Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2006 The man who changed the face of Detroit Previous Next
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Eastsidedog
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Username: Eastsidedog

Post Number: 295
Registered: 03-2006
Posted From: 68.20.140.8
Posted on Monday, May 01, 2006 - 1:32 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs .dll/article?AID=/20060501/BUS INESS04/605010337


quote:

Doran, 71, will receive a lifetime achievement award Tuesday night from the Detroit chapter of the Urban Land Institute, a nonprofit group dedicated to promoting responsible development practices. The ceremony will take place at the Ritz-Carlton in Dearborn.





quote:

Yet the RenCen failed to spark the revival its creators had hoped, something that Doran readily admits today.

"The disappointment that we all had was that no significant development followed it," he said.





quote:

The Dearborn work illustrates Doran's belief -- voiced long before it became fashionable in the development world -- that projects should be socially and environmentally responsible. The developments are noteworthy for their generous landscaping, artificial lakes and wide swaths of green space that remain preserved.

"He's helped change the skyline of Detroit and the quality of life here in southeast Michigan," Taubman said.




So the "Urban" Land Institute thinks Brutalist architechture, suburban indoor shopping malls, and football stadiums improve quality of life.

F#ckin great.

When you build isolated suburban environments how are you "disappointed" that no "significant development" follows it?

The ULI's website talks about building "equitable and sustainable cities" how does what Moran did fit into this vision? Are they kidding??!?!!
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Chitaku
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Username: Chitaku

Post Number: 230
Registered: 03-2006
Posted From: 68.43.107.72
Posted on Monday, May 01, 2006 - 1:59 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

How did they think building a closed off fortress was going to help snything?
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Eastsidedog
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Username: Eastsidedog

Post Number: 298
Registered: 03-2006
Posted From: 68.20.140.8
Posted on Monday, May 01, 2006 - 2:06 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Exactly Chitaku.

Granted, due to extensive renovations by GM it is much better today than it's original design. I actually can go there regularly and do things. Back in the day I just went there to get lost.
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Viziondetroit
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Username: Viziondetroit

Post Number: 391
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 65.42.23.2
Posted on Monday, May 01, 2006 - 2:28 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I used to hate going to the Ren Cen when I was younger because we would ALWAYS get lost.

Was there any major development after the Ren Cen other than the Comerica Tower and the one building by the Ponchatrain?
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Jt1
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Username: Jt1

Post Number: 7287
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 198.208.159.19
Posted on Monday, May 01, 2006 - 2:36 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I believe the Millender Center came around that same time. I don't know which came first.
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Eastsidedog
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Username: Eastsidedog

Post Number: 301
Registered: 03-2006
Posted From: 68.20.140.8
Posted on Monday, May 01, 2006 - 2:37 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Don't forget the Riverfront Towers in the 80's.
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Jams
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Username: Jams

Post Number: 3215
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 69.218.153.119
Posted on Monday, May 01, 2006 - 2:45 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Millender Center was finished in 1985.

http://skyscraperpage.com/citi es/?buildingID=7459
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Rustic
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Username: Rustic

Post Number: 2386
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 128.36.14.81
Posted on Monday, May 01, 2006 - 2:50 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

In 20 years GM (assuming it still exists, yikes!) may be throwing a fete for Matt Cullen. How will his body of work compare to his older counterpart at F ...
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Eastsidedog
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Username: Eastsidedog

Post Number: 303
Registered: 03-2006
Posted From: 68.20.140.8
Posted on Monday, May 01, 2006 - 2:59 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

So development definitely followed the RenCen, just not the way they thought it would. It seems there were some rather large developments downtown in the 80's but only now is downtown seeing the development it really needs on the small scale. IMO it's the little stuff - the little stores, bars, and restaurants - the details that matter. Not the mega projects. It's the little stuff that makes a place livable.

But they don't give out big shot awards for small entreprenurs and little developers who slave day in and day out. Joel Landy comes to mind.
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Viziondetroit
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Username: Viziondetroit

Post Number: 394
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 65.42.23.2
Posted on Monday, May 01, 2006 - 3:03 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I assume they thought other large scale scrapers would follow. I think if the Ren Cen had been built recently and not in the 70's, big development would follow as more companies want to do business in Detroit these days. It would have been a boom in spurts.
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Detroitnerd
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Username: Detroitnerd

Post Number: 592
Registered: 07-2004
Posted From: 209.69.221.253
Posted on Monday, May 01, 2006 - 3:12 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Millender, Renaissance and Riverfront all represent what used to be the prevailing idea of urban renewal, which was widely accepted until recently: We were going to remake our cities by demolishing "blighted" neighborhoods and business districts, replacing them with massive superblocks, gleaming megastructures, and sprawling medical centers.

Many neighborhood Detroiters complained that these projects were a case of jumbled priorities, since they couldn't get working streetlights, sewers that drained, police that responded, etc. Meanwhile, these dreams of the elite sprouted all over downtown, with Millender, Renaissance (Doran, Ford) and Riverfront (Taubman) squashing old business and waterfront districts. It was a vision of steel and glass oases with drive-in parking decks, all connected by a ribbon of rail. There would be no reason to walk on the street at all.

It's a debate that continues today. What do we want our cities to look like. We have tried these megastructures for more than a generation with little to show for it.
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Rustic
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Username: Rustic

Post Number: 2387
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 128.36.14.81
Posted on Monday, May 01, 2006 - 3:15 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Although a lot of development followed the RenCen it was all part of a much grander development project started in the post WW2 era using federal $$. Someething like 40+ blocks of the old CBD were clearcut and the City County, ANR, Cobo Hall, Cobo Arena, Veterans, and Ford Auditorium buildings rose up on the empy land. From roughly the mid 50's ro the mid 70's the "center" of the CBD was shifted from a center point based on arterial streets converging (~Campus Martius) to a central point based on entering from the lodge freeway spur (~jefferson@WW).

In parallel to the RenCen construction in the 70's there was also Hart Plaza, Joe Louis Arena and the freepress printing plant land grab too. When you view it with that perspective the subsequent projects (Millinder, Riverfront Towers, Comerica, People Mover) appear to have hardly been spurred by the RenCen and the RenCen is seen as a magnificent part of something much much larger.
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Eastsidedog
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Username: Eastsidedog

Post Number: 305
Registered: 03-2006
Posted From: 68.20.140.8
Posted on Monday, May 01, 2006 - 3:28 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


quote:

Millender, Renaissance and Riverfront all represent what used to be the prevailing idea of urban renewal, which was widely accepted until recently: We were going to remake our cities by demolishing "blighted" neighborhoods and business districts, replacing them with massive superblocks, gleaming megastructures, and sprawling medical centers.




Detroitnerd, which is why the megablock planning failed to create a renaissance. Only when our leaders thinking has truly shifted away from megastructure thinking will we have a real renaissance. I think it has alrady started to happen, with the infill housing boom being a good example.
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56packman
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Username: 56packman

Post Number: 234
Registered: 12-2005
Posted From: 129.9.163.105
Posted on Monday, May 01, 2006 - 3:52 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Detroit has been laboring for decades under the impression that the thing that will turn it around will be (another) huge bricks and mortar project--like the ren-cen, and others listed above. So we have these mondo new things like random darts on a map with not much in between. The poor guy who tries to do something, like retail, restaurant, etc. is bombarded by all of the city regulatory agencies, all practicing random acts of regulation (which in itself is necessary) but not always helpful to the little guy, early on in his project. Try to call the various departments to find out what regulations you must meet when open--nothing. But they can delay your C of O, and cause completed work to be un-done when not to (almost secret) code. The multitudes of little projects are as important as the few big ones.
That said, Wayne is a good guy, who operated Ford land in an honest, forthright manner.
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Viziondetroit
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Username: Viziondetroit

Post Number: 402
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 65.42.23.2
Posted on Monday, May 01, 2006 - 4:20 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It's coming together slowly.. we've had enough trial and errors and enough dubbing people the next great savior and catalyst projects..
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Jams
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Username: Jams

Post Number: 3218
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 68.249.45.48
Posted on Monday, May 01, 2006 - 4:29 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

56packman,
Amen.

The usual rule, in the past, in order to start a business have enough capital to survive a year, maybe two, without showing a profit. In Detroit,have double or triple that or maybe even more.

This is not a kind town to small businesses, although those same businesses may alleviate the chronic unemployment that we all complain about.

Regulations, well, maybe well intended, are enforced for some and not others.

I still hurt from my last venture, a business in my home, zoned commercial. Most of my work was in the suburbs, and as many of my clients would not come to the City, I went to them. This was in the early ADA era. I was visited by an inspector, who demanded I install a wheel-chair ramp. 1). As I lived in an historic district, I had to get permission for any exterior changes, which were denied. 2). My studio and offices were on the third floor of my home, attainable by stairway only.

As I said I spent most of my time travelling to meet with clients at their locations, yet the City required me to make modifications to my home which the Historic Commission refused to allow.

It was much easier just to dissolve the business.
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Eastsidedog
Member
Username: Eastsidedog

Post Number: 311
Registered: 03-2006
Posted From: 68.20.140.8
Posted on Monday, May 01, 2006 - 4:46 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Finally projects are happening that actually benefit Detroiters instead of Detroit leaders' egos.
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Detroitplanner
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Username: Detroitplanner

Post Number: 47
Registered: 04-2006
Posted From: 63.85.13.248
Posted on Monday, May 01, 2006 - 4:52 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

too bad the Fairlane development does not have sidewalks or even crosswalks at busy intersections. Its interesting how that happens when the lead developer also builds cars.

I've seen people in wheelchairs tooling down the center land of mercury drive using it as a way to buy groceries at the now closed Super K. There were times when the drivers would just beep at the people as if they were invading their turning space instead of waiting their turn.

Well I'm off my soapbox.
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Gistok
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Username: Gistok

Post Number: 2036
Registered: 08-2004
Posted From: 4.229.6.93
Posted on Monday, May 01, 2006 - 6:44 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

While all the big wheelers and dealers are patting Wayne Doran on the back, I think he did some real damage to downtown Detroit. No I don't mean the RenCen.... I mean his siphoning off of businesses to the Dearborn Fairlane development. Let's see... thanks to him AAA moved to Dearborn, and United Artists and AAA Buildings have been empty for decades. Any other office buildings he's helped empty out?

Although it is not his fault personally... back in the 1970's about 2000 Ford employees worked downtown. Today it's probably closer to zero. Crain's Detroit Business lists Ford as the largest employer in Wayne County, but it doesn't even show up on the list of Detroits major empolyers..... pathetic!
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56packman
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Username: 56packman

Post Number: 236
Registered: 12-2005
Posted From: 24.208.234.52
Posted on Monday, May 01, 2006 - 10:32 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Gistok--OK, if Ford land had not developed Fairlane with Taubman, there never would have been a mega-mall in the area? the whole country, save for NYC is building bigger and better malls, further away from their CBD, and metro Detroit is just supposed to sit this dance out? Why not point the blame at Hudson's, who developed Northland in 1953-54? didn't they begin the end of the downtown store with that action? The mall thing was already happening. Ford land and Taubman were in the right place at the right time with the goods. The retailers went to where the customers were, and in the 70's downtown was losing daytime population. The construction of the (flawed) ren-cen and the riverfront towers were an act of faith that took a long time to pay off. Projects like Fairlane offset that slow $$ flow.
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Detroitplanner
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Username: Detroitplanner

Post Number: 51
Registered: 04-2006
Posted From: 152.163.100.8
Posted on Monday, May 01, 2006 - 11:57 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

At least you can't blame the downfall of Hudson's on Fairlane. Hudson's had stores on Warren in East Dearborn and at Michigan and Greenfield that were closed when this store was opened. It was probably a loss in square footage overall, but it positioned them better in the marketplace.
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Pdtpuck
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Username: Pdtpuck

Post Number: 19
Registered: 01-2006
Posted From: 208.251.168.194
Posted on Tuesday, May 02, 2006 - 4:30 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

here's my vote....picture

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