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Berkley ranks in nation's top 50 suburbs

Among other factors, good-quality schools and a short commuting time means the Oakland County city of Berkley is a place you'll want to nest, according to an analysis from MSN.com.

Excerpt:

"After examining data on nearly 300 suburbs, we put together a list of the 50 best suburbs in America. For this list, we considered suburbs with populations between 5,000 and 100,000 within 40 kilometers of the nearest metropolitan area...

A suburb of the Detroit-Warren-Dearborn area, Berkley benefits from a low poverty rate (2.7%) and good public schools. Folks in Berkley spend an average of 21.8 minutes commuting to work."

More here.

Shinola watch company to add retail outlet in Washington, D.C.

Shinola, a manufacturer and retailer of watches and other high-end goods, is putting the shine on with its latest retail store.

Excerpt:

"Detroit-based Shinola continues to expand its retail presence beyond the Motor City, with a permanent, brick-and-mortar outlet reportedly in the works for the nation's capital.

The company, which makes watches in Detroit, in addition to crafting bikes, journals and leather goods at a variety of mostly-American locations, last month said it was opening shops in London, Los Angeles and Chicago...

Shinola had previously said it will have six brick-and-mortar stores once the Chicago one comes online in the Wicker Park-Bucktown neighborhood. Shinola’s flagship Detroit location is at 441 W. Canfield in Midtown, and the company also has stores in Manhattan and Minneapolis.

It also has a presence in Paris' ultra-trendy Colette shop and in the Abu Dhabi airport."

More here.

Forbes magazine spotlights business acumen of Fathead's CEO

Forbes recently profiled the CEO of Detroit-based Fathead, a leading national supplier of life-sized vinyl wall graphics.

Excerpt: 

"The ‘Core-Trust-Loyalty’ belief system has remained with McInnis over the past five years as Fathead recently  shifted from sports-specific offerings to being a lifestyle consumer company. Now, as the company’s leader, part of McInnis’ role is that of a “psychologist,” somebody who understands the makeup and personality of the senior leadership team and, in turn, can motivate people in different ways."

More here.

Crowdfunding campaign for Detroit community skatepark gets rolling

Skateparks are not only recreational, they're economic and community development tools in southeast Michigan. Following the tide of popularity of the Ann Arbor Skatepark and Riley Skatepark in Farmington, a campaign is afoot for a new skatepark in Detroit.

Excerpt:

"The campaign will support phase two of “The Wig,” a community-led project to transform the vacant and blighted Wigle Recreation Center in Midtown into a new skatepark.

Located at 801 Seldon St., the once vibrant Wigle Recreation Center has sat vacant since 2005. This past summer, Community Push, an organization started by skateboarders to bridge the gap between skateboarding and the community, officially adopted the center’s park from the Detroit Parks and Recreation Department to build a community skatepark...

With the foundation for a great skatepark in place, phase two will involve expansion elements, including new skateboarding obstacles (concrete and steel), artistic beautification, public seating, and programs to introduce youth and students at surrounding schools to skateboarding and the social benefits it brings – civic participation, health and wellness, cultural creativity, risk-taking and supportive community building.

If Community Push attains its crowdfunding goal of $20,000 by  December 13, MEDC will provide a $20,000 matching grant."

For more information and to donate, click here.

Detroit region's economy most high-powered in Michigan

Despite past setbacks, southeast Michigan is still the state's significant economic engine – and that's not likely to change.

Excerpt:

“The southeast side is going to be the center for economic activity for many years,” said George Erickcek, an analyst for the Kalamazoo-based Upjohn Institute for Employment Research. “It is going to be a long time before the west side of the state matches the east side of the state....

The Detroit region’s share of the state economy has dropped, however, from 54.7 percent in 2001 to 52 percent in 2013. And the area’s GDP last year is 8 percent below its peak in 2005. But the Detroit-area’s most critical business sectors are gradually clawing back, with health care emerging as a vital new area of growth."

More here.

Ghost tours add life to Pontiac's redevelopment

At The Artist Lounge in downtown Pontiac, take a ghost tour along with your painting class.

Excerpt: 

"The Artist Lounge, which moved into 31 N. Saginaw about a year ago and has locations in Grosse Pointe Woods and Madison Heights, is part of what more than 50 private investors plan as a $40 million to $50 million revitalization of the historic but underutilized downtown area. Fournier said that’s part of what drew her to open a new location in Pontiac in the first place: the opportunity to help rebuild a downtrodden downtown. The ghost tours are just a small part of that, she said."

More here.

Nation to soon enjoy a piece of Achatz pie

The rest of the country will soon be treated to one of Michigan's famous desserts: Achatz fruit pies. The company is known for sourcing most of its ingredients from local farms.

Excerpt:

"The Achatz Handmade Pie Co. has sold its franchise rights to a Florida firm, which expects to establish 150 locations across the United States in the next five years.
The much-loved brand, founded 21 years ago in Armada, makes its natural desserts in Chesterfield Township...

The award-winning pies have been showcased on "The Rachael Ray Show," "The Today Show" and "Good Morning America Weekend as well as in "Bon Appétit" and "Food & Wine" magazines."

More here

Seven area startups to receive Best of MichBusiness awards

A host of interesting new businesses in the tech, tourism, entertainment, and lifestyle industries just may become the newest set of darlings in the Detroit area startup community.

Excerpt:

"Seven ventures from Walsh College’s Blackstone LaunchPad business initiative have been named Best of MichBusiness by
the Michigan Business & Professional Association (MBPA)...

Selected by MBPA as Best of Hatched™ - companies that made it through start-up and are on the way up are: Steve Johnson of Motor City Brew Tours, conducting educational bus, bicycle and walking tours of Michigan-based breweries showcasing the intricate process of beer production..."

More here

In Oakland County, job numbers, residential real estate see significant gains

Oakland County has regained more than three-quarters of the jobs it lost during the recession's nadir, and the average number of days homes spend on the market has been nearly cut in half, falling from 116 to 59 from 2009-2013. Check out the numbers in this Crain's Detroit story.

Excerpt:

"Oakland County added more than 65,000 jobs in 2011, 2012 and 2013, according to an economic outlook for the county produced in May by the  University of Michigan Institute for Research on Labor, Employment and the Economy. 

Since 2010, the industries with the greatest growth in Oakland County have been in business support services and engineering services, which grew 56 percent and 49.1 percent, respectively."

More here.

Detroit's John K. King's Books makes Great American Bookstores list

Even with the onslaught of e-readers, there's nothing quite like having a paper creation to hold in your hands. This old factory in Detroit rightfully takes its place among the nation's best book mazes.

Excerpt:

"Book lovers, hold on to your jaws.  John K. King Used and Rare Books  transformed a former glove factory into a stunning home for over a million books, organized into 900 categories. Set aside  at least  a day to explore this gem of Detroit!"

More here.

Craftsman's Legacy TV series to air on Detroit Public Television

The Michigan Film Office has approved another round of incentives, this time for a TV show focusing on old-world craftsmanship, and  another for a digital media project. 

Excerpt:

"Onu is an interactive website and cloud-based platform being developed by Southfield-based PIXO Group that will allow users to upload their existing content (3D models, videos, images and links) to create single, unique interactive maps. The end result may be utilized for entertainment, showcasing video game models and interacting with existing models...

[Craftsman's Legacy] follows Michigan native Eric Gorges on his quest to discover true craftsmen in today’s world. Each episode explains the history of an old world craft and its importance in the building of America. Episodes are airing at  11:30 a.m.  on Saturdays on Detroit Public Television."

More here.

Connect with employers at the virtual career fair set for Nov. 12

This no-cost fair is virtual, but the jobs are real. 

Excerpt:

"Job seekers and Michigan employers can connect with each other through a state-sponsored virtual career fair on  Wednesday, November 12 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pure Michigan Talent Connect’s  MiVirtualCareerFairs  bring together Michigan employers and talent from across the state and the globe in an online, virtual environment...

With assistance from the  Michigan Works! System and event sponsor Capital Area Michigan Works!, jobs with 41 Michigan employers in varying industries will be featured in the November event, making it the largest to date..."

For more info and to register, click here
 

USA Today names Detroit RiverWalk one of America's 10 best riverfronts

The rehabilitation of a key stretch of downtown Detroit's riverfront gets a major shoutout in the national press.

Excerpt:

#9 - Detroit

"The riverfront redevelopment in Detroit, a city with 14 miles of shoreline along the Detroit River, is one of the city's most exciting initiatives. Stretching for 5.5 miles from the Ambassador Bridge to the Bell Isle Bridge, the Detroit International RiverWalk includes a cruise terminal, marina, several parks, restaurants, shops and hotels. In warmer months, the riverfront parks play host to festivals and community literacy and fitness programs."

More here.

Detroit aims to become Little Free Library capital of the world

Over 100 free little libraries have been spotted on Detroit streets, and the goal of getting 313 libraries circulating on Detroit streets is catching the eye of authors as far away as Alaska.
 
Excerpt:

"I write my books from a little house on an Alaska mountainside that’s 3000 miles from Detroit. My closest Little Free Library is another three miles up the mountain, along a winding road with views of Cook Inlet and, on clear days, a big beautiful mountain, which we Alaskans call Denali.

Distance and differences aside, I’m rooting for Detroit’s Little Free Library Challenge. Kim Kozlowski’s IndieGoGo project is all about the things we Alaskans believe in: community, resilience, and self-reliance, empowered by a deep and transcending appreciation—call it love—for the spaces around us."

More here.

Read here about the brains behind the little libraries.

Carhartt work clothing is the new vogue for makers and artisans

Carhartt has outfitted generations of farmers and trade professionals in its work clothing. Now hipsters and maker entrepreneurs are retooling their wardrobes with its canvas.

Excerpt:

"Tony Ambroza and  the Maker Movement  arrived at the Dearborn, Mich., offices of Carhartt about the same time four years ago. With stints at Nike and Under Armour under his belt, Ambroza decided to welcome young craftsmakers, artisans and Brooklyn hipsters to the Carhartt brand, known for sturdy canvas work clothes. The svp of marketing--the brand's top marketing post--obviously relates to makers "with blue-collar DNA" who create things with their hands instead of an app.

With Carhartt being a Detroit-area institution, you're getting a ground-level view of the changes in Motor City. Any surprises?

Detroit has become a magnet for the creative class from the millennial generation. I'm most amazed at the powerful sense of community among these young entrepreneurs and craftsmakers. They don't keep their work secret; they always seem to be on the lookout for how they can help each other."

More here.
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