News and Announcements
Life is good in Midtown...
Yahoo News, 2/5
"3 happening Detroit neighborhoods for 2013"
by Marilisa Sachteleben
The Detroit News reports that the Brookings Institute's Global MetroMonitor study cited Detroit as one of six U.S. metro growth pockets. The report looked at 300 metropolitan areas around the world to see how they were faring since the recent global recession. To house that growing population, Midtown is one of three popular pocket neighborhoods cited. Wayne State University is noted as a major stop in Midtown’s cultural section.
Crain’s Detroit Business, 12/23/12; WJBK-TV FOX 2, 1/2/13
"Woodward: New restaurants, retail dot corridor"
by Ryan Felton
A year-end report looks at economic investment in 2012 along five main corridors radiating from Detroit and into the suburbs. Restaurants and retail drove economic investment along Woodward Avenue in 2012, with at least 50 new businesses opening along the 25-mile stretch from Detroit to Pontiac. Woodward saw about $180 million in investment, according to Crain's estimates, with occupancy rates reaching their highest levels in more than a decade in several communities. By those estimates, at least 1,500 jobs were created along the corridor. The growth reached all the way down to Detroit's Midtown district. A year ago, the area surrounding Wayne State University was reported having a 93 percent occupancy rate, and now is near 98 percent, according to Midtown Detroit Inc. There have been 18 new businesses that have opened since the beginning of the year, with 10 more planned or already in the works for early next year. Fox 2 offered a feature story about the Midtown development gains.
The Detroit News, 12/21
"Midtown's boom shows no sign of slowing down"
by Michael Martinez
Midtown's revival continues to gain steam with new retailers sprouting up to cater to the growing number of creative and health-conscious residents moving into the neighborhood. Lifestyle boutiques and fitness shops have opened across Midtown in past months — many of them on the first floors of newly built or refurbished residential units. More stores are planned for early 2013 as entrepreneurs open their first shops and veteran merchants expand or upgrade their locations to meet the needs of the neighborhood's growing population. "Midtown is really sexy right now," said Janet Jones, owner of the independent book store Source Booksellers on Cass Avenue, near the Wayne State University campus. "The creative class has some root here. Everyone's working together toward renewal." No wonder. The neighborhood, north of downtown, is home to Wayne State, and it also is known as the city's Cultural Center, with the Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit Historical Museum, Detroit Public Library, Michigan Science Center and Charles W. Wright Museum of African American History, all clustered in the area around Woodward between Mack and I-94.
New York Times, 10/18
Finally, a Downtown's Upswing
by Bill Morris
"Today, as often as not, people who work downtown don’t race home to the suburbs for a simple reason that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago: they also live downtown, in buildings that once stood empty."
Young people’s fascination with Detroit is only part of the new story for the city
by Jay Walljasper
According to plentiful media reports, well-educated twenty-somethings are streaming into the Motor City to test out new ideas, explore art and music projects or launch D-I-Y revitalization initiatives. The Detroit Revitalization Fellows Program selected 29 Fellows with backgrounds in urban planning, economic development, finance, real estate, and related fields out of 650 applicants from across the country. Besides working full-time at organizations devoted to tackling Detroit’s problems, rising professionals chosen for the Detroit Revitalization Fellows Program study a wide range of initiatives to turn around the city. The program—a Wayne State project financially supported by the Kresge Foundation, Ford Foundation, Hudson-Webber Foundation, Skillman Foundation and the University—placed fellows at organizations identified as being "actively engaged in building the Detroit of tomorrow." This covers everything from the Data Driven Detroit research firm to the Community Investment Support Fund, which directs investment capital to low-income neighborhoods.
Detroit Free Press, 8/12
Graphic: Downtown gems
A list of historic landmarks and buildings and other cool locations throughout downtown and Midtown Detroit, includes the Beecher House at Wayne State University. The 1894 mansion, now WSU’s development office, holds a treasure — the massive stained glass window “Muse of Music,” an amazing six-panel Tiffany creation that looms over the grand staircase. It’s noted as a place in the city to see great Tiffany stained glass.
Midtown Detroit’s population grew to 14,550 from 10,900 from 2000 to 2010, according to the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments. The area’s 5,884 housing units in 127 buildings are 95 percent occupied, and more are being built, according to Midtown Detroit Inc., a nonprofit planning and economic development organization. Nearby Wayne State University’s 54 police officers share patrols and investigations in midtown with Detroit police. The result has been a 38 percent decline in major crime from 2008 to 2011, said Captain Emery Burk.
The Detroit News, 6/21
"Woodward comeback on road to reality"
by Louis Aguilar
A key section of downtown Detroit's Woodward Avenue may be on the verge of fulfilling a long-deferred dream — returning to a corridor filled with shops and sidewalks full of people, developers and experts say. Many developers and commercial real estate analysts say there has been enough progress that a retail recovery is within grasp. The progress includes rising occupancy in downtown apartments and Metro Detroit's improving economy. "Parts of Woodward are on a very different trajectory than the rest of the city," said John Mogk, Wayne State University law professor who closely tracks urban planning issues. "We are close to seeing an area that is not just active during big events or the work week, but something that has much street-level retail; virtually no blight. We have not been close to that (reality) in a very long time."
Crain’s Detroit Business, 6/20
"$10 million U.S. grant to help extend Dequindre Cut from Eastern Market to other parts of city"
by Sherri Welch
A $10 million federal grant will help fund the extension of the Dequindre Cut Greenway — connecting the Detroit riverfront to Eastern Market — and other projects that could take the greenway into Midtown and Hamtramck. The funds — pulled from the U.S. Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery program with assistance from U.S. Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin — represent a portion of the funding sought for the $24 million project, Eastern Market Corp. president Dan Carmody said. The project envisions a continuous greenway system connecting the riverfront to Eastern Market and also to Midtown and the Wayne State University and Detroit Medical Center campuses.
The Detroit News, 6/4
"Rental unit demand grows near downtown"
by Karl Henkel and Louis Aguilar
Rental apartments from Midtown to Corktown to downtown are filling up because more workers and students are choosing to relocate to Detroit. To date, 445 employees of Detroit companies have participated in the Live Downtown and Live Midtown programs that pay workers to relocate to Detroit or stay in the city. In the Midtown program, the Detroit Medical Center, Henry Ford Health System and Wayne State University offer employees either the cash for rent, a $20,000 forgivable loan for new homeowners or up to $5,000 in matching funds for existing homeowners to do exterior improvement projects of $10,000 or more. Midtown's housing dilemma is amplified by the growing number of Wayne State University undergraduate students choosing to live in Detroit, rather than commute from the suburbs. The university's roughly 535 apartment units have a 2 percent vacancy rate, said Tim Michael, chief housing officer at Wayne State University. WSU has no immediate plans for more, though Michael said he "wouldn't rule out" expansion during the next five years. "We want as many students to live in the Midtown area as possible," he said.
The Detroit News, 4/24
"New outdoor arts fest being planned for Detroit's Midtown"
by Louis Aguilar
A two-day festival called DLECTRICITY will take place Oct. 5 and 6, 2012. The outdoor arts festival will illuminate Midtown's Woodward Avenue corridor with light, sound, performance and video projections.
The Washington Post, Yahoo Finance, ABC News, Detroit Free Press, 4/13
"Detroit neighborhood undergoing revitalization sees Whole Foods’ arrival as proof of progress"
by Jeff Karoub (Associated Press)
Whole Foods, the Austin, Texas-based retailer plans to open a 20,000-square-foot supermarket with about 75 employees in Detroit’s Midtown next year. One reason it may be willing to take the risk is that the neighborhood is an anomaly in a tough city enduring very tough times: People are moving in, businesses are opening and hopes are high. Whole Foods has solid anchors in Wayne State University, the Detroit Medical Center and cultural institutions such as the Detroit Institute of Arts and Orchestra Hall, as well as a growing number of startups and rehabilitation projects, and people are moving in thanks to relocation incentives offered by their employers.
"Wayne State helping to clean up Midtown with Wayne Cares Midtown Makeover"
A channel 7 story notes Saturday’s Wayne Cares Midtown Makeover led by Wayne State University and Midtown Detroit, Inc. The event will run from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. with the goal to clean and beautify Midtown. Details about volunteering and logistics are provided.
"Live Midtown: Subsidies drive residential demand, new development in Detroit neighborhood"
by Ashley C. Woods
An article examining the impact of the Live Midtown initiative on Detroit’s comeback highlights economic development in the area near Wayne State University and other anchor institutions. Ned Staebler, vice president for economic development, said his goal at Wayne State is to help increase density around campus by 40% in the next five to ten years. With only 11 to 12 people an acre, Midtown might be one of Detroit's most populated neighborhoods. Wayne State employee Darren Clark is quoted in the article about his possible move to the Midtown area using the incentives.
The Detroit News, CBS Detroit, WXYZ-TV, WWJ-AM, 1/25; Mlive, 1/24
'Live Midtown' initiative kicks off for second year
Wayne State University, Henry Ford Health System and the Detroit Medical Center confirmed yesterday that they will participate for a second year in the "Live Midtown" initiative in which it gives financial incentives for employees to live in areas of Detroit. The 2012 program kicked off Wednesday. The program, announced last January and administered by Midtown Detroit Inc., offers cash to about 30,000 employees of Wayne State, Henry Ford and the DMC to buy or rent in the New Center, Midtown, Virginia Park and Woodbridge neighborhoods.
Crain’s Detroit Business, 1/15
"Sue Mosey: Slow and steady approach revitalizes Midtown"
by Sherri Welch
As an urban planning student at Wayne State University, Susan Mosey could see tremendous potential in the neighborhood that would become Midtown. But she had no idea she'd one day become "Mayor of Midtown." It took more than 20 years to reach a tipping point in revitalizing the key Detroit neighborhood. Funders and public entities recognize Woodward Avenue as a key corridor because of its assets, which include Wayne State University, TechTown, Henry Ford Health System and Detroit Medical Center, Mosey said.
New York Times, 1/9/12
"Little Engines of Creativity, Spinning Freely in the Motor City"
by Mary M. Chapman
"Skepticism toward an enduring automotive rebound has fomented a kind of can-do, post-industrial attitude here that embraces Detroit’s lineage and also separates from it. Young people, many from the suburbs, see opportunity in Detroit’s transition and are moving into affordable loft spaces, opening small businesses and generally contributing to a vision, not altogether cohesive, of a city that isn’t so dependent on one income stream."
"Detroit 2020 retrospective highlights WSU involvement"
Detroit 2020 aired a special episode about their efforts to address the challenges facing the region highlighting stories that aired in 2011. Wayne State University is featured in several segments including the Live Midtown initiative and WSU’s involvement (“A Year Into the Future – Pt. I” cue to 2:20); Wayne State anthropologist Jacalyn Harden talked extensively about race (“A Year Into the Future – Pt. II” cue to 1:15); and Detroit 2020 teamed up with Habitat for Humanity of Detroit to build walls for habitat homes on the east side. More than 150 volunteers, including Wayne State University students, picked up hammers and built the walls (“A Year Into the Future – Pt. II” cue to 3:10).
WJBK TV 2, 11/21
"Midtown is the center of the city's resurgence"
Fox 2’s Alexis Wiley reported on the resurgence of Midtown and what the bustling area offers its residents and visitors. Wayne State University is noted as one of the world class educational institutions that is a major part of Midtown. Also mentioned are the 40 restaurants and bars, 10 galleries and dozens of places to shop.
Los Angeles Times, 11/13
"Detroit evolving into a haven for artists"
by Andrew Bender
In a story about Detroit’s comeback, Wayne State University is noted as one of the locations for aspiring artists. Also referenced is the Cultural Corridor and Midtown as sites for artistic and intellectual growth.
The Detroit News, 11/9
"Detroit's Urban Science offers workers incentives to live in city"
A story about the Live Downtown program notes that it mirrors the popular Live Midtown incentive program, created in January, to 30,000 employees of Wayne State University, the Detroit Medical Center and Henry Ford Health System.
"Can the arts save struggling cities?"
by Greg Hanscom
An article examining how the arts may be the key to reviving Detroit mentions the FAB Lab, a part of Wayne State University's TechTown initiative. The FAB LAB recently won a planning grant from ArtPlace America, a collaboration of charitable foundations, the National Endowment for the Arts, and federal agencies.
The Detroit News, 10/11
"Detroit's rebound feels real this time"
by Daniel Howes
In a column about Detroit’s rebound, Daniel Howes writes: “Wayne State University and the College for Creative Studies are reinvesting in Midtown, bolstering a critical mass of smarts, young people and spending power that is attracting talent and driving demand for downtown housing and new retail investment.” He adds, “Remember this feeling, Detroit — it's what happens when things get done the right way.”
The Oakland Press, 9/19
$1.3M to Detroit for economic revitalization; ArtPlace awards three grants
Three arts and culture organizations located in Detroit’s Woodward Avenue corridor will receive $1.33 million to expand their programs as part of an arts-based economic development initiative being launched in two dozen cities and towns across the nation. ArtPlace, a collaboration of 11 private foundations, the National Endowment for the Arts and seven federal agencies, announced that it will award $11.5 million to 34 projects, including $900,000 to Midtown Detroit Inc., $350,000 to the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit and $80,000 to TechTown at Wayne State University. Recipients were selected based on the promising models they have developed to integrate artists and arts organizations into local transportation, housing, community development and job creation efforts. TechTown Chief of Staff Meredith C. Kerekes is quoted in the article.
The Detroit News, 9/16
"Detroit culture boost aims for creative, economic spark"
by Michael H. Hodges
A new national initiative has awarded three Detroit cultural organizations a total of $1.33 million to stimulate redevelopment along the Woodward Corridor. The funds are part of a pilot program to reward and encourage the successful use of art to jump-start economic development in struggling neighborhoods. In its first year, ArtPlace will invest $11.5 million in 34 projects in 25 cities nationwide. It will also be supported by a $12 million loan from major financial institutions. Midtown Detroit Inc., formerly the University Cultural Center Association, won $900,000 to advance its Sugar Hills Arts District south of the Detroit Institute of Arts. The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, part of Sugar Hill, received $350,000 to finish interior renovations, while Wayne State's TechTown got $80,000 to create a multi-use space for community artists.
Detroit Free Press, 9/9
"Auburn project to add apartments in Midtown"
by John Gallagher
The shortage of rental apartments in Detroit's popular Midtown district would be eased a little by construction of a new mixed-use project breaking ground on Tuesday. Known as the Auburn, the $12-million project will create 58 rental apartments and 11 storefronts on a vacant site on the southeast corner of Cass and Canfield. The project is scheduled to open in August 2012. The target market is graduate students, young professionals and others looking for reasonably priced units in the district. Midtown is the area north of downtown Detroit that features major employers including Wayne State University and the Detroit Medical Center. In the past few years, demand has outstripped supply for apartments near WSU and other anchors.
Detroit Free Press, 8/12
"Midtown incentives program so popular that almost all the money is gone"
by John Gallagher
Incentives offered to Midtown employees to move into the district have proven to be so popular that all the money set aside for the first year of the five-year program has already been claimed. Sue Mosey, president of the civic group Midtown Detroit, said this week that roughly $1 million put up by three anchor employers -- Wayne State University, Detroit Medical Center and Henry Ford Health System -- as well as foundations is now committed just eight months into the first year of the program. No new applications are being taken for now.
The Toronto Star, 7/26
"Want to get paid to live downtown? Move to Detroit
You’re young, you’re hip and you want to live downtown"
In a story about incentive programs to move to Detroit, the Midtown initiative is highlighted. "In the midtown area there was a real mix," said Paul Hillegonds, senior vice president of corporate affairs for DTE Energy, one of the companies participating in the downtown program. "It’s the cultural center of the city where the Detroit Symphony and the Detroit Institute of Art and the Science museum are there. It's also the home of Wayne State University.” Within the first few months of the program, the companies -- the Detroit Medical System, the Henry Ford Medical System and Wayne State -- had received close to 200 applications and committed $800,000 of its $1 million first year budget. Hillegonds is hoping that the program for downtown Detroit will be just as successful.
The Detroit News, Crain’s Detroit Business, WWJ-AM, MSNBC (Associated Press), 7/25; Model D, The Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, WJR-AM, 7/26
16,000 at 5 Detroit companies eligible for $4M from Live Downtown program
Five Detroit companies yesterday announced the creation of Live Downtown, a new program that will provide financial incentives for employees to live in downtown Detroit and surrounding neighborhoods. Quicken Loans Inc., Compuware Corp., Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Strategic Staffing Solutions and DTE Energy Co. said in a statement they will give financial incentives to their collective 16,000 part-time and full-time employees to buy homes and rent apartments in downtown, Corktown, Eastern Market, Lafayette Park, Midtown and Woodbridge neighborhoods. Live Downtown is modeled on the popular Live Midtown program which provides incentives for employees at Wayne State University, the Detroit Medical Center and Henry Ford to move to the area.
Detroit Free Press, 7/21
"Downtown Detroit firms to offer residential incentives to workers"
by John Gallagher
Details of the Live Downtown residential incentive program will be unveiled Monday with at least five major downtown employers taking part. Live Downtown is modeled on the popular Live Midtown program which provides incentives for employees at Wayne State University, DMC and Henry Ford to move to the area. Announced in February, the Live Midtown incentive has attracted hundreds of applicants and seen dozens approved to buy or rent a residential unit in the city’s Midtown district.
The Detroit News, 6/29
Cool factor lures the young, artsy to Detroit
by Louis Aguilar
A feature story cites several examples of Detroit’s resurgence including the Live Midtown campaign led by Wayne State University, Henry Ford Health System and the Detroit Medical Center. The program, which aims to attract young, educated people, provides to workers as much as $25,000 in loans to buy a home, or as much as $3,500 in rent assistance.
Detroit Free Press, WDIV-TV, WJTV (Jackson, Miss.), 6/23; The Detroit News, UPI, 6/22
Success of Midtown incentives inspire Quicken chairman to follow suit downtown
by John Gallagher
Last January, when an incentive program was created to lure employees of major anchor institutions to live in the city's Midtown district, nobody quite knew how it would work out. Five months later, the evidence suggests the incentive program has been a huge hit. As of Wednesday, 178 people have taken advantage of the Midtown incentives to buy a new home, sign or renew an apartment lease, or begin home renovations, according to Midtown Detroit Inc., the nonprofit group that is coordinating the program. The Midtown program was open to employees of three major anchors -- Wayne State University, Detroit Medical Center and Henry Ford Health System. Now it appears that a similar incentive program is in the works for downtown workers employed at Quicken Loans and other firms.
WJBK-TV (Fox 2), 6/20
Selling employees on living in Detroit
by Alexis Wiley
Story focuses on what Detroit’s major employers are doing to encourage people to choose Detroit as their residence. Wayne State University, the Detroit Medical Center and Henry Ford Health System launched the Live Midtown initiative, which offers huge incentives to employees who either rent or buy homes in Midtown.
CBS Detroit, 6/13
Midtown Detroit: The city’s hippest new neighborhood
by Marie Osborne
WWJ reporter Marie Osborne discusses the revitalization of Midtown which has been experiencing significant growth and development. She cites Wayne State University, the Detroit Medical Center and the city’s cultural institutions as the hubs for the area that sees 50,000 people work or visit every day.
Detroit will encourage its residents to move
Wayne State University and Live Midtown are featured in the “Re-Made in Detroit” segment of the PBS series “Blueprint America” highlighting various incentive programs to increase the city’s population. In order to entice employees to move to Midtown, the university, along with the Henry Ford Health System and the Detroit Medical Center, are offering huge discounts on rents and mortgages. Rasheda Williams, a WSU employee who grew up in Detroit, is considering moving back to the city.
The Detroit News, 4/8/11
"Which city will Detroit choose?"
by Daniel Howes
In his column about Detroit’s status as a city battling back from the recent low census numbers, Daniel Howes mentions Wayne State’s participation in the move forward. "Massive investments by the city's major hospital groups, an expansion by the College for Creative Studies, a strategy by Wayne State University to burrow more deeply into its patch and a program to lure more residents to the area are paying off."
Model D, 4/5/11
"USA Today looks to Detroit for city center re-population trends"
The Census data are in, and while Detroit's declining population has made national headlines, the city center's re-population adds another element to the story. Since 2000, Detroit's downtown population grew by 59 percent, as at least 2000 residents moved to the downtown area. Detroit's growth mirrors a trend across the nation, as two-thirds of the nation's largest cities reported population increases in the heart of the town. Three anchor institutions -- Wayne State University, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit Medical Center -- recently launched "15 by 15," a campaign to bring 15,000 young, educated people to the downtown area by 2015. Among the lures are cash incentives: a $25,000 forgivable loan to buy (need to stay at least five years) downtown or $3,500 on a two-year lease.
Model D, 4/5/11
Editor's notebook: The death and life of a great American city
by Walter Wasacz
Walter Wasacz, Model D managing editor, writes a column about the hope for Detroit despite the recent census numbers revealing a decline in population. Illustrating his point, Wasacz writes, “In the packed week ahead, we have Detroit Restaurant Week, the Rustbelt to Artist Belt III conference and Art X, a festival that celebrates the work of 38 Kresge Foundation fellows. Another fellowship program, Detroit Fellows, administered by Wayne State University and intended to attract young creative talent to Detroit, is closing the application process the following week with implementation expected this summer.
Detroit Free Press, The Detroit News, WDIV-TV (4), 4/5; WXYZ-TV (7), Mlive.com, 4/4
"Whole Foods shopping for a site in Detroit"
The Whole Foods upscale grocery chain has been shopping for a possible store location in Detroit's Midtown district and has been holding meetings to line up potential local suppliers for it. A Whole Foods store could further boost Midtown, a district already undergoing rapid redevelopment thanks to new investment by Wayne State University and other anchor institutions. Whole Foods' discussions in Detroit have been an open secret in the local real estate community, with a parcel on the southwest corner of Warren and Woodward, owned by Wayne State University, one potential location.
Detroit Free Press, 4/3/11
"Shrinking Detroit can map out its future with census data"
by Steve Neavling
An article highlights Midtown as a thriving neighborhood in Detroit despite an overall population loss of 25 percent between 2000 and 2010. Michael Siegel, a 30-year-old medical student at Wayne State University, said he loves staying in the area. "Downtown and Midtown are a lot different than the areas in Detroit having problems. It's safe with good parking, and it's close to so many places," he commented. Additionally, Wayne State University is mentioned among the driving forces for young professionals.
Crain’s Detroit Business, 4/3/11
EDITORIAL: Midtown shines amid brighter area outlook
An editorial focuses on Midtown as one of Detroit's new “sweet spot.” Whole Foods is considering a Midtown location; The Collaborative Group, a network of entrepreneurial talent based in Birmingham, is about to launch the Detroit Challenge, bringing 30 young professionals around the country to Midtown to live and work in the area; the city of Detroit has found a way to finance the light-rail line along Woodward Avenue; a national Jewish group, Moishe House, is creating a Motor City version to provide subsidized housing for young adults in Midtown. These positive developments represent the most recent in a slew of announcements regarding confidence in Midtown, including how the three major Midtown employers – which includes Wayne State University -- offer stipends for employees who buy homes or rented apartments in Midtown.
USA Today, 3/31/11
"Urban centers draw more young, educated adults"
by Haya El Nasser
Even in Detroit, where the population shrank by 25 percent since 2000, downtown added 2,000 young and educated residents during that time, up 59 percent , according to analysis of Census data by Impresa Inc., an economic consulting firm. "It tells us we've been on the right track," says David Egner, president and CEO of Detroit's Hudson-Webber Foundation. Three anchor institutions — Wayne State University, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit Medical Center — recently launched "15 by 15," a campaign to bring 15,000 young, educated people to the downtown area by 2015.
The Detroit News, 3/26/11
"College students tour Midtown to connect with local firms"
by Jaclyn Trop
Wayne State University’s Midtown incentive program is mentioned in a story about programs established to bolster midtown and attract young adults.
On March 1, 2011 in the McGregor Memorial Conference Center, WSU hosted a town hall meeting on “Live Midtown,” the program that provides eligible WSU, DMC and Henry Ford Health System employees with incentives to buy or rent a Midtown residence or refurbish the exterior of an existing Midtown home. WSU Executive Vice President Andrea Roumell Dickson and Midtown Detroit Inc. President Susan Mosey discussed the program and took questions.
"Wayne State University has always considered our Midtown neighborhood to be an important part of what we are. It is an attractive place to live, learn, work and play."
- WSU President Allan Gilmour