Detroit’s Whole Elephant

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The outside media doesn’t see the whole picture here, and that’s because they don’t want to see it. Most never come here: they just google the web for anything and everything about Detroit, and then they blindly scarf up the information return. The ones who do come here – big budget media bobbleheads – get dropped off from the airport, they do their quick hit story, then they climb back in the cab or limo and head back out to the (suburban) airport.

Detroit Unspun has published a very enlightening piece about the parachute crowd – those who do the drive-by hit pieces on Detroit without knowing what the heck is even going on here.

This article gives a short rundown on all that is positive in Detroit, as opposed to the same plethora of media gloom and bankruptcy doom. The Detroit Downtown Partnership (DDP) is a positive force that is mostly made up of private companies and members of the religious community who are interested in transforming Detroit by way of private investment, corporate social mission generosity, community service acts, and foundation philanthropy. Transformations that go unnoticed by the parachute media hacks include the Detroit River (Riverwalk); the modernization of various downtown corporate headquarters; Capitol Park neighborhood renovation; the David Whitney building conversion; the Broderick building restoration; and turning multiple abandoned lots into alluring green spaces and/or community gardens.

Just recently, one of Dan Gilbert’s companies, Bedrock Real Estate Services, announced its provision of free wifi in my favorite spaces to hang out downtown: Campus Martius Park and Cadillac Square.

Another story that appeared just recently is about the farms popping up among the ruins of the city. The Huffington Post noted that even Bankster of America is contributing to private efforts by paying for the demolition of homes and donating the vacant land for urban farming and green development.

Another bit of great news is that the ‘Detroit Jail Fail‘ that I have been writing about has become a reality: the bungled, overspending, underperforming government project that stole prime downtown property for building a monument to its lockup bureaucracy is now dead and done. The millions already spent will ooze down the tubes and the partly-built jail will be torn down in favor of selling off the property to a private entrepreneur. Government acquiesced on this one, admitting its incompetence while laying low about the corruption that funded and initiated the disastrous undertaking. Cross-posted at my blog, “Detroit: from Rust to Riches.”

4:37 am on November 5, 2013