News Article: "District Detroit" Discussion

Discussion in 'Detroit Red Wings' started by ArGarBarGar, Oct 9, 2018.

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  1. ArGarBarGar

    ArGarBarGar Defense Please

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    Not sure how many people are following the whole District Detroit progress (considering the arena is up I would say very few), but it doesn't seem like the progress is occurring as promised.

    Big promises for a thriving urban core in Detroit vanish in a swath of parking lots

    Not sure how accurate the reporting is and what exactly is holding things up if true, but worth a read at least.
     
  2. Reddwit

    Reddwit Registered User

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    Its essentially more corporate welfare. Not surprising and certainly not specific to Detroit or Michigan. Its going to continue to happen when high-level government officials and large corporate C-Suiters are essentially one and the same.

    The thing that really pisses me off about this is that the neighborhoods surrounding "The District" (which is such a ****ing pretentious name in and of itself) have essentially been revived via small business ownership or self-made entrepreneurs. Places like the Old Miami and Honest Johns have kept up with the times while staying mostly true to their origins, Temple has found a niche, places like Selden Standard have become iconic, Founders, although not technically a micro-brewery anymore, has established itself nearby and is still a majority-Michigan company. The Peterboro, 8 degrees Plato, Castalia - all these places and so many more have brought about the revival of the area through small business ownership and blood, sweat, and tears. And that doesn't even touch many of the businesses along Woodward.

    Then the Illitch family comes along and pretends like they're going to breathe life back into the area, when in reality all they did was convert the blighted, surface street parking lot that they were already responsible for 15+ years ago and piggyback off the progress of the little guy. But because the demographic that has basically spurred on the non-Downtown Detroit development and the majority of suburban hockey fans don't overlap, the Illitch family can get away with propagating to the masses the idea that they're somehow integral to the city's revival.
     
  3. tsweeney

    tsweeney Registered User

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    I mean... yeah... and no... I don't disagree that the Illitches aren't some bulwark of the community just trying to re-generate it out of the goodness of their hearts... but how much of the revival happens if there isn't the prospect of "District Detroit"? If nobody was lining up to build anything in the area and you left Old Miami and Honest Johns to their own devices? I mean, when did Illitch start putting money into the area? When did Dan Gilbert? Would small businesses have been able to flourish and grow without the pomp and circumstance of the Cass Corridor "being re-developed".

    Imagine if LCA never was an idea in anyone's mind. If all of these small businesses and Woodward businesses were the sole driving force... why was the city as a whole so blighted and awful? It's not like these places weren't there in 2006-2009 when the city was absolute garbage.

    Do not get me wrong, they've done fantastic work, but I think they're fighting a crazy uphill battle without the prospect of gigantic sums of money being dumped into the Cass Corridor. It's kind of like the old debate on who is more responsible for the success of the Wings in the late 90s? Bowman/Holland/Jimmy D/etc. the management team or Mike Illitches check book?
     
  4. guinness

    guinness swedish milkmaid

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    I can see this as well, it's not an all or nothing, nor should people expect Illitch and Gilbert to do everything for free. The amount of development downtown to me is staggering, I can vaguely remember all the boarded up buildings downtown, Corktown, the Michigan Depot, the GAR building, but to redo all that, takes millions. The Fox has only been redone for about 30 years, Olympia Entertainment made that choice to redevelop, and now look at Foxtown.

    But it's taken 30 years. Look at all the work Penske has done too, but Belle Isle is taking time.

    The small businesses don't have the millions to do the development, but the reason the big fish are big, is because they tend not to take a ton of risks...corporate welfare is a thing too, and Olympia has reaped those rewards, but everyone has to have give and take, and it's going to take time.
     
  5. Shaman464

    Shaman464 #FireHolland

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    One business owner shouldn't have been given carte blanche for a whole part of the city. To properly revitalize having a dispassionate publicly accountable group would have been better. Especially with the power to revoke tax breaks/property rights if promises aren't kept.
     
  6. tsweeney

    tsweeney Registered User

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    And who had the leverage to do that? I mean, if the difference is between nobody does anything and one impassioned business owner (who, sure, is making money hand over fist) does everything, give me Mr. I.

    It would be optimal to have politicians who don’t get lobbied by those with huge pocketbooks or who go into business for themselves and their buddies too.

    I mean, realistically, even vulturous businessmen were staying the **** away from Detroit before Mr. I and Dan Gilbert who were already HQed here started pumping money back into it. Hell, the federal government all but said “**** you Detroit, go die” with the violent rhetoric against the auto bailouts.

    Beggars can’t be choosers and for years, Detroit has had no option but to be a beggar
     
  7. Reddwit

    Reddwit Registered User

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    I’ve had this conversation on this board before and it always amazes how out of touch people are with the revival of Detroit outside of the downtown area. The fact that you’re even talking about “the city being blighted and awful” just screams ignorance of the complexity of the city itself as a whole and the pockets of it that have been burgeoning with the dollars of the young, white, middle class for a little over a decade now.

    Do yourself a favor and look at who owns the likes of Selden Standard, Sfumato/Castilla, City Bird, 8 Degrees, Et al. If Illitch and co truly were the driving force behind things (Or Gilbert. Or COD. Or DDI.) then the people starting these places wouldn’t be able to afford the real estate. Those places were started by Detroit families, former big 3 engineers not much older than 30, and hipster chefs. I know several of them. They make a well known Detroit restaurateur m like Dave K look like a magnate. And he was simply the first bartender on the scene to do it right 8-10 years ago back when scared suburbanites still considered Cass Corridor to be a place that was too unsafe to pay heed to red traffic lights.

    If you want to talk about downtown, then your point stands (mostly because that real estate never ceased to be held by conglomerates in the first place) but let’s not act like gentrification of once-crime ridden and blighted areas hasn’t been historically spurred on by artists, hipsters and gay communities alike. That’s historical fact.

    As for why this happened? Again. Literally a tale as old as American industrialization itself. Crime begets blight. Blight begets cheap land. Cheap land removes the barriers to adventurous, young entrepreneurs and gentrification occurs.

    I’d be happy to expand later but I’m too buzzed right now. FWIW I’m a former atty for the CODLD and not even the blight department that was established pre-exit under Orr could explain away the city-wide improvements as those were mostly residential and in areas of the city that had hope of being anything but.
     
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  8. The Zetterberg Era

    The Zetterberg Era RIP Fugu

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    It is hard for me to see this process without involving both groups you're trying to separate. The big money partnerships that leverage local and state officials are also a part of that revival as tsweeney points out. It is more a combination of factors and investment. While the small business owners invest a lot of time and certainly burden themselves with much bigger risk I agree with tsweeney that until the Ilitch, Ford or Gilbert types of the world down there are invested there is only so much rebound you're going to get.

    In the rush for which area always deserves credit to me the rebound of Detroit and hopefully the reemergence as one of the great cities in this country is going to need help both from within the city and outside investment from the suburbs. The lack of togetherness is a part of what leads to where the city has been. I encourage investment on every level and I am happy that both groups of people in terms of big business and small have stepped up and there is a promising feeling about all the development downtown.
     
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  9. A Few Good Males

    A Few Good Males Registered User

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    There are very few people who live downtown, which is at the core of the problem.
     
  10. TatarTangle

    TatarTangle Registered User

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    And until the education system and a lot of other things are fixed it'll stay that way. You can only rely on hipsters moving into your city for so long.
     
  11. Hockeyfan2390

    Hockeyfan2390 Registered User

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    This entire thing has been such a misfire so far.
     
  12. ShanahanMan

    ShanahanMan Registered User

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    Should have moved the team.
     
  13. WingedWheel1987

    WingedWheel1987 Registered User

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    District Detroit was only ever meant to be a pretty rendering that never ends up actually happening.

    Where's my LED roof?
     
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  14. ShanahanMan

    ShanahanMan Registered User

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    Big question is:

    If the team were winning would people even come then? Or do people just not care about hockey in Michigan anymore/people are too poor/people hate going to Detroit.

    Oh well, going to games in LA or Arizona pretty much feel like home games and, unlike Detroit, have way better atmospheres around the arena than Detroit.
     

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