Monday, December 31, 2007

Cass corridor development

In the past few years downtown Detroit and Midtown, the area around Wayne State, have seen lots of new development. Last week Crain's Detroit wrote about new projects on Woodward and Cass that will start to bridge the gap between the two. The lower Cass Corridor may one day lose its status as Detroit's Skid Row.

Downtown development assessed

Two weeks ago the NY Times wrote a balanced assessment of the redevelopment of downtown Detroit: Detroit Revival Vies With Industry’s Decline.

The article highlights a number of positive recent developments: an expanded Detroit Institute of Arts, new casinos, the restoration of the historic Book Cadillac hotel, and the announcement that Quicken Loans will relocate downtown. These are set against the usual grim statistics: Detroit has the nation's highest poverty rate and the second-highest foreclosure rate; 100,000 automotive workers were laid off in the last two years; the city's population has shrunk in half; and some major development projects, like a proposed Motown Museum, have fallen through.

The question belying the article is whether true progress can be made in Detroit when "the automobile industry, its life force, is facing a further decline in 2008." That remains to be seen, as well as whether the neighborhoods of Detroit will ever benefit from the renewed city center.

Sunday, December 30, 2007


The premise of this blog is to highlight the best of what I read each day, especially with regard to Detroit. The city has a growing web presence, from the major dailies to non-profits to the music scene and onward, but these many threads are usually left unconnected. I plan to draw them together and critically examine the metropolitan region and the city in particular as the daily struggle for its revitalization continues.

And I won't hesitate to comment on anything else that interests me: literature, economics, the world in all of its complexity.