Jail, would you? I'm trying to picture it but can't. I can picture the modern Baird Detention Facility, Franky Murphy, 1300 Beaubien, and even the modern addition to the old jail, but for some reason I can't picture the old jail itself beyond kind of remembering it looks like 1300 Beaubien, I think.
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