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New Developments in The D – September 2016

September 19, 2016

News of new restaurants, hotels, retail and other new developments in Detroit are being announced all the time. From Cobo Square and the Little Caesars Arena to the Detroit Zoo and Motor City Harley Davidson, Detroit is bustling with new, exciting activity.

World-Class, Mixed-Use Sports and Entertainment District Coming to Detroit

The District Detroit will be 50 blocks of thriving businesses, parks, restaurants, bars and event destinations. It will be home to the young and the young at heart, families, new residents and long-time residents who want to be where the action is. It will connect Downtown and Midtown into one contiguous, walkable area, where families, sports fans, entrepreneurs, job seekers, entertainment lovers and others who crave a vibrant urban setting can connect with each other and the city they love. Recently Olympia Development of Michigan, LLC, has announced plans for more than 200,000 square feet of privately financed retail and office development projects in The District Detroit. The structures, along with further expected private retail, office and residential development throughout The District Detroit, bring the currently expected total project investment to as much as $1.2 billion by 2020, with $900 million plus of that investment from the private sector. Original plans called for a $650 million total investment in The District Detroit by 2022 at the earliest.

The District’s main feature will be the Little Caesars Arena, home to the Detroit Red Wings, other sports and entertainment events, concerts, family shows and community functions. This will not only service as a hockey arena to the Detroit Red Wings but will have active community spaces including on-site practice ice for amateur hockey use and an outdoor plaza featuring an area for entertainment. There will also be a more interactive experience for fans such as enhanced video and sound capabilities for a more immersive experience and creative food-service options. The expected completion date for the Little Caesars Arena is summer 2017.

Little Caesars and Olympia Development of Michigan has broken ground on a new $150 million, nine-story, 234,000 square foot, Little Caesars world headquarters expansion, to be built at the corner of Woodward Avenue and Columbia Street in The District Detroit.

Streaming video of the construction site is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at DistrictDetroit.com.

Detroit’s new M-1 Rail street car now arrives in Detroit in September

Detroit’s modern street car line currently under construction was recently named the QLINE. The first car has arrived in Detroit to start testing the street car line. When complete in spring 2017 the QLINE streetcar will travel north and south on both sides of Woodward Avenue for 3.3-miles between Larned Street and W. Grand Boulevard. It will ignite tremendous new economic development and job creation and will provide a foundation for improved and expanded public transit throughout the region. General fare for a ride is expected to be $1.50, but less expensive if you buy in bulk. Hours are tentatively set for Monday - Saturday, 6 a.m. - 10 p.m. and Sunday, 8 a.m. - 10 p.m. Trains will run longer during events such as baseball, football and hockey games, concerts and festivals. There will be 12 stops and the streetcar’s top speed will be 35 mph. There will be an emergency phone and closed circuit security systems at all of the stations. For more information, go to m-1rail.com.

Great Lakes Crossing Outlets Welcomes Two New Family-Friendly Attractions

For more than 60 years, Lego has been nourishing the imaginations of young kids and now kids of all ages can experience the ultimate Lego experience right here in metro Detroit. The new Legoland Discovery Center opened March 25, 2016 at Great Lakes Crossing Outlets. The center offers two-to-three-hour experience with numerous interactive educational features such as a brick pool, master classes from the LEGO Master Model Builder, a fun LEGO ride, a 4D cinema and, of course, the popular MINILAND area found in every LEGOLAND Park and attraction. The attraction’s MINILAND is anchored by a Lego replica of downtown Detroit’s Renaissance Center along with other regional landmarks. This is the state’s only location and the eighth Discovery Center in the United States.

The attraction will join the Sea Life Michigan Aquarium which opened in January 2015. The 25,000-square-foot attraction, also located in Great Lakes Crossing Outlets, takes visitors on an awe-inspiring, highly themed educational journey through an amazing underwater world featuring more than 5,000 incredible creatures including jellyfish, eels, seahorses, tropical fish, a Giant Pacific Octopus and fish native to Michigan’s own lakes and rivers. The aquarium also features a dazzling 180-degree ocean tunnel and a hands-on touch pool. Owned and operated by U.K.-based Merlin Entertainments, Sea Life Michigan Aquarium Michigan is the seventh Sea Life attraction in the United States and the 42nd in the world.

World’s Largest Penguin facility is now at the Detroit Zoo

Detroit is now the home to the world’s largest penguin facility and more than 80 penguins of four species – Gentoo, Macaroni, Rockhopper and King. The 33,000 square foot Polk Penguin Conservation Center (PPCC) at the Detroit Zoo is ice-cold, 326,000-gallon, 25-foot-deep aquatic zone. This is where penguins can be seen exploring their habitat and deep-diving will surely be one of the most vivid features of the PPCC, and the animal habitat will ensure an optimal environment for the welfare of penguins.

New Restaurants on the Rise

Nearly 100 new restaurants, breweries, distilleries and coffee shops have opened in Detroit in the past three years. More than 10 new restaurants are projected to open within the next month. From farm-to-table inspired menus to beer bars, Detroit’s dining scene continues to please even the pickiest palate. The list includes, but is not limited to: Wahlburgers, Pie-Sci, Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken, The Fountain Detroit, Katoi, The Peterboro, La Rondinella, Granite City Food & Brewery Townhouse, Central Kitchen + Bar, HopCat, Wright and Co., Punch Bowl Social, Gold Cash Gold, Selden Standard, Johnny Noodle King, Batch Brewing Co. and Antietam. For more dining options go to visitdetroit.com.

New Retail coming to Detroit

Many new retail stores have opened or are opening soon in Detroit. In the past few years we have seen the Nike Store, Detroit Denim Co, Detroit is The New Black, Shinola, John Varvatos, Will Leather Goods, Kit and Ace, Carhartt, Third Man Records, House of Pure Vin and other unique retailers open up inside city limits. Businesses have and will continue to be opening including Mama Coo’s Boutique, MOR & Co., Third Wave Music, and many more.

Nike Inc. opened a two-level, 22,000-square-foot downtown store. Nike has labeled the Detroit shop as a “community store.” That means the store will “empower a healthy local community through the unifying power of sport and to serve as a catalyst for positive change by partnering with local organizations,” according to the company’s website. All Nike community stores have local hiring initiatives with the goal of hiring at least 80 percent of employees from within a five-mile radius of the store.

Meadow Brook Music Festival has been rebranded

Meadow Brook Music Festival has been rebranded and will now be known as Meadow Brook Amphitheatre. The venue located on Oakland University’s campus has great history and has hosted some of the best emerging superstar talent.

Jimmy John’s Field is open in Utica and added a 4th team to 2017

The United Shore Professional Baseball League is playing at the brand new Jimmy John’s Field in Utica. The stadium at Auburn and Moscone seats about 4,000 people and include a grandstand, five dugout suites, five penthouse suites, 12 private patio suites, a grass berm and four picnic areas. Three teams are currently playing in the league and there will be around 75 games played in the stadium each season. In 2017, United Short Professional Baseball League will add a 4th team to the league.

Motor City Harley-Davidson continues to make progress in their location move

Motor City Harley-Davidson is moving into the former Sam’s Club site in Farmington Hills on Haggerty Road. The project is expected to incorporate an 8,000 to 12,000 square foot brew pub-style restaurant, a 30,000 square foot gourmet market indoor and outdoor gathering space and a drive- and ride-in outdoor movie theater. It is also set to have a Harley-Davidson Riding Academy. The new locations first full-year sales in 2017 are expected to be $30 million.

Detroit’s Midtown, the heart of Detroit’s Cultural Center

Detroit’s Midtown is one of the city’s fastest-developing neighborhoods, featuring world-class art, music and cuisine, and unique shops and galleries. If you are looking to shop, Midtown is the home of local entrepreneurs with plenty of small businesses to visit including Hugh, Nora, Flo Boutique, Frida, City Bird, Nest, Run Detroit and Third Man Records. Delicious restaurants in the area include award winning Selden Standard, La Feria, Maccabees at Midtown, Mario’s and The Whitney. Breweries and beer bars include Motor City Brewing Works, Traffic Jam and Snug, the new Jolly Pumpkin and HopCat, and are all worth trying. Cultural attractions to visit include the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Detroit Historical Museum, Detroit Institute of Arts, Garden Bowl, The Majestic Theatre, Michigan Science Center, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit. A Midtown favorite for guests to stay is The Inn on Ferry Street. Guests of the Inn can choose to stay in any one of four beautifully restored Victorian mansions and two carriage houses. Midtown is also at the core of the M-1 Rail development and non-motorized transportation plans that will connect the district to Eastern Market and other neighborhoods via greenways and bike paths. For more information about Midtown visit midtowndetroitinc.org.

Convention Center

Downtown Detroit’s Cobo Convention Center has completed its $279 million expansion and renovation. The newest addition to Cobo is Cobo Square, a 50,000 square foot exterior plaza and vehicle drop-off area. Activities ranging from music, art events, yoga and other exercise programs, biergartens, outdoor movie nights, corporate game events, and possibly a downtown farmers' market could all be programmed for the Cobo Square space that fronts onto East Jefferson. A new 40,000-square-foot Grand Riverview Ballroom is now open, as is a new 30,000 square-foot glass-enclosed atrium with floor-to-ceiling views of the Detroit River and Windsor, Ontario, skyline. Cobo now also features a TV broadcast studio with satellite uplink capabilities and high-tech video walls on the exterior of the building to welcome visitors.

New Developments throughout Downtown Detroit

Shinola and Dan Gilbert’s Bedrock have teamed up to put a 130 room hotel at the corner of Woodward and Grand River. There will be yet-to-be determined retail, a restaurant, and ‘living room space’ in the 62,000 square foot building. In the same genre as “The belt,” a recently activated alleyway under and next to the Z Garage, they are looking at activating the alley behind the hotel, which is steps from new hotspot Queen’s Bar as well as the soon to be renovated Metropolitan Building.

A new jazz club, a boutique hotel, art galleries and headquarters of the Michigan Chronicle newspaper are all planned for the revitalized Paradise Valley Cultural and Entertainment District of downtown Detroit. Five teams have been selected to redevelop multiple city-owned buildings and lots in the tree-line enclave on the east side of downtown that once was known as Harmonie Park. This will be at least a $52 million investment in the district. Visitors will be able to attend banquets, listen to jazz, dine at an upscale restaurant, and live, work and shop in a newly revitalized district. The overall effort includes creation of a nonprofit Paradise Valley Cultural and Entertainment Conservancy, which the city said will program the public spaces and support other efforts to create a continuing, rich educational and cultural experience for visitors to the district.

DTE has broken ground on the western edge of downtown Detroit. DTE’s new park will rise on what is now a 1.5-acre lot just to the east of its headquarters tower and campus. The still-unnamed park will feature a year-round restaurant, a movable music stage, recreational space for sports and relaxation, food trucks and parking for bicycles. This park will have a large public lawn that can be used for soccer, Frisbee and other recreational activities. DTE will work with the Downtown Detroit Partnership to develop park programming to attract visitors of all ages. For more information on this development visit here.

The El Moore Lodge in Midtown offers sustainable stays and intimate access to the city. This establishment is a triple bottom line business, meaning that it’s been designed to meet social and ecological demands in addition to traditional financial ones. The building itself, built in 1898, was extensively renovated to meet a high sustainability standards of its owners, including a geothermal heating and cooling system and a super-insulated building envelope. There are eleven hotel rooms and twelve apartment units at the El Moore. Visitors staying at the Lodge have the opportunity to mingle with familiar people in the city.

A $65 million, 270-apartmemt complex called Orleans Landing has its groundbreaking on an empty patch of Atwater. Orleans Landing will be next to the new Michigan Department of Natural Resources Outdoor Adventure Center and the Dequindre Cut pedestrian/bike path. For more information visit hamilton-anderson.com/orleans-landing.html.

The West Riverfront Park is where visitors will find three new pathways linking the riverfront to West Jefferson Avenue, benches, trash receptacles and plenty of lush green space for a variety of outdoor activities. The Conservancy has expanded the width of the popular RiverWalk along this parcel to 30 feet to better accommodate adequate space for walking, running, biking and fishing. This is a great place to spend time outdoors and have a picnic during the fall months as well as attend the events that are hosted here. For more information visit detroitriverfront.org.

The Dequindre Cut Greenway, an urban recreational path that was formerly a Grand Trunk Railroad line, offers a pedestrian link between the Riverfront, Eastern Market and many of the residential neighborhoods in between. The Dequindre Trail Extension is now open, running half a mile from Gratiot Avenue to Mack Avenue. The Dequindre Cut extension now makes the greenway nearly two miles and now connects to more than 2 miles of bike lanes/greenways. For more information, go to detroitriverfront.org.

The old Tiger Stadium site project is moving along for the Detroit Police Athletic League (PAL). The Detroit Police Athletic League headquarters will sit on the southwest corner of the Old Tiger Stadium site at Michigan Avenue and Cochrane. Another development, called The Corner, aims to build 105 apartments, 35 townhouses and 35,000 square feet of retail space on the grounds that once housed Tiger Stadium. The Corner has a $35-million plan and the PAL plans to use the field for various youth sports, college leagues and other events. The project is tentatively scheduled to be complete in 2017.

Shinola is planning to open a café and production space as part of a larger Midtown Detroit Inc. redevelopment. One of the key steps has been taken toward a 35,000-square-foot redevelopment of three Selden Street buildings in Midtown into a so-called “Innovation Corridor” and up to 20 new apartments. The other spaces apart of this redevelopment are expected to contain restaurant, retail and film production space. Another building is expected to include new residential units, retail and production space.

Businessman Matt Hessler has been planning a $5 million project along Detroit’s Avenue of Fashion. He will be renovating 10,000 square feet at Cass Avenue and Peterboro. There will be retail stores, restaurants and about a dozen apartments ranging from 600 to 1,000 square feet catering to the nearby University of Detroit Mercy students. Hessler expects a similar capital structure for renovating the northwest Detroit building as he used for the Midtown project, which included grants, Detroit real estate investment funds and bank financing. The project is expected to start by the end of 2016, with new businesses opening next year in 2017.

Detroit's Globe Trading Company Building located across from the William G. Milliken State Park & Harbor has been transformed into the new Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ Outdoor Adventure Center. This one-of-a-kind Outdoor Adventure & Discovery Center houses exhibits, displays, and hands-on simulators introducing visitors to features in state parks, recreation areas, beaches, trails and harbors. The Center officially opened to the public in July 2015. Visitors can experience the Michigan outdoors through these primary interpretive areas – Michigan Trails, The Detroit River and Beyond, Michigan Waters, Heritage Outdoor Sports, Outdoor Lodging, The Big Tree, Nature in My Neighborhood, Michigan’s Healthy Forests and The Dark Sky. Interactive displays will teach people how to use a real bow and arrow, sit in a blind, use a simulator to hunt wildlife, and experience the sights and senses associated with camping. For more information, go to detroitriverfront.org.

Renee Monforton
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The Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau is a private, not-for-profit organization whose mission is to market and sell the metropolitan Detroit area on a worldwide basis as a destination for leisure and business travel including conventions, trade shows, corporate meetings, tours and incentive travel to maximize additional visitors, visitor expenditures, state and local tax revenues and job opportunities.
More than 700 businesses are represented in the DMCVB's membership. The DMCVB was founded in 1896 as the world's first convention and visitors bureau. visitdetroit.com


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