The Weekender: Street snowboarding competition coming to Hart Plaza; Massive hotel planned + more
..and somehow in February we might hit 50 degrees on Thursday?
Hey all - Jer here. Thanks for your time on this Sunday. So many thanks are in order.
Thanks for all the responses on our ask last newsletter. People came out of the woodwork and so I have work to do. I’ll keep you posted, but fingers crossed. 🤞
Thank you to our new members on Patreon - Andrew, Nicholas, and Will. I’ll also be reading your names off in the show and getting rewards together. If you’d like to join them, click here.
Also thanks to Mike D who wrote this wonderful review on Apple Podcasts for the show.
Let’s get into the stories. If this is your first time here, know that my analysis and context is in italics — and you can sign up for free for this newsletter if you haven’t already.
» Red Bull’s street snowboarding competition “Heavy Metal” is coming to Hart Plaza in downtown Detroit on Saturday, Feb. 11.
40 of the country’s top street snowboarders will battle in the plaza’s concrete landscape.
Last year the event broke a hiatus that had been since 2003. It’s described in a recap video of the event in Duluth, Minnesota as “carnage” when it comes to snowboarders crashing because of the difficulty.
The contest is broken into three zones, each with different trick approaches.
The Wall is a 20-foot concrete slab to launch off of. Last year’s Duluth version looked terrifying to a non-boarder like myself (see above photo).
The Kink Rail is a down-flat-down rail that is ideal for executed staple and switch tricks, and the Down Rail is a 50-foot length of steel that runs down the stairs of the Hart Plaza Amphitheater.
The event is free and open to the public. Gates open at 1pm. [Red Bull]
📰 What to know
» In response to a terrible incident where a shooter dumped a body on the ramp from the Southfield Freeway to I-96, cameras that can read licenses plates are going up in metro Detroit. They’re similar to those used in toll booths to catch drivers who don’t pay, but to be clear, officials say ours won’t be used for traffic offenses. [Fox 2 Detroit]
» Huntington Place in Downtown Detroit will get renovations, including a new hotel. The board overseeing the regional convention center came to an agreement with Sterling Group. This agreement includes plans to extend Second Street to the Detroit River, build a 30,000 sq. ft. ballroom, and to build an attached hotel with 600-800 rooms. [Crain's Detroit]
This, depending on how many rooms land, is about equal to building another half of a Marriott RenCen, the biggest hotel in town by rooms; almost two Westin Book Cadillac hotels; or six Shinola Hotels if they hit the 800 number. I’m told they’re necessary if we want to attract more big name events to the city and ahead of the NFL Draft. Plus, having a connected hotel to the convention center just makes sense.
» Dan Gilbert’s Courtyard by Marriott is undergoing $9.5 million worth of renovations. You might have known the whole area as Millender Center, across from the RenCen. [Crain's Detroit]
I was just through there a couple weeks ago. I’ve never stayed there, but the lobby areas do look tired.
» Novi is getting a high-end Korean steakhouse. The restaurant named Dancing Pine Korean Steakhouse will be part of the Sakura Novi development made up of a number of retail shops, Asian cuisine restaurants, 117 townhouse apartments, a Japanese-themed garden, and a plaza. Groundbreaking is scheduled for this spring. [Metro Times] [Hometown Life]
» Detroit Flower Co. is moving to a new location on West 7 Mile Road. They will be open for business on Monday, February 6. [Detroit Flower Co.]
» Corktown now has a recreational cannabis dispensary. Liberty Cannabis, located at 2540 Rosa Parks Blvd., previously only sold to medical marijuana card holders. Recreational sales are only just getting underway in the city of Detroit. [Metro Times]
There’s also a real space problem when it comes to where these places can open. The city of Detroit’s rules are so specific that the number of properties is very limited. [Freep]
» Dearborn Homecoming is moving back to Ford Field in 2023 in its 42nd year. The summer festival was on hiatus because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it returned in 2022 to the Ford Community and Performing Arts Center. [City of Dearborn]
To be clear, we’re not talking about the stadium in downtown Detroit.
» GM hourly workers to get record profit sharing checks of up to $12,750; and Ford hourly workers will get profit sharing checks of up to $9,176. It’s a record for General Motors. [Freep] [Detnews]
📸 Photo of the day
The other night I was out in Corktown with Engineer Randy after an adventure to the soft opening of HopCat in Royal Oak (more on that in an episode this week), and as it was seven degrees we felt the best option was to hop into L.J.s Lounge. Inside it looks like when it opened in the 1970s.
It’s one of the few remaining dive bar institutions, where you can still get an affordable drink with a pool table. It’s a bit of a time capsule, so when I saw this on the wall — with the Tigers logo I grew up with on the wall — I had to share as I thought of nostalgia and warm weather.
🎧 On the podcast
Me and Devon O’Reilly on the Friday podcast talked about the changes at the former Calexico space, the Grand Army of the Republic building, the QLINE’s park and ride trial and more.
Thanks to Luciano Marcon for his help with links as well as to the rest of the team of Fletcher Sharpe, Shianne Nocerini, Randy Walker, and Devon.
In coming attractions: Next week I plan on having Urbanize Detroit’s Robin Runyan on the show to talk about the oh-so-many developments happening. We’re also doing an episode on improvement plans for a greenway trail downriver.
Until then — Remember you are somebody, and I’ll see you around Detroit.
p.s. - This edition of the newsletter was written to “Looking Up to You,” by Michael Wycoff. I don’t know why I’m digging into early 1980s R&B, but I am. It came on recommended and I just hung out in front of the house letting it finish the other day. 🤷♂️ More suggestions welcome. A always, feedback - dailydetroit - at - gmail - dot - com.