Pontiac, MI – the alternative to investing in Detroit?

Have you ever wondered what the site of the Pontiac Silverdome would look like without an 80,311-seat stadium on it?

Wonder no more.

A conceptual plan a little birdie sent my way this morning shows no indication of the former home of the Detroit Lions remaining.

What it does show is a plan for a mixed-use development consisting of 1.64 million square feet of space broken down across multiple use categories.

While Gordon Bowdell, associate planner for the city of Pontiac, said no site plan has been submitted and no demolition permits have been pulled, this could be a glimpse of the future of the 127.5-acre site at Opdyke and Featherstone roads.

That future is expected to be on display to people attending Oakland County’s second annualOne Stop Ready Community Showcase on Oct. 30, where 18 communities designated as “One Stop Ready” will show off a parcel, building, city lot or development-ready property in their borders.

What was sent to me this morning is ambitious. The cost of demolishing the Silverdome alone would be enormous, not to mention the cost of new construction.

Regardless, here is what is shown:

  • A 500,000-square-foot corporate headquarters or light industrial building.
  • Four single-story light industrial buildings totaling 750,000 square feet.
  • Retail and entertainment space totaling 192,000 square feet.
  • A 104,000-square-foot hotel.
  • Nearly 46,000 square feet of residential space.
  • And another 50,000 square feet of multitenant commercial space that would include restaurants.

Toronto-based Triple Properties Inc. purchased the Silverdome at auction from the city of Pontiac in 2009 for $583,000, just 1.05 percent of the total 1975 construction cost of $55.7 million.

Steve Apostolopoulos, co-founder and managing partner of Triple Properties, declined to comment.

The Lions moved to Ford Field in downtown Detroit it 2002. In recent years, the Silverdome has fallen into disrepair, with its inflated ceiling collapsing and its field and seats strewn with debris.

The Southfield office of CBRE Inc. has been marketing the property for sale for $25 million. According to the listing, about 15 acres in the northeast corner of the site at North Opdyke and Featherstone roads is leased by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles while about 10 acres in the southeast portion is leased to an indoor/outdoor soccer league.

Read More Here


By: Kirk Pinho


Aquarium featuring sharks, other sea life, planned for Great Lakes Crossing

Visitors to Great Lakes Crossing Outlets in Auburn Hills will soon have the option of visiting a 35,000-square-foot saltwater aquarium.

Bloomfield Hills-based Taubman Centers Inc. (NYSE: TCO) has entered an agreement with London, England-based Merlin Entertainment plc to bring Sea Life Michigan to the mall in early spring 2015.

Visiting sharks up close will be part of the mall experience next year when a saltwater aquarium opens at Great Lakes Crossing Outlets.    

Merlin is leasing the former Game Works location on the I-75 side of the outlet mall, near the Rainforest Café, food court and AMC Star Great Lakes 25 movie theater.

Demolition inside the space has already begun, and new construction for the aquarium is set to begin in June, said Steve Berlow, general manager of Great Lakes Crossing.

The aquarium, Merlin’s seventh Sea Life Center to open in the United States, will include a large tropical ocean tank and walk-through underwater tunnel. It will feature a range of saltwater creatures, including shrimp, starfish, seahorses, sharks and rays, along with some aquatic creatures associated with the Great Lakes region, the companies said in a news release.

The Sea Life Centers offer viewing windows, educational presentations, feeding demonstrations and other ways to interact with some of the creatures.

They also highlight the work of Merlin’s charity, Sea Life Marine Conservation Trust, which will include new projects developed locally, the companies said. Merlin Entertainment’s Sea Life Centers highlight the work of the company’s charity, Sea Life Marine Conservation Trust.

Merlin operates Sea Life aquariums at Legoland in California; at the Mall of America in Minneapolis; and in or near locations in Tempe, Ariz; Kansas City; Dallas/Fort Worth; and Charlotte, N.C.

The British company also operates the Legoland resorts/theme parks in California and Florida, and Legoland discovery centers in several cities, as well as the Madame Tussauds celebrity wax museums in New York; Washington, D.C.; Las Vegas; and Hollywood.

By: Sherri Welch


11 Ways Detroit Changed the World for the Better

By: Alexandra Zaslow and Ashley Woods

The 2013 version of Detroit may be bankrupt and beginning to rebuild, but the city is drawing from its tremendous wealth of history as it looks ahead. From music and industry to sports and invention, Detroit has led the way since being founded by explorer Antoine Laumet de la Mothe, sieur de Cadillac in 1701. The city’s geographic location on the Detroit River helped the settlement grow into a thriving fur-trapping and trade hub.

Detroit’s contributions to American and international history are significant, in part because of its shared border with the Canadian city of Windsor. Detroit was the last stop for many slaves who passed through the Underground Railroad to freedom in Canada. That border also made Detroit a natural center for hatching liquor-running schemes during Prohibition.

Here are 11 incredible ways Detroit has changed the world for the better.

1. When Martin Luther King Jr. previewed the “I Have A Dream” speech.

Before the March on Washington, 25,000 Detroiters gathered in Cobo Hall to hear a preview of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech on June 23, 1963. Known as the “Detroit Walk to Freedom,” MLK Jr. marched down Woodward Avenue with Walter Reuther, the Reverend C.L. Franklin and 125,000 other civil rights believers. For the 50th anniversary in June 2013, thousands gathered to walk down Woodward Avenue in remembrance. Wendell Anthony, Detroit NAACP president, told WJBK that the march signified “that the work for freedom and justice must continue.”

2. When the Red Wings won the first Stanley Cup in 42 years.

The Detroit Red Wings’ journey to back-to-back Stanley Cup championships in 1997 and 1998 ended one of the longest cup droughts in NHL history. A million people showed up to celebrate the team at a parade down Woodward Avenue in 1997. The Red Wings’ first championship in 42 years gave some credence to the nickname “Hockeytown,” that Detroit had adopted. It set the stage for greatness behind the Red Wings bench and on the ice (22 straight playoff appearances!), leading some to dub them the greatest franchise in pro sports. The team’s integration of European and Soviet-style hockey strategies, best expressed by the famous Russian Five lineup, led the push to make hockey a truly international game.

3. When Hazen S. Pingree’s potato patch inspired the nation to feed the hungry.

He was the greatest mayor Detroit would ever know. Hazen S. Pingree, an avowed social reformer and enemy of major corporations and monopolies, fought during his 1890-1897 tenure to expose corruption and negotiate fair costs for Detroiters. But Pingree is best remembered for his potato patch. The Panic of 1893 hit Detroit hard, and by late 1894, there was no money left to care for the poor. Pingree mounted an unprecedented public works campaign and opened the city’s massive holdings of vacant land for garden plots and potato patches. “Pingree’s potato patches broke the back of hunger,” the Detroit Free Press later wrote, according to Historic Detroit. “They were nationally acclaimed and copied. They revealed a city of boundless energy and industry unwilling to live on doles.”

Read More Here!

Hop Cat is Coming to Detroit!

Detroit is buzzing with the news that HopCat is coming, so Eater contributor and beer enthusiast Courtney Ochab spoke to Mark Sellers, founder of the original HopCat in Grand Rapids and the man behind the new Detroit location about his plans and why he chose Midtown:

HopCat is going to become Detroit’s largest beer bar. The $3.3 million investment will bring jobs for 120 employees and the best selection of craft beer, in Michigan and from around the world. The taps are expected to be pouring in August.

Mark Sellers speaks highly of the new location. “I’ve spent a lot of time in Detroit over the years. I’ve always been a Tigers and Lions fan, and what’s going on in the city is really exciting. The new M-1 Rail line will have a stop right near us,” Sellers said, “Which will be a vital connector for our customers and our team members.”

The building is in a prime location, within walking distance of the future home of the Red Wings, Tech Town, MOCAD, and it’s also within a few blocks of Wayne State University. “We do like college areas,” Sellers said, “Both as a source of customers and a natural base of employees, servers and bartenders.”

The first HopCat location opened in downtown Grand Rapids in 2008 and was followed by an East Lansing location last July. The bar concept has generated numerous craft beer industry accolades in its six-year history. Last week, the Grand Rapids HopCat was named the No. 1 brewpub in the U.S. by RateBeer.com for a second time.

Detroit’s HopCat will be the largest of the three, with an outdoor biergarten and live music venue on the second floor, featuring rock, jazz, bluegrass, and soul artists-reflecting Detroit’s great musical heritage.-by Courtney Ochab

Read more here! – Eater


Significant Steps Needed to Ensure Improved Viability of Great Lakes

Whenever Congress takes up the issue of water and water-related resources, those of us living near the Great Lakes Basin should take notice. By a vote of 83-14, the U.S. Senate passed Senate Bill No. 601, which is entitled the “Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2013” (WRRDA) and contains 410 pages of insomnia-curing text in 11 separate titles. The House of Representatives’ companion legislation, House Resolution 3080, passed by a vote of 417-3 in October, but the Senate made changes to it and sent it back to the House. The bill is now in conference committee to iron out the differences.

The WRRDA’s purpose is defined as providing for “improvements to the rivers and harbors of the United States, to provide for the conservation of water and related resources, and for other purposes.” Most importantly to those of us who live in the Great lakes, its scope includes provisions that will affect the Great Lakes.

Read More: Significant Steps Needed to Ensure Improved Viability of Great Lakes

Detroit Polar Plunge 2014!

Mark your calendars — February 15th, 2014 is the annual Detroit Polar Plunge!!! Special Olympics Michigan is a year round program offering sports for those with intellectual disabilities. By participating in a Polar Plunge around the state I am contributing to help fund for over 19,000+ athletes who participate in Special Olympics Michigan. I will be participating with the Real Estate One Family of Companies Charitable Foundation team. The link below can give any information regarding Special Olympics as well as the polar plunge.


Donate to the Special Olympics!