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D L O
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Grandeur exists in this almost 17,000 sq. ft. estate home. Over 2 acres of privacy. Guest house. Exquisite rec. room walkout with media center. Terrace with pool and entertainment area. $4,499,000
Surrounded my nature. Private cul-de-sac setting. Large executive home with Euro style kitchen. Finished walkout lower level with bar and rec room. $2,490,000
Bloomfield Hills Lakefront
City of Bloomfield Hills
On an almost one acre setting with panoramic views of water. Newer construction designed for entertaining. Finished walk out lower level with bar and rec room. Bloomfield Hills schools. $1,549,000
Country Estate with golf course views. Two separate entrance in-law/nanny suites. Private street. Five car garage. Indoor pool. Entertainers dream.
Vhay Lake Lakefront City of Bloomfield Hills waterfront on rolling acreage. Private cul-de-sac setting. Ranch style with open floor plan and walkout lower level. Separate guest accommodations. $949,000
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In the City of Bloomfield. First floor master suite with private access to formal library. All bedroom suites with marble baths. 4 car garage, Dual staircases. Turn key! $1,895,000
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On over 2 acres with private pond. Large kitchen opens to family room with service staircase to second floor. Large bedrooms with baths. Finished lower level. $995,000
On almost an acre. Kitchen opens to family room. 5 bedrooms including master suite. Finished lower level with theatre and recreation room. $995,000
Large executive home with hardwood floors throughout. Kitchen opens to family room. Formal library. Finished walkout lower level rec. room with bar and pool. $989,000
Quarton Lake Landmark Home
Lower Long Lake Lakefront
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Updated seven bedroom home is situated on an almost double lot. Classic design with contemporary conveniences. Kitchen opens to family room. 3 car garage. $945,000
With views of Kirk in the Hills. Tucked away on 1.1 acres of rolling grounds. Soft contemporary with open floor plan. 5,921 sq. ft. of casual living. Bloomfield Hills schools. $749,999
With sunset and sunrise views with sandy beach. City of Orchard Lake. West Bloomfield schools. Surrounded by multimillion dollar homes. On private peninsula setting. $749,999
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Birmingham Newer Construction
New Construction in Birmingham
With European quality and treatments throughout. Open floor plan for entertaining. Extensive use of stone and hardwood. Exquisite owners suite. $729,000
Millcreek Builders new construction. Complete with 5 bedrooms. Kitchen opens to family room. An owners suite like “The Ritz”. Walk to schools. 3 car garage. $690,000
City of Bloomfield Hills East coast style classic...rebuilt in 2005. Formal rooms with contemporary conveniences compliment the flow and function of this “perfect” property. Walk to Cranbrook Educational community. $2,099,000
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G N I D N PE
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Updated kitchen opens to great room with fireplace. Perfect condo alternative with low maintenance. In quiet neighborhood.
With 3 bedrooms, updated kitchen with dinette, large living room with door wall to commons area. Large master suite.
Lore of local hauntings
Oakland County Child Killer
Buildings of Birmingham Walk around downtown Birmingham, and amidst the outdoor bistros, coffee shops, glittering jewelry stores and trendy clothing shops, are placards that tell the story of who we are as a city.
27: Marina Arsenijevic
For those not residing in the free mail distribution area for Downtown Birmingham/Bloomfield, paid subscriptions are available for a $12 annual fee. Phone 248.792.6464 and request the Distribution department or go to our website (downtownpublications.com) and click on “subscriptions” in the top index and place your order online.
West Maple Road at Old Woodward midafternoon on a fall day.
DOWNTOWN BIRMINGHAM/BLOOMFIELD 124 WEST MAPLE ROAD BIRMINGHAM 48009 P: 248.792.6464 downtownpublications.com Publisher: David Hohendorf News Editor: Lisa Brody News Staff/Contributors: Sally Gerak, Eleanor & Ray Heald, Katey Meisner, Laurie Tennent Ad Manager: Jill Cesarz Graphics/IT Manager: Chris Grammer
Society reporter Sally Gerak provides the latest news from the society and non-profit circuit as she covers major events of the past month.
Bloomfield Hills school district voters will face ballot proposals in November, one of which would fund a new single high school for the district.
DISTRIBUTION: Mailed 12 times each year at no charge to homes in Birmingham, Bloomfield Township and Bloomfield Hills prior to the start of each month. Additional free copies are distributed at high foot-traffic locations.
Luxe Bar & Grill in the North Old Woodward area has joined the bistro license area under the ownership of Larry Bongiovanni, Sr.
Bloomfield Hills library vote; street vendors in city considered; last liquor license goes to Arkan Jonna; Rail District to get bistros; Telegraph project update
Caruso Caruso, Commonwealth, Bec & Sam's, Ecology, Scandia Home, Jimmy John’s, MRM Worldwide, Maddalena Design, Dance City, Rock royalty shopping
AT THE TABLE
51: Gabi Gregg
Thirty three years after his son was killed by the Oakland County Child Killer, Barry King is intent on receiving answers.
A monthly recap of select categories of crime occurring in the past month in Birmingham, Bloomfield Township and Bloomfield Hills, presented in map format.
15: Barbara Kratchman
Fact or fiction, here's some of the local tales of unexplained events and hauntings passed down from generation to generation.
Our editorial commentary on Birmingham allowing vendors on the streets and in the parks, along with our views on two upcoming tax votes.
INCOMING: We welcome feedback on both our publication and general issues of concern in the Birmingham/Bloomfield community. The traditional Letters to the Editor in Downtown are published in our Incoming section, and can include traditional letters or electronic communication. Your opinions can be sent via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org; or mailed to Downtown Publications, 124 West Maple Road, Birmingham MI, 48009. Letters must include your full name, address and daytime phone number for verification.
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FROM THE PUBLISHER
ou now hold in your hands the premier issue of Downtown Birmingham/Bloomfield, a monthly magazine-style periodical produced by Downtown Publications, based in downtown Birmingham.
A group of seasoned publishing professionals, outlined below, gathered months ago to start work on the launch of Downtown, sensing an opportunity to create our own independent publishing group located in the local communities and attuned to the Birmingham/Bloomfield area. Behind the scenes at this publication: David Hohendorf, Publisher, has over 35 years experience in the Oakland market, creating and managing the news and advertising operations for a number of publications in Oakland, including The Paper, which he created and launched with the other members of the Downtown team in 2009. A Birmingham resident, Hohendorf and his wife Suzette have been involved for over 20 years in a variety of community endeavors as they raised their two sons in the local communities. Lisa Brody, News Editor, is a familiar name for many of our readers. Raised in Birmingham, she and her husband Gerry have brought up three children in the Birmingham/Bloomfield area. With over 25 years experience as a writer and editor, Brody has made her mark writing for Hour magazine, D Business, Style magazine, Birmingham magazine and other publications.
Jill Cesarz, Ad Manager, has over 10 years experience in both print, online and outdoor media sales. Cesarz has most recently been selling advertising for another Oakland publishing group and has a good familiarity with BirminghamBloomfield accounts. Chris Grammer, Graphics/IT Manager, has over 10 years experience in graphic production of publications and the IT field. He has been at my side during the launch of a number of publications in Oakland County.
Sally Gerak, a veteran reporter well known in the region, will be providing coverage of the busy social circuit that is so important in the Birmingham-Bloomfield area. No one can compete with Sally's knowledge of both the non-profit group scene and the key people who help lead the efforts to make sure the fabric of the region remains intact. Katey Meisner, a writer who has been covering the business scene in the Birmingham-Bloomfield area for the past year, as well as providing personality profile coverage of local residents, will be handling similar assignments for the new publication. Eleanor and Ray Heald, Troy residents who are recognized for their writing in national wine publications and coverage of the local restaurant scene, will be covering these same topics for Downtown. Our goal is to bring to the residents of Birmingham/Bloomfield each month a news product that both informs and entertains. Readers will find key anchor features each month exploring both serious topics and sometimes topics of a lighter nature; profiles of noted local residents in our Faces features; government and school news; what's happening in the business community; a guide to dining out in Birmingham/Bloomfield, along with a look each month at a restaurant of note; a column exploring the topic of wine; the latest news from The Community House, presented by President and CEO Shelley Roberts; and coverage of the all-important social scene that makes this area so unique. Monthly readers of Downtown will also find a recap in map format of crime incidents in the local area in our Crime Locator, a feature that we patterned after the Ann Arbor Observer, a strong local publication in that college town.
As part of our editorial mission, we also subscribe to the traditional role of a print product, which is to serve as a watchdog on behalf of the local citizens. So you will get your share of our probing, critical articles in the months ahead. There will be some in the area who question why someone would create a new publication in the Birmingham/Bloomfield area. The answer is simple: our publishing group is local; we are part of the same communities for which we provide news coverage. We are convinced that being based in the local area gives us a special sensitivity and we know that we bring a special passion to the production of Downtown that is lacking with other publishing groups.
Aside from the monthly print edition, we have also created a strong companion website (downtownpublications.com) which we update at least twice each week, if not more frequently. Take a moment to review what we offer on our site, and sign up for the special e-mail alerts and newsletters we will be sending out to those who join our subscriber family.
We are pleased with the support of our first issue from the leaders in the local and Oakland County business community. Their faith in a new local publication is obviously critical to our success. Lastly, I welcome your feedback and suggestions as we move ahead in the coming months. David Hohendorf Publisher DavidHohendorf@downtownpublications.com RAY HEALD
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These are the crimes reported under select categories by police officials in Birmingham, Bloomfield Township and Bloomfield Hills through mid September. Placement of codes is approximate.
Halloween Fest! AT
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2010 | 1 P.M. - 4 P.M. Join us and WNIC 100.3 FM for some Halloween fun with giveaways and spooktacular shopping as we help raise awareness and support for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. AFTERNOON ACTIVITIES INCLUDE: Trick–or–Treating throughout the plaza* Register to win $100 gift cards at all specialty shops and restaurants Special live appearance featuring WNIC’s Jay Towers from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Take your picture with Elmo and Dora the Explorer ACE Hardware Andiamo Italia West Bloomﬁeld Plaza Shoe Repair Breath of Spring Florist Crust Pizza + Wine Bar Fox Formal Wear Frames Unlimited
Franco Colombo’s Barber Shop The Gallery Restaurant GNC LensCrafters Optique L’Uomo Vogue Liquid Salon Maple Art Cinemas MB Jewelry Design
shopbloomfieldplaza.com Located on the southwest corner of Telegraph and Maple Roads
Pink Pump Relax the Back Sav-On Drugs Starbucks Coffee Steve’s Deli United Good Housekeeper The UPS Store Leased and managed by:
*While supplies last.
HOME Providing Home Services for the Birmingham/Bloomfield area? Knock on the doors of local homes for as little as $90 per month to promote you special service in the Downtown Home Services Directory Call Jill Cesarz at 248.792.6464 for advertising rate information
SPEAK OUT We welcome your opinion on issues facing the Birmingham/Bloomfield communities. Opinions can be sent via e-mail to email@example.com or mailed to Downtown Publications, 124 West Maple Road, Birmingham MI 48009.
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THE LORE OF LOCAL HAUNTINGS Fact or Fiction? You Decide BY LISA BRODY
round the globe, in every city, village, and town, there are places that are whispered about, buildings that people avoid going into at certain times, or on certain dates. Whether there is any truth to the myths circulating about them is incidental, because the belief in them is irrefutable.
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They are thought to be haunted places and they exist in Birmingham, Bloomfield Township and Bloomfield Hills. While the local area is not known for harboring any Draculas (or Edwards), there are stories that have been passed down from generation to generation about relit candles in the dark, cascading piles of popcorn, cold spots, ringing bells, pots and pans falling off shelves of their own volition, apparitions showing up out of nowhere, and then disappearing again into thin air. The truth to these stories cannot be verified, and some are dismissed as urban legends, old wives' tales, or outright fabrications. Others have been witnessed. We'll let readers come to their own decisions. The former Fox & Hounds restaurant in Bloomfield Hills met the wrecking ball in October 2007, but those in the know were confident the Tudor building, built in 1928 as an inn, was definitely haunted. According to local lore, every night at 11:30 p.m., the cooks would notice that all of the pots and pans would fall off of their shelves. After watching this happen more than a dozen times, they proceeded to put the cookware on the ground. The next morning when they came in, all of the pots and pans were mysteriously back on the top shelf. According to legend, none of the staff had been in the building in the interim. Michele Heeder, general manager of Forte' Restaurant in Birmingham, was dining room manager for the Fox & Hounds for three or four years before they closed. “We used to hear rumors about pots and pans, but I never saw that myself,” she said. “There were a lot of other rumors. “Rumor has it that a woman named Sarah, who was a chambermaid in the 1920s when Fox & Hounds was a hotel, fell or was pushed down the stairs and broke her neck, and that's who the ghost was,” Heeder said. “She was never mean to me; she just liked to make her presence known.” “I was the closing night manager. In order to close off all of the lights, you had to go out through the bar and turn off all of the lights. To turn them all off, you'd turn off all of the lights and blow out the candles in the dining room, then go back through the dark dining room and bar and go upstairs to my office. Invariably, once or twice a week, I would come back down and there would be a candle that was relit.” She said that she never saw a ghostly apparition. “You would sense things. I didn't see things so much as feel things. So I would get out really quick!” She recounted another episode when she sent a busboy to a storage room to get some tables. She said there was a stack of about 20 tables leaning against a wall, and when the busboy approached the storage room, suddenly all of the tables went the other way and crashed to the floor. “The poor busboy was freaked out,” she recalled. “He went running down the hall, and no one was following him. He definitely did not want to go back up there.” A previous manager told her that he was alone in the building late at night, closing up, when the phone rang. He answered it, and realized by looking at the lights on the phone that it was coming from an in-house line—and no one else was there. “A couple of times all of the lines on the phones would flash at once, and that was usually my signal to get out of there,” said Heeder. “It definitely makes a believer out of you.” The former Adams House in downtown Birmingham was originally inhabited by a woman named Margaret Parks, who owned Parks Cole Company in downtown Birmingham. In the recent past, there are numerous reports of paranormal experiences in the home, witnessed supposedly by numerous people, such as lights turning on and off by themselves; and curtains opening, as if someone were looking out—even when no one is home. There are reports of cold spots throughout the home. Over the years there have been descriptions of male and female ghostly apparitions, as well as small items vanishing, and then mysteriously reappearing. Eerily, a strand of bells has been known to ring in the early morning hours. The Birmingham Theater was built in 1926 as a vehicle for motion picture presentations as well as vaudeville productions. According to legend, the theater has been haunted since the late '20s. According to some, a former employee, working at the theater in the summer of 2001, reported to the website that a group of employees had heard stories of the theater being haunted, but had disregarded them, dismissing them as just silly stories.
One night after closing, a few of the kids were cleaning in the main theater (presumably theater one), sweeping leftover popcorn into piles on the floor. In one place, there were two distinct piles approximately 10 feet apart. They recounted that there was suddenly what sounded like a loud creaking noise, and the air ducts all of a sudden started to circulate cold air. According to one account, the two piles of popcorn shifted over on the floor, three feet high each, still remaining in two distinct piles. Others tell the tale of a locked side door to the main theater, with the only way in from the outside. At times, after the theater was closed up for the night, lights would flicker on and off while the sounds of things falling could be heard. Two different buildings on the Cranbrook Campus in Bloomfield Hills are rumored to be haunted. When asked about one, at Brookside Lower School, one of the secretaries answered matter-of-factly, “That's Jessie Winter. She haunts the halls.” Winter was Headmistress of Brookside from its first days with eight students in 1922 until 1961. According to Cranbrook Schools' website's Hall of Fame page, “Winter’s philosophy was that school should be exciting and fun, and that each child would take pride in their clothing, appearance and, most of all, actions in the classroom. “It's said she visits children who do not do their homework,” laughed Brookside's Headmaster Brian Schiller, who claimed to have invented the tale. “She reminds them of all the good things about Brookside. We use her as a lesson about 'bird's eye view', because she supposedly lives up in the tower, so if you look up you can see the sky.” “During her 39 years of service, the Brookside community became a family for Winter. She was protective and encouraging like a mother and worked tirelessly to make Brookside an ideal place to get an education.” It seems her roaming the halls is her way of keeping an eye on her little Brooksiders. Rumors have abounded for decades that Cranbrook House, the home built by George and Ellen Booth, founders of Cranbrook, is haunted by a “woman in red.” There are some longtime employees who won't be alone in the house there. No one would speak on the record, but off-the-record, they said, “It's not Mrs. Booth,” of the vision that has been seen by many of a woman in a red dress floating around the house. At the Academy of the Sacred Heart in Bloomfield Hills, it is rumored that a statue in their front yard of Jesus with his hands raised was discovered with the fingers of the statue cut off, and blood coming from the butchered fingers, with the message, “Don't let your kids play after dark,” when two young boys, who had once played near the statue, did not come home one night after dark. Supposedly today the statue of Jesus has his fingers cut off, and his eyes gouged out. However, this haunted sighting is a verifiable hoax. “This is an urban legend. There's certainly no truth to it. Our statue is intact,” said Nicole Pielecha, communications coordinator for Academy of the Sacred Heart. “His hands are in the air. He is intact, and anyone can come and look at him at any time. It has a lovely garden in front, a memorial garden, not spooky or haunted at all. No one's ever seen blood coming out of it.” Pielecha said the school's facilities department does get occasional inquiries about the statue, but she is not aware of any more visitors than usual around Halloween. And she definitely does not know how the legend began. “You have to wonder how this urban legend even came about,” she said. “Did somebody just make it up one day?” There is an area in Bloomfield Township, east of Woodward, at the end of Trowbridge Street, where the Amtrak train tracks pass over Big Beaver. The overpass for many years was spray painted with the names of kids, and legend has it that some were the names of kids who had committed suicide, or had been killed on the train tracks. Supposedly there was one particular Sunday night, where between 8 p.m and midnight, every half-hour, on the hour, a young adult would commit suicide. At midnight, a train came and dismembered three of the corpses. Since 2003, the Bloomfield Township police have issued trespassing tickets to anyone in that vicinity, frequently patrolling to make sure there are no copycats or tragic accidents. Neighbors are on alert to teens hanging out in the area, and contact the police if they see loitering. Truth or fable, whether you are a believer or not, this Halloween season, stay alert, and be aware of your surroundings. You never know who—or what—you might see. downtownpublications.com
The Tradition Continues.… Come in for the perfect fit
265 S. Old Woodward Birmingham, MI 48009
248.642.2555 Monday thru Saturday 9:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. 13
Opportunities Like This Cannot Last! Historically low interest rates coupled with the market shift in home pricing makes this an extraordinary time to purchase a home.
Market Changes June 2009 to June 2010 • • • • •
Oakland County sale price increased 27.9% Oakland County number of sales increased by 21.1% Available homes on the market decreased 7.8% Non foreclosed sales outpaced foreclosure sales Jumbo Rates are under 5.5%
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FACES Barbara Kratchman
arbara Kratchman has spent decades ensuring the survival and funding of the arts throughout Michigan. The Bloomfield Hills resident was introduced to culture through her parents, but didn’t immediately appreciate the impact it would ultimately have on her life. She ended up becoming a trailblazer in the art community. “My mother and father took us to art galleries, but I took it for granted and never thought much about it,” she said. “I loved theater, dance and literature, but I was an uninvolved consumer.” Through an involvement with politics, Kratchman found herself immersed in the arts community, working as the Executive Director of the Michigan Council for the Arts under former Gov. James Blanchard. “That’s where I cut my teeth, and I became very involved in cultural organizations and arts around the state. I found the place where I belonged,” she said. “I could combine my interest in the arts and politics.” After a change in administrations, Kratchman realized there was a strong demand for funding for the arts, and she founded ArtServe, an advocacy organization for cultural statewide growth. “As meager as funding is, if it weren’t for ArtServe, there would be zero arts funding, and I’m very proud of that,” she said. “We raised awareness of the importance of arts around the state and became a real force in Lansing.” While Kratchman herself is not an artist, she believes that the power of art can eradicate racial divides and bring people together. “It has helped me look at things in a different way. People do not realize that the arts are all around us,” she said. “If we were not here to nurture creativity, the world wouldn’t be what it is today.” Though Kratchman has retired from ArtServe, she continues to serve the community by sitting on the Detroit Public TV and the DIA’s Friends of Modern and Contemporary Art boards. She remains a pillar in the art community and her dedication to culture has not gone unnoticed. She recently judged the Grand Rapids-based ArtPrize, with artists submitting from around the world, which is exhibiting through October 10 throughout Grand Rapids. Recently acknowledged with a Special Lifetime Achievement Award by Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center, the Community House, and the Cultural Council of Birmingham/Bloomfield , Kratchman will also receive an award this fall from the Jewish Ensemble Theater (JET). “I’m not always so comfortable being in the spotlight, but it’s gratifying to know that there are other people who support what’s important to me,” she said. While Kratchman has had tremendous success in her endeavors, she’s the first to acknowledge that great achievement doesn’t come without extraordinary effort and determination. “You learn what you’re interested in by trying new things and putting one foot in front of the other,” she said. “You’re going to fail, and that’s okay, but you’ve got to get back up and keep trying.”
Story: Katey Meisner
Photo: Laurie Tennent
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Unsolved Mystery: Oakland County Child Killer BY LISA BRODY Barry King is determined; he is a man on a mission. Thirty three years after his son, Timmy, was killed by the Oakland County Child Killer, King is intent on following new leads, demanding answers— any and all answers, from the Michigan State Police task force, suing the Oakland County Prosecutor for information related to possible case updates, and contacting the media to help open doors to hopefully crack, and maybe solve, this long-dormant case. Doors are shutting in his face, one after another, yet King cannot rest. His 11-year old son was murdered, sexually molested, and left for police to find, and he believes there is new information on a suspect, a deceased convicted sex offender who police did not follow through with at the time, or perhaps did not know about, and he wants closure. Now. He no longer cares how many investigators he alienates, or how many attorneys or prosecutors he angers. He is nearing the end of his long life, and his patience has worn thin. He said he believes he knows who killed his son and the three other innocent children, who the man known as the Oakland County Child Killer was, and he wants everyone else to not only know who that man was, he wants law enforcement and the Oakland County Prosecutor's Office to acknowledge it. For those who lived in the metro Detroit area in the mid to late-70s, suburban innocence was shattered by a never-identified serial killer who preyed on pre-teen boys and girls, snatching them from their neighborhoods, sexually molesting the boys, keeping them for a few days, bathing them so there was no trace of him, and then killing them. Called the Oakland County Child Killer, to this day, the murders are an unsolved mystery that haunts not only the lives of the families of the four children killed at his hands, but of formerly carefree kids and pre-teens who were used to bike riding through communities, stopping to jump on neighborhood trampolines, to play on playgrounds and skateboard down tree-lined streets, and to wave at friendly neighbors. Children used to walking and riding their bicycles home with friends from school suddenly discovered mothers outside their buildings at the end of the school day. Like the generation before them who hid indoors during the polio epidemic, during 1976 and 1977, the easygoing youth of boys and girls in Oakland County was abruptly cut short, and they were kept indoors to play with only those playmates parents knew very well. Fear gripped parents and kids. Swings and monkey bars around the county hung vacant. Anyone and everyone was suspect. During a 13-month period, which began on February 15, 1976, when Mark Stebbins of Ferndale was first abducted, and ending on March 22, 1977, when the fourth victim, Timothy King of Birmingham, was found in Livonia, four children were abducted and murdered, their freshly-killed bodies discovered around the area. Before each of the youths were killed, they were held between four and 19 days each. At the time, the Oakland County Child Killer Investigation was the largest murder investigation in U.S. history, with the FBI joining local law enforcement and the Michigan State Police. To date, despite thousands of leads and dozens of suspects, the killer has never been found. While there were other murder victims in the county at the time, only four youths were confirmed as victims of the Oakland County
Child Killer. They were 12-year old Mark Stebbins of Ferndale, who was last seen leaving an American Legion Hall on the afternoon of Sunday, February 15, 1976. Stebbins had told his mother he was leaving to go home to watch television. He never made it home. His body was found four days later, on Thursday, February 19, neatly laid out in a snowbank in the parking lot of an office building at Ten Mile and Greenfield roads in Southfield. He had been sexually assaulted with an object, and strangled. Rope marks were visible on his wrists, and he was fully clothed in the outfit he had last been seen in. He had been freshly bathed. Initially, it was believed to be the work of a one-time deviant. There was no further activity until December 22, 1976, when 12-year old Jill Robinson packed a backpack and ran away from her Royal Oak home following a fight with her mother over making dinner. The next day her bicycle was discovered behind a hobby store on Main Street in Royal Oak. On the morning of December 26, Jill's body was found in a snowbank on the side of I-75 near Big Beaver Road, in plain view of the Troy Police. She had been killed by a shotgun blast to the face. She was fully-clothed, with her backpack on her back. Soon again, the killer struck. Kristine Mihelich, 10, was last seen on Sunday, January 2, 1977, around 3 p.m. at a 7-Eleven store on Twelve Mile Road in Berkley while buying a magazine. After a frenzied search for her, a mail carrier discovered her fully-clothed body 19 days later on the side of Bruce Lane in Franklin Village. Kristine had been smothered, freshly bathed, with her eyes closed and her arms folded across her chest. She also had been placed in the snow, and was laid out in plain view of several nearby homes. Bloomfield Township psychiatrist Bruce Danto, working with police, felt that the killer was speaking out to him, leaving him a message by placing Kristi's body on Bruce Lane. Several weeks later he received a letter from a man named “Allen,” who claimed he was the killer's roommate, and had even helped care for the victims. Shortly thereafter, “Allen” phoned Danto, offering to provide photos in exchange for prosecutorial immunity. They were to meet at a gay bar near Detroit's Palmer Woods, but “Allen” never showed up. Danto made numerous attempts to reach out to “Allen” and to the killer, to no productive avail. In case he was ever approached again, Danto's home and office were observed by undercover FBI officers for the next 18 months. Despite numerous warnings not to go anywhere on his own, on Wednesday, March 16, 1977, at around 8:30 p.m., 11-year old Timothy King of Birmingham borrowed 30 cents from his older sister, and without telling her, left his home with his treasured skateboard to head to a nearby drugstore, the Hunter-Maple Pharmacy at Maple and Woodward, to buy candy. His parents were having dinner across Woodward at Peabody's Restaurant, and his older siblings were babysitting him. He was last seen leaving the drugstore from the rear exit, which shared a large parking lot with a grocery store, where the current downtown Kroger's is today. Sadly, he was never seen again alive. There was an all-out search for Timothy which covered the entire metro Detroit area. Barry King went on TV, and made an emotional
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For those who lived in the metro Detroit area in the mid to late-70s, suburban innocence was shattered by a never-identified serial killer who preyed on pre-teen boys and girls, snatching them from their neighborhoods.
plea to the Oakland County Child Killer, begging him to release his son unharmed. Timothy's mother, Marion, wrote a letter to the killer that was printed in The Detroit News, stating she hoped he would be released soon so that he could enjoy his favorite meal of Kentucky Fried Chicken. Late on March 22, 1977, two teenagers in a car noticed his body in a shallow ditch along Gill road, just south of Eight Mile Road in Livonia, technically just across the county line in Wayne County. His treasured possession, his skateboard, was placed next to his body. Timothy had been freshly bathed, his body was still warm and damp, and his clothing had been neatly pressed and washed. He had been sexually assaulted with an object, and suffocated. There were rope marks on his wrists and ankles, signs that he had been tied down. An autopsy showed that he had eaten fried chicken right before he was killed. Current Birmingham Chief of Police Don Studt was a Birmingham policeman in 1977, and was randomly assigned to the King household when Timothy was abducted. He investigated the case, basically living in the home for a month. He broke the news to the family when Timothy's body was discovered, and accompanied Marion King to the morgue to identify the body. It is not a time he would like to relive, nor will he discuss it, other than to say it was horrible, and a profoundly difficult time. Law enforcement knew after the second case, and certainly by the third, that they were dealing with a serial killer. The Michigan State Police led a group of over 200 law enforcement officials from 13 communities, forming a task force devoted solely to the investigation. Soon after Timothy King was abducted, a composite drawing of the suspected kidnapper and his vehicle was released. A woman claimed she had seen a boy with a skateboard talking to a man in a parking lot of the drugstore to which Timothy had gone. The vehicle was reportedly a blue American Motors Gremlin with a white side stripe. Ultimately, law officials would question every Gremlin owner in Oakland County, and every blue Gremlin was reviewed. “The biggest red herring of all was the blue Gremlin,” said Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, who was the Oakland County Prosecutor at the time. “But that was all we had to go on at the time. We were looking at any lead at the time.” The investigators put together a profile of the killer based upon witnesses' descriptions of the man believed to have been seen talking to Timothy King the night he disappeared. He was a Caucasian male with a dark complexion, about 25 to 35 years old with shaggy hair and sideburns. Authorities believed that the killer had a job that allowed him to move around freely, and that he may have appeared to be someone that a child might trust, such as a police officer,
clergyman, or a doctor. Law enforcement believed he was likely someone familiar with the area, and had the ability to keep children for long periods of time without arousing neighbors' suspicions. “It was all hands on deck. It was trying to pull out all stops to prevent another homicide. We had guys come out on their days off,” said Patterson. Although the task force checked out more than 18,000 tips, they never made substantive headway on any of them, and they disbanded in December 1978. “But homicide cases are always open. There is no statute of limitations on homicides, and they can always go back and be revisited,” Patterson pointed out. The Oakland County Child Killer has never been heard from again. It's unknown if the killer died in the years since he last made his presence known, moved away, or was incarcerated for other crimes, and that is why he hasn't struck again. Psychologists and profilers say it is unlikely that a sociopath with a proclivity for sexually molesting and killing children would just stop on his own. Patterson said that most people who have been involved in the case in the past believe whoever was the killer is probably dead. At various times over the last 33 years, the Michigan State Police have had leads they have pursued, all for naught. On February 17, 2005, almost 29 years to the day after Mark Stebbins was abducted, the Michigan State Police re-activated their search and task force, recognizing that new technology and forensic research could hopefully provide new results. They transferred their files, containing over 99,000 names, to their Oak Park outpost and began a renewed search. Out of their entire database, the only useable item of evidence they came up with is one lone piece of hair that they tested for DNA. Barry King, whose wife Marion passed away in 2004, stayed close with many of the law enforcement investigators who worked the original Oakland County Child Killer case, such as Michigan State Police Captain Harold Love and Detective Sergeant Dave Robertson, and as it progressed, stayed on top of all new developments. An attorney, he would pass along legal developments as well as interesting or important tips. It was a mutually symbiotic relationship which, unfortunately, never bore the perfect ripe fruit. Until, King believes, July 2006, when Patrick Coffey, a California polygraph examiner, who had been a childhood friend of the King children, attended an American Polygraph Association conference, and met Lawrence Wasser, a Southfield forensic polygraph examiner. Coffey grew up across the street from the Kings, and has claimed he became a forensic polygraph examiner because of Timothy's murder. Chris King, Timothy's older brother, received a call from
Coffey after the conference, telling him that he met an examiner from the Detroit area who had polygraphed the Oakland County Child Killer in 1977 before Timothy had been abducted and killed. “Coffey told my son Chris that Wasser identified Christopher Busch, a three-time convicted sex offender who was a pedophile, as the person who killed the kids. He said he had polygraphed him in the Stebbins case,” said King. “He lived at Maple and Lahser at the time; there had been some mentions of him in The Detroit News. He was the son of a prominent GM executive, and he committed suicide in November 1978.” Christopher Busch was the son of Harold Lee Busch, a high level General Motors executive, and his wife Elsie, who lived on Morningview Terrace in Bloomfield Village. Their son lived with them at that address. Both elder Busch have since passed away. Christopher Busch was in and out of police custody around the time of the Oakland County Child Killings for his involvement with a suspected child pornography ring, and had been previously convicted in pedophile cases. While he would likely not have driven an AMC Gremlin with a father working for GM, research shows that General Motors had a few similar subcompact cars out at that time, especially the Chevy Monza, introduced in September 1974, in production from 1975 through 1980, which it is possible Busch could have been driving. The Monza also had a hatchback style. The Chevrolet Camaro and the Pontiac Astre had similar body platforms and styles, and were popular models at that time, as well. Busch and a cohort, Gregory Greene, as well as Vincent Gunnels, were arrested, arraigned and bound over for trial in Flint in February 1977 on multiple charges of criminal sexual contact. They were charged with using gifts, threats and physical force to persuade as many as 75 boys to engage in sodomy, oral sex and lewd photography sessions. The boys, who ranged in age from 10 to 14, were discarded by Busch, Greene and Gunnels once they reached puberty, according to a police source at the time. Supposedly the men met them by picking them up as hitchhikers and by working as counselors at community service groups and as sports team coaches. Occurring concurrent with Mark Stebbins abuse and murder, Patterson had the men investigated and polygraphed, although today he does not recall them being serious suspects. It was concluded at the time that neither was a suspect in Stebbins case. “That name (Busch) really does not ring a bell. It was not on the front burner at the time,” Patterson said. According to Larry Wasser's Detroit attorney, he did polygraph someone for a criminal sexual conduct case at that time, “but it had nothing to do with the Timothy King case,” the attorney, who requested to
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King believes law enforcement and the Oakland County Prosecutor's office knows things, have evidence, are doing investigations, and are not telling him or any of the other families of the children who were murdered.
remain nameless, said. He did not specify if Wasser did or did not polygraph Busch. “The sad thing is, this man (Coffey) started something out of nothing. There is no basis in truth, and he has gotten the family stirred up for nothing,” the lawyer said. “He basically made it all up. Maybe he wants recognition, or he wanted to write a book.” Busch was freed on $1,000 cash bond for the extensive alleged crimes in Flint; Greene and Gunnels remained in Genesee County jail in lieu of $75,000 bond, and were sentenced to prison for the crimes. Busch did not serve any jail time for the crimes, although his record showed that he was a convicted sex offender. Busch's movements are unknown after that time and November 20, 1978, when he committed suicide. According to incident reports from the Bloomfield Township police, they received a call from the Busch's housekeeper who said she cleaned every Monday, that she could not enter because the night latch was locked from inside. Several days' worth of newspapers were piled in front of the door, and she reported that she felt “something was wrong with Mr. Busch.” Busch's brother, Charles, arrived, and with the police, broke the glass to the storm door off the kitchen, eventually gaining access to the house. Charles led the police up the stairs to Christopher's bedroom, where his door was closed. According to the police report, Det. Quarles wrote, “We opened the door and observed the brother in bed with a 22 cal(iber) rifle by his side, lying on his back, obviously dead, and for some time (3-4 days). Victim had apparent gunshot wound to the head, with a rifle found next to the victim, pointing at his head.” The death was ruled a suicide. Charles Busch informed police his parents were in England, and that he, his wife Nancy, and his two other brothers, John and David, had not noticed any despondency on Chris' part. However George Enochs, Christopher's Oakland County Probation Officer, possibly for the Flint criminal sexual conduct cases, stated on November 28, 1977 that Christopher had been despondent over “the four cases against him and may have committed suicide because of this.” The report does not elaborate as to what the “four cases against him” were, and on November 29, 1978, the investigation into his death was closed. Around the same time, perhaps coincidentally, the Oakland County Child Killer ceased all activities, and has not been heard of either. “It's everyone's belief that Christopher Busch probably did it. But there's no proof. And they're never going to know 100 percent after all these years,” said Wasser's attorney. “Busch is certainly a good lead. But we may never know for sure,” said Patterson.
Birmingham Police Chief Studt concurs. “Busch is as good a suspect as any. But am I willing to definitely say it was him? Not until I see some proof.” That is what Barry King wants to see. Because whether or not Patrick Coffey heard it first hand from Larry Wasser, or imagined he did, King believes law enforcement and the Oakland County Prosecutor's office knows things, have evidence, are doing investigations, and are not telling him or any of the other families of the children who were murdered. He has filed suit against the Michigan State Police and the Oakland County Prosecutor's Office, demanding the right to see and know all of the information they know. “I went 30 plus years without having any worry at all about the fact that the police were doing a good job on this. I don’t sleep as well as I used to. I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about this case and what happened to Tim,” says King. He says Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper won’t talk to him and has sent him a letter that she will not, and cannot, release the files on Busch. But King wonders why, since Busch has been dead for years, and he cannot be convicted, why he can't see the file and decide on his own. In King's lawsuit against the Michigan State Police, it is noted that on October 16, 2009, Deborah Jarvis and Erica McAvoy, Kristine Mihelich's mother and sister, met with Detective Sergeant Garry Gray of the Michigan State Police to discuss the status of Kristine's case, and Gray identified Busch, Green and Gunnels as the current persons of interest in the case, and identified three notebooks, one for each of the men. Gray also showed them photographs of the Busch suicide scene, which included bloody ligatures, and a drawing of a young man. Both Green and Gunnels were in prison at the time of Timothy King's murder, and may have been at the time of Michelich's as well. King and Stebbins had both been tied down prior to being killed. Sgt. Gray did not return calls to Downtown Publications. “The Michigan Constitution, in Article 1, Section 24, says that crime victims have the right to confer with the prosecutor,” he said. “I'm suing because I just want to see the file and make up my own mind. After so many years of conjecture, I need to know whether there's been a cover up or a mistake. “If I see the file,” King said, “ and see that they're looking at the same facts as I am, and coming to the same, or even a different conclusion than I do, that's fine. I just want to know about Christopher Busch. I want a conversation with the prosecutor, who can finally look me in the eye and tell me how a three-time convicted pedophile never spent a night in jail. “That's all I want. That's all my family wants.” Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper has not responded to King's
numerous inquiries, and has unsuccessfully attempted to have his lawsuit thrown out. They will meet in court on October 29. “All I can say is that it is an open and extremely active investigation,” said Cooper. “With new techniques and new information, hopefully one day there will be new developments. However, I cannot discuss this publicly. Mr. King knows this cannot be discussed, and he is deferring precious resources with his lawsuit.” In her letter to King, she reiterates that the prosecutor's office is not an investigative agency, and that the policy of the office is to advise their police agencies to keep all developments of their investigations confidential until they are ready to present them to the Prosecutor for possible issuance of charges. Patterson, the original prosecuting attorney, continues to follow the case that follows him. “He ought to have access to the files and records. It's not going to do any harm. Who's rights are they protecting?” he asked. “If I was prosecuting attorney, not to start a fight with the current Prosecutor, those files would be sitting on my conference table and Barry would be looking at them. If they're so confidential, then swear King in as an Assistant Prosecutor, or have (Oakland County Sheriff) Mike Bouchard deputize him. There's a million ways to get around it. Personally, that's how I would have approached it.” Patterson said that if a suspect is deceased, it does not prevent the Prosecutor's Office or a law enforcement agency from acknowledging that person's name. “I do not know of any rules or laws that prevent a deceased suspect’s name from being released or acknowledged. And we're talking over 30 years now,” he said. That may be the change in tone that King has experienced, from an open, collaborative experience with the Task Force and previous administrations at the Prosecutor's Office, to a relationship that is one-sided, and views King and the other family members not as collaborators, but as adversaries who are in the way of them doing their job. King doesn't care. It's been 33 years. His son Timmy is forever 12 years old; Kristi Mihelich is 10; Jill Robinson, 12; and Mark Stebbins, 12. Family members have grown old, and some have passed away. Siblings have grown up, and had children of their own. It's time to close the family album on the Oakland County Child Killer. “This was probably the most notorious case, along with Jimmy Hoffa, in my 16 years as Prosecutor. Both made national attention. Hoffa, for who he was. This case, for the four little kids,” said Patterson. Both, still unsolved. Was Christopher Busch the killer? There may never be prosecutorial certainty. But King wants to be able to make up his own mind. And finally find peace.
alk around downtown Birmingham, and amidst the outdoor space has seen turnover in its history, as well as its recent past. bistros, coffee shops, glittering jewelry stores and trendy clothing The Ford Building was occupied by Levinson's Department Store from shops, are placards that tell the story of who we are as a city, 1897 to 1916. According to the historical placard on the building, two and how Birmingham came to be what it is today. smaller businesses occupied units at the extreme west and north ends of The evolution to become the entertainment and shopping star of metro the building. Detroit began in the 1820s, as Birmingham's earliest settlers put down After Levinson's left the space (it isn't clear if they moved, or went out roots, built homes, set up shops, and developed a city that has survived of business), The First State Savings Bank went into the signature corner wars, depressions, blizzards, tornadoes, and all else that both man and space. nature can throw at it. For those who pine for the “good old days of In 1925, the Ford Building was clad in limestone, which was typical of Birmingham,” Birmingham's history is evidence that change has been a pre-depression era banks, creating a central focal point at the corner of wheel that has been constantly turning. Maple and Old Woodward. The earliest land entries for purchase were made at what is now the Wilson's Drug Company moved into the location in 1935, after the corners of Maple and Pierce roads, by early settlers Elijah Willits and Birmingham State Savings Bank failed. They remained there until 1979, Major John Hamilton. John W. Hunter built a home and a business just a when national retailer The Gap came to Birmingham, followed by Cosi. short distance away. For a while, they all three operated hotels and Just west of the Ford Building at 122 W. Maple is the Billy McBride taverns out of their homes, which were stops for travelers making their Building, now known as the building that houses Astrein's Creative way from Detroit on north and west. Birmingham at that time was a Jewelry, Suhm-thing, and Downtown Publications (upstairs). The building stagecoach stop between Detroit and Pontiac. was erected by Billy McBride in 1925. It is located on the site of an old Birmingham was never an agricultural community, but rather a hub for firehouse drying tower, which had been built in 1892, and subsequently blacksmiths, tanners, foundries, broom and brick making factories, razed in 1925. After Hallock's Grocery closed, McBride expanded his candy store and grocers, and other manufacturing and retail-based economies. The city restaurant into a grocery space known as Billy's Place, which remained may have evolved over time, but has clearly stayed true to its original there until his death in 1935. roots. Fred V. Quarton erected a building at 142 W. Maple on the site of wife While few of the buildings Birmingham residents and visitors are Emma Blakeslee's family home. The elegant building, with its dark purple familiar with today trace back quite as far back as Willits and Hamilton's grout against a whitish gray brick, stands out to this day on the street. era, some notable landmarks do hail from the 19th century. Like many storefronts, the facade at Birmingham is unique in that it the street has changed several times celebrates its heritage, maintaining a over the years, but the second floor museum to its origin. The has kept its original appearance. The Birmingham Historical Museum is second floor has metal cornices with housed at the intersection of Maple four distinctive metal spheres, and and Southfield roads in the 1822 the letters QUARTON just below it. John West Hunter House and the The current owner of the 1928 Allen House. The buildings sit building is the Levinson family, who side-by-side near downtown purchased the building just prior to Birmingham, and the land between the Great Depression, and have them have been turned into the John continued to own it for more than 80 West Hunter Historic Park. years. The building has new first The Bigelow-Shain Building at floor tenants, with children's retailer 115 West Maple at Pierce is more Bec & Sam moving in from familiar to contemporary shoppers as Bloomfield Township in September. Sherman Shoes or Main Shoes. It The Wabeek Building was was originally built in 1869. Initially, BY LISA BRODY constructed in the late 1920s, and is it was a wooden structure. Called an example of true Art Deco Old Academy, it was the architecture. It was designed by Albert Kahn, at approximately the same neighborhood school. Around 1870 or 1871, it completely burnt down; time as he was designing the Fisher Theater in Detroit, according to luckily, no one was in it. The owner, Captain John Bigelow, collected the former Director of the Birmingham Historical Museum Bill McElhone. insurance money, and with that, was able to build the current brick “It's an Albert Kahn-designed building, and James Couzens, who was building in 1872. Bigelow ran it as a general store. a U.S. Senator, was an investor,” said McElhone. “It is currently owned by In 1878, Almeron Whitehead and George H. Mitchell published the James Essaki, and it has been completely restored to its Art Deco origin. very first issue of the Eccentric newspaper from the store's second floor. In The only thing missing was a terracotta parapit wall at the very top of the 1881, according to historical notes, the building was described as a post roof. It was removed quite a while ago. office, express office, and Masonic Hall. That same year, Whitehead and “In the lobby, Mr. Essaki underwrote an exhibit with the complete Mitchell bought out Bigelow, and the the store on the first floor took on history.” their names. McElhone said that originally, the building was proposed to be eight to Creative entrepreneurs, Whitehouse and Bigelow brought the first safe 10 stories tall, very similar in size and scope to the Fisher Building, with a to Birmingham, and with that, started Birmingham's first bank. stepped up middle base, a shouldered increase, and then a tall tower. In 1921, the building's facade facing Maple was greatly changed by “It was designed to enhance its verticality,” he said. owner Charles J. Shain Jr. The corner portion of the building became But, he said, “typical of Birmingham, even then, the residents Shain Drugstore, a city landmark for more than 50 years. Shain also recognized that eight to 10 stories was 'too big' for Maple Road.” became very active in the city's civic affairs, and upon his death, the city's Subsequently, the stock market crashed, and the building was central park was renamed for him as Shain Park. downsized due to necessity. The final product, which currently has first If you enjoy Cosi's culinary fare today, know that the building it is floor retail and two stories of offices, is similar to what the central housed in, the Ford Building, at 101 North Old Woodward, was originally business district requires today. built in 1896 by Frank Ford, who built the Ford-Peabody mansion (farther Across the street from the Quarton Building, the Field Building, where south on Old Woodward, where Brogan & Partners is now) for his family in Lucy and Sweet Endings are now, is a two-story brick structure which 1878. Many who have lived in Birmingham for several decades lament the was erected before 1920 by a Mr. Field, with support from his father-inloss of Wilson Drugs, a long-time tenant in the building, but the corner
BUILDINGS OF BIRMINGHAM
From upper right: The Field Building; the Wabeek Building; Bell Telephone; (second row) City Hall; Peabody Mansion; Baldwin Library; (third row) Post Office; The Community House; The Varsity Shop; (fourth row) Detroit Edison Building; Birmingham Theater; Ford Building; (fifth row) Erity-Nixon Building; Bell Building; National Bank Building; (bottom row) Billy McBride Building; Quarton Building; Old Telephone Exchange Building.
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law Mr. Ford. Mr. Ford had a paint and hardware business in the west side of the business, in the area where Sweet Endings is today. In the east side, where Lucy is, there was a 5 and 10 cent store. In 1923, there was a severe fire in the building, which resulted in the village of Birmingham buying a new pumping machine for the fire department. Several details of the original building have remained intact, such as the rounded green tiles on the roof, the brick cornice details, the corbeled string course which defines the end of the second story, and the raised second story sidewalls with limestone caps. In 1909, George Mitchell and Almeron Whitehead built the Old Telephone Exchange Building at 148 Pierce Street to house their newspaper, The Eccentric, downstairs, and The Telephone Company, upstairs. In 1922, the Telephone Company bought and occupied the entire building, and The Eccentric moved its publishing operations to the east side of Old Woodward just north of Hamilton. Harris Marketing Group moved in that location recently. ince 1950, when Bell Telephone ( now AT&T) built and moved into its new quarters on Martin Street, the building has been used for offices and shops. It is currently occupied by Lindamood-Bell Learning Disabilities Program. Bell Telephone, or AT&T as it is now known as, moved from Pierce to a building at the corner of Martin and Henrietta. Noted architect Minoru Yamasaki (architect of the World Trade Center) designed the building, which originally had its entrance and steps on its southern, Martin Street facade. Now all brick, it was initially built with large glass windows facing south. “What's interesting about that building is that some telephone history took place there,” said McElhone. “Birmingham was the second city in the country to have direct dial long distance. At the time, we were a test market, because of the affluence of the area, Michigan Bell felt the community could support it. They were experimenting with technology in that building.” Today, the building, which is not distinct compared to other downtown architecture, is a switching station for AT&T. In the early 1920s, a rector of St. James Episcopal Church, Rev. Charles Hardin McCurdy, decried the lack of opportunity for service offered to women, particularly those in his congregation. McCurdy felt that many “would be glad to express themselves through some organization where public service and public entertainment of a high class was being carried forth.” By 1923, the vision of Rev. McCurdy became reality when a small committee of people founded The Community House in a small frame structure on the corner of Bates and Maple. They planned it to be a nonpartisan, non-sectarian, non-exclusive community center where all would be welcome. The small Community House building became a hub of community activity, and by 1928 it was evident that a much larger facility would be required. Under the chairmanship of Ruth Shain, a group of 200 women launched a capital campaign and raised $125,000 from area individuals, civic and social groups and businesses. In April 1930, the new building on Bates Street opened, where after several expansions, it still thrives. 220 Merrill Street, now recognized as a popular local restaurant, was built in 1931 as the Detroit Edison Building. The engineering staff at Detroit Edison designed the building and had it erected. The red brick and peaked roof were intended to harmonize with the then-new Municipal Building (City Hall) and Baldwin Library. Detroit Edison used the building until 1978 when it was sold for use as a restaurant, downstairs bar (Edison's), and offices. City Hall, on Martin between Pierce and Henrietta streets, was built in 1928, just one year after its municipal bookend, Baldwin Library, was built in 1927. They were both designed by architects out of Detroit, Burrows & Eurich, whose specialty at the time was municipal buildings. When built, both buildings entrances were on Martin Street, and their red brick, ivy covered facades were traditional, designed to emulate the classic architecture of northern east coast cities. Over the years, expansion plans, different architects and design committees have morphed Baldwin Library into a larger structure without one clear design etiquette. The entrance to the library for many years has been on Merrill Street. Birmingham's 2016 Master Plan calls for the entrance to be reoriented back to its original Martin Street entrance, to once again be a
mirror of City Hall. The redesign of Martin Street in 2010 with two-way parking helps facilitate that. ccording to McElhone, an architect who did all of the central Michigan railroad stations headed to Eton Street. The goal was to emulate the two municipal buildings, City Hall and Baldwin Library. In 1931, the English Tudor rail station opened to huge crowds and bustling business. In more recent years, the Birmingham population turned away from rail travel. As Birmingham always embraces fine dining, Norm LePage opened Big Rock Chop House in the old train station. The Birmingham Theater was erected in 1926 by Briggs Investment Company and John H. Krinsky Theatrical Enterprises. It was designed to contain shops, offices, a bowling alley in the basement, and a motion picture theater with facilities capable of offering vaudeville productions. The iconic theater continued as a movie and live theater until 1994, but was then restored to its former grandeur just two years later, in 1996. Except for individual storefronts, which have frequently changed over the years, the facade today looks very much the way it did in 1926. The block of storefronts where shoppers today enjoy Kilwin's, Comerica, The Cupcake Station, Sandella's, and Beadz & Bagz was known to an earlier generation as The National Bank Building. In 1919, built originally on what was known as the former National Hotel, George Mitchell and Almeron Whitehead built the building to house the First National Building and a variety of shops. Through the decades, different banks have resided at the corner of Old Woodward and Hamilton Road, including Birmingham National Bank, Detroit Bank & Trust, and now Comerica Bank. Unlike many of the other buildings throughout downtown Birmingham, the attractive facade has not changed at all since it was first put in place in 1919. Across the street at 239 Old Woodward, in 1923 Elmer Huston constructed the Huston Building with two stores on the ground floor, and apartments built above it. From 1924 to 1928, the building housed the Birmingham Post Office and a variety store. In 1929, Mulholland Dry Goods moved into both spaces. (Pita Cafe is in one of them today.) The original building had a decorative transom with prismatic glass panes above the display windows, which was very typical of early 20th century storefronts. The building has retained its steep side gable and the original configuration of its symmetrical second floor windows. Next door, at 185 Old Woodward is the Bell Building, built in 1915 by Samuel Oliver Wylie Bell. At one time he was a village trustee. He later bought out his partner George Daines in their combined furniture store/undertaking establishment. In 1929, the store was remodeled, the SS Kresge moved in and occupied the space until 1953, when they moved to space on Maple Road. Today, the building's storefronts are occupied by New Bangkok Cuisine and Quiznos. Although the building has been altered considerably over the years, it still has its signature two-bay configuration. The Erity-Nixon Building at 167 Old Woodward was originally erected in the 1880s by William Erity and his son-in-law Chauncy Nixon. The red brick building, which now houses Schakolad Chocolates, was a seed and feed store operated by the two men. Many longtime Birmingham residents remember the Birmingham Post Office on Martin Street, which was recently purchased by The Surnow Companies, and is undergoing a major renovation. That post office building was built in 1939, and its lobby features a Carlos Lopez mural, similar and reminiscent of Diego Riviera's murals at the Detroit Institute of Arts. “Lopez was an immigrant living in Royal Oak, and he was paid through the Works Projects Administrations (WPA)”, said McElhone. “It was rather controversial at the time because of the subject matters, and because some of the personalities that were shown in the paintings had what were referred to as 'more Negroid features and socialist themes.'” McElhone said the murals have been restored several times over the years, and are now considered historic, and protected by preservationists. “Surnow, when he bought the building, recognized that the murals were significant art,” he said. Throughout Birmingham, there are other wonderful gems, some historic, and others, special for their longevity, like Varsity Shop, owned by the same family since 1954. What Birmingham's historical buildings can show is that change is a part of the tapestry of the fabric of Birmingham's life, as it grows vibrantly forward in the 21st century.
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he adage that great artists need to suffer is not lost on Marina Arsenijevic. She left war-torn Yugoslavia as a young woman, coming to the United States for both personal and artistic freedom. She is now a world-renowned pianist, recently nominated for an Emmy award as a composer for “Marina at West Point: Unity through Diversity,” a concert recorded with a 120-member ensemble which was broadcast across the country on local PBS stations. Arsenijevic has composed music blending the melodies of diverse cultures as a way of promoting the unification of countries and ideals around the world. “I mix diverse melodies and it reflects the message of unity and the meaning of strength and diversity,” she said. Through her experiences as a witness to war, Arsenijevic has brought light to these issues and been able to use her own talent as a means to help others. “We had wars and conflicts for centuries and every generation was affected by world war or civil war,” she said. “I was a national artist in Europe, but we were not free to express ourselves, during the war especially.” In 1999, when Arsenijevic was in her 20s, she immigrated to the U.S., where she began a new life that would allow her to fully develop her craft. While she initially experienced culture shock, she has found the U.S. to be an inviting home of opportunity and an ideal place to cultivate her career. “There is a different attitude that people have here,” she said. “People are much more open and want you to succeed in this environment. That’s what has made America so great.” Her experiences with war and feelings of unity in her new home inspired her to create music reflecting that sentiment. “Always when you have some talent, you want to give back to the community,” she said. “I felt a need to help children who lost parents during the war and an obligation to donate my time.” Arsenijevic performed charity concerts in 2004 and 2005 to raise awareness and humanitarian funds for needy children through the Yugoslavian Lifeline Humanitarian Organization and the Russian Children's Welfare Society. A self-proclaimed perfectionist, Arsenijevic spends four to five hours practicing each day in the Bloomfield Hills home she shares with her husband. She said she finds it to be an asset to her artistry. “It’s very peaceful here, and it’s very easy for me to create,” she said. “I never envisioned myself living in the suburbs, but now I couldn’t envision living in a crowded city.” With the support and love of her husband, Arsenijevic continues to perform and now has five recorded CDs to her name. Though she‘s made quite a journey, she has never lost sight of the importance of giving back and the self-determination needed to continue to flourish in her profession and her life. Story: Katey Meisner
Photo: Laurie Tennent
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CITY/ TOWNSHIP Rail District may get bistros An ordinance to amend the bistro licenses in Birmingham to allow them in the MX Zone, or Rail District, was unanimously approved by the Birmingham Planning Board at their September 8 meeting. The ordinance will now proceed to the Birmingham City Commission for a public hearing and approval. Planning Director Jana Ecker said the City Commission will likely not see the ordinance until late October. The earliest a bistro could possibly open in the Rail District would be spring 2011 after all appropriate approvals are completed. Bistros are allowed in Birmingham under a Special Land Use Permit, created in 2007, which is a zoning ordinance. It permits up to two bistro liquor licenses to new businesses in the Central Business District (the downtown area), or the Triangle area, and two licenses to existing businesses in the same areas each year. A bistro must conform to very specific criteria. There may be no more than 65 seats in the establishment, including no more than 10 seats at a bar. They must have a full service kitchen, and they can offer low-key entertainment. There must be outdoor seating, either on the sidewalk or on a raised platform in a parking spot, which is purchased through the city. The bistro must also have windows lining the street. “We wanted to create energy on the streets, and give shoppers another reason to come downtown,” said John Heiney, executive director of the Principal Shopping District. Ecker had the idea in 2007 to create the bistro licenses, a contract between the city and the establishment that cannot be transferred to another owner or business. It is separate from the city's 17 Class C liquor licenses, issued and controlled by the state of Michigan. City officials say bistros have enhanced the downtown area, bringing people to Birmingham at all different times of the day. Businesses in the Rail District, bound by Maple Road to the north, Eton Road to the west, Lincoln Road to the south, and the railroad tracks to the east, are hoping for some of the vitality and increased walkability in their area, as
well. The Rail District is a mixture of neighborhood, commercial and office space. Amtrak rail also goes through the area. When the bistro licenses were first under consideration, the Rail District was part of the equation, but commissioners and planning officials dropped the area, wanting to limit bistros to the downtown area and the Triangle area to test them out. Successful, and with businesses seeking to do more business in the Rail District, it appears the time may be right to expand the bistro ordinance zone. Planning Board Chairman Robin Boyle said that if managed well, a bistro could be a great addition to the residential neighborhood.
Township to inspect new movie studio An opportunity for Bloomfield Township to provide building inspection services to the new Raleigh Michigan Studios in Pontiac was unanimously approved by the Bloomfield Township Board of Trustees on Monday, September 13. Raleigh CEO Linden Nelson approached the township building department with a proposal to perform building, mechanical, plumbing and electrical inspection services for their Raleigh Michigan Studios development project, which is located near the southwest corner of Opdyke Road and South Boulevard. The building is approximately 583,775 square feet. Raleigh Michigan Studios will be a motion picture studio with film production capabilities, sound stages, an education and training facility, animation studio and post-production facility. The construction project consists of renovating the former Centerpoint Parkway three-story office building. “Nelson is paying Pontiac the permit fees, and we are doing the inspections. He is paying the township directly, upfront for the work,” said Township Clerk Jan Roncelli. “It's part of the new example of consolidation of services.” According to the proposal, it could bring up to $30,000 in fees to the township's building department. Roncelli said that while Pontiac and Bloomfield Township have not completely finalized details of the agreement, it appears to be on track.
Liquor license approved
loomfield Hills' last remaining liquor license was granted to Arkan Jonna for a restaurant he is planning in The Plaza at Woodward and Long Lake. The restaurant, to be owned by the AF Jonna Company, but operated by Fox Partners LLC, will be called Fox Grill. According to Arkan Jonna's son Jordan, who presented to the City Commission just prior to approval on Tuesday, September 14., the grill will be an upscale casual restaurant, similar in style to Beverly Hills Grill and Red Coat Tavern, with the addition of a stone-oven pizza. Fox Grill will be situated in the center of The Plaza, with entrances and parking accessibility from both the front and rear of the building. It is anticipated to be approximately 3,000 square feet, and seat just under 100 patrons, inclusive of a bar. “We want to add liquor and wine to complement the menu and bring it to a higher level,” said Jordan Jonna. “Otherwise, it could be like a coney island. And this will be no Leo's Coney Island.” The Jonnas informed the commissioners that they have already hired management for the restaurant. “We have hired the manager who worked at Ruth's Chris Steak House for many years,” said Jonna. “He has worked at upscale restaurants for many years.” They said Fox Grill will serve lunch and dinner, and may serve breakfast or brunch later on. The Jonnas emphasized that while they have made certain determinations for the restaurant and menu, it is still a work in progress. They said they anticipate a moderate price point. Commissioner Sarah McClure had concerns about the building having enough parking to accommodate a 100-seat restaurant. Bloomfield Hills attorney William Hampton said the parking requirements were considered and satisfied when the building's site plans were approved. Jonna said they hope to offer valet parking at certain times of the day. Commissioner Mike Zambricki asked what had happened to the liquor license owned by the former Fox & Hounds restaurant. “I had it under contract, but I decided not to close on it,” said Jonna. “Kevin Downey (the former owner of Fox & Hounds) is contemplating transferring the license to either Royal Oak or Pontiac,” responded Hampton. Commissioners were concerned about the possibility of Jonna one day transferring this last liquor license out of the city, and asked Hampton if they could make it a condition that it always remain in the city if they approved the request for the liquor license. “You cannot legally impose that condition by the Michigan Liquor Commission. But you can request that he signs something that he will not transfer the license out of Bloomfield Hills. Once he signs that agreement, that becomes an enforceable contract,” said Hampton. “For over 20 years, we've been talking about how we only have one license left, so we better be careful how we use it. In my opinion, this is the best use of one in the last 20 years that has been kicking around. I support this,” said Zambricki. The other commissioners agreed, voting 5-0 to approve AF Jonna's request for a liquor license. Zambricki made the motion, with McClure seconding it. Hampton informed Jonna that he must immediately post a $2,000 cash bond, and commence business within six months. Hampton said these were state requirements. “We can meet this right away,” said Jonna. Jonna's next course of action is to apply to the state for liquor license approval.
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Outdoor ice skating may return to city The request of some neighborhood associations for outdoor ice skating in the winter is resulting in the Parks and Recreation Board investigating the possibility of the city offering that as another option for casual,less structured skating than the Birmingham Ice Arena offers. Members of the St. James Neighborhood Association met with the Howarth Association and decided outdoor skating was something their residents would enjoy and the groups asked the city to consider the issue. “It's a costly endeavor, and a lot of work to set up and maintain,” said Lauren Wood, director of public service for Birmingham. “It's something that likely cannot be built until at least January, because of the weather. Some years you can get about six weeks of skating out of it, some only two.” She estimated that it would cost between $5,000 and $9,000 a season, between staff, set up, and maintenance costs. Nonetheless, she is supportive of the idea of seeing if the city can once again offer outdoor skating. For many years, when the weather was appropriate and it was deemed
safe enough, the city would clear an area of Quarton Lake for skating. “But it's a safety and liability issue. The city says to stay off the ice. We do not encourage it. It's a water situation,” Wood said. Quarton Lake is part of the Rouge River tributary, not an enclosed lake. She noted that neighborhood people still clear areas of Quarton Lake with brooms or snow blowers for skaters when the weather gets really cold, but it's something Birmingham does not condone. In the past, the city also would flood municipal tennis courts for skaters. Wood said she and the board have suggested two locations that could be utilized for outdoor skating. One is Barnum Park, which is a central Birmingham location, and has a bowl area with a drain and power. Michael Dul & Associates, the landscape architect for Barnum Park, presumably designed the park with outdoor skating in mind. The second option is Booth Park, at the northern edge of the city. Booth Park has a small sledding hill, so an ice rink would be complementary. “We're just beginning to scratch the surface of discussions and we're encountering differing views. Some board members really like the idea, and some feel why would we need
City considers changing vendor ordinance By Lisa Brody
irmingham is considering amending its peddler and vendor ordinance to allow food carts, artisans, and other service vendors to set up shop on some of Birmingham's streets and alleyways. “The thought is to try to activate the streets, alleyways, and passageways a little more,” said Jana Ecker, planning director for the city of Birmingham. A subcommittee from Birmingham's Planning Board has been meeting and studying the pros and cons of allowing different kinds of vendors in Birmingham. “Our office has been getting requests from vendors and businesses, and we feel it is something to be considered,” she said. Birmingham's current Peddlers and Vendors ordinance was last approved on April 4, 1997. It prohibits peddling or vendors without a permit from the city, acknowledges parent organizations at school events, special events which crop up in the city periodically, and vending at school or other athletic events in city parks as permissible.
this if we have a nice ice arena,” Wood said. “But this would be for much more casual skating.”
New proposal for downtown property The long-vacant property at the corner of Woodward Avenue, Brown and Peabody streets in downtown Birmingham is the subject of a new development plan. A development proposal has been introduced to the Planning Board by Harvey Weiss of Weiss Samona Land Development of Royal Oak and includes a five-story mixed use building. According to Jana Ecker, planning department director, the first floor will consist of retail, three floors of office space are proposed, and the fifth floor will be residential. There had been discussion at the Planning Commission as the developer is insistent that the project is only viable in this economy if he has one floor of residential, not two as the overlay district mandates. He is requesting three floors of office space. The plans indicate 10 residential units on the fifth floor, rather than spread out over the fourth and fifth floors, as previous developers had shown. According to city ordinance, new
Newspaper delivery persons, salespeople conducting normal business, and persons traveling on an established route are exempt from the vendor ordinance. Ecker presented a proposal to members of the Principal Shopping District (PSD), which has a subcommittee examining it. The subcommittee will provide a recommendation to the PSD board at its October 7 meeting, and then the PSD will offer their perspective to the City Commission at a later commission meeting. Ecker told the PSD that the idea behind having vendors was to put them in Shain and Booth parks, to encourage them to stay and enjoy the park. She further noted that activating the alleys and passageways in town was a proposal in the 2016 plan, and utilizing vendors may be one way to do that. The idea, she said, would be to have vendors set up permanent spots for the season. “Some retailers view it as a conflict,” said PSD Executive Director John Heiney. “We understand that the more activities in and around downtown, the more vibrancy there is. But you have to weigh the interests of the retailers who have a much larger investment in the downtown, between rent, utilities, build-outs, property taxes, and those kinds of things.”
or redeveloped building in the Central Business District of downtown must conform to having retail on the first floor of the building to promote walkability, and at least one floor of residential, with some commercial office space allowed on the remaining floors. City Commissioner Mark Nickita, a former a long-time member of the Planning Board, said a bank would be going into the first floor space. According to the city ordinance, a bank would qualify as a retail establishment. Planning Board notes are consistent with that, showing plans for a a drive through bank operation, with discussions regarding the possibility of having an ATM on the Woodward side of the building, and the hours of a drive through operation. The building also offers an additional 26,425 square feet of underground parking that will provide on-site parking for 40 vehicles. There is a proposal for valet parking on Peabody. Decisions were to be postponed until the September 22 meeting, when a determination regarding usage of the fourth floor were to be decided as well. As of press time, Weiss Samona's potential investment had not yet been identified.
The PSD had questions of what kinds of vendors would be allowed, what fees would be charged, times and specific locations that would be permitted, size of vendor spaces, specific locations, events that would be allowable for vendors, and if existing merchants could apply for a freestanding vendor position. Ecker said possible changes to the ordinance would not be presented to the City Commission until late October or November, and the earliest that there could be some vendors around the city would be next year. “If vendor licenses are done properly, it could be a definite plus to downtown,” said Commissioner Stuart Sherman. “But it cannot detract from what we have accomplished. We do not want to trip over them like you do in New York or Washington D.C.” Sherman recognizes the possible conflict between vendors and the existing retailers, and feels they would have to be unique, different kinds of vendors that would not compete with the retailers. “We have to consider our brick and mortar retailers, who are paying property taxes and PSD fees,” he said. “Will it give one of these vendors an unfair advantage?”
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Hills voters to decide library Bloomfield Hills voters will consider approving levying a .617 millage to allow access for residents to the Bloomfield Township library, and to create an independent library board. The new library board will be an independent authority with the power to both sign contracts for access to the township library, and perform other duties ascribed to a library, including the authority to build a library. Bloomfield Hills and the Bloomfield Township library had a previous use contract but a fall out took place in 2004 when the city and library officials disagreed over financial terms, leaving residents without access to a local library. The city currently contracts with Troy for library access, but due to funding constraints and a millage failure, the Troy library will close June 30, 2011, leaving Bloomfield Hills residents without local library access. Bloomfield Hills resident Larry Neal submitted petitions to Bloomfield Hills City Clerk Amy Burton to place a millage for library services on the ballot. If the millage passes, Neal and others say they are hoping to work with Bloomfield Hills government to develop a library contract with the Bloomfield Township library. According to Burton, the city has not had any conversations with the library about future services, but that Neal has. She said a library board member attended a recent city commission meeting, expressing support for Neal's position. “Under the statute (Public Act 164 of 1877), any resident can go over to the library and discuss things, but he would not have final authority to have final discussions with them,” said Burton. The proposal asks voters to approve .617 mills for six years to establish a library fund and independent library board. A mill is equal to $1 for every $1,000 of a property's taxable value, which is generally equal to half of the property's market value. The owner of a home with a taxable value of $400,000 ($800,000 market value) would pay $246.80 a year for library services. downtownpublications.com
Transit center progressing
regional intramodal transit center straddling both Birmingham and Troy appears to becoming closer to reality. A joint planning meeting between the two cities was held on Wednesday, September 8 in Birmingham. Birmingham Planner Jana Ecker said that many previous obstacles to constructing the transit center have been resolved, and preliminary site plan approval was awarded at the meeting. Amended plans for the transit center now include an elevator to make the center compliant with the American Disabilities Act; the possibility of adding heated sidewalks; a canopy and platform on the Birmingham side to ameliorate the “bus stop” image; and the number of parking spots on each side. On the Troy side, there are 106 spaces. On the Birmingham side, a total of 35 spaces will be provided. That is a significant increase over the current four spots at the Amtrak station. At issue has been an argument by the original land holder, Grand/Sakwa Properties Inc. of Farmington Hills and the city of Troy, and a lawsuit by Grand/Sakwa alleging that the transit center was not actually funded in the proper time since grant funding has not all been received in hand. Grand/ Sakwa had filed a new motion that their original consent judgment stipulated, at least in part, on the transit center being fully-funded by June 2, 2010, and that if that didn't occur, the property would revert back to the company. That is the remedy that Grand/Sakwa is currently pursuing. A status conference, in lieu of an originally scheduled evidentiary hearing, between the company and the city of Troy is currently scheduled for September 29. While Birmingham has had a train station for over a century, the idea for a multi-functional transit center first came about in 1999, when Grand/Sakwa attempted to buy the former Ford New Holland Tractor site in Troy. They filed a lawsuit against Troy to get the zoning the firm wanted for the site. After lengthy mediation, all parties agreed to a consent judgment that would allow for the development Grand Sakwa wanted, with the stipulation that the city of Troy receive a 4 acre parcel of the land along the railroad tracks at the TroyBirmingham border for use as a transit center In the
If passed, the millage could raise almost $500,000 in its first year to pay for the library contract and attorneys fees. It would first be levied in December 2010, and would fund two three-year contracts with the Bloomfield Township library. If the new library board does not succeed in negotiating a contract with the township library, it could save its money and decide to construct and maintain a city library. The millage vote would also provide for the City Commission to establish a provisional independent library board. The board members would serve as appointees of Mayor
agreement, there was a mandatory proviso that construction begin by June 2010. Grand/Sakwa subsequently developed the property located near Maple and Coolidge roads in Troy as Midtown Development and Midtown Square, which features a Kroger, Home Depot, Target, and other stores. “We have an act of Congress, signed on December 18, 2009 by the President, and if that isn't proof, I do not know what is,” said Ecker. “We have a signed agreement for a LED grant for $250,000. Birmingham and Troy have set aside $1.6 million combined. And we have received $8.4 million of stimulus money, which was announced on January 28, 2010. “It's going through the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) right now,” she continued. “We submitted environmental assessments, statement of work, and a project management plan. It's all in the FRA's hands now, and they've been inundated with paperwork with grant-approved projects from around the country.” Ecker noted that Grand/Sakwa's suit initially had issues with encroachment of the transit center on some of the shopping center's property. “The plans have all been amended so we do not encroach on their property,” she said. “They do not have to give Troy any deeds or easements now. It's all on land that was deeded to the city.” On the Birmingham side, they have one of two desired parcels under contract, having purchased it from Birmingham Schools. It is located on Holland Street. A second parcel, on Edgemere, had an offer proffered by the city, but the landowner came back with double the appraised value—$900,000. “He had no appraisal value, and we had appraised his site and the surrounding sites. His did not even have road frontage,” said Ecker. The city is hopeful they will be able to reach a purchase price agreement with the land owner. Otherwise, Ecker notes there are other options. She did not reveal those plans at this time.
Michael McCready until the city's May elections, when library board members would be elected, said William Hampton, the city's attorney. At that election, the two receiving the most votes would serve three-year terms. The next two top vote getters would serve two-year terms; the remaining two would each serve a one-year term on the library board. “Ultimately, we would like to contract for full access to the Bloomfield Township library,” Neal said. “What I'm hearing from my neighbors and people I'm meeting throughout the city is they want to use the township library, and this
plan will get them that.” Hampton said that city commissioners were required to place the issue on the ballot because of the petitions. However, the City Commission did fine tune the ballot language to limit the levy to .617 mills for a period of six years and require a vote of the people for any increased levies in the future. “My thoughts are, that when they came up with this petition, and with this amount, is that they believe that they can come to an agreement with the Bloomfield Township library for this amount of money,” said Hampton. 33
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Telegraph Road construction project update By Lisa Brody
Nearly seven months of construction on Telegraph Road between 8 Mile Road and Orchard Lake Road will be coming to an end in the next two months, with nearly all of the planned work completed on time, provided Mother Nature cooperates. But not before numerous businesses have suffered due to the decreased ability of visitors to reach their operations. Telegraph, or US-24, has been a project of the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), and while it appears to be one long, continuous project, it has actually been three separate road construction undertakings. The first segment, between 8 Mile Road and I696, was a $9 million investment by MDOT to resurface the roadway after installing a new storm sewer system, guard rails and sign updates. “We are anticipating having all paving work done by mid to late-November, weather permitting,” said Rob Morosi, MDOT spokesperson. The middle project, from I-696 to 12 Mile Road, and then from 12 Mile to Long Lake Road, is costing $35 million, and includes a new drainage system, some sidewalk requests from Franklin Village, Bingham Farms and Bloomfield Township, and relocation of median crossovers. “We've relocated two median crossovers in the vicinity of 12 Mile Road because it is a high crash location,” said Morosi. “We're hoping that by separating and relocating the crossovers, it will be safer for the motoring public.” Within this segment, MDOT has encountered a significant problem which will set back part of this leg of the road construction project until next year. When digging in the median between 13 and 14 Mile roads on Telegraph, they discovered a sanitary sewer, built in 1978, was in a location significantly different than what they had anticipated. “It was much higher than we had been told, so there was no way we could put the roadway in with it at the present location. It was the biggest hurdle we faced on this job,” Morosi said. “It has delayed that area (between 13 and 14 Mile roads) by about two months.” Morosi said that Franklin Village owns that segment of Telegraph Road, and MDOT worked with the Franklin Drain Commission to come up with a viable option to relocate the sanitary sewer much farther down in the median. “It had to be done. If that sanitary sewer was not relocated, over time, it would become a serious situation, backing up into homes, businesses and onto Telegraph,” Morosi said. MDOT is covering the cost overruns, although Morosi does not yet know exactly what those costs will be. downtownpublications.com
MDOT's intention had been to have all of the paving work completed by the end of construction season 2010, but due to this unexpected sewer hurdle, the goal will be missed. “Northbound Telegraph between 12 Mile Road and Maple will have to be rebuilt in 2011,” Morosi said. “Because this issue was on the southbound side, this delayed us from starting on the northbound side by over two months, so we decided we are not going to start the sewer work now, and have it and pavement open, and have winter set in and leave it all open. Instead, this year we will remove part of the median and put temporary pavement down, so there are no lane closures during the winter, with three full lanes open, and as soon as spring breaks, we can begin ASAP.” Morosi noted that the Telegraph Road project was always destined to be a two-year project. Plans for 2011 include southbound intermittent lane closures, restoration work, permanent lane marking, landscaping, grass installation and full median restoration work. The third leg of the Telegraph Road construction project has been a $7 million project made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), better known as stimulus funds. It is being used to rebuild the northbound lanes of Telegraph from Square Lake to Orchard Lake roads, and capital preventive maintenance work on southbound lanes. The preventive maintenance work is taking the form of removal and replacement of large concrete blocks of pavement. Additionally, per a request from Bloomfield Township, MDOT has installed a new water main in the center medium, which necessitated the closing of all center crossovers for a period of time from south of Square Lake Road to north of Orchard Lake, causing headaches for both motorists and businesses along that heavily-traveled stretch. “The last thing we wanted to do is rebuild and then have the township ripping the road up later. There is a lot of coordination that a lot of people do not see,” said Morosi. “The goal was to put the three projects in over one year instead of piecemeal over three years. “It was a nightmare until a week before Labor Day, when two lanes each way were paved and some of the turnarounds re-opened,” said Jeff Selik, owner of Hillside Furniture. “We had a construction sale before, and now we've kicked off a re-opening US-24 sale, with an extra 24 percent off through the end of October.” Selik said he saw a drop in casual shoppers because they couldn't get to his store without crossovers between Square Lake and Orchard Lake roads. He said people who were serious Hillside DOWNTOWN
Furniture shoppers made it in, but often came in frustrated when they got there. “We had bottles of cold water for them when they came in, and had them sit down and relax,” he said. Carl Rose, owner of Carl's Golfland on Telegraph north of Square Lake in Bloomfield Township, agrees that there's no doubt that the construction impacted his sales this season. “You could see the difference in business, especially in the lunch and after work traffic. You just didn't get the after work rally at all,” he said. He notes that his season is May through August, which is when the construction work was at its worst. “Customers are so frustrated and PO'd when they walk in the door. I have two stores, one in Bloomfield Township and one in Plymouth. Usually they trend the same, but no longer. This store is down. It's become a “never mind” year,” he said. The impact from road projects on businesses was the topic of statewide legislation that Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson unveiled in September. Patterson's proposal would grant property tax relief of 50 percent for businesses that are adversely impacted by major construction projects that hinder or obstruct traffic in front of their business location. Such projects would include road construction, bridge construction, water and sewer construction, and other miscellaneous projects. “My rationale is quite simple,” said Patterson. “Major road improvement projects can go on for well over a year. During that time the public will seek alternative routes to avoid the inevitable traffic tie-ups and businesses along the highway that's under construction experience a significant drop in their business revenues. Layoffs are not uncommon. And some enterprises even go out of business because the public cannot get to the business location.” At Maple just west of Telegraph Beau Jack's restaurant has been offering an “Orange Barrel Blues” lunch menu, noting their lunch business has been off due to the construction traffic. Entree salads are $7.49, burgers and salads are $5.99, wine by the glass is $1.75, and draft beer is $1.75. “We know what a hassle the construction traffic on Telegraph Road is for our valued lunch customers, and some days we understand you just don't want to fight it,” the special menu said. Owner Gary Cochran said that construction workers are excluded from participating in the promotion. 35
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EDUCATION Millage proposals for new high school Bloomfield Hills voters will face two Nov. 2 ballot proposals devoted to the proposed new high school to be built on Andover High School's campus in the next few years. The first is a millage renewal and the second is a bonding proposal. The two proposals, if passed, would maintain the current 2.17-mill rate in the district. One proposal is for a .74mill sinking fund renewal and the second is for a 1.43-mill bond request. A mill is equal to $1 for every $1,000 of a property's taxable value, which is generally equal to half of the property's market value. A home with a $100,000 taxable value ($200,000 market value) would pay $217 annually for construction of a new high school and repair and maintenance of existing buildings. The two proposals would raise approximately $90 million, according to Bloomfield Hills Superintendent Robert Glass, with the majority of the
money going to pay for a new high school to replace Andover and Lahser High Schools. The new high school is being designed to accommodate 1,600 to 2,200 students, and should be open in four to five years. Glass said that while both millages are necessary, the district is committed to going to one high school whether or not the ballot proposals pass. While the majority of the funds raised from the two ballot issues would be used to fund the new high school, a portion of the money would be used to consolidate administrators of the district into one building and to move a maintenance facility to make way for the new school. Some funding would also be set aside for maintenance of district buildings for several years. The district decided in June of this year to consolidate the two current high schools into one new school and projected an annual savings of $2.5 million once completed. District officials say that the new high school could be open in 2014.
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Upper Straits Lake $3,900,000 Custom designed home on the highest elevation on private lake! Spectacular landscaping with three stone patios and walkways to water. Home has very open floor plan with walkout lower level with 10' ceilings. Expansive use of floor to ceiling windows with spectacular lake views! Private gated community of custom designed Estates!Â Four bedrooms with 4.2 baths. 210103249 Presented by Ronni Keating
Bloomfield Hills $3,250,000
Custom designed home built by Deneweth across from Bloomfield Hills Country Club. Wonderful floor plan featuring first floor master suite with sitting room and dual fireplace. Four bedroom suites in upper level. Walk out lower level with guest suite, family room, kitchen with granite bar, theater, exercise room and back stairway. Six bedrooms with 7.2 baths. 210057032 Presented by Ronni Keating
Beautiful new construction. This unique Stone Villa is reminiscent of a home you would see on a French Countryside. Very high quality throughout. Open living spaces. Rich Walnut paneled library. Living room with fireplace and built-in bookcases. Four bedrooms with 3.2 baths. 28062807 Presented by Ronni Keating
SKBK Sothebyâ€™s International Realty skbk.com
248.644.7000 Equal Housing Opportunity
Bloomfield Village $1,295,000
Stylish Contemporary set on 2 acres of beautifully manicured grounds. Boasting over 5,600 sq.ft. of living space, this home is truly special. Generous rooms offer perfect space for entertaining. Gorgeous white kitchen, first floor laundry, three ample bedrooms with a possible fourth, three full baths and two powder rooms. This home is a true retreat! 210098519 Presented by Sara Lipnitz
Stunning and stylish décor with great details in this newer construction. Great built-ins, wainscoting and thick millwork. Gourmet kitchen opens to family room, master bedroom with huge walk in closet and spa like bath, second floor laundry and finished lower level. Five bedrooms with 5.1 baths. 210010160 Presented by Sara Lipnitz
Gracious Quarton Lake Estates home. Soaring ceilings, custom details and stylish décor. Gourmet kitchen boasts premium appliances and granite. Generous master suite with a spa-like bath and huge walk-in closet. First floor laundry, finished lower level with recreation room and storage. Four bedrooms with 4.1 baths. 210081534 Presented by Sara Lipnitz
Relocation forces sale, sellers are heartbroken. High style and sophistication. Newer home with an open floor plan and finished lower level. Exquisite interior finishes, no expense was spared. Details include a granite kitchen, custom outfitted study, great storage, cobblestone drive and first floor laundry. Prime location on a dead end street. Four bedrooms with 4.1 baths. 210096484 Presented by Sara Lipnitz
SKBK Sotheby’s International Realty skbk.com Equal Housing Opportunity
Oakland Township $2,850,000
Bloomfield Hills $1,990,000
Beautifully tucked within 7+ acres of Oakland Twp. grandeur. Spacious European Country House has premium appointments and high-end detailing throughout. Lovely guest quarters is complete with chefs kitchen. Nature, wildlife and ultimate tranquility are hallmarks of this magnificent estate. Full complement of sophisticated mechanical/electrical componentry. Six bedrooms with 9.3 baths. 210090251 Presented by Mike Cotter & Paula Law
Absolutely stunning private location beautifully set behind Bloomfield Hills Country Club. This spacious Colonial features great room sizes. Gated entry, manicured grounds and an opportunity to customize to your liking! Grand marbled foyer overlooks lovely rooms ideal for entertaining large groups. Four bedrooms with 3.2 baths. 210090660 Presented by Mike Cotter
Exquisite David Lubin designed in-town house. Granite and onyx countertops, slab marble floors and showers in baths, Brazilian Cherry hardwood on first and second floors. Finished walkout lower with heated tile floors, wet bar, wine cellar, fireplace and median room. Four bedrooms with 4.1 baths. 210026230 Presented by Mike Cotter & Paula Law
Almost brand new construction with the finest materials and features. Hand scraped Walnut floors. Open great room floor plan. Exquisite kitchen, premier baths, on and on. First and second floor master suites, as well as laundry rooms. Beautiful library with stone fireplace. Dual staircases. Daylight basement. Four bedrooms with 3.1 baths. 29107403 Presented by Mike Cotter & Paula Law
Mike Cotter & Paula Law
SKBK Sothebyâ€™s International Realty skbk.com
248.644.7000 Equal Housing Opportunity
Birmingham $1,795,000 Stylish and Elegant Townhouse, adorned with high end contemporary finishes! Features include large living room open to dining room, stunning custom kitchen, luxury family room, bluestone patio, elevator and finished lower level. Master suite features a custom dressing room and marble bath with jetted tub and walk in shower. Finished lower level has kitchenette, living area with fireplace and full bath. Three bedrooms with 4.1 baths. 29074015 Presented by Renee Acho
2006 Custom Built Crafted Masterpiece! Flowing floor plan adorned with custom carved wood walls, coffered ceilings and high end finishes. Large dining room, high end kitchen with gathering area, theater room and two entry level bedrooms. Second floor leads to extensive master suite and two spacious additional bedroom suites. Five bedrooms with 6.2 baths. 210056304 Presented by Renee Acho
Elegant foyer with cascading staircase leads to the white eat in kitchen, study, living room with fireplace and dining room with French doors to Zen like private yard with huge deck. Second floor with family/bonus room, master suite with luxurious bath and two additional bedrooms. Finished lower level with family room, additional bedroom and full bath. 210055881 Presented by Renee Acho
SKBK Sothebyâ€™s International Realty skbk.com Equal Housing Opportunity
Bloomfield $2,495,000 Bloomfield Village home on a magnificent 1.7 acres. Exceptional features include five bedroom suites, six full baths, dramatic master suite with fireplace and his and her dual entry shower. Open floor plan with gourmet kitchen and a beautiful library with stunning fireplace. Four car attached garage, additional 2200 sq. ft. in lower level and extensive use of millwork. 210106593 Presented by Cindy Obron Kahn
Bloomfield Hills $1,095,000
Stylish Colonial Renovated to Perfection! Stunning home on hilltop setting in a private cul-de-sac features hardwood floors throughout, gourmet kitchen with top of line stainless steel appliances and marble counter, great family room with bar area and large fireplace, lovely master suite with spa like marble and stone bath. Four bedrooms with 3.2 baths. 210106580 Presented by Cindy Obron Kahn
Exceptional custom built Contemporary on over half acre, close to downtown Franklin. Open floor plan with two story foyer, floor to ceiling windows in living and dining room with custom mahogany built-ins. Finished lower level with fifth bedroom, bath and recreation room. Great family home. Five bedrooms with 4.2 baths. 210109160 Presented by Cindy Obron Kahn
Cindy Obron Kahn
SKBK Sothebyâ€™s International Realty skbk.com
248.644.7000 Equal Housing Opportunity
Pine Lake Frontage $2,495,000
Independence Township $1,060,000
Welcome to the “Ginger Bread Cottage” with 175 feet of frontage on private Pine Lake. Landmark home designed by William Kuni (Ford Mansion). Loads of charm and updates including brand new kitchen currently under construction. Nine fireplaces. Eight bedrooms with 5.5 baths. Five car garage. 210061790 Presented by Bill Tracy
Spectacular four year old custom built home on 10.7 wooded acres. Tall ceilings, granite, travertine tile and wide plank wood floors. Luxurious master suite. Four fireplaces. Finished walk out with second kitchen, full bath and bedroom. Six bedrooms with 5.3 baths. 210001716 Presented by Bill Tracy
Open floor plan and high quality appointments throughout. Stainless appliances and granite counters. Second floor laundry. Finished daylight basement with full bath and wet bar for 1,000 sq ft of additional living space. Beautiful Brazilian Cherry Hardwood floors. Crown molding. New paver patio. Two car garage with loft. Fenced with Electric Gate. Three bedrooms with 3.1 baths. 210088447 Presented by Bill Tracy & Christine Johnson
Located along beautiful Beach Road in Northwest Troy on a beautiful lot with 1.8 acres, stream, pond, large shed and only minutes from Somerset Collection and Birmingham. Almost 6,000 square feet of living space with six bedrooms and 4.2 baths. Indoor swimming pool. Four car garage and much more. 210058485 Presented by Bill Tracy & Christine Johnson
Bill Tracy & Christine Johnson
SKBK Sotheby’s International Realty skbk.com Equal Housing Opportunity
Lake Huron Frontage $999,999
Bloomfield Hills $995,000
1,300 feet of frontage on Scammon Cove, Drummond Island. Forty-five plus acres (split able) with long private gravel driveway but also abuts paved roadway on the east side. Private beach and owned deep water boat dock. Great for summer home, bed and breakfast or vacation rental. Right bedrooms and 3.2 baths. 210015601 Presented by Maureen Francis & Dmitry Koublistky
A slice of heaven in the City of Bloomfield Hills on 1.45 acres. Updated walk-out Ranch with cedar shake roof and open floor plan. Five bedrooms, 3.2 bathrooms, 3800+ sq. ft. Finished lower level boasts an additional 2,687 sq. ft. Hardwood floors throughout first floor. Magnificent landscape includes ornamental pond and pathways. 210061035 Presented by Maureen Francis & Dmitry Koublistky
Bloomfield Hills $725,000
Bloomfield Hills $595,000
Two plus acres in the City of Bloomfield Hills! Serene tranquility surrounds this spacious Ranch featuring six bedrooms with 4.1 baths. Over 5,600 sq. ft on both levels. Sunroom off the kitchen and large formal dining room with cathedral ceiling. Fenced deck and kidney shape pool overlook huge private backyard. 210025301 Presented by Maureen Francis & Dmitry Koublistky
Over $200,000 in updates in the last three years. Pristine condition and priced to sell. Beautiful fieldstone fireplace in family room. Paneled library with fireplace. First and second floor laundries. Newly finished lower level wired for home theater. New office with built-ins in master. Wine Cellar. Four bedrooms with 4.2 baths. 210086180 Presented by Maureen Francis & Dmitry Koublistky
Maureen Francis & Dmitry Koublistky
SKBK Sothebyâ€™s International Realty skbk.com
248.644.7000 Equal Housing Opportunity
Lake Angelus Frontage $1,999,900
Lake Angelus Frontage $1,795,000
Contemporary Tudor on over one acre with 6,854 sq. ft. of modern sophistication. Granite kitchen, Sub Zero, Viking, Themador and Bosch appliances. First floor junior master. Three fireplaces. 1,800 sq. ft. Mahogany deck with hot tub. Five bedrooms with five baths. 210021093 Presented by Lee Embrey
Fabulous newer construction on all sports Lake Angelus. Breathtaking views from every room in this South facing Transitional home. Superb craftsmanship, cherry kitchen and top end appliances. First floor master with marble bath. Finished walkout lower level, four car garage, and sandy frontage. Four bedrooms with 5.1 baths. 210105579 Presented by Lee Embrey
Lake Angelus Frontage $1,499,900
Lake Angelus Frontage $950,000
Fabulous sunsets from this beautiful Estate with over 150’ of lake frontage. Three plus acres with three bedrooms, two baths (grandfathered) Guest House. Up to date home has views from every room in the Main House. First floor master bedroom. Lower level with sauna and hot tub, family room and second kitchen. Four bedrooms with 4.5 baths. 210089316 Presented by Lee Embrey
Beautiful South Shore location with 4.06 acres and 124’ of lake frontage. Stone pillars at the entrance. Wonderful 2,500 sq. ft. 1860’s stone pillars at the entrance. The sale reflects the age of the farm house, which could be renovated if desired. Three to four bedrooms with 1.2 baths. 210054828 Presented by Lee Embrey
SKBK Sotheby’s International Realty skbk.com Equal Housing Opportunity
Builder's unbeatable low price and top quality make this newer construction home the best value in Bloomfield. Previously lived in just a year. More square footage, more custom detail and more quality. Birmingham Schools. Walnut Lake privileges. Circular drive with three car garage. Four bedrooms with 3.1 baths. 210099696 Presented by Lisa Sturdevant
If you know Maplewood Homes quality and reputation in Bloomfield, you know this one won't last! Well appointed new construction perfect for family life and entertaining. Featuring crown molding throughout, Granite in kitchen, all baths and laundry room. Bloomfield Hills schools and access to Kern lake for swimming. Don't miss out! 29140499 Presented by Lisa Sturdevant
Bloomfield Hills $599,900
Completely renovated with exceptional and open floor plan. Spacious granite kitchen. Tranquil one acre lot with circular drive, sprinkler system, deck and gazebo. Birmingham Schools. Four bedrooms with 2.1 baths. 210089028 Presented by Lisa Sturdevant
Maplewood Homes Builder owners personal residence. Completely renovated in 2008. Gourmet Granite kitchen, first floor master and crown molding throughout. Bridge overlooks foyer. Cedar roof, circular drive, nature trail behind wooded private lot and two decks. Five bedrooms with 4.3 baths. 210064732 Presented by Lisa Sturdevant
SKBK Sothebyâ€™s International Realty skbk.com
248.644.7000 Equal Housing Opportunity
SOUTHERN MICHIGAN’S MOST UNIQUE PROPERTY! Approximately 2,000 Contiguous Acres - Including a 100 acre lake Additional adjoining 595 acres also available for close to 2600 acres
Manchester Township & Norvell Township • 1 1/2 hours from Detroit • 45 minutes from downtown Ann Arbor • 200 Miles east of Chicago Opportunities exist to create a private recreational retreat or to create a conservation development design or a preserve for future generations. Civil War Italianate home ready for restoration (once a station in Michigan’s Underground Railroad Systems.)
RECREATIONAL RETREAT Consider this distinctive property located in Washtenaw & Jackson counties for your personal estate, corporate getaway, hunt club or recreational retreat. The topography is diverse, including a high hill overlooking the 100 acre Watkins Lake.
PRESERVE What legacy will you leave? Permanently preserving and protecting property (homes & land) can have significant federal, state and local tax and / or additional monetary advantages for you and your family.
CONSERVATION DESIGN DEVELOPMENT Conservation design development can simultaneously accomplish three often mutually exclusive goals. Higher net profits realized by a developer, improved privacy of building sites while maintaining or increasing home density, and permanently conserving over 80% of the total property acreage and natural resources. #210086302
Beverly McCotter & Bill Vandercook
SKBK Sotheby’s International Realty skbk.com Equal Housing Opportunity
Bloomfield Hills $5,999,000 This true mansion sits prestigiously on a hilltop with spectacular views of its four acres. Absolutely stunning architectural details walk you through the residence. From its captivating grand foyer, palatial two story great room, expansive library and spacious formal dining room. Seven bedrooms with 8.3 baths. 210055448 Presented by Jill Beshouri
Bloomfield Hills $3,200,000 Luxury and Style abound! Custom millwork throughout and perfectly manicured landscaping. Chef's Kitchen hearth room and breakfast area. Master Suite with sitting area, his/her baths, dressing area and custom walk in closets. Walk out lower level offers fireplace, kitchenette/wet bar, hardwood floors, media and exercise rooms, plus billiards area. Five bedrooms with 7.2 baths. 210051936 Presented by Kathy Lyons
SKBK Sothebyâ€™s International Realty skbk.com
248.644.7000 Equal Housing Opportunity
Lotus Lake Frontage $3,800,000
Franklin Village $1,999,999
Exceptional Unique Tobocman and Lawrence home on Lotus Island with stunning views of Lotus Lake. Escape to your private one acre island complete with state of the art Contemporary Home. Patio stretches to the waterfront and overlooks the lake and fountains. Absolute masterpiece! Two bedroom with 2.1 bath. 210062764 Presented by Karen Atchoo
Spectacular home situated on almost two acres. Two and half story great room abounds with light and true beauty of workmanship in moldings and beautiful Brazilian cherry floors. Library with Mahogany bookcases. Large first floor master, chefâ€™s dream kitchen, walk in pantry, formal dining room and private au-pair suite. Finished lower level with kitchen. Six bedrooms with 5.2 baths. 210099347 Presented by Donna Barlow
Shelby Township $1,200,000
Gorgeous updated home on magnificent acre lot on one of Birmingham's most sought after streets. Granite kitchen with top of the line appliances that opens up to spectacular great room. Beautiful first floor master, elegant living room and private, sophisticated den. Large second family room that could be 5th bedroom. 210108151 Presented by Kris Barich and Molly Henneghan
Exquisite custom built luxury home with amazing European appointments that include a fireplace lit private sitting area in the master bedroom. Outdoor patio with built-in grill, a beautifully finished daylight basement with a full service kitchen, bar style seating and wine cellar just adjacent to the state-of-the-art 14 seat movie theatre. Four bedrooms with 5.2 baths. 210086419 Presented by Avery Weisling
SKBK Sothebyâ€™s International Realty skbk.com Equal Housing Opportunity
All upgrades, hardwood throughout first floor, beautiful bright kitchen with top of the line appliances and opens to family room with fireplace. Four bedrooms with 4.1 baths. 210081155 $799,000. Chuck Foster
Elegant and gracious home in a cul-de-sac location. Completely updated in 2006. Master suite with dual walk in closets. Huge lot with pool and waterfall. Five bedroom with 4.2 baths. 210049606 $790,000. Andrew Teitel
Authentic Cape Cod with a surround patio facing the Rouge River and mature trees. Guest house adds an additional 961 sq.ft. to the living space. Two bedrooms with two baths. 29116090 $750,000. Betty Pince
Gourmet kitchen was just outfitted with granite surfaces, stone black splash and a fresh coat of paint. Hardwood floors throughout. Private deep lot with pergola and gardens. Five bedrooms with 3.2 baths. 210089363 $615,000. Jenny Turner
Gourmet kitchen with top of line cabinets, granite, stainless steel appliances and overlooks family room with fireplace. Brazilian hardwood floors. Three bedrooms with 2.1 baths. 210066068 $499,000. Erin Keating-Dewald
Master bedroom with very large bath with jacuzzi and separate shower. Finished basement with exercise room, kitchenette, bedroom and lavatory. 1st floor laundry.Â Five bedrooms with 4.1 baths. 210102880 $489,000. Jim Casey
Bingham Farms Village
Updated in 2008 Brick Contemporary Ranch on a gorgeous two plus acres. Two story living room with stunning floor to ceiling fireplace. Patio, pool and private yard. Three bedrooms with 3.1 baths. 210104929 $475,000. Candice Cuyler
Exquisitely designed home by Don Paul Young on a private setting. Totally updated. Gourmet cherry and granite kitchen and great room with stone fireplace. Four bedrooms with four baths. 210104202 $449,000. Cindy Obron Kahn
Three ample bedrooms, updated baths, newer kitchen with stainless appliances, gorgeous hardwood floors and newer fixtures. Lush landscaping and underground sprinkler system. 210087363 $350,000. Sara Lipnitz
Beautiful two story foyer, large master suite with wood burning fireplace, balcony and Jacuzzi. Hard wood floors, kitchen with built in Gaggenau stoves and Sub Zero fridge. Birmingham Schools. 210068981 $299,000. Avery Weisling
Arts and crafts Bungalow with two bedrooms, one up and one on main floor, plus a huge loft on the second floor with skylights. Custom cherry cabinets in kitchen with granite counters and updated baths. 210074933 $295,000. Beverly McCotter
Kitchen with maple cabinets and black granite with stainless steel appliances. Granite fireplace hearth. Refinished hardwood floors throughout. All new copper plumbing, PVC, gas piping and electrical. 210106542 $159,900. Kathy Haack
SKBK Sothebyâ€™s International Realty skbk.com
248.644.7000 Equal Housing Opportunity
ranbrook alumnus Gabi Gregg first earned acclaim for her popular fashion blog, “Young, Fat and Fabulous.” Now she's becoming famous as the first MTV-Twitter Jockey (TJ). “It’s just now starting to sink in, and I realize that I work for MTV,” Gregg said. “It felt very surreal.” Gregg earned this unique position after being selected by MTV as a result of her interactive, online activity. “They selected 18 people who are active online and asked if we’d like to be involved in the competition,” she said. “There were online challenges and it was about a six week processes.” Gregg made the top five after earning the popular vote through Facebook, and went to New York for the final competition. Ultimately, she took the title as MTV-TJ. One of her first official duties was acting as a correspondent at the Video Music Awards (VMAs) in Los Angeles. “The VMAs are a huge deal for MTV,” she said. Gregg was involved in the pre-show and Twitter tracked to report what people were talking about in terms of the show. “I tweeted what was going on backstage and, in between, I did celebrity interviews,” she said. “My favorite was Bruno Mars. I just love him. And, I got to interview Travie McCoy. I’ve had a crush on him for so long.” The established fashion blogger attended Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, where she studied International Relations, but felt her calling was to be involved in fashion and social networking. “I wanted to do fashion journalism, but felt it was too late,” Gregg said. “I started looking for jobs in journalism after college and couldn’t find any, probably because I had no experience.” Not ready to give in and accept a job she wasn’t enthusiastic about, Gregg started “Young, Fat and Fabulous,” reaching out to young women who want to feel confident at any size. “There was nothing out there for plus-sizes,” she said. “I wanted to create something to show women they could be young, fashionable and plus-size.” To Gregg’s surprise, she reaches a broader spectrum than she anticipated. “I get emails from 10year-olds and 60-year-olds.” Through a slow process, Gregg has personally gained a positive body image, and hopes to spread that confidence to other women. “It’s very sad. I think that (women) get so many messages from so many places,” she said. “It’s this constant bombardment that if you’re fat, you’re ugly, and if you’re thin, you’re beautiful. It’s affecting their self-esteem and how they judge others.” While Gregg is now a midtown Manhattan resident, she remembers her years at Cranbrook fondly. “It was one of the best times of my life,” she said. “I want to send my kids there, and I still consider it home in a way.” Gregg will be traveling and working diligently for MTV over the next year, but when she reaches the end of that experience, her goal is to continue to nurture her talents in writing and fashion.
Story: Katey Meisner
248.669.3500 3081 Haggerty, Suite 1 Walled Lake www.newmyer.com Monday - Friday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Evenings & Saturday by Appointment
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STATE Medical marijuana clubs prohibited Legislation to prohibit the establishment of medical marijuana clubs has been introduced in the state House of Representatives. House Bill (HB) 6394, co-sponsored by Reps. Rick Jones (R-Grand Ledge), Eileen Kowall (R-White Lake), David Agema (R-Grandville), and Marty Knollenberg (R-Troy), is designed to prevent the spread of individual medical marijuana establishments, but is not intended to interfere with compassionate medical marijuana distribution at skilled nursing care facilities or hospices, or where allowed under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act. Proposal 08-1, known as the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act, stated that it would permit physicianapproved use of marijuana by registered patients with debilitating medical conditions, including cancer, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, hepatitis C, multiple sclerosis (MS), and other conditions as may be approved by the Department of Community Health. The law requires the Michigan Department of Community Health to establish an identification card system for patients who are subsequently deemed qualified to use marijuana, and individuals qualified to grow marijuana. The law permits registered and unregistered patients and primary caregivers to assert medical reasons for using marijuana as a defense to any prosecution involving marijuana. It also allows individuals, to become known as caregivers, to grow limited amounts of marijuana for qualifying patients in an enclosed, locked facility. It passed by an overwhelming margin in November 2008, and became state law in April 2009. As of September 17, 2010, the Michigan Department of Community Health reports they have received 54,765 new and renewal applications, and have issued 27,755 patient registrations. However, local municipalities are experiencing confusion over how to interpret the law, and how it should work properly. Birmingham and Bloomfield Hills have adopted local ordinances prohibiting dispensaries on the grounds that marijuana is still classified as an illegal drug under federal law. Bloomfield Township currently has a moratorium in place downtownpublications.com
while it is determined how to structure an ordinance for dispensaries and where to allow them to operate. The township will hold a public hearing on October 4 at 7 p.m. at their Board of Trustees meeting. The law's ambiguity, and local communities' uncertainty, has created the opportunity for the legislature to now create laws to help structure usage and dissemination of medical marijuana in keeping with voters' intent. In Oakland County, 68 percent of those who cast ballots in the November 2008 general election voted to approve the use of marijuana for compassionate care; statewide, the ballot proposal passed by 62.1 percent. â€œWhen people voted, they did not envision people smoking at a marijuana bar and then getting in their car and driving,â€? said Kowall. â€œIt's a public safety issue. Voters thought they would be smoking at home.â€? â€œIt's the job of the legislature to regulate this,â€? said Rep. Chuck Moss (R-Birmingham, Bloomfield, Bloomfield Hills). â€œThe bill is not a license to smoke or grow pot. It will take a while for the law to go from pot smoking to medicine. You can't just have guys opening pot places anywhere. It's a recipe for trouble; we've seen that in other states, like California. But you can't just outlaw it, like Birmingham and Bloomfield Hills have done. They're just trying to get a handle on it. â€œIt's going to have to become a legal and medical pharmaceutical concept, and the guys who have jumped ahead and are selling pot out of storefronts and their basements, aren't fitting in,â€? he continued. â€œPeople bought the argument (for the proposition) that it's medicine. It's got to be made into medicine.â€? HB 6394 would prohibit the organization and/or operation of a medical marijuana club. It further would bar a person from operating a marijuana bar, or knowingly allowing land or a structure on land owned, or in his/her possession, to be used as a marijuana bar. The penalty would be a misdemeanor, punishable by 90 days in jail, or a fine more than $500. The bill excludes skilled nursing care facilities, hospices, and any property where marijuana is legally allowed to be dispensed under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act, such as by individual caregivers with permits.
Graphic Artist: Michelle Rhodes
The Community House and WRCJ 90.9 FM present a series of four lovely classical music programs accompanied by a delightful brunch!
September Septemb mber 26 â „ October 31 31 â „ F Febru ebruary ruary 13 â „ March 27
Brunch at noon with performance at 1:00PM Tickets: $50 / $25 (includes brunch) Lead Sponsor: The Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation Principal Sponsor: Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP Musician Sponsors: Connie and Ian McEwan, Cecilia Benner, Doreen Bull, PVS Chemicals, Inc. The Community House, 380 South Bates Street, Downtown Birmingham tXXXDPNNVOJUZIPVTFDPN
CONTENT It's a simple fact of publishing life: CONTENT IS KING. For your message to resonate in the market, you need to know that local residents are reading a product. The November issue deadline for Downtown Birmingham/Bloomfield: Friday, October 15. Contact Jill Cesarz. Office: 248.792.6464 Cell: 248.860.8414 JillCesarz@downtownpublications.com
BUSINESS MATTERS Caruso Caruso line After 30 years in business, the clothing aficionados at Caruso Caruso, located at 166 W. Maple in Birmingham, have created their own label of women’s apparel. The Caruso Caruso label features long sleeve tops, sweaters and dresses for fall. “We’re not decreasing our buy of our usual branded products, we’re just sprinkling in some of our own,” said Lennon Caruso, general manager and son of owner Frank Caruso. “What we’re doing is we’re private-labeling pieces that fit our same customer base, and we’re able to market to the customer at about 20-25 percent less cost.” Caruso said customers are really taking notice of the clothing, and the store is moving upwards of 200 pieces each month. “We’ve selected the right pieces that we feel best represent our store.” The clothing store continues to carry popular brands like J Brand, Citizen, Sugar Lips, and Splendid.
Rock royalty retail therapy Birmingham felt a bit like Hollywood last month with music royalty Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Usher and Miley Cyrus getting some retail therapy around town. Tyler, lead singer for Aerosmith, stopped into Zodiac Detroit at 330 Hamilton Row, where he was presented with a custom Aries medallion and cuff. “Stacey Weinberg and Diana Boesky designed the piece for him,” said publicist for Zodiac Sandra Stalmack. “I can’t tell you just how personable Steven Tyler was. He was so gracious, polite and patient. He was friendly, talked to everyone and gave pictures to anyone who asked.” Tyler also made his way to Optik at 245 W. Maple, where Dr. Joe Ales helped him put his contact lenses put in. “(Tyler) did also end up buying a couple pair of sunglasses and some vintage house wares,” said Kirsten Bedard, store manager at Optik. “He spent quite a bit of time here actually.” Joe Perry, bandmate and Aerosmith guitarist, stopped into Caruso Caruso at 166 W. Maple Rd. while the group was in town. “They come through (the store) almost every time they’re on tour,” said Lennon Caruso, the owner’s son. “He just wanted help and to be treated like a normal person. If you didn’t know who they were, they act like any other customer.” According to Caruso, Perry made quite a few purchases. “His wife put together a lot of stuff with our sales associate,” he said. “He bought a bunch of skinny ties from us and a lot of casual items and things for the stage.”
Bec & Sam's downtown Children’s clothing, bedding and gift accessories store Bec & Sam’s has relocated to 142 W. Maple in Birmingham from 6612 Telegraph Rd. in Bloomfield Hills. Owner Julie Grippo said she felt it was time for a change. “We wanted to move to a higher traffic area and an area that is aggressively pursuing businesses,” she said. “Birmingham is trying to promote and really work within the best interests of the merchants.” The store offers clothing for boys downtownpublications.com
Ecology cosmetics store Ecology is a natural organic skin and cosmetics store which has just opened at 239 S. Old Woodward in Birmingham. Owners Marla Shapiro and Carra Stoller said they are looking forward to filling a need for these types of products. “We have really beautiful products that are very healthy,” Shapiro said. “We were looking for these products ourselves and we wanted to be able to offer them to others.” The owners, who are also sistersin-laws and friends, were looking for a central location in an upscale area, and found that Birmingham fit the criteria. “The inside is sleek and modern with a little bit of femininity,” Shapiro said. “It’s clean and calm, and people will find it to be very relaxing.”
Scandia Home returns
New coffee house Commonwealth, a casual coffee house, has just opened at 300 Hamilton Row in Birmingham, to business partners Hubert Yaro and James Hayosh. “We’re sourcing things locally, as well as carrying specialty coffee and tea,” Yaro said. “And everything is made to order.” Commonwealth will carry Stumptown Coffee. “It’s a strong cup of coffee. It’s definitely for people who are looking for something not so dark, bitter or smoky.” The coffee house will also serve breakfast, brunch and lunch. “The food definitely has more of a healthy angle to it,” Yaro said. “We have local, pure, whole foods.”
and girls, including bat mitzvah and communion dresses for girls.“I offer a broad price range and a breadth of products,” Grippo said.
Musical artists Usher and Miley Cyrus stopped in Revive clothing store at 154 W. Maple on separate occasions to pick up their favorite Comme Des Garcons Play pieces. “Usher was also interested in Vince and Ti$a,” said owner Aaron Cohen. “I guess he was walking by and saw some of the pieces in our storefront. He actually waited outside until we opened.” According to Cohen, Usher was very down-to-earth and well versed in fashion. “He was a little amazed that a store like (Revive) was in Michigan,” he said. “He asked us to ship his purchases, gave us his information, and hopped into a black SUV.” One week later, Cyrus stopped by with a friend and more than a dozen adoring young fans in tow. “Miley was a character. She was amazing,” Cohen said. “She went through the Free City rack right away, which is huge in LA, and noticed the Comme Des Garcons. She bought two t-shirts from that line.” Cohen said she preferred the men’s t-shirts. “She also purchased Lucien Pellat-finet sneakers. Michigan has never had that line until now.” After about 30 minutes in the store, Cyrus took the time to sign autographs and take photographs with fans. “She was very cool.” Cohen said he was thrilled to draw such prominent names to Revive. “It feels really good, but all of our customers are the same and they are treated the same,” he said. “We get a lot of Pistons and Lions players. It’s nothing really new, but when we saw Miley come in, it felt pretty special to know that we can cater to that type of person.” Cohen, 27, said that the product and aesthetic of the storefront is what brought in the prominent shoppers. “If you walk down the street and catch a glimpse of Revive, you would notice it. If you know about all the lines, you’d want to walk through the doors. It looks like a boutique from LA, New York, or Tokyo, but its right here in Michigan.” Downtown Steven Tyler photo: Chris Grammer
Scandia Home, a high-end home goods store, recently changed its name from Scandia Down and relocated to 237 Pierce St. in Birmingham from the Somerset Collection in Troy. At one time, Scandia Down was located in Birmingham, and the owners are thrilled to return. “The hours are much better, and we really enjoy the area,” said Mirriah Jackson, daughter of owner Christine Jackson. “Our clientele is actually pretty much the same. A lot of our customers are very, very happy about the move, and we’re having a great time meeting new people.” Jackson said that Birmingham is largely a collection of family-owned businesses, as opposed to the many corporate stores at Somerset. “It’s a better fit for us. The area, hours and clientele have been great and business has been pretty consistent,” she said. “We’re seeing a lot of loyalty from existing customers.” Scandia Home offers a variety of high-end European linens. “We specialize in down pillows and comforters,” Jackson said. “We carry a lot of items from Italy and Switzerland. We also have a lot of beautiful small items like picture frames, coasters, bathroom 55
accessories, dishes, guest towels, and lamps.” Also in the family business are daughters Rebeccah Jackson and Danielle Schindler.
Jimmy John’s opening Jimmy John’s has recently opened at 42855 Woodward Ave. in Bloomfield Twp. Manager Al Binder said that the area is definitely a good location for the store. “We’re doing pretty well so far,” he said. As patrons become aware of the opening, business at the popular sub shop is increasing.
McCann expanding MRM Worldwide at 360 W. Maple in Birmingham, a division of McCann Worldgroup, is planning to add 50 to 100 positions, as well as a new location to its Birmingham arm. The additional offices will be located at 850 E. Maple in Birmingham and will be used for media planning and buying. “They've been in Troy waiting for the permanent space in Birmingham to be ready and expect to make the move in November,” said Anaka Kobzev, company spokesperson. The expansion will allow the marketing communications company to handle assignments for General Motors (GM) and meet the growing needs of its clients. “McCann Midwest has grown by more than 200 positions in the past 12 months as our global relationship with GM has expanded to include several assignments here in the Detroit area,” said Bill Kolb, president and chief operating officer for MRM Worldwide. “The breadth of talent in Detroit is spectacular, and the unbelievable work ethic and focus on quality has made the Birmingham office one of the strongest performing in the MRM network over the past 12 months.” Some of McCann Midwest clients include ALDI, Colonial Williamsburg, GM Corporate, Michigan Credit Union, Travel Michigan, Sirius XM Satellite Radio and Karmanos Cancer Center.
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Dance City moves For those who gotta dance, Dance City, formerly known as Miss Barbara’s Dance Center, has recently moved from 1160 Grant St. to 685 S. Adams Rd. in Birmingham. New owner Rhona Fidler said she wanted to make the dance studio her own, according to instructor Lisa Avigne. “We’ve expanded to four times the size,” Avigne said. “We’ve tripled our classes. The building is beautiful and brand new. You walk in and it feels like home, and it’s got a really fun, energetic vibe.” Dance City’s award-winning instructors work with local dance teams from high schools, and offer ballet, hip hop, jazz, tap and ballroom dancing. “We have classes for adults too,” Avigne said. “Adults can leave their kids and they can take classes too.” Business Matters for the Birmingham/ Bloomfield area are reported by Katey Meisner. Send items for consideration to KathleenMeisner@downtownpublications.com. Items should be received three weeks prior to publication.
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Art Van Furniture Inc. has hired Shirley Maddalena of Maddalena Design in Birmingham to reenergize the Scott Shuptrine brand name. “(Art Van) reached out to
Old Woodward Ave.
find someone to head up their high-end interior division to reconstitute the Scott Shuptrine interior brand,” Maddalena said. “Our highly-qualified interior designers will provide expertise for the studios within the Art Van stores.” As a 25-year Bloomfield Hills resident, the new design division at 36801 Woodward Ave. in Royal Oak is a perfect location for Maddalena to begin the endeavor with Art Van. Design studios are slated to go in eight Michigan stores including Warren, Grand Rapids, Novi, Sterling Heights, Lansing, Traverse City, Royal Oak and Petoskey. “What we’re going to do is open up studios in these facilities to provide clients with expertise and create a design concept,” Maddalena said. “It will be affordable luxury.” Maddalena has been in the business for over 30 years and said she is excited to work for a corporation she has always held in high regard. “The product and branding (Art Van) has provided have kept up with the times,” she said. “It’s a very well run company and visual merchandising is absolutely fantastic.”
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Welcome to Brandy’s! The Restaurant serves fresh, flavorful upscalecasual American-style dishes prepared from the finest ingredients sourced from homegrown local markets & around the country.
An upscale casual cuisine perfect for lunch & dinner. 14727 South Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48341 248.338.4300 | brandysofbloomfield.com
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PLACES TO EAT The Places To Eat for Downtown is a quick reference source to establishments offering a place for dining, either breakfast, lunch or dinner. We note the general type of food served; when and what meals are served during the week; if an establishment accepts reservations; and if alcohol is served. We provide an address with zip code for those who need to map out the destination and a phone number. The complete Places To Eat is available at downtownpublications.com and in an optimized format for your smart phone (downtownpublications.com/mobile), where you can actually map out locations and automatically dial a restaurant from our Places To Eat.
220: American. Lunch & Dinner, MondaySaturday. Reservations. Liquor. 220 Merrill Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.645.2150. Andiamo: Italian. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 6676 Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Township, 48301. 248.865.9300. Beau Jacks: American. Lunch, MondaySaturday; Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 4108 W. Maple, Bloomfield Hills, 48301. 248.626.2630. Beyond Juice: Contemporary. Breakfast & Lunch daily; Dinner, Monday-Saturday. No reservations. 270 West Maple Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.594.7078. Big Boy: American. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 6675 Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48301. 248.642.0717. Big Rock Chophouse: American. Lunch & Dinner, Monday-Saturday. Reservations. Liquor. 245 South Eaton Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.647.7774. Birmingham Sushi Cafe: Japanese. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. 377 Hamilton Row, Birmingham, 48009. 248.593.8880. Bloomfield Deli: Deli. Breakfast & Lunch, Monday-Friday. No reservations. 71 W. Long Lake Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48304. 248.645.6879.
PROMOTE YOUR EATERY MINIMAL MONTHLY COST downtownpublications.com
Boston Market: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 42983 Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Hills, 48304. 248.334.5559. Brandy’s Steakhouse: American. Lunch, Monday-Saturday; Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 1727 South Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48302. 248.338.4300. Brooklyn Pizza: Pizza. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 111 Henrietta Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.258.6690. Cafe Via: American. Lunch & Dinner, Monday-Saturday. Reservations. Liquor. 310 East Maple Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.644.8800 Cameron’s Steakhouse: American. Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 115 Willits Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.723.1700. Chen Chow Brasserie: Japanese. Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 260 North Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.594.2469. China Village: Chinese. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. 1655 Opdyke, Bloomfield Hills, 48304. 248.758.1221. Cityscape Deli: Deli. Lunch & Dinner, Monday-Saturday. No reservations. Beer. 877 W. Long Lake Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48302. 248.540.7220. Cosi: American. Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Beer & wine. 101 N. Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.203.9200. Crust Pizza and Wine Bar: Pizza. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 6622 Telegraph, Bloomfield, 48301. 248.855.5855. Deli Unique of Bloomfield Hills: Deli. Breakfast & Lunch, daily. No reservations. 39495 Woodward Avenue,
Dick O’Dow’s: Irish. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 160 West Maple Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.642.1135. Einstein Bros. Bagels: Deli. Breakfast & Lunch, daily. No reservations. 176 South Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.594.9888. Elie’s Mediterranean Cuisine: Mediterranean. Lunch & Dinner, Monday-Saturday. No reservations. Liquor. 263 Pierce Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.647.2420. Embers Deli & Restaurant: Deli. Breakfast & Lunch, daily. No reservations. 3598 West Maple Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48301. 248.645.1033. Flemings Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 323 N. Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.723.0134. Forest Grill: American. Lunch, MondayFriday; Dinner, Monday-Saturday. Reservations. Liquor. 735 Forest Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.258.9400. Forte Restaurant: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 201 S. Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.594.7300. Fuddrucker’s: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No Reservations. Beer & wine. 42757 Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Township, 48302. 248.333.2400. Greek Island Coney Restaurant: Greek. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 221 Hamilton Row, Birmingham, 48009. 248.646.1222. Hogan’s Restaurant: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 6450
Birmingham/Bloomfield residents frequent restaurants and take-out establishments on a regular basis. So here's your chance to promote your eating establishment on an inexpensive monthly basis through the Dining Guide in Downtown. Two size directory boxes are available each month, with a minimum commitment of four months to qualify for the discounted Dining Guide rates. A small box measuring 2 inches width by 2.5 inches depth costs only $110/month. Commit to 12 months for only $90/month. Double the size of your promotion for $220/month on a four-month commitment or $180/month for a 12-month commitment. DOWNTOWN
Telegraph Road, Bloomfield 48301. 248.626.1800.
Hunter House Hamburgers: American. Breakfast, Monday-Saturday; Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 35075 Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.646.7121. IHOP: American. Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 2187 S. Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48301. 248.333.7522. Kerby’s Koney Island: American. Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 2160 N. Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Hills, 48304. 248.333.1166. Kirk’s Open Pit Bar B Que: American. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, TuesdaySunday. No reservations. 33766 Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.203.7010. Leo’s Coney Island: American. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 154 S. Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.646.8568. Also 6527 Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48301. 248.646.8568. Little Daddy’s Parthenon: American. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 39500 Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Hills, 48301. 248.647.3400. Luxe Bar & Grill: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily; Late Night, 9 p.m.-closing. No reservations. Liquor. 525 N. Old Woodward Ave., Birmingham, 48009. 248.792.6051. Max & Erma’s: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 250 Merrill Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.258.1188. Mirage Cafe: Mediterranean. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. 297 East Maple, Birmingham, 48009. 248.731.7768.
CALL JILL CESARZ TO DISCUSS PROMOTING YOUR RESTAURANT OR TAKE-OUT ESTABLISHMENT 248.792.6464 59
AT THE TABLE The Luxe Bar & Grill now open in Birmingham By Eleanor Heald
n a short span of years, it’s amazing how Birmingham’s dining scene has been transformed. It’s also interesting to note that new and small eateries with bistro licenses have been among the most successful. During the past warm months, Birmingham’s sidewalks appeared to have more outdoor eating spaces than can be found in California’s Napa Valley, where eating outdoors is seemingly a way of life. The newest to join the bistro license arena is Luxe Bar & Grill, located in the second storefront (formerly Aunt Olive’s Good Food to Go) north of Salvatore Scallopini, a popular family Italian eatery since 1985. Luxe is owned by Larry Bongiovanni, Sr., the owner of Salvatore Scallopini. And it’s again a family affair with Larry’s son Joe Bongiovanni as General Manager. The question begs: why did Larry wish to open a neighborhood bar and grill? “It is an opportunity in a familiar area,” Downtown photo: Laurie Tennent Joe responds. And as he talks, he hits more highlights: Birmingham’s north end is void of eating options. North end residents can easily walk to Luxe for dinner or just relax late night. Shoppers on North Old Woodward have a new lunch spot. Unique atmosphere Luxe makes an impression from the street. Black and tan sunshades and a swag drape at the entrance soften street impact. Ron Rea of Ron & Roman Design LLC in Birmingham gives an explanation of his styling design, “clever, small, friendly, active with an open kitchen. Black tile columns enhance dark wood details. The impression is a local, friendly bar and grill with a collection of classic details from the 1930s to today; never defined but always evolving. The attempt is to give the space owner personality.” In typical Ron Rea style, there’s a lot of eye candy. A salt and pepper shaker collection is reminiscent of Ann Arbor’s Zingerman’s Roadhouse. Depending on where you’re seated, you see different aspects from an over-size bottle of chianti to a quartet of jazz singers gracing a wall. Sports fans can locate any of three flat screen plasma TVs. Overall, there are 50 seats, including a 10-seat stainless steel bar in a classic style from the 1940s to 1960s. Outdoor seating accommodates 14. On the menu The menu is not Italian. It shouts loud and clear: American bar and grill with most items off the grill. Yet, there are modern spins such as prime burgers on brioche and shareable plates. The pub-style menu is high quality without being pretentious. It trends toward unique, but the dominating factor is high quality and well-priced items. A kitchen staff of five or six operates the open kitchen making menu items that have been created by the Bongiovannis. “Everything,” says Joe, “reflects a family creative thought process.”
To emphasize the casual nature of Luxe, waitstaff wear jeans with a Euro-café style apron and T-shirts. Luxe views its food items in four segments: lunch, happy hour, dinner and late night. Dinner plates are an expansion on lunch offerings. Some must try selections include deluxe plates and salads ($10 to $13) with Mediterranean, Mexican and Asian inspirations and a novel twist (pun intended) Hot Pretzel and Sausage garnished with potato salad and slaw. Prime burgers on homemade white or sweet brioche, patty melts, veggie burgers and a lot more, including a Greek steak sandwich on ciabatta ($8 to $15) that come with chips, a deluxe condiment tray and homemade pickles. Dinner plates ($20 to $26) include lamb chops, deluxe BBQ ribs, chicken breast, a filet and two daily fresh fish, with wild caught salmon a regular feature. A variety of yummy sides run $2.50 to $5. Food crafting extends to desserts. Joe cites two favorites: panna cotta and apple tart. Planned daily specials have a true “daily” emphasis so that the diner knows what the special will be on given days of the week. If your taste buds are up for a particular item, you’ll know when to go and get it! Craft beverages Over 40 bottled craft beers are enhanced by eight drafts, including Atwater D Light, Bavik, Bell’s Kalamazoo Stout, Bell’s Oberon, Breckenridge Avalanche, Frankenmuth and Pabst Blue Ribbon. Pours run $3.50 to $7 for 16 or 22 ounces. Specialty cocktails and a focused and tightly edited, well-priced wine list includes some big names, such as Celani, Ramey and Darioush, but there are many more affordable discoveries. By-the-glass pours range $8 to $12. If there’s a particular wine you enjoy, Luxe has a retail license so you can purchase on the spot. As a contraction of deluxe, Luxe says it all when it comes to the attempts here. Sumptuous, well-crafted food in a very comfortable setting. Luxe Bar & Grill, 525 N. Old Woodward Ave., Birmingham, 248.792.6051, Lunch 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Happy Hour 2-5 p.m., Dinner 5-9 p.m., Late Night 9 p.m.-closing. No reservations. Street parking.
THE SMALL DISH In the beer industry, the Brewers Association World Beer Cup is a prestigious competition. In the 2010 judging, 3,330 beers from 642 breweries around the world were entered. Big Rock Chop House on-premise brewery was among the winners with Brewmaster Dan Rogers “Norm’s Raggedy Ass IPA” capturing a gold award. “Bonnie’s Raggedy Ass Imperial IPA” took a silver. Beers are named after Big Rock’s proud owners Norm and Bonnie LePage. And the name “Raggedy Ass?” Nothing unkempt about it! Eleanor Heald is a nationally published writer who also writes the Focus on Wine column in a double byline with her husband Ray for Downtown. Suggestions for the The Small Dish section can be e-mailed to TheSmallDish@downtownpublications.com.
Mitchell’s Fish Market: Seafood. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 117 Willits Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.646.3663. Mountain King: Chinese. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 469 South Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.644.2913. New Bangkok Thai Bistro: Thai. Breakfast, Monday-Thursday; Lunch, Monday-Friday; Dinner, daily. No reservations. 183 North Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.644.2181. Northern Lakes Seafood Co.: Seafood. Lunch, Monday-Friday; Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 39495 North Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Hills, 48304. 248.646.7900. Olga’s Kitchen: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 138 S. Old Woodward, Birmingham, 48009. 248.647.2760. Also 2075 S. Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48302. 248.451.0500. Original Pancake House: American. Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 33703 South Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.642.5775. Panera Bread: Deli. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 100 North Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.203.7966. Also 2125 S. Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48302. 248.253.9877. Peabody’s: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 34965 Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.644.5222. Phoenicia: Middle Eastern. Lunch, Monday-Friday; Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 588 South Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.644.3122. Pita Cafe: Middle Eastern. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 239 North Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.645.6999. Qdoba: Mexican. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 795 East Maple Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.988.8941. Quattro Pizzeria & Wine Bar: Italian. Lunch, Monday-Friday; Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 203 Hamilton Row, Birmingham, 48009. 248.593.6060. Quiznos: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 185 N Old Woodward, Birmingham, 48009. 248.540.7827. Salvatore Scallopini: Italian. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Beer & Wine. 505 North Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.644.8977.
FOCUS ON WINE Look to Santa Lucia Highlands for the pinots and chards By Eleanor and Ray Heald
ince Morgan's Double L Vineyard is in the northern or cool end of the Santa Lucia Highlands appellation, Daniel Morgan Lee, proprietor of Morgan Winery, explains the emphasis: pinot noir and chardonnay. The vineyard is planted two-thirds to 12 clones of pinot noir, one-third to six chardonnay clones and a scant one acre of two syrah clones. Vines planted on seven different rootstocks achieve additional wine flavor diversity. A California native, Lee became fascinated with the wine business while
at the University of California Davis. On a veterinary track during his junior year, he enrolled out of curiosity in a beginning viticulture class. "The department," Lee says, "was fun and there were bright and interesting people in the program. I remember the late Gil Nickel (founder of Far Niente winery) drove to class in his powder blue Mercedes. Also, a group of Davis students went to Nathan Fay's Vineyard (Stags Leap District) and made cabernet sauvignon from his grapes." Pinot noir, with its current surge in popularity, places Santa Lucia Highlands and Morgan at the forefront. Lee is among a minority of owners who entered the California wine industry without first earning a fortune in another business. "When my wife Sandella’s Flatbread Cafe: Deli. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 172 North Old Woodward, Birmingham, 48009. 248.594.4200. Steve's Deli: Deli. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 6646 Telegraph Road, Bloomfield, 48301. 248.932.0800. Streetside Seafood: Monday-Frday; Reservations. Liquor. Birmingham, 48009.
Seafood. Lunch, Dinner, daily. 273 Pierce Street, 248.645.9123.
Sushi Hana: Japanese. Lunch, MondayFriday; Dinner, Monday-Saturday. Reservations. 42656 Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Hills, 48304. 248.333.3887.
grown in the southern part of Santa Lucia Highlands, where it is warmer, and therefore the wine is the most berry driven of all.
Donna and I started," Lee says, "we had a brand name, a few fermentation tanks, 50 barrels, but no vineyards. We bought 30 tons of grapes and were off and running in the midst of the 1982 recession. Our friends warned us against starting a winery because others already in the wine business were having a tough time selling their wines. We were too dumb to know better, so we just plowed ahead and did it anyway."
50,000-case production and purchases the remaining from Monterey area growers, many of whom are showcased with their vineyard name on a Morgan label. "When we discover a vineyard that shows special flavor characteristics that are reflective of the site," Lee notes, "we vineyard designate." In contract vineyards, growers receive advice from both Morgan winemaker 34-year old Gianni Abate and Lee on desired viticultural practices.
More than luck Lee first came to the Monterey, Calif., area for a job at Jekel winery, where he learned first hand the benefits of grape-growing in the region. While sourcing grapes for Jekel, he discovered a hillside vineyard in what is now the Santa Lucia Highlands American Viticultural Area (AVA). When he left his job at Jekel to start Morgan Winery, he bought chardonnay grapes from that vineyard, and then he eventually purchased acreage, naming it Double L Vineyard, standing for "double luck," his twin daughters Annie and Jackie. Luck is one thing and challenges are another. Moderate climate and temperature make the Santa Lucia Highlands powdery mildew heaven, so Lee is proud to say that Double L Vineyard is farmed organically, certified by Monterey County Certified Organic. An arsenal of organic sprays to battle powdery mildew makes this possible. Organic farming costs are probably 10 percent more, but Lee weighs that against the overall health of people working the vineyards. “The bottom line,” he contends, “is that we are seeing improved quality of our grapes and wines as a result of farming organically." Lee also believes that viticultural practices such as adding compost, compost teas and microbes to the soil provide nutrients for the vines and develop the purest expression of terroir. Morgan grows 40 percent of the fruit needed for its nationally available
Winemaker explains more A recent interview with Abate sheds more light on the excellence of Morgan wines. In 2000, Abate started at Bronco in California’s Central Valley. A love for Burgundian varieties brought him to Monterey in 2003, working for Robert Mondavi Coastal that became the Private Selection. In 2005, Lee asked him to work at Morgan and he said, “I will be there tomorrow.” Abate enjoys working with the unique characteristics of pinot noir and chardonnay that grow well in the Santa Lucia Highlands “because it is cool and windy with a very long growing season.” Morgan Metallico 2008 ($23) is one of our favorite unoaked chardonnays. Abate describes it as a “great aperitif,” and notes, “high acid, citrus flavors, limestone flintiness and no malolactic fermentation make a refreshing unoaked style.” He suggests that barrel-fermented chardonnay, such as 2008 Double L Chardonnay ($45), is best with food. Focusing on pinot noir, Abate says 2008 Twelve Clones ($34) is a blend of Santa Lucia Highlands appellation grapes and is one of the most popular in the Morgan portfolio. Double L Vineyard 2007 ($56) is frequently regarded as one of the best locations for growing world-class pinot noir. Gary’s Vineyard 2007 Pinot Noir ($56) is brimming with dark cherry and spicy oak aromas and flavors. Of all Morgan’s single vineyard pinot noirs, Tondre Grapefield 2007 ($58) is
Eleanor & Ray Heald are contributing editors for the internationally-respected Quarterly Review of Wines, among other publications. Contact them by e-mail at email@example.com.
Sy Thai Cafe: Thai. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 315 Hamilton Row, Birmingham, 48009. 248.258.9830.
The Moose Preserve Bar & Grill: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 2395 S. Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Hills, 48302. 248.858.7688.
Tokyo Sushi & Grill: Japanese. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 225 E. Maple Rd., Birmingham, 48009. 248.258.6501.
The Phat Sammich: Deli. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 34186 Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.723.0860.
Topz: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 327 Hamilton, Birmingham, 48009. 248.220.1108
Tallulah Wine Bar and Bistro: American. Dinner. Monday-Saturday. Reservations. Liquor. 55 S. Bates Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.731.7066. The Corner Bar: American. Dinner. Wednesday-Saturday. Reservations. Liquor. 100 Townsend Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.647.2958. The Gallery Restaurant: American. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. 6683 Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48301. 248.851.0313.
Wine picks In addition to the chardonnay and pinot noir releases from Morgan, we highly recommend the following. Wines north of $20 have enhanced depth and complexity. Chardonnay • 2009 Chateau St. Jean Sonoma County $14 • 2008 J. Lohr Riverstone $14 • 2008 Beringer Napa Valley $16 • 2008 Franciscan Napa Valley $18 • 2008 Chappellet Napa Valley $32 • 2008 Patz & Hall Sonoma Coast (Premier Release) $35 • 2008 Beringer Private Reserve $35 (oakier than the Beringer above) • 2006 Sonoma-Cutrer Les Pierres $36 • 2008 Shafer Red Shoulder Ranch Carneros $48 Pinot Noir • 2008 Cupcake Central Coat Pinot Noir $14 – good value • 2008 Mac Murray Russian River Valley $35 • 2008 Babcock Grand Cuvee $40 • 2007 Sonoma-Cutrer $40 • 2007 Marimar Estate “Earthquake Block” $47 • 2007 Marimar Estate “Stony Block” $47 • 2007 Marimar Estate “La Masia” $49 • 2006 Marimar Estate “Christina” $62
The Rugby Grille: American. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 100 Townsend Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.642.5999.
Whistle Stop Cafe: American. Breakfast & Lunch, daily; Dinner, Monday-Friday. No reservations. 501 S. Eton Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.647.5588
Toast: American. Breakfast & Lunch, daily; Dinner, Monday-Saturday. Reservations. Liquor. 203 Pierce Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.258.6278.
Zazios: Italian. Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 34977 Woodward Ave, Birmingham, 48009. Phone: 248.530.6400
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ctober is always busy and exciting at The Community House. It is packed with programs and special events, including the OUR TOWN Art Show and Sale. As the proud mother of an artist—our daughter Lacey is a textile artist teaching and creating at VCU—I have a new appreciation for the arts! This year, the OUR TOWN show is extra special because it is it's 25th anniversary. As those in the special events business know, events typically have a life span of a few years, and then it is time for a new one. It is with much appreciation that I thank our past OUR TOWN chairs for making OUR TOWN a tradition: Carol Aubrey, Miranda Burnett, Jane Darling, Julie Dawson, Libby Dickinson, Sue Donnelly, Sally Gerak, Pamela Gerber, Judy Istock, Stephanie Kemp, Cindy Leonard (posthumously), Denise Little, Pat MacKinnon, Pat Mayhew, Connie McEwan, Lisa Renaud, Kathleen Schwartz, Nancy Sellers, Barbara Widmer, and Christine Winans. The Community House is proud of the rich history of OUR TOWN, which showcases Michigan artists in all mediums. For three days, the House is transformed into an art gallery for the public to Shelley Roberts enjoy. The 25th Annual OUR TOWN ART Show and Sale will take place October 14-16 from 10a.m. to 6 p.m. at The Community House. The juried, all media art show provides a forum for Michigan artists to show, demonstrate and sell their work. The art ranges from traditional to contemporary. This year’s show and sale will showcase 475 pieces of artwork from 226 artists and will award $10,000 in prize money to Michigan artists. Freelance display designer, ceramicist, tile maker and sculptor, Annie Kleene is the juror for the 2010 OUR TOWN Art Show and Sale. The 2010 OUR TOWN Art Show and Sale is chaired by Rebecca Sorensen. The opening night OUR TOWN Preview, sponsored by UBS Financial Services Inc. and The Grant/Sorensen Wealth Management Group, will take place at The Community House on Wednesday October 13, 5:30-9 p.m. Tickets are $200 for Benefactors. The evening includes a strolling dinner, live musical entertainment, the first opportunity to preview and purchase art, and an artists’ award reception at 5:30 p.m. Benefactors will also receive a commemorative tile designed by Denise Little. Friend tickets, with admission at 6 p.m., are $75. Benefactor Chairs are Janet and John Grant and Rebecca and Richard Sorensen. This year’s honorees are Barbara and Chuck Ghesquiere Jr., Patty and CJ Ghesquiere III, Jennifer and Lee Ghesquiere, Gale and Guy Gordon, and Lynn and David Groth. This year, we have more jewelry than ever before. I have seen some of the pieces, and they are gorgeous. I’m especially partial to the outstanding beadwork necklaces created by our Accounting Assistant Charlotte White and the beautiful and unusual jewelry by my friend Jeanne Hackett. At 5:30, I plan to make a bee line to the Adams Room where the jewelry will be displayed! Other special OUR TOWN events include “Tea on the Terrace” and “Young Professionals Night— Fashion as Art.” “Tea on the Terrace” will take place Thursday, October 14 from 1:30-4:00 pm. Attendees are invited to wear their favorite hats and enjoy a presentation and display of headpieces by millinery designer Gena Conti. Ten percent of the hat sales will be donated to The Community House. Tickets are $45. Young Professionals are encouraged to attend “Fashion as Art,” a fun evening mixed with art, fashion and networking on Friday, October 15, 7-11 p.m. The ticket price for the event is $35 and includes hors d’oeuvres and two drink tickets. For reservations, contact The Community House, 380 South Bates Street, Birmingham, 248.644-5832. For more information about the OUR TOWN Art Show and Sale, visit The Community House website at www.communityhouse.com. Our Planned Giving Committee has been very busy creating three wonderful October programs for us. Our Financial Book Club Series continues to grow in popularity. Join us on October 6, at 7 p.m. when we will discuss Thomas Friedman’s Hot, Flat, and Crowded. We promise a lively discussion about the perils and opportunities of an emerging, resource-strapped world. For the inside story on how legislation gets made in Washington, join us on Monday, October 13 at 7:30 p.m. when John Savercool, senior lobbyist and managing director of UBS Americas Inc., will talk about the shaping of policy. Mr. Savercool directs the firm’s federal lobbying, political, and policy advocacy efforts. This program is sponsored by Miller Canfield. Finally, on October 28, from 9:30-11 a.m., come to The Community House and learn about how the new health care legislation will affect your Medicare coverage or the Medicare coverage of your parents. Plante Moran Trust is sponsoring this program. I have much more to say, but I’m out of space! Please go to our website, www.communityhouse.com for information about our wonderful programs, special events and trips. I look forward to seeing you at The Community House! Shelley Roberts is President and CEO of The Community House. downtownpublications.com
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SOCIAL LIGHTS/SALLY GERAK Here is the update on the social scene from the past month. Many more photos from each event appear online each week at downtownpublications.com where readers can sign up for an e-mail notice when the latest social scene column is posted. Past columns and photos are also archived at the website for Downtown.
Walter P. Chrysler Museum Legacy Gala
Walter P. Chrysler Museum Legacy Gala 1
1. Richard Petty (left) of NC, and Lee Iacocca of CA with museum foundation board chair Frank Fountain of Bloomfield 2. Former Chrysler VP Bud (left) and Nancy Liebler of Bloomfield with Suzanne & dealer Hayden Elder of Athens, TX (who bought the Richard Petty donation in the live auction) 3. Former Chrysler CEO Tom Lasorda (left) of Birmingham and Ford CEO Alan Mulally of Dearborn 4. Barron Meade of Birmingham with Susie Bowen of Grosse Pointe looking at a 1999 Plymouth Prowler 5. Ted Fuller (left) of Birmingham with Ed & Alice Dawda of Bloomfield 6. Dulce Fuller (left) and Doreen Lasorda of Birmingham and Ford VP Sue Cischke of Bloomfield 7. Peggy Daitch & her husband Peter Remington of Birmingham 8. Sharma & museum foundation board chair Frank Fountain of Bloomfield.
Concours d’Elegance at Meadow Brook
Concours d’Elegance at Meadow Brook
The first Walter P. Chrysler Museum Legacy Gala certainly set a very high bar for its successor events. It sold out early (570), including the sold out Sally Gerak (300) VIP reception with the honorees Lee Iacocca, Jay Leno, Richard Petty, and the late Virgil Exner’s son, Virgil, Jr. Guests sipped, supped and cruised the exhibitions on the museum’s three levels before settling in for the program in the tented theatre. Highlights from the program were many. Videos evoked nostalgia (Exner’s designs) and amazement (Leno’s huge car collection and his Big Dog garage). After a warm and personal introduction of Iacocca, current Chrysler boss Sergio Marchionne called attention to his own unorthodoxy. “I don’t wear ties and I don’t read speeches,” he said before his impromptu request to Ford’s Alan Mulally and the UAW’s Bob King to help him make the presentation to Iacocca. Iacocca’s local popularity has not waned. He inspired a hearty standing ovation as he saluted Chrysler’s 85 years of never looking back. The live auction of two items reflected the economy. Auctioneer Bob Dumochelle practically had to pull teeth to get $4,500 from a Texas Chrysler dealer for Richard Petty’s donation that, in better times, would have brought 5 or 10 times that. When the bidding was equally sluggish for Jay Leno’s donation of a tour of his garage and four tickets to the Tonight Show, he came out from back stage and made a proposal: “I know times are tough… Let’s see how many can pay $500 to do this.” Hands shot up and, when all the takers had been counted, 76 people had donated $38,000 to the museum to do so. Leno’s generosity (remember, this is the guy who performed two free concerts for unemployed autoworkers a year ago) brought the event total to more than $1 million to kick off the newly non-profit museum’s Legacy Campaign to make it an educational destination. Then laughter filled the tent as Leno performed non-stop for nearly 40 minutes, hitting every imaginable current events topic. Museum foundation board chair Frank Fountain was wearing the biggest smile in the crowd at the After Glow.
1. Judge Frank Campanale (left) of Orchard Lake with selection chairman Larry Moss of Bloomfield. 2. Event veteran Terry Adderly (center) of Bloomfield with Kelly Services colleagues Rosemary Kornalki (left) of Troy and Barbara Olmstead of Rochester. 3. Barry (left) and show judge Linda Solomon with Linda’s mother Mona Rappaport of Bloomfield. 4. Benefactors Larry Walsh (standing) and Bonnie Jobe of Bloomfield with event veterans Sue & Jeff Groen of Rochester Hills.
The 32nd annual Concours d’Elegance of America at Meadow Brook revved up at the Saturday night Gala held at the GM Heritage Center, where more than 300 guests sipped, supped and toured the exhibits of General Motors icons. They also applauded when retired GM president Lloyd Reuss was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award. The next day some 10,000 car buffs attended the show on the grounds of Meadow Brook Hall. About 150 of them had VIP ticket perks to lunch in the dining room and take behind the scenes tours of the mansion. But the 200 classic cars were the raison d’etre for being there, and judges like GM’s Mark Reuss and Ed Welborn, Chrysler’s Ralph Gilles and AutoWeek’s Keith Crain had some real beauties to consider. At the After Glow hosted by Terry Adderley, Concours board chair Peter Heydon presented Car Selection Chair Larry Moss with Gerald Freeman’s original art for the 2010 event poster. It will surely become a nostalgic possession for the event veteran since Heydon also announced that economics have forced the board to move the event to the Inn of St. John’s beginning next year. Although longtime volunteers like Dave Herweyer lament the move, the complete facilities at the inn, plus its proximity to the airport and interstate highways, make it a logical new home for the world-class Concours d’Elegance of America. According to first year executive director James McCarter, since its inception, the event has raised $6-million-plus for Meadow Brook Hall. The last two years use fees ($200,000) have enriched Meadow Brook Hall but escalating costs have scuttled charitable contributions.
First Main Street Franklin Concours d’Elegance 3 64
Main Street Franklin, as part of the National Trust’s Main Street, works to enhance and revitalize the historic Franklin Village Center while maintaining its DOWNTOWN
historic character. Due to the move next year (as noted above) of the Meadow Brook Concours, MFS boosters can brag, as chairman Steve Sowers did at the inaugural Franklin Concours d’Elegance Car & Boat Show, ”We’ll be the only Concours in Oakland County.” The event drew 40 classic cars, some boats and hundreds of visitors to the Franklin Green on a perfect Saturday afternoon. Judged award winners were: Bruce Schofield’s hunter green 1957 Jaguar XK 140; Frank Ligon’s 1964 XKE Jaguar Series 1 OTS; Dennis and Mary Koss’s Bob Seger’s “Night Moves,” a midnight black 1962 Pontiac Catalina convertible; Bob Smith’s 1955 Ford Thunderbird; Eugene Keple’s 1994 red Viper serial #001; and Wayne Snyder’s 1959 Dodge Royal Lancer two-door hardtop. Elaine Swenson’s black 1948 Silver Wraith Rolls Royce won the People’s Choice Award. Had there been an award for Most Colorful, it would surely have gone to Vic Rivera’s 1962 Porsche, which Nick Moskatow painted to replicate Janis Joplin’s famous psychedelic painted 1965 Porsche ride.
CRUSH Northern Michigan Bill Seklar reports that the Children’s Leukemia Foundation’s CRUSH Northern Michigan Aug. 14 was a major success. More than 100 guests (at $750-per person), including Charlevoix resorters like the Richard Goldens, partook of Kathryn Kircher’s generous hospitality while savoring superb cuisine and wines in the magical Boyne Falls setting. For some, it was a prelude to CRUSH Somerset Collection-South held Saturday, Sept. 25.
First Main Street Franklin Concours d’Elegance
1. Main Street Franklin chair Steve Showers (center) of Lake Orion with his son Jimmy and wife Nancy (looking at Night Moves, Bob Seger’s 1961 Catalina). 2. Bengt & Elaine Swenson of Bloomfield (Rolls-Royce hood ornament in foreground). 3. People’s choice award winner Elaine Swenson’s 1948 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith. (The design of the car was created for the Maharaja of Mysore.) 4. Painter/ designer Nick Moskatow (left) of Clinton Twp. with owner Vic Rivera of Franklin, and the 1962 Porsche he painted in the manner of Janis Joplin’s famous car. 5. Tom (left) & Lorna 3 4 Tackwell of Chelsea with Kim Irwin of Plymouth and Main Street Franklin vice chair Matthias Meyer of Franklin. 6. Bronte (left), Gary and Bryon Burkart of Bloomfield. 7. John (left) and Bruce Schofield of Grosse Pointe with Main Street Franklin board chair Steve Showers of Lake Orion and vice chair Matthias Meyer of Franklin.
DIFFA’s Dining by Design The Design Industry Foundation Fighting Aids introduced Dining by Design in 1997 and it has been wildly popular in cities across the country ever since. Not surprising, given this area’s wealth of design talent, Detroit’s inaugural production of the event chaired by Ann Duke and Kelly Deines was spectacular. It attracted 550 for the Thursday night opening event - Cocktails by Design and The ArtWorks for Life auction. As guests disembarked the elevator on the 11th tttfloor of the Benson & Edith Ford Conference Center at the A. Alfred Taubman New Center campus of the College for Creative Studies, they faced one of the 22 fabulous dining installations (it was white) flanked by downtownpublications.com
CRUSH Northern Michigan
1. Richard & Shelly Golden of Bloomfield. 2. Kim Bondy of Birmingham and Art Van Elslander of Bloomfield. 3. Event host Kathryn Kircher (left) of Boyne Falls and Jaime Rae Turnbull of Clarkston
SOCIAL LIGHTS/SALLY GERAK colorful sections of the Names Project Memorial AIDS Quilt. Servers were passing sustenance such as blue martinis and, surprisingly tasty, chocolatecoated slices of crispy bacon. The challenge of the evening was to view all the installations and the art (150-plus works) and 100 other items donated for the silent and live auctions, socialize, catch the entertainment by Detroit FlyHouse performers, dance to DJ music and sample the cuisine from 22 participating restaurants. It was truly a feast for all the senses. On Friday, all was open for touring. Saturday night 250 guests cocktailed, dined in the installations on Matt Prentice cuisine, bid on auction items and danced. The auctions brought in $40,000. This, along with the ticket sales and sponsor dollars, will help fund the Michigan AIDS Coalition’s advocacy, education and outreach programs. Birmingham designer Shirley Maddalena, who did an installation and attended both Cocktails and Dining, summed up most opinions, “I thought it was an amazing event. I can’t wait for next year.”
DIFFA’s Dining by Design
1. Committee member/designer Leslie Pilling of Bloomfield and her Reflections installation, a tribute to her late father, an AIDS victim. 2. Artist Victor Pytko and his wife Barbara Porter of Birmingham (admiring the Art-Harrison Design Studio installation). 3. Committee member Todd Peplinski (left) of Bloomfield with James (Woody) Woodward of Canton (executive chef at The Henry - formerly the RitzCarlton. He’s holding a very tasty “push up” appetizer containing tuna, watermelon & guacamole). 4. Sherie & Randy Eschels of Bloomfield with silent auction art by Linda Allen titled “My Guy”. 5. Kathy & Stephen Minns of Birmingham. 6. Lisa Gleeson (left) of Troy with Susan Ciullo and Christine Lustig of Bloomfield. 7. Installation by Arkitektura In-Situ, Ron Rea. 9. Installation by Blossoms – Norm Silk & Dale Morgan.
Community House Service Award
“(In retirement) golf would not be enough, the way I play,” quipped Tom Denomme when he accepted the 2010 Community Service Award from The Community House board chair Don Kunz. The retired Chrysler vice chair went on to declare that his last 13 years of serving community organizations “…have been the most interesting, challenging and rewarding (of my life).” In conversation after the presentation he also confided that one of his favorite volunteer activities was unrelated to his legendary finance and administrative strengths. It was “schlepping the art” for the OUR TOWN art show and sale at TCH. Among well wishers in the crowd of 60 on the Van Dusen Terrace at TCH were past award winners and fellow Beaumont Hospital board members and staffers. Beaumont saluted Denomme’s five-year Beaumont board leadership by sponsoring the reception.
Community House Service Award
1. Birmingham mayor Rackeline Hoff (left), and Mayor Pro Tem Gordon Rinschler (right) of Birmingham with Barbara & honoree Tom Denomme of Bloomfield. 2. Sylvia (left) & Ed Hagenlocher of Bloomfield, TCH board chair Don Kunz of Bloomfield, event sponsor Beaumont Hospital’s CEO Gene Michalski of Oakland. 3. TCH board vice chair Meg Ferron (left) of Bloomfield with past awardees Carol & John Aubrey of Birmingham. 4. TCH 2010 annual fund drive chairs Christa (left) & Greg Schwartz of Bloomfield with Beaumont board member Steve Howard of Franklin. 5. Beaumont Foundation CEO Margaret Cooney Casey (left) of Beverly Hills, Beaumont CFO Dennis Herrick of Birmingham and Beaumont Foundation volunteer Lois Shaevsky of Bloomfield.
Prechter Bipolar Research Benefit
On Aug. 19, some 100 members of the upcoming Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Fund Benefit Luncheon honorary committee and their guests gathered at Neiman Marcus for cocktail hour socializing, Forte Belanger goodies and a narrated fashion show. Everybody had a favorite from the show. Rosemary Bannon’s was a terrific little red St. John’s bag, whereas Barbara 10.10
Denomme was wowed by St. John’s charcoal grey sweater with feathered epaulets. But the fashion frivolity was merely a lighthearted way to focus attention on the serious mission of the fund which Wally Prechter established at the University of Michigan Depression Center in tribute to her late husband. Like him, longtime sufferer of bipolar illness former Canadian First Lady Margaret Trudeau will address that seriousness when she speaks at the main event, a luncheon Oct. 14 at The Henry (formerly the Ritz-Carlton). For tickets ($100, $1,000, $5,000 & $10,000) call Leslye Martin at (734) 675-2200. The $5,000 and $10,000 levels also include a donor dinner in December hosted by Linda Orlans.
Preview of Ford Arts, Beats & Eats The Labor Day weekend festival’s move from Pontiac to Royal Oak got off to a roaring start as nearly 900 people, including country rap celeb Cowboy Troy, flocked to the Royal Oak Farmers Market for the Arts du Jour charity preview on Aug. 26. They sampled food from 50 local restaurants, served up with assist from Brooks Patterson and media folks, and were entertained by Barbara Payton, the Golden Rain Percussion Ensemble (marimba), Hadante (Indian), Sean Blackman, IMPACT 7 and Boogie Dynomite. Their partying ($75 tickets) benefited the Boys & Girls Clubs of South Oakland County, Forgotten Harvest, Gleaners Community Food Bank, The Rainbow Connection, Rose Hill Center, Royal Oak Chamber of Commerce, South Oakland Shelter and The Children's Center of Detroit.
Prechter Bipolar Research Benefit
1. Maria Leonhauser (left) and Sofia & Dr Melvin McInnis of Ann Arbor with Wally Prechter of Grosse Ile. 2. Rosemary Bannon (left) of Beverly Hills with Sandie & Joe Knollenberg, Christine Strumbos and Irma Elder of Bloomfield. 3. Marusa Judy (left), Betty Bright and Lorraine Schultz of Bloomfield, Lynn Wilhelm of Shelby Twp. 4. Gloria Clark (left) and Mary Ann Van Elslander of Grosse Pointe, Maureen D’Avanzo of Bloomfield. 5. Kathy Antonini (left) and her daughter (a new mother) Kara Howe and Judie Sherman of Bloomfield, Keri James of Oak Park and Prechter Fund board member Sharon James of Farmington Hills.
Preview of Ford Arts, Beats & Eats
Insurance Hall of Fame Induction Kudos to Mert Segal for being inducted into the Michigan Insurance Hall of Fame. The Bloomfield Hills resident and his family and friends, including Meadowbrook Insurance’s Michael Costello who presented Segal for induction, were among the 130 at the 17th annual ceremony. The hall was established in 1994 at Olivet College, home to a nationally recognized undergraduate insurance and risk management program. It pays tribute to those who have made a significant impact on the public service of the Michigan insurance and risk management industry. Segal founded Meadowbrook Insurance Group in 1955 and chairs its board. He helped many by developing insurance alternatives when insurance was unaffordable or unavailable. downtownpublications.com
1. Gleaners board member Erica Peresman & her husband Dave Jaffe of Birmingham. 2. Jerry Rivard (left) of Troy, Ann & Andy Seleno of Bloomfield, Rose Hill executive director Ben Robinson of Rochester Hills and Rosemary & Dan Kelly of Bloomfield.
Insurance Hall of Fame Induction
1. Michael Costello (left) and Mert Segal of Bloomfield. 2. Beverly & Mert Segal of Bloomfield. 3. Carol Segal Ziecik & her husband Mike Ziecik of Bloomfield.
SOCIAL LIGHTS/SALLY GERAK Forgotten Harvest’s Cruise
Forgotten Harvest’s Cruise Mark Anusbigian and his Westborn Market crew know how to stage a Dream Cruise preview party. For starters, the 600-plus guests at the eighth annual Champagne Cruise on Friday night were greeted by valet parkers who very efficiently got them out of the Woodward traffic. Immediately upon entering the giant white tent they were offered sparkling Piper Heidsieck Champagne. It paired well with the chilled shrimp, other Westborndonated savories and the offerings at 11 more food stations. Music by the Sun Messengers could not drown out the varoom of all the cars but it did get some folks on the dance floor before volunteer auctioneer Greg Bator conducted a brief live auction. It, plus a silent auction which provided a diversion from the car watching, accounted for more than $12,000 of the event total $145,131. This will enable Forgotten Harvest to deliver roughly 725,000 meals to emergency food providers.
4 1. Event host Westborn Market’s Mark Anusbigian (left) of Birmingham with Besa & Jim Chandler and Lynn Dutton of Bloomfield. 2. Bob (left) & FH board member Maggie Allesee of Bloomfield, FH board chair Jennifer Shoeger of Northville and event co-chair board member Jackie Sellers of Troy. 3. Gregg (left) & sponsor Huntington Bank’s Carole Brumm and FH board member Bruce & Debbie Kridler of Bloomfield. 4. Sponsor Andrews Brothers’ Herb (left) & Denise Abrash of Bloomfield and Theresa Selvaggio of Grosse Pointe. 5. Westborn Market’s Tony Anusbigian (left) of Grosse Pointe and FH board member Jon Woods of Bloomfield. 6. Ray (left) & Lynn Chateau of Bloomfield and Lynn’s brother Ray Head from Dallas, TX. 7. Donna Anusbigian (center) of Birmingham with her nephew George & niece Gabrielle Anusbigian of Grosse Pointe.
Variety’s Cruisin’ for the Dream The first Dream Cruise party benefiting Variety attracted 200 to the tented parking lot in front of Matt Prentice’s Northern Lakes Seafood restaurant in the Raddison. By the 6 p.m. start time, the rain was gone and the weather was perfect for car watching. It was also quite agreeable for socializing, checking out a small silent auction, playing some skill activities and for eating Kobe beef sliders and other tasty goodies. A 1982 Mercedes Benz convertible anonymously donated for auction also got attention. When the bidding on it closed, Linda Silvasi’s $7,000 was tops. This brought the event proceeds to $30,000. A band had some in the crowd dancing long after the cruising stopped at 9 p.m. Bloomfield Twp Classic Car Show The sixth annual Classic Car Show on Dream Cruise day had more cars than ever (24) registered for individual display at Mercedes Benz of Bloomfield and sold out the car club spaces (61) at Comerica Bank. Except for the steady drizzle, which Bloomfield Township’s Leslie Helwig admitted did keep a few of the registrants home, the record registrations and two sponsorships made it the “best yet.” Sponsor Superformance drew a crowd with its Shelby Cobra reproductions and
sponsor Daniel Krug & Associates entertained clients and friends under a special tent. There was no admission charge for the event but proceeds from car registrations, parking and sponsorships totaled more than $10,000. This will be divided among the Bloomfield Township Police Benevolent Fund, Bloomfield Township Fire Department Charities and the Bloomfield Hills Optimist Club. Yatooma’s Foundation Kids’ Cruisin’ The nearly 200 people who chose to watch the Dream Cruise action from the dry and air conditioned comfort of the Bank of Birmingham lobby made a good call. They could sip, sup and watch the cruisers through the floor to ceiling windows and via the roofmounted cam to the beat of rocking oldies music played by a DJ. Steve Owen clowned around making balloon creations for the kids in the crowd, which included Kim Newberry’s three children. Newberry, a former foundation recipient, is now on the advisory board of the organization that helps families who have lost a parent turn the tragedy to triumph. The event collected $3,000 in donations for the foundation. Spending Revolt Bus Visit Speaking of wheels, some really big ones were parked in front of Mark & Leisa Audette’s Bloomfield Hills home Sunday evening, Aug. 29. It was the Spending Revolt bus which is touring the country. Most of the 70plus picnic guests signed the sides of the rolling cut-government-spending petition before and after the town hall meeting moderated by the nonprofit / non-partisan Americans for Prosperity Foundation’s Scott Hagerstrom. Detroit News opinion page editor Manny Lopez and Forbes columnist /senior analyst for the Reason Foundation Shikha Dalmia shared some alarming economic data about wasteful government spending and answered questions from the concerned audience members. The meeting was televised live on the internet. Go to www.spendingrevolt.com and www.americansforprosperity.org for more information about the grassroots fight for financial liberty and limited government. Karmanos Partners Golf Classic More than 230 good sports played downtownpublications.com
Variety’s Cruisin’ for the Dream
1. Event chairs Connie Beckett of Troy and Jeffrey King of Birmingham. 2. Sandy Klein (left) of South Lyon, Kim & Mark Reuss and honorary committee members Kelly & Matt Shuert of Bloomfield. 3. Rocky Raczkowski (center) of Farmington Hills with Marge Stoller (left) and Leisa Audette of Bloomfield. 4. Cindy Oliver (left), honorary committee members Felicia & Ed Shaw with Debbie & Pat Franssen of Birmingham. 5. Paul (left) & Chris Lamarch and Denise & Herb Abrash of Bloomfield. 6. Dr. Tom Dupuis (left) of Bloomfield with Dr. Rick & Penny Persiani of Birmingham. 7. Chris (left) & Wally Schwartz, Shelia & committee members Kevin Dillon and Len & Pamela Dillon of Bloomfield. 8. Gerrie (left) & Harold Kalt and Linda & Stephen Hayman of Bloomfield. 9. Honorary committee members Henry Baskin and Kelly Shuert of Bloomfield. 10. Stacey Gomez (left) of Fenton and Dr. Cory Cotter of Bloomfield.
Yatooma’s Foundation Kids’ Cruisin’ 1. Gabriella and her father Norman Yatooma of Bloomfield with Bank of Birmingham president Rob Farr of Beverly Hills. 2. Tighe (left), Clare and Faith Keating of Troy.
SOCIAL LIGHTS/SALLY GERAK in the Karmanos Partners Golf Classic chaired by Aaron Ranka and David Thewes Aug. 30 at Franklin Hills Country Club. The Pro Division was won by Marty Deutch, Kevin Mahalak, Mike Pedrys and Doug Wood. The Men’s Division was won by Partners’ executive co-chair J.J. Modell with John Bertakis, Nick Giorgio and Tripp Tracy. The Women’s Division was won by Ina Pitt, Connie Ross, Jane Schwartz and, event co-honoree Frances Eisenberg. Mixed Division winners were Robert Mintari, Christina Mintari, Tom Chartrand and Kyle Chartrand. Eisenberg and her husband Kenneth were honored again at the Partners’ Evening Gala which Peter Fezzey and Michelle Mio chaired Saturday, Sept. 11 at the DIA.
Founders Junior Council’s Fash Bash
1. Host committee member Nicole Eisenberg and T-shirt designer Robert Dempster of Bloomfield. 2. Marilyn Way (left) and Lynn Ferron of Bloomfield (wearing identical dresses by Piazza Sempione). 3. Annette Davies (left) of Farmington Hills, Sandi Pape, Barbra Block and Kim Zaguroli of Bloomfield. 4. Annie & Bruce Margulis of Bloomfield (Annie’s jacket w/feathered cuffs by Elizabeth & James). 5. Mitzi & Patrick Martin of Birmingham. 6. Co-chairs of the 2010 Opera Ball - Rick (left) & Karen Williams and Gretchen & Ethan Davidson of Bloomfield. 7. OUR TOWN Art show committee members Barbara Heller (left) of Birmingham, Nicole Gogopian, Becky Sorenson and Gail Pope-Rashid with Susan Lundin of Bloomfield. 8. Patti & Jim Prowse of Bloomfield. 9. Margo Quarles Hill (left) and Dianette Dye of Detroit, Jeffrey Lance Abood and Dr. Rainna Brazile of Birmingham. 10. Rick (left) & Karen Williams of Bloomfield, Dan Gliniecki of Auburn Hills, Sue Cohen of Birmingham.
CARE House Hard Hat Happening Forty supporters of CARE House turned out for an unusual event – signing the trusses for the new, 16,000 sq. ft. house. It will more than double the current building used for child abuse intervention, prevention and therapy. The signing activity provided hands on satisfaction, but more dollars are needed to reach the $4million Campaign for Kids goal. To help go to www.carehouse.org. Loyalists will also gather (sans hardhats) for the upcoming CARE Night event which Elyse & David Foltyn and Roz & Scott Jacobson are chairing Saturday, Oct. 2 at Planterra. Formerly called Merry-Go-Round, the 12th annual CARE House gala will be the inaugural event for Planterra’s new greenhouse. It will honor Cathy & Jim Weissenborn, Maria & Bill Roberts and the Elder Automotive Group. Founders Junior Council’s Fash Bash For the first time since the Detroit Institute of Arts’ Founders Junior Council began staging FASH BASH in 1970, Saks Fifth Avenue pulled off the event sponsor’s dream – they actually got the fashion savvy, upscale, mostly young art lovers into the store. With a simple MO. They hosted the party in the store. And it was sold-out-plus (approximately 700 attended). Before the runway fashion show guests socialized big time, sipped and supped on the stroll (Papa Joe’s cuisine) and applauded vocalist Stephanie K, who, with her smiling mother Brigitte Krawiec on the aisle, sang her I-Tunes hit "Story of a Broken Heart" and, soon to be 10.10
released by Bungalo/Universal, "Take me Baby.” After the fashion show in a theatre tent on the adjacent Somerset Collection parking structure roof, they flocked to SFA’s new Contemporary Collections to examine the 61 looks that were on the runway. Event guest designer Richard Rodriguez’s collection shares space there with those by Vince, Diane Von Furstenberg, Helmut Lang, Cynthia Steffe, Alice & Olivia, Rag & Bone and Marc by Marc Jacobs, to name a few. The price points range from $100 to $2,000 with most items in the $200 to $600 range. The show energy still filled the air as people partied until past 10 p.m. The event, including tickets ($125), a small auction and a percentage of the sales, raised upwards of $63,000 for FJC support of the DIA. Angels’ Place’s Family Fun Day Joy reigned at this annual end of summer festival staged on the grounds of the Detroit Country Day Lower School. The fundraiser ($45,000) for AP’s lifetime services to persons with developmental disabilities attracted 600, including more than 100 residents and staffers from the 18 AP homes. They ate hot dogs, chicken, cotton candy and ice cream. They checked out such activities as the climbing wall, the Navy Seabees, the Coney-type games, face painting, inflatables and a life size Candyland game. Smiling student volunteers were ready to assist. They came from 23 different schools, including Detroit Country Day, Brother Rice, Marian, Seaholm, Lahser, St. Hugo, Holy Name, Derby, St. Regis, Shrine, Southfield Christian and Catholic Central. Some also bought raffle tickets for North Brothers Ford’s donation of a 2011 Ford Fiesta two-year lease. Leukemia & Lymphoma Fundraiser Nineteen years ago Hannan Alsahlani’s only brother Haider died of leukemia at the age of 16. The Beaumont pediatrician credits this tragedy with inspiring her to become a doctor. As members of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Team in Training, she and her husband Ali Alhimiri, a physical medicine and rehab doctor, are preparing for an L&LS fundraising marathon Jan. 8, 2011 at Walt Disney World. On the fitness side they are gradually increasing their running distance (“…and loosing some weight in the process”) and on the fundraising downtownpublications.com
Angels’ Place’s Family Fun Day
1. Event co-chair Tom MacLean (right) of Bloomfield with his kids / volunteers Mary Kate & Joe. 2. Event co-chair Kathy Kuleplian (left) of Bloomfield with her family Lauren, Peter & Pierce. 3. Kendall Smith (left), Lilly Rivard and volunteer Kate Harrington of Bloomfield. 4. Jack Barnds & Angles’ Place co-founder Anne Marie Lopez of Birmingham. 5. Luke Newman (center) of Birmingham with Brother Rice volunteers James Crowe (left) of BBingham Farms and Riley Kennedy of Bloomfield. 6. Detroit Country Day volunteers Cydney Ross (left) of Waterford, Meghan Gatward and Emilie Weiner of Bloomfield, Brittany Mann of Beverly Hills and Susan Eiwwng of Southfield.
6 Leukemia & Lymphoma Fundraiser
1. Marathoners / event hosts Dr. Hannan Alsahlani & Dr. Ali Alhimiri and their daughters Summer (left) and Sophia. 2. (The parents of Haidar, who inspired the event) Jawad (left) & Soham Alsahlani of Chicago with Marcey Uday-Riley of Bloomfield. 3. Dr. Houda Dagher-Rodger of Birmingham with her sons Zain (left) & Zachary.
FAR Conservatory’s Camp FAR OUT 1. Camper Rusty Tons of Birmingham with counselor Tammy. 2. Counselor Heidi Ohly of Rochester Hills with camper Ameen Refai of Bloomfield. 3. Camper Katy Asmus of Rochester and counselor Marissa Sonnensheirn of W Bloomfield
SOCIAL LIGHTS/SALLY GERAK side, they staged a big marathon benefit picnic on the spacious grounds of their Bloomfield Township home. More than 500 people of all ages came. Some 30 volunteers - Alsahlani’s teenage patients, family members, medical colleagues and their friends - directed traffic, sold raffle and candy store tickets and helped with the activities. These included an obstacle course, rides on a fire truck, dunk tank, bounce house and slide and a Princess Cinderella. Much of the abundant and tasty picnic chow was brought by friends, including the chocolate chip cookies and chocolate cake, which Hannan said, were Haidar’s favorites. The energetic mother of two confided that the party, staged to honor the memory of her brother and her many patients with leukemia and lymphoma, was planned and executed in a mere three weeks. It raised approximately $10,000. Donations to fund a cure for blood cancers can also be made via the Alashani Team online at www.pages.teamintraining.org/mi /wdw11/halsahlani.
Big Wine Classic
FAR Conservatory’s Camp FAR OUT Camp FAR OUT concluded its two week encampment at the Birmingham Presbyterian Church with an hour long show for family and friends. In addition to the 40 campers who ranged from three to 20-years old and possessed a wide variety of disabling conditions, thanks to a grant there were almost as many counselors to provide one on one instruction in dance and movement, yoga, art, instrumental music, vocal music and drama. The rousing ovation at the end of the show evoked lots of smiles, both on stage and in the audience of proud family members.
Preludes to DIA@125 Gala Fair Radom and Gayle Camden, event co-chairs with Yvette Bing, plus Connie Ross, Janis Wetsman, Su Su Sosnick, Maureen D'Avanzo and some DIA staffers, recently convened at Forte Belanger’s Troy headquarters to decide on the menu for the DIA @125 Gala Nov. 13 at the museum. Though both entrée presentations for the tier one ticketholders were outstanding, the balsamic seared prime Angus beef paired with citrus seared scallops in black truffle oil won out over the roasted rack of veal paired with herb stuffed prawns. Such a difficult decision! Detroit Mayor Dave Bing and his wife hosted 120 of the benefactor ticket ($2,500) holders for a cocktail party on September 15 at the mayoral mansion in which they had lived a mere week. Dick Manoogian shared the story of how his father, an immigrant who arrived at Ellis Island in 1920 with $25 and an education (including five languages, none of which were English), came to Detroit to work for $5 a day at Ford. He saved enough money to buy some used machinery, worked hard, created what is now Masco Corporation and was able to buy the house at an auction in 1940 for $25,000. DIA director Graham Beal introduced party sponsor Christie’s chair emeritus Stephen Lash who praised the DIA and the soul of Detroit. Among those enjoying the hospitality were the Gala chairs, the honorees Marianne & Alan E. Schwartz, the Joe Hudsons, Gil Silvermans, David Foltyns, Herb Abrashes, Patrick Kersics, Bonnie Larson, Ruth Glancy and the Tom Schoeniths, who donated the wine for the party from their private collection.
8 1. Committee member Bart Tinsley (left) of Beverly Hills with three scholarship winners Andrew Ferguson and Christie Low of Royal Oak and Ginni Reiter of Ferndale. 2. Committee member Tom Violante (center) of Troy with top woman golfer Renee Tull of Birmingham and top man golfer David Passwater of Royal Oak. 3. Second place winners Vic Zanolli (left) of Birmingham, Aaron Boyle of Indianapolis and Casey Bear and Jason Fettig of Birmingham. 4. First place winners Doug Roehl (left) of Birmingham, David Passwater of Royal Oak and David Breaugh of Birmingham. 5. Christine (left) & committee member Dave Provost with Steve Eick of Birmingham, Bob Joseph and Tom Schellenberger of Bloomfield. 6. Michelle Lievois (left) of Bloomfield, Walt Zimmerman of W. Bloomfield and committee member Terry Thomas of Birminhgam. 7. Committee member Chris Lievois (left) of Bloomfield with Mary Lievois and Mary Currie of Birmingham. 8. Peter (left) & Gillian Sobelton and Renee & David Tull of Birmingham.
Big Wine Classic “This is the best golf outing in metro Detroit,” opined Digger D’Angelo. The insurance salesman was sipping fine wine at a table near the fireplace at Birmingham Country Club after the Big Wine Classic presentation program. It featured a new video and the three recipients of the four-year, full ride college scholarships financed by the event proceeds. Christie Low, the first recipient, now a senior at the University of Michigan, said, “…I’m so grateful… Rob must have been an incredible person.” Her reference was to the late Rob Schuele, in whose memory the fundraising event is staged because he’d told friends that he’d always wanted “…to rock someone’s world”. And, because he also considered that a day of golf was best concluded with friends and good wine, those friends now stage the Big Wine Classic. The fifth annual attracted 118 for golf and 200 for the post golf sipping and dining. New this year was the opportunity to make $100 donations to the kids’ class schedules. That raised another $8,600 and brought the event total to more than $100,000. Golf trophies were, what else, bottles of fine wine.
Henry Ford Wine Masterpiece RARE! Henry Ford West Bloomfield’s Multidisciplinary Spine Program, which offers the combined expertise of neurosurgery and orthopedic spine surgery, benefitted from an extraordinary two-part wine event chaired by the Michael Bergers, Carl Camdens and Gerard van Grinsvens. It simultaneously attracted 220 to the Vin Voyage adventure staged in the GM Wintergarden and 250 to the ultimate RARE! event staged at the top of the GM Renaissance Center in Matt Prentice’s Coach Insignia restaurant. The first tasting station at the latter was stocked with champagnes, including Moet & Chandon’s Cuvee Dom Perignon1990, 1985 and 1980. Many, make that most, guests were very grape savvy, familiar with the rare wines and their approximate retail value. We’re talking a couple dozen labels at $500-plus, several worth $1,000-plus and Chateau Petrus, Pomerol 1989 which, according to Rich Brown, would sell for more than $3,500. Brown, the Camdens , the Bergers, Ron Wesier and many guests like Stanley Berger, Marshall Chin and Igor Larionov donated wine from their private cellars. When the corks were all counted, the event raised some $200,000 for the program. ORT-RUB-A-DUB With the re-release of the “We Are The World” song in support of Haitian earthquake victims, the 25-year-old USA for Africa famine relief anthem inspired Rub-A-Dub chairs Randy Wertheimer, Sandy Shechter and Steven J. Tapper and their planning committee. We ORT Detroit, We ORT the World attracted more than 400 to Franklin Hills Country Club for dining, silent auctions ($30,000) and live auction bidding ($55,000). ORT national president Doreen Hermelin, the Robert Colburns, Scott Marcuses, Conrad Gileses and Alan Jay Kaufmans were a few spotted in the crowd that raised more than $260,000. Proceeds will benefit the SMART Class Campaign in Israel and the Jewish Community Center’s David B. Hermelin ORT Resource Center, including its Better Job Opportunities classes which currently have a wait list. Send ideas for this column to Sally Gerak, 28 Barbour Lane, Bloomfield Hills, 48304; email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 248.646.6390. downtownpublications.com
Henry Ford Wine Masterpiece RARE!
4 1. Event co-chairs Carl (left) & Juli Camden of Bloomfield and Michael & Debbie Berger of W. Bloomfield with event wine chair Master Sommelier Madeline Triffon of Southgate. 2. Meadmaker Ken Schramm (left) of Troy and host committee member Bob Allesee of Bloomfield. 3. Dr. Steven Kolkanis (left) and host committee member Dr. Mike Chedid of Bloomfield , Jim Locker of Birmingham. 4. Marc (left) & Eugenia Jonna of Birmingham, Stephanie & Richard Najarian of Bloomfield. 5. Marshall Chin (left) and Drs. Wilma & Rod Dimitrijevic of Bloomfield. 6. Host committee member Maggie Allesee (left) and Jennifer & Dan Harmon of Bloomfield. 7. Dr. Morris & Rhonda Brown of Bloomfield. 8. Maureen & Tim Cotter of Stuart, FL with Bob Allesee of Bloomfield.
ORT-RUB-A-DUB 1. Rub-a-Dub co-chairs Steven Tapper (left) of W. Bloomfield), Sandy Shechter of Farmington Hills,, and Randy Wertheimer of Franklin. 2. Randy Wertheimer (left) of Franklin, Seth & Hilary Golden of Bloomfield, Brad “Bubba” Urdan W. Bloomfield.
City vendor ordinance concerns
e will be watching with interest in the months ahead as Birmingham officials, along with members of the business community, grapple with the idea of amending the city vendor ordinance to encourage vendors to set up in not only the downtown area but also in a couple of the city parks in 2011. The idea of amending the ordinance appears to have taken on a life of its own this past summer, at least among staff members in city hall. The city planning commission has formed a subcommittee to work on the issue and the Principal Shopping District (PSD) has done the same, although as of press time officials were not releasing a copy of the proposed new ordinance. There supposedly will be some perfunctory parts of the amended city ordinance dealing with ice cream trucks in residential areas but the biggest change will come in allowing vendors in the downtown area, alley passageways in the city and in at least a couple of city parks. As the logic goes, adding vendors, some of them permanent during certain seasons of the year, would convince people to stay longer in the parks and add to the general foot traffic in the cityâ€”-all admirable goals. On the one hand, increasing the foot traffic and
therefore the vibrancy in the immediate downtown area seems laudable. That, after all, was the logic behind the bistro movement in downtown Birmingham. Certainly it is hard to argue against something that would increase pedestrian activity in the city. But at the same time, there are some definite down sides to opening up the vendor issue. Our major objection is the possible cost to brick and mortar merchants and restaurants in the downtown area. They either own or pay rent, taxes, maintain payroll work forces and the like for the privilege of having a business in Birmingham. So now, with an amended ordinance, vendors will be able, at probably much less cost, to enter the city and set up temporary shop to move food and other products that for the most part will be in direct competition with established businesses. No application fee and monthly operating fee would compare with the expense facing the brick and mortar businesses in the city, so the playing field would not be a level one. We don't need a copy of the proposed amended ordinance to know that. Running a close second is our concern about changing the face of the park system. We simply can't envision vendors operating in Shain or Booth
parks, nor do we see the need. One only has to pass by one of these parks during the spring, summer or early fall to know that usage appears to be up and no one needs encouragement to use the parks with the introduction of vendors. We also have major concerns about the visual blight, to be blunt, that would no doubt come with vendors to downtown and the parks. Although vendors at a street fair or art fair may add to the quaintness of the event, we think that on a permanent basis the appearance of the city would be threatened with vendor trucks and trailers, and booths set up in the retail and park areas of the city. Birmingham has developed a reputation for consistency in terms of how buildings look and the image of the downtown area. We can't imagine that this same level of control could be exercised on vendor vehicles and booths that would dot the downtown, alleys and parks. Frankly, we are not thrilled with the push to bring vendors downtown and into the parks, no matter how many vendors are calling city hall. We would assume the business community will monitor this closely and we would hope the city will give the general public sufficient time to weigh in on the issue once the proposed amended ordinance is finally made public.
School, library millage questions
wo millages issues will be facing voters in Bloomfield Hills and the Bloomfield Hills school district on the Nov. 2 ballot this year. One proposal, involving two millages, would deal with the question of a new high school in the Bloomfield Hills district, while the second proposal involves library services in Bloomfield Hills.
School district millages For voters in the Bloomfield Hills school district, two tax questions will appear on the ballot. One proposal is for a .74-mill sinking fund renewal and the second is for a 1.43-mill bond request. The two proposals, if passed, would maintain the current 2.17-mill rate in the district. The issue of how to address the high school situation in the district has been a major issue for several years. Voters in 2007 rejected a bond proposal to build two new schools to replace Andover and Lahser high schools. The district is now focused on building one new school on the Andover campus and predicts an annual savings of $2.5 in operating expenses once complete. We think the district has done its homework on this issue. The two older high schools need to be addressed and the potential annual operating savings is attractive. Additionally, the district has developed a reputation for academic excellence, which is what attracts residents to this area, and the new high school would help continue that
tradition. On a purely personal level, strong schools help preserve the property values in the local community. Lastly, the school board is committed to a onehigh school concept, regardless of whether these millages are approved. We think voters are best served with a YES vote on both proposals.
Bloomfield Hills library Bloomfield Hills voters will be facing a library question on the ballot that also includes a new tax. While we certainly applaud the efforts of the citizens who forced this to go on the ballot through the petition process, we think this issue needs some serious work before voters give their okay. So we are recommending a NO vote on this proposal and suggest the city form a committee to work out a more logical proposal to put on the regular city ballot next May. On the face of it, this proposal is being sold as a .617-mill tax for six years to fund two three-year contracts with the Bloomfield Township library so city residents have full access to library services. That concept we support. Without a shared services agreement with Bloomfield Township, library services for Bloomfield Hills residents will not be available as of next June because Troy, where services are now available, will be closing its library due to financial problems.
Unfortunately, the proposal also creates an independent library board, with autonomous powers. The library board would be empowered to negotiate a contract for library services but it would also be empowered to provide general library services, including building a library in the city. We are not supporters of independent boards with autonomy from the city commission. Further, we think in this day, the move is to consolidated municipal services, not duplication from community to community, which is a possibility with this proposal. There is a clear danger here that a future independent library board could favor empire building through having its own library. We are also concerned that a contract with Bloomfield Township has not been negotiated in advance of asking citizens for more taxes. The cart has clearly been placed before the horse. The city commission should address this issue by appointing a committee and charging the panel and city attorney to negotiate a contract in advance, then place a proposal on the ballot next May to fund the services contract through an ironclad earmarked millage. If library service through a shared agreement with Bloomfield Township is the goal, and certainly a worthy one, then we don't need to create an autonomous layer of government to accomplish this.
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Thank you to all our partners and the community for a successful 2010 Hall & Hunter Estate Sale to benefit Habitat for Humanity of Oakland County. Due to your generous response, we have raised over $120,000 for the charity since the event’s start.
Published on Sep 23, 2010
October 2010 - Our premier issue DOWNTOWN is an upscale monthly full-color magazine-style publication mailed at no charge to homes in Birmi...