And I mean that in the most literal sense; the Motor City looks to be brimming with activity in the New Year!
I visited Downtown on Christmas Day and was delighted to see Detroiters enjoying the festive skating rink installed at Campus Martius. Equally as thrilling were other signs of activity; clear signs of work being done on existing buildings. Not demo. Redevelopment.
A few days later a friend brought me an article from the Detroit Free Press about projects that have been languishing for years and years, finally moving forward in the coming year:
Hudson’s Department Store site – once the second largest department store in the country after Macy’s in NYC. The J. L. Hudson Store was founded in Detroit in 1881, and over the decades expanded into the surrounding suburbs. Hudson’s, and in particular Downtown Hudson’s was the place to shop in the Detroit area.
Tiger Stadium site, The Corner of Michigan and Trumbull Avenues – having spent four years of my life there in the Tigers Front Office, this site is especially near and dear to me. I tried to join the grass roots movement to save at least part of the original structure, but being a Suburbanite, I was rejected. Refusing competent help isn’t a great way to get things done, but that’s water under the bridge now!
I-375 – there is no question this mile-long stretch of freeway shuttling drivers from I-75 into Downtown is in need of repair. The question is what to do – simply fix the existing road, or rework it so that it becomes a surface street, creating a more walkable district? Though not of the same scale (and that’s probably a good thing!), having enjoyed the Rose Kennedy Greenway, the result of Boston’s Big Dig project, I vote for the latter.
Check out the Free Press article, it discusses several other projects, including a second bridge to Windsor, Canada.
These signs of progress, people coming together to make positive change in a city that deserves it so strongly, well they are perhaps the best Christmas present this Motor City Expat could receive!
I wish you all happy, prosperous 2016!