Post Number: 1
|Posted on Wednesday, January 24, 2007 - 9:22 pm: || |
The 9th Annual U-M Detroit Design Workshop will be held on Monday January 29th, 2007 from 5-7 pm. at the Gem Theatre. Key words: free and open to the public. The link for more info is www.tcaup.umich.edu/5-d/index. html The Red wings and Pistons have the night off so this is a good time to examine some of the possibilities that the Downtown area can offer. I attended a workshop they had at the Masonic a few years back. It was well done and very informative. Bring your camera also as this is one of the best times to take pictures of the historic Gem Theatre and the Century Club.
Post Number: 2011
|Posted on Thursday, January 25, 2007 - 1:31 am: || |
Sounds great, Spirit. Welcome to the forum.
Post Number: 197
|Posted on Thursday, January 25, 2007 - 8:21 am: || |
For those that don't click on the link, there is a preview reception from 4 to 5pm. The presentations are scheduled to start at 5pm.
Post Number: 320
|Posted on Thursday, January 25, 2007 - 8:44 am: || |
Hey Spirit2028, just for my curiosity, what is the significance for the year 2028?
Post Number: 2
|Posted on Thursday, January 25, 2007 - 11:46 pm: || |
2028 would hopefully be the year Detroit would become a world-class city. I would love to see Detroit bid for the Olympic Summer Games. Perfect vision would have been 2020 but I believe we need a little more time. Detroit historians and sports fans alike may be aware that Detroit was the U.S. rep for the 1960, 1964 & 1968 games. That was back when we had our act together. It's time to get our "mojo" back. Chicago and Los Angeles our bidding to be the U.S. rep for the 2016 Games. Maybe someone already posted the article in the freep from Jo-Ann Barnas on 1/10/07 discussing how Michigan would benefit if Chicago was awarded the games. I want the whole kit-n-kaboodle but I realize Chicago is already world-class. This is a great forum certainly to discuss these matters. Urban planning is paramount !
Post Number: 119
|Posted on Friday, January 26, 2007 - 12:53 am: || |
I'm a member of a local planning commission. In Michigan, moreso than many other states, we are hamstrung by state law, which (IMHO) overemphasizes private property rights at the expense of our ability to plan our communities to meet the needs of people and society.
Many states have statutes that allow urbanized regions to limit sprawl. Michigan does not. Michigan courts have a history of overturning planning and zoning regulations, no matter that they were done according to law, in order to allow property owners to develop contrary to local wishes.
We local planning commissions, and our professional planner-consultants, want to do the right thing, but our State does not permit us to, and when we try to do the right thing anyway, the Courts overturn us and leave us in the dust.
We need help from our State legislature and reform of our court system if we are ever going to have any kind of world-class urban areas in this state.
Post Number: 326
|Posted on Friday, January 26, 2007 - 8:33 am: || |
What is the connection between good urban planning and the Olympics? Both are great and more or less needed in Detroit, but were you thinking that with better urban planning it would be more feasible to get the Olympics? I mean we did already have the Super Bowl, didn't that qualify as having our mojo back?
Post Number: 3609
|Posted on Friday, January 26, 2007 - 9:16 am: || |
I attended one of these charettes a couple of years back at the Fort Street Presbyterian Church. The challenge was to do something about the the west river front, downtown to Ambassador.
There were some outstanding concepts, like opening streets from Corktown through to the river, using the MCS as anchor hotel of a convention center and overcoming the blockade that Cobo / Joe Louis create to the continuity of the riverfront and more.
Yes it is mainly grand vision / dreamscape material, but nothing was impossible either, just highly unlikely. The energy and vision of youth is always food for thought.
Post Number: 2893
|Posted on Friday, January 26, 2007 - 4:05 pm: || |
Welcome to special interests and politics, Lowell. ::sighs::
Post Number: 3
|Posted on Saturday, January 27, 2007 - 1:28 am: || |
The Super Bowl highlighted one glaring weakness we have in this region and that is the lack of mass transportation other than the standard busses. Atlanta was awarded the Olympics in part because they have Marta. Good urban planning will include a mass transportation system among other things. Getting the Olympics in this region may be a pipe dream but if there ever was a city devoted to sports it would be Detroit.
Post Number: 332
|Posted on Saturday, January 27, 2007 - 10:46 am: || |
Interesting connection of subjects. I rode on MARTA back in '98 and it was pretty decent, essentially making a 'plus' sign through the city center: north, south, east and west. Did Atlanta more or less create this system for the Olympics? Because I doubt that you could get enough Detroiters hopeful about the Olympics coming here to have that be much of a sway in public transit decisions for the next twenty years or more.
Post Number: 5
|Posted on Sunday, January 28, 2007 - 11:40 am: || |
I'm not that naive to think Detroit will try to sell people on mass transit with the hopes of being awarded the Olympic games at some future date. Nobody builds a transit system for that reason. Mass transit is infrastructure for day to day living and is something that connects the pieces of the puzzle together. The real issue is in these trying times how do we fund transit. This topic is probably better discussed in some excellent threads that are currently running. One thread talks about the Michigan Department of Roads (Transportation ?) wanting to increase the fuel tax and some of that money going to transit. We'll have to see how this all plays out. Leadership is another key issue and unfortunately I think it has been severely lacking in this region for decades now. I think this forum is a nice way for all the good ideas to get out in the open to experience the light of day. Now on a lighter note can you offer insight on your user name ?
Post Number: 58
|Posted on Sunday, January 28, 2007 - 12:19 pm: || |
I have thought that since we now have this massive road and freeway system in S.E. MI maybe we should work with what we have today. Billions have been invested in our roads for better or worse. What if we invested in a excellent road system and created programs for poor or working families to get autos. Make road access easier. I know this idea might seem like anarchy to some but sometimes I think with this huge well laid out road system maybe we should make it the best possible. Imagine if we made our roads really clean and possibly some public art along the roads could make a unique road system. I think that we now have at least 2 generations who have depended on strictly auto transportation and it would probably be difficult to take that away, unless we have to. e.g. massive gas shortage.
It is just an idea what do you think???
Post Number: 871
|Posted on Sunday, January 28, 2007 - 1:22 pm: || |
Biggest problem with that far east sider is that it is an entitlement program. It rewards folks for being poor; economically it would be a disaster as the govt would then have to kick in for gas, insurance, and would be liable for the actions of those driving the cars they gave them.
There are some non-profits that do this sort of work, but there is a very rigorous screening process to get a car.
It also flies in the face of the new policies to reduce our energy usage. Thats one of the few things the president and congress can agree on!
Post Number: 348
|Posted on Sunday, January 28, 2007 - 1:27 pm: || |
Paul=my first name. Charlotte=where I live in North Carolina. I attended the University of Detroit Mercy where I earned my masters of Architecture degree in '06 and developed my love for Detroit. Detroit ranks up there as one of my favorite cities. Unfortunately I now am working in Charlotte, but hope to return to Detroit as soon as I can get a job in my field with similar salary and benefits...
Post Number: 1525
|Posted on Sunday, January 28, 2007 - 3:18 pm: || |
Fair question, Fareastsider, but I'd be strongly opposed to such an idea. In addition to Detroitplanner's comments, it's simply a lot more expensive to provide people with autos (when you consider all the associated costs) than it is to provide decent mass transit in a large metropolitan area such as ours. The current roads-only approach is really hurting our region as it is.
Besides, if we add a decent mass transit system, it doesn't mean any of the freeways are going away, we'll still have plenty of roads. You need to have a good mix of both.
Post Number: 305
|Posted on Sunday, January 28, 2007 - 6:06 pm: || |
many of us simply dont want to pay for (directly or through taxes) cars. + i really wish i didn't have to have one. rail and bikes, baby.
Post Number: 68
|Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 9:53 am: || |
It was a packed house at the Gem Theater yesterday for this event. The focus was on downtown, which was divided into four sections.
One team of students and professionals addressed each of the four sections and presented ideas. The common themes were: walkability, adding more housing to each section, renovation and reuse of existing buildings, new construction in certain targeted zones, being "green," etc. Each group did a "Powerpoint" presentation as they presented their ideas. And they did have some pretty good ideas.
Attendees included Al Taubman (I think that U-M's school of architecture or urban planning is named after him) Walt Watkins from the city's admin., JoAnn Watson from city council, people from the DEGC, and others. It was a good event, and it was nice that it was free and open to the public.
Post Number: 1276
|Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 10:20 am: || |
Chicago is a shantytown covered in hovels.
Post Number: 100
|Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 11:05 am: || |
Dreaming of a different downtown
January 30, 2007
By BILL McGRAW
FREE PRESS COLUMNIST
For some 500 people at the Gem Theatre, Monday afternoon was a time for dreaming of a downtown Detroit that would combine the best aspects of Chicago, New York, Amsterdam, Portland, Berlin, New York, Seattle…
Find the complete article at....
http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs .dll/article?AID=/20070130/BLO G07/70129047/1138/BLOG
Post Number: 101
|Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 11:07 am: || |
Planners lay out ideas for Detroit
Louis Aguilar / The Detroit News
DETROIT -- Some of the nation's leading city planners, architects and designers envision a downtown Detroit in 2011 with 10,000 new residents, a big box retailer to replace the MGM Grand Detroit temporary casino, a new arena for the Detroit Red Wings on Grand River and more green space.
Those were among the dozens of suggestions offered Monday evening by four groups that totaled more than 80 people who brainstormed ways to keep the momentum going in a downtown that's beginning to attract new residents and development.
Find the complete article at...
http://www.detnews.com/apps/pb cs.dll/article?AID=/20070130/M ETRO/701300392/1006/METRO01
Post Number: 102
|Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 11:08 am: || |
Just got my 100th post in, congrats to me!
Post Number: 3535
|Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 11:31 am: || |
..."a big box retailer to replace MGM Grand temporary casino"....
Now there's a horrible idea... lets replace a building that has had $212 million invested in it and tear it down to be replaced with a $10 million dollar Costco.
Talk about lowered expectations!!
Post Number: 5
|Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 11:57 am: || |
I doubt that the idea for the big box retailer entailed tearing the structure down. I'm guessing that they most likely use the existing structure, but I think it's a horrible location for retail anyway.
Post Number: 362
|Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 1:16 pm: || |
Interesting idea. It is enclosed like a mall. One has to do something with the temp. MGM casino, give the retail a shot...
Post Number: 2091
|Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 2:06 pm: || |
At risk of seeming overly cynical: how hard was it to come up with the ideas presented? Many of these ideas have already been floated right here on this forum. Nothing mentioned struck me as particularly creative or innovative, but most of the items need to be undertaken, regardless.
I agree with the moratorium on building demolitions, although I think the one that could go, ironically, is the old IRS data center currently occupied by MGM. The building is way to o big for a downtown big box store. Unless, of course, a developer can transform it into a mixed-use project not unlike Gallery Place in DC.
I get queasy at the mention of "more green space", though. Green space is only effective if it is well-defined around its periphery and serves a useful purpose at all hours of the day. Otherwise, you just end up with another skid row park.
Post Number: 155
|Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 2:09 pm: || |
I agree completely with your green space argument. It is always an easy idea to create more "green space," but how do you maintain and use this space for the betterment of your population. Detroit already has great examples of green space in the city. If they could just maintain what they have, we would be talking about major progress. When I feel safe walking alone around Rouge Park, that is progress.
Post Number: 23
|Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 2:31 pm: || |
The idea was actually to put the retail in front of MGM, closing off the southbound side of 3rd st. Which actually makes sense with the casino leaving there will be no need for a eight lane boulevard.
(Message edited by herbpowell on January 30, 2007)
Post Number: 2092
|Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 2:34 pm: || |
^I should add that suburbs typically have lots of "green space", yet manage to look like asphalt-covered hellholes. Not all green space is equal!
Post Number: 25
|Posted on Wednesday, January 31, 2007 - 3:00 am: || |
I believe turning the temporary MGM site into a mall would be a good idea for this spot. It has attached parking, and if the idea works, a vertical phase two could occupy the lot south of the parking garage and share the parking.
This would improve the shopping choices for downtowners, especially for Corktown and Mexicantown.
Post Number: 96
|Posted on Wednesday, January 31, 2007 - 9:26 am: || |
I attended the charette also and the ideas were some very good sensible ideas. The temporary MGM site conversion addresses the need to have shopping within the CBD; however, the other projects has to be in place as well: more residences nearby. Also with the close proximity to Michigan Avenue, you have nearby Corktown & Mexicantown neighborhoods where residences can go to an "urban" Target store.
When the forum gets the proposals on their web site, then you'll understand why the team promoted the conversion idea.
Post Number: 431
|Posted on Wednesday, January 31, 2007 - 10:57 am: || |
MGM originally leased its temporary casino, with an option to buy; MGM exercised the option and now owns it. Notwithstanding that the original development agreements with the City capped at four years the period during which the casinos could operate in temporary casinos, the MGM lease had options to extend for up to eight years. There was a provision in the lease that anticipated that MGM, IF it ever had to build a permanent casino, would take steps to continue to operate the temporary casino as an "annex" or get the law changed to permit a 4th casino.
Could be that MGM would convey it to an Indian tribe which would run it as a low-end slots only, or table game only casino, w/ MGM as the operator; the purpose would be to preserve whatever value the temp casino has and compete directly w/ low-end Motor City. I believe MGM felt that as long as Archer had any clout it could get whatever it wanted.
MGM has several hundred million invested in the temporary casino and the parking structure. It will not realize a fraction of that amount on the sale of the real estate for any other purpose; even its after-tax losses will take forever to recapture especially in view of the fact it is spending 2 or 3 times more for its new casino than the other two and barely makes more money half the time than Motor City. Based on return on investment, Motor City has to far been more profitable (ROI) than MGM and Greektown combined. No one has ever accused Marian Ilitch of being stupid.
Could it be that Don Barden will come out of the woodwork and make some kind of a deal w/ MGM on the temporary casino? Hope so. Otherwise it's going to be one of the biggest, single purpose white elephant buildings ever.
Post Number: 201
|Posted on Wednesday, January 31, 2007 - 11:28 am: || |
The presentations are up on the TCAUP web site:
Post Number: 2903
|Posted on Thursday, February 01, 2007 - 2:12 am: || |
Can you effect social change through urban planning or are you pretty much at the will and power of bureaucracies and public opinion?
Post Number: 5079
|Posted on Thursday, February 01, 2007 - 2:31 am: || |
That's an excellent question, but with all forms of social science, it's a little bit of both. There are plenty of examples of urban planning both positively and negatively effecting social change (i.e. Campus Martius to Jeffries Projects), but planners always need to be mindful of, or some would say even beholden to, the people they are planning for.
(Message edited by lmichigan on February 01, 2007)
Post Number: 3557
|Posted on Thursday, February 01, 2007 - 2:37 am: || |
Thanks for the insight 3rdworldcity.
Based on the fact alone that MGM appears to be the only casino that is living up to Archers original "intentions" of building a mammoth gaming palace, I don't begrudge them using the temporary casino as an "annex".
After all they did spend over $212 million on upgrading that building (plus whatever they spent to buy it). And they have, as you said, little chance of recouping their original investments, while the other 2 casinos get a "free pass" in using the temps as part of the cost of their permanent casinos.
Post Number: 6
|Posted on Thursday, February 01, 2007 - 6:59 am: || |
I attended the workshop and enjoyed the presentation. I hope some of the ideas presented come to fruition. It's been talked about for years now but I hope King Caesar builds his new hockey arena soon without hoping the general public will pay for it. If that happens a few more dominoes can fall. Joe Louis Arena could be retro-fitted or demolished to provide the much needed extra space for the convention center. Also someone noted on a previous thread that there was a rail line that ended near WCCC and the Joe. This rail line could be re-activated and tied into the People Mover. As it stands now the proposed AA to Detroit commuter line will get people only to the New Center area where they would either have to take the bus or taxi to get to downtown. I realize this will cost some money which normally means it's DOA. So maybe we should scrap all these plans and just widen all our freeways and keep all the road builders happy ! OOPS that costs a lot of money too but they have good lobbyists who are always pushing for more money and then provide nice little campaign contributions to politicians who vote their way. Sorry I'm so cynical but we have to wean ourselves off of the "Build Roads First" mentality.