Houses are selling before they're listed. Buyers are getting into bidding wars. Sound familiar? No, it's not a return to the crazed real estate market of 2003... but a few metro Detroit communities are coming back with a vengeance. Why? Well, vibrant urban cores have a lot to do with it.
Adding to Michigan's global outlook are companies like general contracting and construction firm PAT USA, Inc., with offices in Africa, the Middle East, and India. Though much of the work takes place abroad, globalization creates jobs locally. And it's a handshake between countries.
Homecoming isn't just an event for Rochester's McGowen brothers, it's a philosophy. Over four generations, the family has made their home furnishings and interior design business a place where locals always felt welcome. Returning from stints in L.A., siblings Jonathan and David have decided to pick up the family legacy, opening shops across the street from one another.
John and Elizabeth Bornoty are on a mission: To change people's opinions about salad. And it seems to be working. As the founders and owners of Grosse Pointe Woods' The Big Salad, the couple is building a fast-growing franchise that puts produce front and center as a healthy meal.
In what has to be the smallest sliver of a Venn diagram that includes the insurance industry, upscale bowling, and movie theater chains, sits Paul Glantz. As the CEO of both Proctor Financial and Emagine Entertainment, this native metro Detroiter is nothing if not entrepreneurial.
Despite his company's huge successes, John Gongos doesn't consider himself an entrepreneur. The veteran market researcher does, however, have strong opinions about leadership, developing talent, and taking a smart approach to business growth. Metromode's Jon Zemke get's the skinny.
Just one word: e-commerce. You thought we were going to say plastics, didn't you? The funny thing is, Rochester-based Brand Labs owes as much to plastics as it does to the Internet. Mixing old economy lessons with new economy business, Kevin Harman and Dane Downer's 3-year-old firm has found incredible success. Metromode finds out how.
Beer here now! If anyone knows the meaning of those word it's Mike Plesz. The serial brewpreneur has been launching local microbrew pubs since 1994. His latest endeavor --Rochester's Mind Body & Spirits-- is a successful sustainability-oriented restaurant. Plesz talks with Metromode about beer, local food production, green practices, and more beer. Bottoms up!
Detroit was settled by the French and was once known as the Paris of the Midwest. So perhaps it's fitting that, mainly because of the automotive industry, there now exists a thriving French community in the metro area.
From employee to employer, Paul Bartlett made the jump many dream of but few dare to try. Kittyhawk Studios is an Internet marketing boutique that has attracted A-list clients and a stable of virtual workers. And Bartlett has done it all from the comfort of his vintage Rochester home.
For most companies the mantra is: grow big and grow fast. Of course, given the current economy, any growth would be a blessing. But what if slow growth were the long term strategy? With a focus on work/life issues, purpose, and entrepreneurial pride, some Metro Detroit firms have consciously decided they'd rather be the tortoise than the hare.
It's Metro Detroit's turn to wine (rather than whine). With Michigan now ranked 8th in the nation for wine production, wineries and wine bars are popping up around the region. Some are even winning medals. And that has inspired locals to get schooled in tasting and making their own. So, this weekend tip a glass to love... and the Mitten State.
Innovative ideas? Check. Enthusiastic management team? Check. Capital? Er... working on it. For all Michigan's talk of developing a new economy, its start-ups still need local investors. More specifically: Angel investors. Now, a few VC-savvy players are trying to encourage a new way of thinking in the state's old world entrepreneurs.
Curbside recycling is not a new fangled idea. Communities across the nation have commited themselves to the practice. So, why is most of Metro Detroit lagging behind? Metromode looks at where we are, where we're going and who's on board.
There are only 20 of 'em in the world and Rochester's on the list. Seem unlikely? Not when you consider the fact that local resident Dale Hughes is one of the few people in the world who actually gets paid to design Velodromes. Don't get caught "off the back." Read on...
They're where new businesses are hatched. Where start-ups start up. Southeast Michigan's business incubators offer everything from office supplies to professional mentorship,& helping new economy companies to stand on their own two feet.
Thursday is the new Friday. Or was that Tuesday? In Metro Detroit it doesn't really matter. Great local music can be had every night of the week. From punk to pop, electronica to jazz, hip-hop to hard rock, Metromode offers up seven nights of tried and true sonic scenes.
Cider Mills, strolls along the river, Michigan's greenest brew pub and Zwetschgenkuchen. Rochester's 150 year-old downtown offers homey high-brow comfort and a reprieve from the concrete hustle and bustle of nearby surburbs.
From its LEED construction to its geothermal heating to its all local, all organic menu, Mike Plesz is a man with a mission: to turn a historic building in downtown Rochester into the greenest brewpub in Michigan. Drinking beer never felt so responsible.
Come on feel the noize! Detroit's School Of Rock And Pop not only teaches adults to pump up the volume, they help them find bandmates to jam with. Whether it's power chords, bubblegum pop, head banging or groovin' to a funky bass line, think of it as rock and roll night school.
Got nanotech? Southeast Michigan does. Metromode has seen the future even though it's invisible to the naked eye. The next evolution in technology is occurring at the atomic level and it just may usher in a new industrial revolution.
We've said it before and we'll say it again: Place matters. And that applies to retail as well. In defiance of the impersonal big box warehouse trend, companies like Borders and Whole Foods look to cultivate an environment that welcomes their customers. Enter Novi-based PPC Design, a firm that creates retail designs for likeminded businesses, large and small.
'D' brand isn't just about pulling in conventions and tourists. With
the D Brand Summit, branding gurus are showing us how the power of the
'D' can also attract more talent and business to the region.
Tally-ho! Giddy-yup! And Yippee-ki-yay! While Detroit's horseless carriage industry struggles to find its feet, horseback riding is making a comeback in SE Michigan. With over 7000 equines in Oakland County alone, riders not only bring wealth and a high quality of life to their communities but also sound land development practices.
Food, glorious food. What more could you ask for?
Judy Ravin has helped people speak clearly for 15 years, but her accent reduction business is booming as the world gets smaller and the workforce gets more diverse.
Green spaces are not only good for quality of life, environment and recreation, they can also boost the local economy. Think of them as a way to increase your bottom line while reducing your bottom size.
Marcel Proust once said, "The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes." To wit, Michigan's smaller universities are expanding their commitment to research, understanding that high-tech talent and innovation are needed to remake the state's economic landscape.
Like American Idol, each year local startups strut their stuff at the Michigan Growth Capital Symposium, presenting in 'lightning round' pitch sessions for the attention of venture capital managers and angel investors. But support can mean more than just a quick infusion of cash, it can also spell success for Michigan's economy.
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "Music takes us out of the actual and whispers to us dim secrets that startle our wonder as to who we are." Clearly the man loved his polka. metromode offers up a Summer Music Festival guide worth singing about.
Our guest blogger for this week is Maud Lyon. Maud is the founding director of the Cultural Alliance, and a consultant for numerous nonprofit organizations.Check back here each week day to read Maud's thoughts on the state of arts and culture in Michigan.
United Way president Michael Brennan examines the importance of continued success over time in the fifth installment of his series on a Community of Progress.
Our guest blogger for this week is Tracy Koe Wick. Tracy is Principal of The Kirkwood Group, a real estate consulting firm that markets and promotes new mid-rise and high-rise condominium and loft communities. Check back here each week day to read Tracy's thoughts on the emerging trend of Live/Work residences in suburban Detroit cities.
Mass transit is a hot topic at water coolers throughout southeast Michigan. United Way and Metromode are interested in your thoughts on our regionís transportation options.
Dan Gilmartin is our guest blogger this week. He is the youngest executive director in the 108 year history of the Michigan Municipal League. Dan previously served as the League's deputy director and as an advocate in Lansing and in Washington, where he concentrated on transportation, land use and urban redevelopment. Check back here each week day to read Dan's thoughts on regionalism and how we can build the kind of community that attracts knowledge-based workers.
While Metro Detroit has been identified as one of the most racially segregated regions in the nation, our growing diversity is one of our greatest strengths. Metromode, United Way, and New Detroit are interested in your thoughts on race relations in this community.
"Conventional Wisdom is often wrong." Whether he's writing about abortion, crack dealers or penalty kicks in soccer, "Freakonomic's" author Steven Levitt raises eyebrows and blood pressures with his findings. After a recent lecture at WSU, the rogue economist trained his sights on the Mitten State.
Todd Palmer is our guest blogger this week. Todd founded Diversified Industrial Staffing, a company that provides staffing for manufacturing, construction and logistics businesses, and Diversified PEOple, a professional employer organization for small businesses. He sits on the board of directors for the Detroit Chapter of Entrepreneurís Organization, and is a recent graduate of the Birthing of Giants class held at MIT. Check back each week day to read Todd's thoughts on keeping, identifying and attracting talent.
ECD Ovonics challenges the notion that Michigan is the corroded buckle of the rust belt. On the cutting edge of solar-cell technology, hybrid car batteries and hydrogen energy development, this greener than green hi-tech pioneer should be the face of Michign's future.
As the buzz for biofuel grows, Michigan has the opportunity to capitalize on its rural and auto-based communities and emerge as a true innovator. Can a state historically dependent on mineral-based energy play a leading role in the national movement toward alternative fuels?
Brian Balasia is our guest blogger this week. Brian founded Digerati Solutions
while an aerospace engineering student at U of M. He currently sits on the board of directors for the Detroit Regional Chamber, WIRED, and the U of M Alumni Society. Check back here each week day to read Brian's thoughts on attracting talent to SE Michigan and nurturing innovation.
The time has come for Michigan to make bold choices about how to transform its economy, communities and culture. metromode offers up a trio of initiatives and ideas that challenge conventional thinking and dare the state to think big.
Food that travels 1500 miles to reach your table defies anyone's notion of "fresh." Isn't it time we traded in McDonald's for Old MacDonald?
Pick a path and pound the pavement. From novice joggers to world-class sprinters, Southeast Michigan has everything you need to maintain a constant level of runner's high.
Roger Gullickson is our guest blogger this week. Roger is the President and CEO of MVP Collaborative since 1996. He moved to Michigan in 1989 to head FTD's Marketing Group after an international career with Tenneco and Case Corporation.
Check back here each weekday to read Roger's thoughts on Michigan's need for renewal and how it can achieve it.
If you've got two good legs, a few hours a week and a whole lot of willpower, SE Michigan has got pretty much everything you need to maintain a constant level of runner's high.
Dennis King is our guest blogger this week. Dennis is President of American Institute of Architects, Michigan and Chairman and CEO of Harley Ellis Devereaux, an award-winning, full-service archittecture firm. Check back here each weekday to read Dennis' thoughts on National Architecture Week and how design and architecture have a profound impact on quality of life.
To be a community of progress, the development of next generation civic leadership is a requirement of current leadership, says United Way for Southeastern Michigan president Michael J. Brennan.
What separates one city from the next? After decades of suburban sprawl, communities in SE Michigan are starting to realize the importance of walkable, workable and liveable downtowns.
Pavan Muzumdar is our guest blogger this week. Pavan is the CEO of MV Software Company and a coach for the Great Lakes Entrepreneurs Quest business plan competition.Check back here every weekday to read Pavan's thoughts about competing in the global marketplace.
Come and get it! For some, the sit down family meal may sound like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting. But prepared gourmet meal services and personal chefs are turning grab-and-run meals into dinner hour adventures.
From Parliament-Funkadelic to the Stooges to the entire stable of Motown artists to today's techno pioneers, metro Detroit isn't the next anything, it is a musical force of nature. Panelists at a recent MOCAD event waxed poetic about our region's reputation for revolutionary sound.
Jim Townsend is our guest blogger this week. He is the executive director of the Tourism Economic Development Council
, serves on the Board of Directors of the Michigan Suburbs Alliance
, which he founded in 2002, and lives with his family in Royal Oak.
Check back here every weekday to read Jim's thoughts about branding our region.
Here's Post No. 4 from Lou Glazer, the president of Ann Arbor-based Michigan Future Inc., a think-tank that is a resource of ideas for how Michigan can and should reshape its economy. Check back daily for more of Glazer's thoughts.
Surrounded by the slick and shiny cars at the auto show, the Rustbelt doesn't seem quite so rusty. It's a perfect time to recognize the creative talent that drives our region.
Ann Arbor needs Detroit. Detroit needs Ann Arbor. As much as these places are their own communities, they need one another more than ever.
Metromode's guest blogger this week is Doug Rothwell, president of Detroit Renaissance. Here's what he has to say about transforming the region's economy.