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Detroit Olympic City in 2024?

Looks like Detroit might throw its hat in the ring to host the 2024 Olympic Games. What could this high-powered event do for the Detroit region?

Excerpt:

"A letter was recently sent by the U.S. Olympic Committee to Detroit and other cities that "have previously expressed an interest in bidding as well as the cities in the largest 25 U.S. markets."

More here.

"Need for Speed" film to shoot in Detroit, employ local businesses to make race cars

The film incentive dollars are back on track. The Michigan Film Office was able to parlay what was just to be a car-building project into a film shoot as well.

Excerpt:

"The Michigan Film Office announced today the feature film Need for Speed has been approved for a film incentive from the state. The DreamWorks Studios’ film chronicles a cross-country journey at impossible speeds and will film in part in Detroit this summer.

In addition to filming in the state, two Michigan businesses – Race Car Replicas in Clinton Township and Technosports Creative of Livonia – are being utilized to build and enhance cars being featured in the film."

More here.

NPR gives the real Detroit some air

In this piece on NPR, a man from the burbs finds an artisanal Detroit.

Excerpt:

"The corrupt, crime-addled Detroit of Charlie LeDuff's new memoir, Detroit: An American Autopsy, isn't the same city that I left a month ago.

Which is the real Motown, and which is a mirage? Did I imagine the Roaring '20s charm of the up-and-coming groups playing Cliff Bell's Jazz Club in Grand Circus Park? Was the deliciousness of Midtown's Avalon International Bread Company's holiday stollen loaf more fleeting than fixed? Was Corktown's Sugar House bar really just covering up emptiness and destitution behind a false front of bustling occupancy as it celebrated the historical end of prohibition?

It's true that my Detroit experience is different than many others. I'm a lifelong resident of an outer suburb, and I went to a prestigious boarding school that you might remember Eminem making fun of in 8 Mile.

But the Detroit that I know and have come to love is one where lifelong residents and artistic newcomers gather to chat about neighborhood development over a cup of coffee; one where a weeknight open hearing on transit investment and bus schedule rerouting is packed to the edges with urban and suburban commuters alike. It is a city where occupancy in many central neighborhoods is approaching the upper-90th percentile, according to the downtown development booster D:hive."

More here.

AIGA Detroit launches branding contest for area non-profits

Non-profits, here's a chance to put your best face forward. Applications are due by March 22.

Excerpt:

"Impact48's goal is to bring together the Detroit region's most talented design professionals to donate their time for 48 hours to help one lucky non-profit to collectively create a new exciting brand."

More here.

Detroit a leader in dogs as therapy movement

USA Today is calling out Metro Detroit as one of the leader dogs in using pets in the social services realm.

Excerpt:

"Because of Henry -- a gentlemanly, chocolate-and-white Portuguese waterdog -- once-silent autistic students at Novi High School now have a voice.

A Doberman pinscher named Tuesday is credited with helping 11 former servicemen graduate last week from Redford District Court's first Veterans Court...

Michigan is among a growing number of states where dogs are moving into courts, schools, prisons and juvenile facilities on the heels of new research that shows the emotional and physical benefits of dog-person contact, particularly for people in pain or in trouble."

More here.



Oakland County seeks to attract foreign investors in life sciences field

Oakland County recently visited Dubai to seek investments in its life sciences industry – and not just from Middle East countries, but globally.

Excerpt:

"[Deputy Oakland County Executive Matthew Gibb], who represented Oakland County’s Medical Main Street Network during the trip, said the purpose of his visit was to promote the region as a hot spot for foreign investors in the life sciences industry...

The county has a wide array of established foreign investors with 872 foreign-owned corporations representing 37 countries. Japan has the most significant presence with 272 Japanese-owned companies in the county, the highest such concentration in the Midwest, Gibb said."

More here.

Lake Orion bathhouse named to National Register of Historic Places

In earlier times, Lake Orion's location in the hinterlands of northern Oakland County made it a weekend retreat in the era when people took to the healing waters. Its bath house was just named to the National Register of Historic Places.

Read more here.


A new dawn for micro-distilleries in Michigan

When it comes to innovation in the spirits business, micro distilleries are the new hot. And Michigan is leading the nation in this re-birth of an industry, not least because of Ferndale's Valentine Distilling Co.

Excerpt:

"The dream of Valentine Distilling Co., it turns out, wasn’t so farfetched. Starting a microbrewery would’ve been easier (nearly anyone can make beer in a bathtub), not to mention way less of a hassle with the feds. Still, Detroit was a distillery hotbed before Prohibition.

Today, just a short distance away in Lansing, Michigan State University runs the only artisan distillery program in the country, teaching people all over the world how to craft fine liquors. Michigan, in fact, has been at the forefront of the national micro-distillery renaissance in the last couple of years, and Professor Kris Berglund, a chemical engineer who runs MSU’s program, says there's a good reason for that.

"Between fruit, grains, and root crops, we have very diverse agriculture here," he says. "Micro-distilling really exploits that, and there’s quite a bit of room for growth in the industry."

More here.

Larry King to vouch for Southfield's HoldUp Suspender Co.

You know you've scored when suspenders savant Larry King props up your product! The New York Times also picked up this story.

Excerpt:

"When considering celebrities famous for sporting suspenders, none come to mind more quickly than veteran newsman and broadcaster, Larry King. King, 80, who claims to own at least 150 pairs of suspenders, has signed-on to lend his specific fashion notoriety to a partnership with Southfield, Mich.-based HoldUp Suspender Company...

"Wearing a pair of suspenders has long been a part of my life and style," said King. "I look forward to partnering with the Hold Up Suspender Company to bring additional awareness of their unique and innovative product lines and why suspenders should become a part of every man's wardrobe."

More here.


AMC national series 'Low Winter Sun' to be shot in Detroit

Once again, the film credits are rolling with renewed energy. This time, it's a new national series that will give screen time to Detroit and its surrrounds.

Excerpt:

"...Set in Detroit, the series starts with a crime that will alter a detective’s life forever.   The pilot for the series was filmed in Detroit in September.   Filming on the nine additional episodes is expected to begin in Detroit this spring and run through the end of summer.

Low Winter Sun is a co-production between Endemol Studios and AMC Studios. Chris Mundy (Criminal Minds, Cold Case) wrote the pilot and serves as show runner and executive producer.   Cast includes Mark Strong (Sherlock Holmes and Zero Dark Thirty) and Lennie James (The Walking Dead, Jericho)...

The project was awarded an incentive of $7,544,611 and expects to hire 245 Michigan workers with a full time equivalent of 148 jobs."

More here.

Metro Detroit is tops in tech, national report says

Tech talent in Metro Detroit bests that in many other regions of the country, according to a recent study.

Excerpt:

"The report “From Rust to Resurgence: Detroit’s Regional Technology Economy,” compiled by East Lansing-based Anderson Economic Group, analyzed the Greater Detroit Area’s standing as a tech hub compared with 14 other regions in the U.S. and eight smaller Midwest regions.

Of those regions analyzed nationwide, the Greater Detroit region was first in several categories, including the total number of people working in architectural and engineering occupations, the number of engineering and engineering tech degrees completed in the area, and the amount of employees in the advanced automotive sector.

 The Greater Detroit area was fifth overall in tech industry employment with 210,984 jobs and fourth in percentage of total employment within the tech industry at 12.9 percent."

More here.

New Suds in Town: Detroit Derby Girls inspire 'Bout Stout'

With roller derby's rollout to audiences worldwide, making the beer labels just seems like a natural evolution for Detroit's Derby Girls.

Excerpt:

"Woodward Avenue Brewers have created a special beer inspired by the Detroit Derby Girls. Bout Stout is a Russian Imperial Stout, with an alcohol volume of 8.5 percent it's dark and hard hitting, just like DDG.

The Bout Stout launch party will be held at WAB at 7 p.m. Feb. 15. Beer and derby lovers will able to taste the new beer and party with the DDG AllStars A team, who will be at the event after the team bouts against the Milwaukee's Brew City Bruisers in a closed game."

More here.

When it comes to driverless cars, automakers are still in the driver's seat

Despite incursions from software giants like Google into the driverless car market, the world still needs the automakers to drive the process, a Forbes columnist says.

Excerpt:

"...But there's a growing consensus, mostly emanating from the left coast, that Google has somehow cracked the code to the future of mobility and will soon render traditional carmakers like General Motors, Ford Motor and Toyota Motor as nothing more than purveyors of ordinary appliances.

Baloney, I say. Self-driving cars are coming, but they won't have a Google badge glued to the hood....

Instead of Google vs. Detroit, I see a new era of collaboration. Carmakers will necessarily team up with digital partners like Google, Microsoft, Intel (maybe even Apple) to produce   talking vehicles that don't crash and get you to work on time. Companies like Ford and Microsoft already collaborate on technology that lets you bring your music and social media apps into your vehicle. Now these non-traditional partners will be working together to solve the difficult challenges of urban mobility on an overcrowded planet."

More here.

Hollywood wants another go at Michigan's film incentives

Since Michigan doubled its money in the film incentive game this year, one of Hollywood's big names has come a callin'.

Excerpt:

"Ryan Gosling is seeking tax credits from the state of Michigan to direct his first movie, "How To Catch A Monster."

MLive reported that Gosling applied for the tax credit through the Michigan Film Office, and plans to shoot the movie in Detroit, beginning in May. His "Drive" costar Christina Hendricks ("Mad Men") is billed as the lead actress, ostensibly playing "Billy," a single mom of two who works at a fetish club...

Governor Rick Snyder reduced the state's popular film incentive program to help balance the state budget in 2011, capping the total amount of incentives at $25 million. But a compromise reached in 2012 raised that cap to $50 million for 2013."

More here.

Are Detroit's growing traffic jams a good economic indicator?

Gridlock is down in the U.S. overall but up in metro Detroit, and the traffic pundits say this may be a good sign.

Excerpt:

"INRIX, a company that measures traffic flows around the world, says its "INRIX Gridlock Index" of traffic congestion for major U.S. cities declined in December by 2.9% from a year earlier...

However..."INRIX notes that 'Detroit, the traditional IGI underperformer, defied the expected seasonal effect which normally sees traffic fall from November to December. Detroit's gridlock increased by almost 10 percent month-over-month; by contrast the IGI composite for all 10 metropolitan areas fell by approximately 14 percent. This may be a positive signal for Detroit's economy.'"

More here.



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