News of new restaurants, hotels, retail and other new developments in Detroit are being announced all the time. From the Cobo Square and the Little Caesars Arena to the Detroit Zoo and Motor City Harley Davidson, Detroit is bustling with new exciting activity.
World-Class, Mixed-Use Sports and Entertainment District Coming to Detroit
The District Detroit will be 50 blocks of thriving businesses, parks, restaurants, bars and event destinations. It will be home to the young and the young at heart, families, new residents and long-time residents who want to be where the action is. It will connect Downtown and Midtown into one contiguous, walkable area, where families, sports fans, entrepreneurs, job seekers, entertainment lovers and others who crave a vibrant urban setting can connect with each other and the city they love. Recently Olympia Development of Michigan, LLC, has announced plans for more than 200,000 square feet of privately financed retail and office development projects in The District Detroit. The structures, along with further expected private retail, office and residential development throughout The District Detroit, bring the currently expected total project investment to as much as $1.2 billion by 2020, with $900 million plus of that investment from the private sector. Original plans called for a $650 million total investment in The District Detroit by 2022 at the earliest.
The District's main feature will be the Little Caesars Arena, home to the Detroit Red Wings, other sports and entertainment events, concerts, family shows and community functions. This will not only service as a hockey arena to the Detroit Red Wings but will have active community spaces including on-site practice ice for amateur hockey use and an outdoor plaza featuring area for entertainment will be accessible. There will also be a more interactive experience for fans such as enhanced video and sound capabilities for a more immersive experience and creative food-service options. The expected completion date for the Little Caesars Arena is summer 2017.
Streaming video of the construction site is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at DistrictDetroit.com.
Detroit's new M-1 Rail street car now named the QLINE
Detroit's modern street car line currently under construction was recently named the QLINE. When complete in spring 2017 the QLINE streetcar will travel north and south on both sides of Woodward Avenue for 3.3-miles between Larned Street and W. Grand Boulevard. It will ignite tremendous new economic development and job creation and will provide a foundation for improved and expanded public transit throughout the region. General fare for a ride is expected to be $1.50, but less expensive if you buy in bulk. Hours are tentatively set for Monday - Saturday, 6 a.m. - 10 p.m. and Sunday, 8 a.m. - 10 p.m. Trains will run longer during events such as baseball, football and hockey games, concerts and festivals. There will be 12 stops and the streetcar's top speed will be 35 mph. There will be an emergency phone and closed circuit security systems at all of the stations. For more information, go to m-1rail.com.
Great Lakes Crossing Outlets Welcomes Two New Family-Friendly Attractions
For more than 60 years, Lego has been nourishing the imaginations of young kids and now kids of all ages can experience the ultimate Lego experience right here in metro Detroit. The new Legoland Discovery Center opened March 25, 2016 at Great Lakes Crossing Outlets. The new discovery center is a two-to-three-hour experience that offers numerous interactive educational features such as a brick pool, master classes from the LEGO Master Model Builder, a fun LEGO ride, a 4D cinema and, of course, the popular MINILAND area found in every LEGOLAND Park and attraction. The attraction's, MINILAND is anchored by a Lego replica of downtown Detroit's Renaissance Center along with other regional landmarks. This is the state's only location and the eighth Discovery Center in the United States. For more information, go to legolanddiscoverycenter.com/michigan/.
The attraction will join the Sea Life Michigan Aquarium which opened in January 2015. The 25,000-square-foot attraction, also located in Great Lakes Crossing Outlets, takes visitors on an awe-inspiring, highly themed educational journey through an amazing underwater world featuring more than 5,000 incredible creatures including jellyfish, eels, seahorses, tropical fish, a Giant Pacific Octopus and fish native to Michigan's own lakes and rivers. The aquarium also features a dazzling 180-degree ocean tunnel and a hands-on touch pool. Owned and operated by U.K.-based Merlin Entertainments, Sea Life Michigan Aquarium is Michigan's largest, the seventh Sea Life attraction in the United States and the 42nd in the world. For more information, go to visitsealife.com/Michigan.
World's largest penguin facility is now open at the Detroit Zoo
Detroit is now the home to the world's largest penguin facility, home to more than 80 penguins of four species – Gentoo, Macaroni, Rockhopper and King. The 33,000 square foot Polk Penguin Conservation Center (PPCC) at the Detroit Zoo now open to the public. The ice-cold, 326,000-gallon, 25-foot-deep aquatic zone where penguins can be seen exploring their habitat and deep-diving will surely be one of the most vivid features of the PPCC, and the animal habitat will ensure an optimal environment for the welfare of penguins. For more information, visit detroitzoo.org.
New Restaurants on the Rise
Nearly 100 new restaurants, breweries, distilleries and coffee shops have opened in Detroit in the past three years. From farm-to-table inspired menus to beer bars, Detroit's dining scene continues to please even the pickiest palate. The list includes: The Fountain Detroit, Katoi, The Peterboro, La Rondinella, Granite City Food & Brewery Townhouse, Central Kitchen + Bar, HopCat, Wright and Co., Punch Bowl Social, Gold Cash Gold, Selden Standard, Johnny Noodle King, Batch Brewing Co. and Antietam. For more dining options go to visitdetroit.com.
Buddy's Celebrates its 70th Year
As Buddy's Pizza celebrates its 70th year, the birthplace of Detroit-style square pizza is proud to add a new craft beer to its menu, offering fans 21 and older a glass of a made-in-Michigan beer. Detroit original Buddy's Pizza and Birmingham-based Griffin Claw Brewing have come together to make the classic pairing of beer and pizza even better, partnering to create Buddy Brew: Buddy's new signature beer, brewed to pair perfectly with rich Detroit-style pizza flavors is now on tap at Buddy's eight full-service restaurants. Buddy's was also recognized in USA Today saying, “Buddy's is the undisputed king, both in quality, quantity and history.” This year Buddy's Pizza Week will kick off June 20 - 25 and Buddy's Pizza Day is on Thursday, June 23. For more information, visit www.buddyspizza.com.
New Retail coming to Detroit
Many new retail stores have opened or are opening soon in Detroit. In the past few years we have seen Nike Store, Shinola, John Varvatos, Will Leather Goods, Kit and Ace, Carhartt, Third Man Records, House of Pure Vin and other unique retailers open up inside city limits. Businesses have and will continue to be opening including Mama Coo's Boutique, MOR & Co., Third Wave Music and many more.
Detroit's newest edition Nike Inc. recently opened a two-level, 22,000-square-foot downtown store. Nike has labeled the Detroit shop as a “community store.” That means the store will “empower a healthy local community through the unifying power of sport and to serve as a catalyst for positive change by partnering with local organizations,” according to the company's website. All Nike community stores have local hiring initiatives with the goal of hiring at least 80 percent of employees from within a five-mile radius of the store.
Meadow Brook Music Festival has been rebranded
Meadow Brook Music Festival has been rebranded and will now be known as Meadow Brook Amphitheatre. The venue located on Oakland University's campus has great history and has hosted some of the best emerging superstar talent. The first of the confirmed artists for the 2016 summer concert season at Meadow Brook Amphitheatre are American pop rock band Walk the Moon on July 19, Canadian rocker Bryan Adams on July 23 and Grammy Award winner Ray LaMontagne on July 26. For more information, visit palacenet.com/venues-events/meadow-brook-amphitheatre.
Jimmy John's Field is now open in Utica
The United Shore Professional Baseball League is now playing at the brand new Jimmy John's Field in Utica. The stadium at Auburn and Moscone seats about 4,000 people and include a grandstand, five dugout suites, five penthouse suites, 12 private patio suites, a grass berm and four picnic areas. Three teams will play in the league and there will be around 75 games played in the stadium each season. For more information, visit www.jimmyjohnsfield.com.
Motor City Harley-Davidson moves locations
Motor City Harley-Davidson is moving into the former Sam's Club site in Farmington Hills on Haggerty Road. The project is expected to incorporate an 8,000 to 12,000 square foot brew pub-style restaurant, a 30,000 square foot gourmet market indoor and outdoor gathering space and a drive- and ride-in outdoor movie theater. It is also set to have a Harley-Davidson Riding Academy. The new location is expected to open in August and first full-year sales in 2017 are expected to be $30 million. For more information, visit www.motorcityharley.com.
Detroit's Midtown, the heart of Detroit's Cultural Center
Detroit's Midtown is one of the city's fastest-developing neighborhoods, featuring world-class art, music and cuisine, and unique shops and galleries. If you are looking to shop, Midtown is the home of local entrepreneurs with plenty of small businesses to visit including Hugh, Nora, Flo Boutique, Frida, City Bird, Nest, Run Detroit and Third Man Records. Delicious restaurants in the area include award winning Selden Standard, La Feria, Maccabees at Midtown, Mario's and The Whitney. Breweries and beer bars including Motor City Brewing Works, Traffic Jam and Snug, the new Jolly Pumpkin and Hopcat are all worth trying. Cultural attractions to visit include the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Detroit Historical Museum, Detroit Institute of Arts, Garden Bowl, The Majestic Theatre, Michigan Science Center, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit. A Midtown favorite for guest to stay is The Inn on Ferry Street. Guests of the Inn can choose to stay in any one of four beautifully restored Victorian mansions and two carriage houses. Midtown is also at the core of the M-1 Rail development and non-motorized transportation plans that will connect the district to Eastern Market and other neighborhoods via greenways and bike paths. For more information about Midtown visit midtowndetroitinc.org.
Downtown Detroit's Cobo Convention Center has completed its $279 million expansion and renovation. The newest addition to Cobo is Cobo Square, a 50,000 square foot exterior plaza and vehicle drop-off area. Activities ranging from music, art events, yoga and other exercise programs, biergartens, outdoor movie nights, corporate game events, and possibly a downtown farmers' market could all be programmed for the Cobo Square space that fronts onto East Jefferson. A new 40,000-square-foot Grand Riverview Ballroom is now open, as is a new 30,000 square-foot glass-enclosed atrium with floor-to-ceiling views of the Detroit River and Windsor, Ontario, skyline. Cobo now also features a TV broadcast studio with satellite uplink capabilities and high-tech video walls on the exterior of the building to welcome visitors. For more information, visit www.cobocenter.com.
New Developments throughout Downtown Detroit
The West Riverfront Park is where visitors will find three new pathways linking the riverfront to West Jefferson Avenue, benches, trash receptacles and plenty of lush green space for a variety of outdoor activities. The Conservancy has expanded the width of the popular RiverWalk along this parcel to 30 feet to better accommodate adequate space for walking, running, biking and fishing. This is a great place to spend time outdoors and have a picnic during the summer months as well as attend the events that are hosted here. On May 21 the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy hosts the second annual Touch-a-Truck, a free hands-on family event where children can explore large vehicles of all types. For more information visit detroitriverfront.org.
The Dequindre Cut Greenway, an urban recreational path that was formerly a Grand Trunk Railroad line, offers a pedestrian link between the Riverfront, Eastern Market and many of the residential neighborhoods in between. This month (April) marks the grand opening of the Dequindre Trail Extension, running half a mile from Gratiot Avenue to Mack Avenue. The Dequindre Cut extension now makes the greenway nearly two miles and now connects to more than 20 miles of bike lanes/greenways. For more information, go to detroitriverfront.org.
The old Tiger Stadium site project is moving along for the Detroit Police Athletic League (PAL). The Detroit Police Athletic League headquarters will sit on the southwest corner of the Old Tiger Stadium site at Michigan Avenue and Cochrane. The Corner has a $33-million plan and the PAL plans to use the field for various youth sports, college leagues and other events. The project is tentatively scheduled to be complete in 2017. Also in Corktown, across Trumbull from the Tiger Stadium site, metro Detroit businessman Anthony Soave plans to build a blocks-long retail and residential development. The plan was confirmed in late 2015 and is expected to include hundreds of residential units and additional retail.
Shinola is planning to open a café and production space as part of a larger Midtown Detroit Inc. redevelopment. One of the key steps has been taken toward a 35,000-square-foot redevelopment of three Selden Street buildings in Midtown into a so-called “Innovation Corridor” and up to 20 new apartments. The other spaces apart of this redevelopment are expected to contain restaurant, retail and film production space. Another building is expected to include new residential units, retail and production space.
Businessman, Matt Hessler plans a $5 million project along Detroit's Avenue of Fashion. He will be renovating 10,000 square feet at Cass Avenue and Peterboro. There will be retail stores, restaurants and about a dozen apartments ranging from 600 to 1,000 square feet catering to the nearby University of Detroit Mercy students. Hessler expects a similar capital structure for renovating the northwest Detroit building as he used for the Midtown project, which included grants, Detroit real estate investment funds and bank financing. The project is expected to start by the end of 2016, with new businesses opening next year in 2017.
Detroit's Globe Trading Company Building located across from the William G. Milliken State Park & Harbor has been transformed into the new Michigan Department of Natural Resources' Outdoor Adventure Center. This one-of-a-kind Outdoor Adventure & Discovery Center houses exhibits, displays, and hands-on simulators introducing visitors to features in state parks, recreation areas, beaches, trails and harbors. The Center officially opened to the public in July 2015. Visitors can experience the Michigan outdoors through these primary interpretive areas – Michigan Trails, The Detroit River and Beyond, Michigan Waters, Heritage Outdoor Sports, Outdoor Lodging, The Big Tree, Nature in My Neighborhood, Michigan's Healthy Forests and The Dark Sky. Interactive displays will teach people how to use a real bow and arrow, sit in a blind, use a simulator to hunt wildlife, and experience the sights and senses associated with camping. For more information, go to detroitriverfront.org.