No Stopping This
By Ryan Walthall
Photo Credit Dorian Bauman
They say that Redford is the gateway to the suburbs since we are right next to Detroit, which has not exactly made us proud. If anyone has visited downtown Detroit lately, they would quickly see that our “neighbor” is not looking too shabby though. Not at all shabby really. In fact, stepping into “the D” may confuse visitors since they may begin to think they are in a city like Miami, okay minus the warmth and palm trees, but at least we are starting to get a step closer to the tune of Chicago.
Plain and simple, Detroit is on a comeback! But how? Why now? Who is making this possible?
One cannot talk about the rebirth of Detroit without talking about Dan Gilbert. Dan Gilbert describes himself as “Family man. Retired pizza delivery guy” on his twitter. The multi-billionaire and Quicken Loans founder is often referred to as the “savior of Detroit.”
In an interview with Channel 4, he refuses to accept that title.
“No one person, and no one company, I don’t care if you’re us or General Motors or the Ilitch’s, it’s impossible,” Gilbert said. “It’s got to be community. It’s got to be the neighborhoods. It’s got to be the unions. It’s got to be council, the mayor, governor, business community, the citizens of Detroit. All we want to see is the best Detroit possible. We can’t have the best Detroit unless the neighborhoods and the city are growing together.”
When people hear the word Detroit, they immediately think of all of the trials and tribulations that the city has been through. People see the hurt, the pain and all the bad. Detroit is immediately pushed aside because of its past.
Despite hardship, Detroit is rising up from the ashes. Like a phoenix, Detroit is reborn. Detroit’s past is stepping stones for its future.
Former Thurston High School student Stevie Ansara (class of 2005), might be called a Detroit expert. Stevie is currently a film producer at Woodward Original, one of the many places that Dan Gilbert has invested.
Gilbert, in Ansara’s opinion, is “One of the many pioneers who has really reshaped Detroit in the last couple of years.”
Ansara chose to live in Detroit because he finds it inspirational.
When asked about his favorite characteristics of Detroit, Ansara responded that he loves “The food scene…and the art scene, there is always something happening down here. It’s the place to be.”
There is indeed always something to see and do in downtown Detroit. From the hundreds of architectural buildings to the many landmarks, parks, and festivals, there’s always something to experience.
A stop on a visitor’s list should be the amazing Detroit Institute of Arts or D.I.A. The building measures 658,000 square feet and includes more than 100 galleries. The museum has housed some of the finest artists ranging from Monet to Frida Kahlo.
Another stop on that list should be the Detroit Riverfront. Enjoy another side of Detroit, and take a stroll on the Detroit Riverwalk. Enjoy views of the Detroit River, live music, and fresh treats.
With so much to do, there is no way you’ll find yourself bored on the streets of Detroit. From the skyscrapers to the small drawings on the side of buildings, your eyes will never stop wandering.
So much is in the works for the future of Detroit. Many were disappointed when Detroit was not chosen as the next Amazon location, but the city has no reason to be ashamed.
In the near future, the Michigan State Department of Natural Resources will apply for millions of dollars to revamp Belle Isle.
The historic Hudsons site is marked to become an area for apartments, retail, and performing venues.
The M-1 Rail is a streetcar system planned to connect the suburbs to the city.
Rebuilding along the Riverwalk is already underway.
Former Detroit Mayor and Businessman Dave Bing is working with Detroit Future City (DFC) which is a non profit organization with a 50-year Strategic Framework. The framework is a “highly detailed, long-term guide for decision-making by Detroit stakeholders, from elected officials to residents. It was released in 2013, after an ambitious three-year effort, drawing on the best local and national talent, as well as the insights of more than 100,000 Detroiters, to reimagine a better future for Detroit.”
Detroit is now the place to be, and everyone should take a bite out of all it has to offer. Right now it is more of an appetizer, but as the years continue, it will be a city to feast on.