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AN ANNUAL PUBLICATION OF CITY LIVING DETROIT

DETROIT LIVING citylivingdetroit.com

6 Downtown Buildings You Should Know About

2007

Free Tours of Detroit Lofts and Condos

Detroit Neighborhoods Information + Resources

Plus: Scores of Grocery Stores

LIVEWORKPLAY

James Scott Fountain, Belle Isle


DETROIT LIVING 3430 East Jefferson Avenue Suite 857, Detroit MI 48207 Website: www.citylivingdetroit.com E-mail: editor@citylivingdetroit.com Volume 2 - 2007 ...Editor: Jaime Pfeffer ...Writers: Mollika Basu Jaime Pfeffer Bradford Frost Nancy Galster Francis Grunow Frank Nemecek ...Design and Layout: Crashproject Cullen McLean Dave Cilibraise Alexis Miasel ...Photography: Crashproject Meghan Line ...Printing: George & Company ...Advertising: Austin Black II, Gideon Pfeffer Detroit Living is a publication of City Living Detroit. Advertising: adsales@citylivindetroit.com Infromation: info@citylivingdetroit.com Copyright © 2007 City Living Detroit. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without permission is prohibited

CONTENTS

LIVEWORKPLAY 2 4 6 10 16 20 23 26 30 31

LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT FREE TICKET TO RIDE CHOOSE DETROIT FEATURED NEIGHBORHOOD: PALMER WOODS THE JEWELS IN DOWNTOWN’S CROWN DETROIT SYNERGY RIVERFRONT REWARDS DETROIT NEIGHBORHOOD GUIDE NEIGHBORHOOD ONLINE DIRECTORY GROCERY STORE MYTH


T

wo-thousand six was another big year for housing development in Detroit. According to data published by the Southeastern Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG), the city of Detroit issued 739 new housing permits in 2006 – more than any other city or township in Southeastern Michigan. And if that isn’t enough to convince you that Detroit’s housing market is red-hot, consider this: Detroit led the region in new housing permits in 2005, too. As a non-profit organization established to promote living in the city, City Living Detroit is proud to be part of such an exciting time in Detroit. Founded just three years ago, we are thrilled with our position as a primary resource for individuals looking to move to the city. The year 2006 was also a big year for City Living Detroit. We held the City Living Expo in conjunction with the Michigan Home and Garden Show at Ford Field; LaSalle Bank and Detroit Home magazine sponsored our first neighborhood tour series of Greater Downtown loft and condominium developments; and the IRS granted City Living Detroit 501c(6) tax-exempt status. We plan to continue our momentum in 2007 with several exciting events. The City Living Expo will be held in conjunction with the Michigan Home and Garden Show at Ford Field in March; our free neighborhood tour series of select loft and condominium developments runs from May – September; and we are hosting two residential tours for real estate agents in the fall. Our 2007 program schedule would not be possible without the help of our sponsors and partners, which include LaSalle Bank, Detroit Home magazine, the Tourism and Economic Development Council, Preservation Wayne, Detroit Synergy and the Downtown Collection. On behalf of City Living Detroit’s Board of Directors, thank you for your continued support. In the 1920s, Mary Stratton, founder of Pewabic Pottery, designed a tile with the words, “Life is Worth Living in Detroit”. As a new Detroit resident, an advocate for city living, and a strong believer in Detroit’s revitalization, I, too, believe life is worth living in Detroit.

Austin Black II President, City Living Detroit Austin Black II is a founding member and president of City Living Detroit, and a sales associate with Detroit Urban Living. He can be reached at ablack@detroiturbanliving.com or 313.550.2307.

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JAIME PFEFFER GIRL-IN-THE-D.BLOGSPOT.COM

EMBRACE CITY LIVING IN THE HEART OF DETROIT AUSTIN BLACK II

Your Detroit Relocation Specialist

313.550.2307

ablack@detroiturbanliving.com


E E R F

TICKET TO RIDE CITY LIVING DETROIT’S NEIGHBORHOOD TOURS MAKE SCOPING OUT DETROIT’S HOT NEW HOUSING EASY. AND BEST OF ALL, THEY’RE FREE. BY JAIME PFEFFER

B

efore last summer, Eric Walstrom never considered moving to Detroit. “I just never thought about it,” he says. “Growing up, I never really spent any time [in Detroit] other than the usual baseball game or museum visit ... so I didn’t know what was here.” All that changed in June 2006 when Walstrom, an undergraduate student at Michigan State University, attended one of City Living Detroit’s neighborhood bus tours. “I just couldn’t believe it. I was stunned. The lofts and condos [we saw] were awesome,” he says. “I’m really glad I went because if I hadn’t, I would have never known this type of housing was available here.” Launched in 2005, City Living Detroit’s neighborhood tours provide potential home buyers like Walstrom the opportunity to explore a handful of Detroit’s newest housing developments in just a few hours.

Members of City Living Detroit’s Board of Directors facilitate the free tours, which run during the City Living Expo in March and on the second Saturday of each month from May through September. With the exception of the tours in March, City Living Detroit neighborhood tours depart from Campus Martius Park in downtown Detroit at 1:00 pm. Each two-hour tour covers three to five properties in one Detroit neighborhood, and tour-goers spend 30-45 minutes at each property, exploring sales models and asking questions. Property representatives are on hand to provide information about pricing and amenities and to answer questions. Neighborhoods slated for the 2007 tour series include Brush Park, Downtown, North Midtown, the Riverfront, and South Midtown. Interested in attending a 2007 neighborhood tour? Visit citylivingdetroit.com for directions, parking information and to pre-register. (Pre-registration is not mandatory, but recommended). Neighborhood Tours are free and open to the public.

City Living Detroit Neighborhood Tours 2007 TOUR SCHEDULE Saturda y, March 10, noon – 4 pm (City Living Expo, Ford Field) Sunday, March 11, noon – 4 pm (City Living Expo, Ford Field) Saturday, May 12 – N. Midtown

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Saturday, June 9 – River front Saturday, July 14 – Downtown Saturday, August 11 – Brush Park Saturday, September 8 – S. Midtown


$2,500 DOWN PAYMENT ASSISTANCE OUR COMMUNITY LENDING PROGRAMS ARE TURNING RENTERS INTO HOMEOWNERS

At LaSalle Bank, we know that strong communities are built on the dreams of people like you. And that’s what our Community Lending Programs are all about: $2,500 down payment assistance, flexible credit standards, and lender fee waivers. So if you’ve ever dreamed of owning your own home, now’s the time to make the move. Just call LaSalle Bank Home Lending Specialist: James L. Burke CRA Lending Sales Manager (313) 234-8674 james.i.burke@abnamro.com

lasallebank.com Loans underwritten by LaSalle Bank are closed and serviced by ABN AMRO Mortgage Group, Inc. Programs are subject to change without notice.

© 2007 LaSalle Bank Corporation

Revised LSB_James Burke_City Liv1 1

2/15/07 9:00:59 PM


CHOOSE DETROIT WHY I GAVE DETROIT A CHANCE – AND WHY YOU SHOULD, TOO

BY BRADFORD FROST

W

hen I tell people the other cities I could have moved to – Honolulu, Boston, Chicago, Seattle – most are surprised I chose Detroit. Why choose Detroit? I admit – initially, Detroit didn’t top my list. I didn’t know much about the Motor City, but definitely had that feeling; that Detroit was a bad place with little to offer me. You could say I shared the narrative most outsiders have of Detroit: a cold, often racially-driven discussion of a city in demise. What I didn’t know, however, is that Detroit is a powerfully authentic, fascinating place with a distinct culture, an exciting urban core, and remarkable opportunities – for those determined enough to be here. Moving to Detroit was an option for me because of United Way of America’s Community Fellows program, a premier nonprofit internship for recent college graduates. Finishing a BA in Ameri-

can Studies, I had studied international social justice abroad, completed an internship at the Office for Civil Rights in Washington DC, spent a year with AmeriCorps, and had my pick of the cities I wanted to move to. The more I reflected on the fellowship and my passion for social justice and community development, though, the more Detroit climbed to the top of my list. Deep down, I knew Detroit was the right place for me. And I moved here in June 2005. The best decision I made in moving to Detroit was choosing to live downtown at the Lofts of Merchants Row. Having grown up in a small town in Connecticut and gone to college in Northern Virginia, I knew what living in the Royal Oaks, Grosse Pointes and Birminghams of the world was like. And I wanted something different. I chose to live downtown because I wanted to learn about Detroit through my own experiences, not the experiences of others. Detroit welcomed me with open arms. In a few months, I felt more at home. I made new friends

When I tell people the other cities I could have moved to – Honolulu, Boston, Chicago, Seattle – most are surprised I chose Detroit. 6

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and discovered a group of people passionate about Detroit and its rebirth; people that live and work every day to make Detroit a better place. There’s something about this city – call it resilience, passion, or pride – that allows you to swallow its challenges and embrace its soul head-on. It wasn’t long before I became like everyone else downtown: a converted Detroiter. What I love most about Detroit is that it’s a genuine place on the cusp of powerful change. You can feel the momentum rising daily. For me, being part of Detroit is being part of something meaningful. I have purpose here. What’s more, Detroit is full of fun and exciting events and nightlife. And thousands of people to share in those experiences. My fellowship with United Way only lasted a

year. But before it ended, I knew I wanted to stay in Detroit. Less than a year after choosing Detroit for its challenge, I chose it again – for its promise. Now joined by my girlfriend from Virginia, we find ourselves discovering new gems every day. I am captivated at the next great art exhibit and the quiet places to share a good beer with friends. Everyday we meet more people committed to being part of Detroit. It seems like everyone taking on Detroit goes through a similar process; one that defies expectations and provides powerful meaning beyond Detroit’s normal stereotypes. Give this city a proper try and you’ll discover what Detroit is like, too. My advice? Experience Detroit. Spend time here with friends. Catch a game at Comerica Park, or visit Campus Martius. Explore the city’s museums and reflect on Detroit’s critical contributions to American history. Experience Detroit and you’ll choose it, too. I’m an outsider that chose Detroit. Now, I choose it everyday. Nothing less than my passion, potential, and a burning desire to harness my experience brought me to this extraordinary city. And nothing less made me stay. I choose Detroit. Will you? Bradford Frost is a manager of resource investment and community partnerships at the United Way for Southeastern Michigan. Send comments to Brad.Frost@uwsem.org.

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Featured Neighborhood / PALMER WOODS

LIVING 10

HISTORY

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INTERESTED IN LIVING IN ONE OF DETROIT’S FINEST NEIGHBORHOODS? LOOK NO FURTHER THAN PALMER WOODS.  

BY NANCY GALSTER  

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Featured Neighborhood / PALMER WOODS

A

thoughtfully-designed subdivision containing many of the finest examples of residential architecture in Detroit, Palmer Woods is a unique, suburban-like enclave of homes set amid large trees and pocket gardens. Alive and active in conservation and stewardship of its past, the historic neighborhood proudly opens itself to anyone interested in learning more. Corresponding with the rise of Detroit’s auto industry, the Palmer Woods Historic District was home to some of the city’s most powerful auto executives. The community, designed by noted landscape architect Ossian Cole Simonds, received the Michigan Horticultural Society’s Award of Merit in 1938 for being

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Michigan’s finest platted subdivision. And its homes are pretty spectacular, too; containing residential designs by famed-architects like Frank Lloyd Wright, Minoru Yamasaki, Maginnis & Walsh and Albert Kahn, the residences of Palmer Woods are large, deeply setback and situated on irregularly-shaped lots. How big is ‘large’? Home sizes run the gamut, but one of the community’s finest homes, constructed for Bishop Michael J. Gallagher in 1926, tops 35,000 square feet. It, and many of the other homes in the historic neighborhood, boasts extensive grounds often designed by professional landscape architects. The predominant building materials in Palmer Woods include red brick, stone, stucco and slate - often seen

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in exuberant combination. Architectural styles vary; in this historic district, you’ll find everything from Tudor Revival, Neo-Georgian and Mediterranean, to modern and Craftsman.

RICH HISTORY

In 1893 Thomas Palmer Jr. - a prominent Detroiter who served as Ambassador to Spain, U.S. Senator, and President of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair - donated 100 acres of farmland to the city of Detroit to use as a public park. In 1915, two years after Palmer’s death, developer-Charles W. Burton purchased a portion of Palmer’s estate and the neighborhood was born. As one of only about a half-dozen neighborhoods located outside


Detroit’s bustling downtown area, Burton touted the rural feel of Palmer Woods when marketing the subdivision as displayed in this clever 1915 advertisement: “Situated next to the Palmer Park and the Golf Grounds, fronting on Woodward Avenue, but screened from its dust and noise, Palmer Woods is safeguarded from the encroachments of commercialism.” Over the years, other developers like two-term Detroit Mayor Frank Couzens joined Burton in constructing homes in Palmer Woods. During the 1920s, Couzens and partnerJohn Frazor built 14 homes in the historic district, and others followed. As a result, Palmer Woods ultimately became a talent showcase of regional and international architects during the first half of the 20th century.  

PALMER WOODS TODAY Today, the Palmer Woods Association schedules a rotation of cultural and social

events, keeping homeowners interested and invested in the neighborhood. The Association’s Holiday Home Tour, held each December, features five Palmer Park homes and attracts over 1,200 visitors annually. Docents from the neighborhood are available to provide valuable information about architecture, as well as point out interesting features within each home.  Other neighborhood events include a classical music concert in the winter and a summer outdoor jazz concert. Additionally, a winter dinner dance and summer block parties highlighting children’s activities promote and encourage socialization among neighbors. The Association serves as stewards of “our place” in Detroit, working vigorously to secure the beauty of decades past and to preserve the neighborhood for future homeowners. Recently, the Association worked diligently with the city of Detroit to upgrade

decades-old sewer and electric lines. The Palmer Woods Historic District is located directly west of Woodward Avenue and directly north of Palmer Park. The district is bounded by Woodward Avenue, Seven Mile Road, the southern edge of Evergreen Cemetery, Strathcona Drive, and Argyle Crescent. The buildings of the Palmer Woods Historic District are private residences and are not open to the public with the exception of the home tour in December. Please visit palmerwoods.org for further information. Nancy Galster is president of the Palmer Woods Association. Please send comments to  ad4469@wayne.edu.

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The Jewels In Downtown’s Crown

IDENTIFYING SIX GREAT DETROIT BUILDINGS BY FRANCIS GRUNOW

D

uring a 2003 visit to Detroit, architectural photographer-William Zbaren and architectural writer-Robert Sharoff – whose works regularly appear in the New York Times and other national publications – were blown away by what they saw. So blown away, in fact, the pair decided Detroit’s architecture warranted a retelling through new eyes and new images. In 2005, Zbaren and Sharoff, together with Wayne State University Press, published “American City: Detroit Architecture 1845-2005”, a photographic essay and tribute to “one of America’s most magnificent cities.”

Architectural Pride We Detroiters know our city is magnificent. And that our architecture is one of Motown’s key standout elements. Nevertheless, we need to do a better job at preserving our architectural assets and tooting our own horns. Even in vacant repose or under use, Detroit’s buildings provide a unique cultural richness and speak to a vast breathtaking lineage. From the spectacular lobby of the Guardian Building to the humble Art Deco Elwood Bar & Grill, Detroit is awash in great structures. Which is your favorite?

Following are summaries of six grand Detroit buildings. Maybe you’ve seen them. Maybe you’ve walked right by them. Whatever the case, be proud of them.

A GRAND GATEWAY

Name: Grand Army of the Republic Hall Location: 1932 Grand River Architect: Julius Hess Year built: 1900 Built for Union veterans of the Civil War, the Grand Army of the Republic Hall (also known as the G.A.R. Building) has stood guard for over a century. Known by locals as “the Castle”, its triangular shape on a triangular block makes it one of Downtown’s most unique buildings. Another interesting characteristic of the G.A.R. Building? Upon completion, it was the largest meeting hall of its kind in Michigan. Last used in 1980 by the Detroit Recreation Department, there is new hope for this marvelous structure. A recent court-imposed judgment permits reuse if it is historically-appropriate and a memorial is incorporated. In 2006, the city of Detroit selected Olympia Development, a subsidiary of Ilitch Holdings, to redevelop the structure. Olympia plans to complete a multimillion dollar renovation before moving its offices there.

DETROIT’S OLDEST CHUCH BUILDING Name: Saints Peter and Paul Church Location: 629 East Jefferson Avenue Architect: Francis Letourno Year built: 1848 Established when the state of Michigan was only a few years old, Saints Peter and Paul Church is one of Detroit’s oldest and most beloved structures. Used as the cathedral of the Detroit Roman Catholic Archdiocese during the 19th century, the monumental but somewhat unassuming basilica-styled church later served as the foundation for Detroit College, now the University of Detroit Mercy, in the row of buildings just to the east. 16

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detroit urban living

So many options, just one decision Detroit Urban Living will offer you the ultimate in service and information as your premier relocation real estate agency. Your guide to the ideal urban lifestyle is Detroit Urban Living.

www.detroiturbanliving.com 313.831.8000


The Skillman Branch is the perfect place to read or surf the Web in the quiet peace of a downtown jewel. On your way out of the building, don’t forget to wave to the statue of Abraham Lincoln in Library Park.

HARMONIOUS URBANISM IN HARMONIE PARK Name: Harmonie Center (Breitmeyer-Tobin Building) Location: 1308 Broadway Architect: Raseman and Fisher Year Built: 1906 From the outside, this Detroit mainstay is striking. Its insides are pretty awe-inspiring, too. Don’t just take my word for it, though; the next time you are at the Renaissance Center, pop across the street and check it out for yourself.

RESPITE AMID THE HUSTLE AND BUSTLE Name: Detroit Public Library, Skillman Branch (formerly Downtown Branch) Location: Gratiot and Library Street Architect: Smith Hinchman & Grylls Year Built: 1932 Designed by renowned-architectural firm Smith Hinchman & Grylls during the Great Depression, this beautifully refined melding of Art Deco and Art Moderne is an exceptional Downtown institution. Known for years as the place to obtain newspapers and journals from around the world, the Skillman Branch now houses the Detroit Public Library’s National Automotive History Collection.

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Originally developed by John Breitmeyer Sons, Detroit’s largest floral firm, this steel frame building is one of the city’s first skyscrapers. It is also significant for two other reasons. First are the building’s ornate terra cotta columns and red brick adornments. Both exemplify the Beaux Arts movement, a period when U.S. cities built some of their most impressive and civic-minded edifices. Second is its purchase by Benjamin Tobin in 1944. A successful African American businessman, Tobin rented commercial space to other African American-owned businesses at a time when the city did not allow them to rent downtown. For many years, Harmonie Center was one of the few black-owned commercial buildings Downtown. Today, the restored Harmonie Center is home to a variety of commercial businesses, including a florist on the ground floor. As they say, what goes around comes around!


THE ANCHOR OF GRAND CIRCUS PARK

Name: David Whitney Building Location: West side of Woodward Avenue and south Grand Circus Park Architect: Daniel H. Burnham and Co. Year built: 1915 Along with the David Broderick Tower across the street, the David Whitney Building forms half of the Lower Woodward Corridor’s great frame. Designed by architectural-firm D.H. Burnham, the Whitney originally contained rich adornments mimicking the Italian Renaissance. In the 1950s, the building’s exterior was unfortunately “upgraded” and its adornments stripped. But the fabulous multistory interior courtyard remains and is like nothing else in Detroit. The Whitney is currently vacant, but redevelopment studies are underway. When this building comes back online, you can bet the architecture gods will smile wide.

FROM NEW YORK, WITH LOVE Name: Savoyard Center Location: 151 West Fort at Shelby Architect: McKim, Mead and White, addition by Donaldson and Meier Year built: 1900, addition in 1914 Like many other impressive buildings throughout Detroit, Savoyard Center came to life as a banking hall: first as State Savings Bank, then as People’s Savings Bank. What makes Savoyard special is that McKim, Mead and White – arguably the best-known and most talented architectural firm of the late 19th and early 20th centuries – designed it.

Thanks to commissions procured by legendary-playboy Stanford White, the firm designed many of the East Coast’s most auspicious structures including the architectural-masterpiece Pennsylvania Station, whose demise ignited the preservation movement in the United States. While small compared to Penn Station, Detroit’s Savoyard Center is an exceptional example of McKim, Mead and White’s work (their only one in Detroit) and a fine illustration of unparalleled, turn-of-thecentury design and craftsmanship. Their original plan was so well-received here, in fact, that during the building’s 1914 expansion, worldclass architectural firm Donaldson and Meier created exact replicas of its beautiful interior and marble colonnades. Want to find out more about Detroit’s architectural wonders? Check out Preservation Wayne’s Detroit Heritage Tour Series, offering tours all over downtown Detroit from May through September. Visit preservationwayne.org for more information. Francis Grunow is executive director of Preservation Wayne, Detroit ‘s oldest and largest architectural preservation organization. Please send comments to editor@citylivingdetroit.com

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Detroit Synergy Group

Moving Detroit Forward, One Project At A Time BY FRANK NEMECEK & JAIME PFEFFER

T

hree years ago, Tanya Stevenson had an epiphany about downtown Detroit’s retail scene – a lot of people didn’t know it existed. Stevenson wanted to change that, and believed creating a special one-day shopping event in downtown Detroit was just the way to do it. She knew putting on such a large event would mean countless hours of work and dozens of details. But the Huntington Woods resident also knew she could do it; especially given her secret weapon. Her ace in the hole? Detroit Synergy Group (DSG), a project-driven volunteer group that transforms ideas for a better Detroit into reality.

IDEAS + EXCHANGE + ENERGY = SYNERGY Presenting her idea to DSG was a smart move. Stevenson’s job as project leader was far from easy, but turning to DSG gave her access to the key tools and

support she needed for bringing the project, known as Shop Detroit, to life. The group’s volunteer staff members, for example, assisted her with key project phases, and the PR team broadcast the event around town. The Partnerships team obtained a donation of People Mover-passes for event-attendees, and the Fundraising team secured special maps of the area that highlighted participating stores and special Shop Detroit discounts. In the end, the group’s teamwork amounted in resounding success; more than 300 people from as far away as Toledo converged on downtown Detroit for a day of shopping and fun, and many downtown stores reported their busiest Saturday ever.

PROJECTS OF ALL SHAPES AND SIZES As exciting as Shop Detroit’s success has been – look for round 4 of the annual event this December – it’s only one of the nearly 100 projects DSG produces annually.

thedowntowncollection L e g e n d a ry buildings in the center of it all!

thedowntowncollection.com

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Here’s a quick look at two more: - Detroit resident-Alex Froehlich leads DSG’s Detroit Bikes!, a project that promotes urban biking in the city through a series of organized rides, local initiatives and free urban biking resources. Detroit Bikes! is also responsible for bringing “National Bike to Work Day” to the Motor City. - Jen Ruud is in charge of Project Clean, a recurring spring and summer effort that brings volunteers together to clean up debris in various areas of Detroit. The Madison Heights-resident and her beautifying troupe are making a serious impact on Detroit’s landscape, too; together, they remove close to 3,000 pounds of trash from the city every year. Not keen on shopping, urban biking or neighborhood clean ups? No problem. Projects are the heart of DSG, so they range from pub crawls and supper clubs to book and movie reviews; debates on issues facing Detroit; 5k fundraisers and more. Have an idea not on the project list? DSG members will help you create your own project.

the

TEICH

group

R E AC H I N G NEW HEIGHTS IN HOME INTERIORS.

WHERE DO I SIGN UP? If your wallet is on the lighter side these days, you’ll be happy to know that membership in DSG doesn’t cost a thing. (Though, for $20, you can “upgrade” your membership to card holding-status, which entitles you to a hip Detroit Synergy t-shirt to sport around town – and a tax-deduction to boot).

JOINING THE GROUP IS EASY, TOO: “Anyone [who] reads about, attends or plans a Detroit Synergy event is a member,” says Amanda Dunham, chair of DSG’s Membership team. Interested in learning more about Detroit Synergy Group? Check out one of the group’s regular monthly meetings, held the second Thursday of every month at 6:30 pm in various spots around the city. Meeting locations, and more information on DSG, is available online at detroitsynergy.org. Frank Nemecek has been active in Detroit Synergy Group for the past three years. Currently, he is cochair of DSG’s Public Relations team. Jaime Pfeffer is editor of Detroit Living. Please send comments to editor@citylivingdetroit.com.

I N T E R I O R

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The Carlton is located on the corner of John R and Edmund in the Historic Brush Park neighborhood, just four blocks north of Comerica Park and Ford Field.

Condom iniums Modern living in a historic setting, minutes from the hustle and bustle of big city life

Studios priced from $140,000 One bedrooms priced from $175,000 Two bedrooms priced from $229,000 Sales Center Hours: Monday – Friday (10:00am – 5:00pm) Saturday (12:00pm –4:00pm)

www.thecarltondetroit.com

313.831.8000

2915 John R, #204 Detroit, MI 48201


Riverfront Rewards TO LIVE AND WORK IN DETROIT

M

y life is like a dream. I own riverfront property in a brilliant city while many of my friends in other cities struggle to make rent. I live, play and work in a city that is my perfect match. I own a unit at Riverfront Condominiums in downtown Detroit. Riverfront Condominiums is part of Riverfront Towers, a collection of three high rise buildings undergoing separate conversions from rental apartments to condos. Every unit at Riverfront Towers overlooks the Detroit River; half view the Detroit skyline and the other half view the Ambassador Bridge. My unit overlooks the private marina and terrace, and on Friday summer nights my entertainment is live music courtesy of the Signature Grill Bar and Restaurant. Keeping fit at Riverfront Towers is a treat – the gym overlooks an indoor pool, a Jacuzzi and the Detroit River (the word is there are plans to install a putting green and driving range, too). I love taking runs on the outdoor track, especially at night when it is awash in color from the lights of the city and Canada. During the day, I can wield my tennis racket on the courts or try my hand at a game of beach volleyball.

BY MOLLIKA BASU

A covered walkway leads from my condominium to the PeopleMover station at Joe Louis Arena. Every weekend in the summer, I take the Riverwalk to Hart Plaza to enjoy the festivals there. In a city where the car is the major mode of transportation, I am thrilled to do my part for the environment by using public transportation and walking. I enjoy the convenience of having a market/cafe, a drycleaner, picnic areas, a children’s play structure, barbeques, a dog run and a salon all within my gated community. Watching the sun rise and set over the Detroit River is stunning, as is watching the moonlight reflect off the water. If time allowed, I would sit and watch the freighters and cruise ships go by all day. Moments from downtown entertainment, the Ambassador Bridge and the tunnel to Canada, I am privy to a lively world in a city I love. Through home ownership in Detroit, I am a direct participant in the city’s upkeep, as well as its economy, improvement, and diversity.

That participation extends to my career as an acquisitions editor for Wayne State University Press, a non-profit publisher of books and journals located in Midtown Detroit. While working in the arts isn’t the most profitable profession, it is highly rewarding – especially in Detroit. Wayne State University Press is the largest publisher in the city, and a large part of the Press’ mission is to propagate the positive reputation of Detroit and its offerings, which it does through publications, events and relationships with other city arts organizations. In my travels and correspondence for work, I not only represent the University and the Press, but most proudly the city of Detroit. I live in a city and a neighborhood where I see improvements every day, and I work for an organization that directly impacts the city. I participate in an economy that I can see benefits from my patronage. I am not the person who dreams of an exciting urban life; I am the one who moulds, designs, and creates it because I live in Detroit. Mollika Basu is an acquisitions editor at Wayne State University Press. Please send comments to mollika_basu@ yahoo.com.

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Summertime in Detroit Experience Detroit’s gathering place Campus Martius Park at 4th Fridays, a Summer 2007 monthly series that includes: • Major-act free concert • Film Festival • Discounts at 40 bars and restaurants www.theworldiscoming.com

SATURDAY is tour day in Detroit! Unique and distinct tours occur each Saturday in May, June, July and August. www.tourdetroit2007.com


GET FEATURED IN

DETROIT LIVING! WANT TO SHOW OFF YOUR DETROIT DIGS IN OUR NEXT ISSUE? E-MAIL YOUR NAME, A RECENT PHOTO OF YOUR HOME, AND CONTACT PHONE OR E-MAIL ADDRESS TO EDITOR@CITYLIVINGDETROIT.COM.

The Detroit Yacht Club For Pleasure ~ For Business ~ For You

The DYC is the ideal setting for all of your social, family and business activities. Whether you are single or married, live in the city or in a neighboring suburb, have children at home or none at all, the DYC has something for you. In short, it's perfect for your lifestyle.

For more information visit www.dyc.com or contact the Membership Department at (313) 824-1200.


Detroit Neighborhood Guide BY JAIME PFEFFER

GETTING TO KNOW SOME COMMON DETROIT NEIGHBORHOODS

A

t nearly 134 square miles, the boundaries of Detroit are far and wide (compare that to Sterling Heights’ 36.6 square miles, and Novi’s 30.5). While Detroit’s sprawling size means more things to see and do, it can also make house hunting a daunting task. Enter our Detroit Neighborhood resource guide. Consider it an introductory tour guide to some of Detroit’s better-known communities. These handy summaries include basic information like neighborhood locations, history and home styles. Already familiar with these neighborhoods? Check out the community-specific links on page 30, or explore additional neighborhood profiles on citylivingdetroit.com

BOSTON-EDISON: With its boulevard-lined streets, large lots and dizzying array of architectural styles, it isn’t difficult to understand why members of Detroit’s 20th century elite – Henry and Clara Ford, Lawrence Fisher, Barry Gordy and more – called Boston-Edison home. And considering its diverse homeowner base and strong neighborhood association, it’s no wonder the community remains popular today.

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Containing 900-plus homes, Boston-Edison is the largest residential historic district in the country. Its wide variety of home styles, ranging from Mediterranean to modern and Queen Anne to Tudor, vary from under $100,000 to over $1 million. Most of the homes were built during the first half of the 20th century. Boston-Edison is located between West Boston Boulevard, Edison, Woodward Avenue and Linwood.

BRUSH PARK: Reflecting the neighborhood’s original high-society inhabitants and 1870s-roots, Brush Park is a historic community containing some of the city’s most stunning properties. Mansard roofs, turrets and double-bay windows characterize many of the neighborhood’s original remaining homes, where prominent citizens like J.L. Hudson and Grace Evans Whitney lived. Nestled east of Woodward, between I-75 and Mack Avenue, Brush Park welcomed a slew of new developments in the last decade – and more are on the way. The new housing coupled with significant infrastructure upgrades has helped breathe new life into this significant section of Detroit.


CORKTOWN:

As Detroit’s oldest surviving neighborhood, Corktown got its name from the large number of immigrants hailing from County Cork Ireland that settled in the area in the mid-1800s. Home to approximately two-thousand residents, the cobblestone streets of Corktown are lined with quaint, Victorian-style bungalows. Although the neighborhood was razed in the 1960s to make way for the Lodge Freeway, the area west of the Lodge and south of I-96 remains; it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

In recent years, Downtown has welcomed several new development projects including the Boll Family YMCA; the nationally-acclaimed public square, Campus Martius Park; and new commercial structures like the Kennedy Square Building. Restaurants, retail establishments, loft and condo projects, and additional dining and entertainment venues are also springing up throughout the area.

INDIAN VILLAGE: When Detroit’s population began exploding in the late 1800s, prominent citizens looked outside the bustling city center for a more open area to build their homes. Many took up residence in Indian Village, which operated as a farm and later a racetrack until 1894 when the subdivision was born. Bounded by Mack Avenue, Burns, Jefferson Avenue and Seminole, Indian Village is a historic district located about two and a half miles east of the Renaissance Center on the city’s southeast side.

Singles, couples and small families are drawn to this cozy, close-knit community, which boasts a number of colorful restaurants and long-standing Detroit bars and pubs. Recently, the redevelopment of industrial buildings and warehouses has brought an influx of loft-dwellers into the community.

DOWNTOWN:

Sometimes referred to as the Central Business District (CBD), Downtown Detroit is the core of the city and the nucleus of Metro Detroit. Design styles vary from pre-World War II skyscrapers like the Book Tower to post-modern glass structures like Compuware. A dense, urban area sprinkled with smaller subcommunities like Greektown and Harmonie Park, Downtown is where you’ll find the city’s three sport stadiums, grand theatres like The Fox and The State, and the magnificent Detroit Opera House. The Renaissance Center is also part of downtown, as is Cobo Hall, the original Coney Island restaurant and Hart Plaza.

As one of Detroit’s first and only suburbs during the first part of the twentieth century, Indian Village attracted its fair share of Detroit movers and shakers, including Edsel Ford, son of auto pioneer Henry Ford, and Louis Kamper, the architect behind the Book Tower and Book-Cadillac Hotel. Measuring up to 12,000 square feet, many Indian Village homes feature ornately-decorated entryways and windows. Some include servant’s quarters and carriage houses. Today, the varying architectural styles and intricate details found in the three-hundred-plus homes of Indian Village make it one of the oldest and most distinctive neighborhoods in Detroit.

MIDTOWN: Sandwiched between Downtown Detroit and New Center, Midtown offers the perfect dose of culture, medicine, education and the arts to an otherwise heavily industrialized Greater Downtown area. Measuring just one square mile, what Midtown lacks in size it makes up for in substance. Wayne State University, the College for Creative Studies and the recently-opened branch of the University of Michigan are part of this pedestrian-friendly community, as are a number of medical facilities and hospitals. Popular museums like the Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit Science Center and the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History also call Midtown home. The main branch of the Detroit Public Library and a variety of restaurants, retail shops, bars and pubs are also part of Midtown.

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Home to an eclectic population of students, professionals, artists and physicians, Midtown is a virtual melting pot of old and new. Historic homes and apartments are located throughout the neighborhood, as well as a number of new loft properties and condominiums.

DETROIT MORTGAGE GROUP

NEW CENTER:

Gideon I. Pfeffer

Though urban sprawl is common today, the idea of constructing a commercial zone independent from a city was unheard of in the early 1900s. Detroit changed all that with New Center, a commercial hub on the city’s northern border. Designed to accommodate the growing needs of the auto industry during the 1920s, many of New Center’s original buildings remain, providing this little city within the city a beautiful grouping of skyscrapers. The most noteworthy of the bunch, the 13story Fisher Building, is an Art Deco structure complete with retail shops, restaurants and a 3,000-seat theatre. Many consider it the finest building in Detroit. Historic homes lie to the north of New Center’s core; new loft and town home developments fill in the surrounding area. Future development plans call for the conversion of several New Center buildings into lofts and condominiums.

SOUTHWEST DETROIT: gpfeffer@financemi.net

t 313 515 5626 f 866 815 8674

A thriving cultural pocket on the city’s west side, Southwest Detroit, also known as Mexicantown, is Detroit’s fastestgrowing neighborhood. To many, it’s also the most colorful. With an abundance of brightly-colored restaurants, bars and stores specializing in traditional Mexican fare, Mexicantown’s vibrant streets offer a welcoming, fun atmosphere unlike any other in the city. Hundreds flock to the neighborhood each November for specialty cuisine and activities focused on La dia des Muertos, the traditional Mexican celebration known as Day of the Dead. When they are not on the streets of Mexicantown, Southwest residents can be found at local parks or at their homes. Single-family houses and apartments are common in the area.


DETROITNEIGHBORHOODSONLINE Want more information on a Detroit neighborhood? Go straight to the source with these community-specific websites.

Arden Park-East Boston Boston Edison

neighborhoodlink.com/detroit/apeb neighborhoodlink.com/detroit/hbe

Brush Park

detroitmidtown.com

Corktown

corktowndetroit.org

Downtown East English Village Eastern Market Grandmont/Rosedale

downtowndetroit.org eastenglishvillage.org easternmarket.org grdc.org

Indian Village

historicindianvillage.org

Lafayette Park

neighborhoodlink.com/detroit/lp

Midtown New Center Palmer Woods North Rosedale Park Russell Woods Sullivan Sherwood Forest

detroitmidtown.com newcenter.com palmerwoods.org northrosedalepark.org neighborhoodlink.com/detroit/rws sherwoodforestdetroit.org

Southwest Detroit

insidesouthwest.com

University District

udcaonline.com

Woodbridge

woodbridgedevelopment.org

Don’t see your neighborhood listed above? E-mail editor@citylivingdetroit.com. 30

| CITYLIVINGDETROIT.COM | DETROIT LIVING 2007


DEBUNKING THE GROCERY STORE MYTH THINK THERE AREN’T ANY GROCERY STORES IN DETROIT? THINK AGAIN. BY JAIME PFEFFER

W

hile you won’t find supermarkets at every major intersection, the myth that Detroit is sans grocery stores is just that – a myth. In fact, the state’s largest and most technologically-advanced Farmer Jack store is located on East Jefferson Avenue in Detroit. Here are a few other spots in Detroit for restocking your pantry.

Algo Especial Super Mercado 2628 Bagley Street

Athens Grocery & Bakery 527 Monroe Street

Imperial Supermarket 1940 East Eight Mile

Indian Village Market 8415 East Jefferson Avenue King Cole Foods 40 Clairmount Street

La Carretta Supermarket 3438 Bagley Street

Metro Foodland 18551 Grand River Avenue

Banner Super Market 14424 Schaefer Highway

M G M Food Center 13433 West Eight Mile

Fairway Foods 16910 Schaffer Highway

Ryan’s Foods 5858 West Vernor Highway

Chene Trombley Market 3700 East Edsel Ford Freeway

Farmer Jack 11250 East Jefferson & 19195 Livernois Food Pride Supermarket 500 East Warren

Glory Supermarket 8000 West Outer Drive

Good Wells Natural Foods Market 418 West Willis Greenfield Super Market 15530 Puritan

Harbortown Market 3472 East Jefferson Avenue

Holy Land Market 19619 West Warren Avenue

Honey Bee Market/La Colmena 2443 Bagley Street

Pioneer Supermarket 6381 Gratiot Avenue

Sav-A-Lot 5181 Grand River Avenue 4705 Conner Avenue 15001 Houston-Whittier Savon Foods 15025 West 7 Mile Road

Saveway Super Market 13233 East Seven Mile Road Super Giant Super Market 8830 Gratiot Avenue Super Kmart 19990 Telegraph Road

Supreme Food Center 16135 Schoolcraft

University Foods 1131 West Warren Avenue

CITYLIVINGDETROIT.COM | DETROIT LIVING 2007 | 31


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The Ellington is designated a Neighborhood Enterprise Zone—condominium owners can receive a property tax abatement for up to 12 years.

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Detroit Living 2007