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  • Here is why landlords could do well in Wayne County

    CNN has a message to all prospective landlords: Head to Wayne County! Occupancy and rental rates are increasing, the report says, creating an opportunity for serious returns on investments. In fact, after comparing the median sales price of homes to average monthly rents in nearly 1,600 counties, RealtyTrac found that Detroit’s Wayne County offers landlords the best return on their investment in the nation. Investors who buy homes in the metro area can expect a 30% gross annual return from rents. That’s triple the national average of 10%. RealtyTrac, an online real estate information company, says the county offers investors low prices for larger homes — with a median price of $45,000. “We’ve got some steals here,” said Rachel Saltmarshall, a real estate agent and immediate past president of the Detroit Association of Realtors, told CNN. “There’s a six-bedroom, 6,000 square-foot home in a historic district selling for $65,000.” For more, read the entire report here.

    The post Here is why landlords could do well in Wayne County appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • The Record Store Day Guide for metro Detroit

    This Saturday, audiophiles across the world will venture out to their favorite independent record stores in search of limited releases that quickly become collectors items. The third Saturday of April marks the fairly new international holiday Record Store Day. There are certainly dos and don’ts to know for RSD — like where to shop, and how to shop. That’s right, there is an etiquette to shopping on Record Store Day and violating that code makes you look like a real asshole. In my experience of celebrating Record Store Day, I’ve seen stores use a few different tactics as far as stocking the special releases. Some establishments will set up a table, somewhere in the store, where a few shoppers at a time can flip through records in a calm and contained manner. Other places will have a similar setup, with all the releases at a table, but shoppers ask the store employees for the releases they want. It’s like a record nerd stock exchange. This process gets loud, slightly confusing and incredibly annoying — this is where elbows start getting thrown. Then, there are places that put the releases on the shelves, usually categorized by size — twelve inches with the twelve inches, seven inches with the seven inches and […]

    The post The Record Store Day Guide for metro Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: DEMF 2014 canceled

    The Detroit Electronic Music Festival, which was supposed to be making a triumphant return this year, has been canceled. A statement on the website says that the festival will be back in 2015. Back in November, Ford Field hosted an announcement party for DEMF, where it was revealed that a new DEMF festival would take place at Campus Martius Park in Detroit over the July 4th weekend. “I’m proud to be involved in the biggest and best electronic music festival in the world,” said Juan Atkins. “The future’s here. This is techno scene.” Not the immediate future, apparently. The DEMF people claim that the M-1 rail construction is partially to blame for the cancellation/12-month-postponement. Read the full statement here. Follow @City_Slang

    The post City Slang: DEMF 2014 canceled appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Metro Times wins heavy at the SPJ Awards

    Despite a turbulent 2013 which saw Metro Times change owners, move buildings and change editors twice, we picked up eight awards at the Society of Professional Journalists Awards on Wednesday night. The big winner was Robert Nixon, design manager, who picked up a first place for “Feature Page Design (Class A)” for our Josh Malerman cover story, first for “Cover Design (Class A)” for our Halloween issue (alongside illustrator John Dunivant), and a second in that same category for our annual Lust issue. In the news categories, our esteemed former news editor and current contributing writer Curt Guyette won third in “General News Reporting” and third in “Best Consumer/Watchdog” – both Class A – for the Fairground Zero and Petcoke Series respectively. Music & Culture Editor Brett Callwood placed third for his Josh Malerman cover story in the “Best Personality Profile (Class A)” category, and former editor Bryan Gottlieb picked up a couple of Class C awards for “Editorial Writing” and “Headline Writing” (third and second, respectively). We were also pleased to learn that our investigative reporter Ryan Felton won first place and an honorable mention for work published while at the Oakland Press. The MT ship is steady now, […]

    The post Metro Times wins heavy at the SPJ Awards appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Detroit’s grand bargain still needs Lansing’s approval

    In this week’s Metro Times we took a look at the state legislature’s role in Detroit’s ongoing bankruptcy — in particular, how it must approve a $350 million pledge for the so-called “grand bargain” to remain intact. And, with last night’s announcement of a significant deal between the city and Detroit’s pension boards and retiree groups, the ball is Lansing’s court now. The new deal, first reported by the Freep, would cut general employees monthly pension checks by 4.5 percent and eliminate their cost-of-living increases. Police and fire retirees would see no cuts to monthly checks, while their cost-of-living increases would be reduced from 2.25 percent to 1 percent. Under the original offer, police and fire retirees cuts were as high as 14 percent, with general retirees as high as 34 percent, that is, if the groups rejected the “grand bargain,” an $816 million proposal funded by foundations, the state, and the DIA to shore up pensions. The sweeter deal for pensions, though, it must be noted, entirely relies on the state legislature approving $350 million for Detroit’s bankruptcy.  And while this broke after Metro Times went to press, that was the focal point of this week’s News Hits column — so, it’s worth repeating: The […]

    The post Detroit’s grand bargain still needs Lansing’s approval appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: Local releases for Record Store Day on Saturday

    This Saturday, April 19, is Record Store Day, and there is plenty going on in metro Detroit and Michigan. Of special interest to us is Chiodos’ 7” single “R2ME2/Let Me Get You A Towel,” Mayer Hawthorne & Shintaro Skamoto’s 7” “Wine Glass Woman/In a Phantom,” Chuck Inglish & Action Bronson’s 7” “Game Time,” Chuck Inglish & Chance the Rapper’s 7” “Glam,” Chuck Inglish & Chromeo’s 7” “Legs,” Chuck Inglish, Mac Miller & Ab-Soul’s 7” “Easily,” James Williamson’s 7” “Open Up and Bleed/Gimme Some Skin,” Black Milk’s 12” “Glitches in the Break,” Mayer Hawthorne’s 10” “Jaded Inc.,” Wayne Kramer & the Lexington Arts Ensemble’s 12” “Lexington,” and best of all, Ray Parker Jr.’s 10” “Ghostbusters.” We wrote about James Williamson’s release this week. Go shop. Follow @City_Slang

    The post City Slang: Local releases for Record Store Day on Saturday appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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Fall Arts Issue

Designing Detroit

Expectations and revelations from the inaugural Detroit Design Week

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Mind the Gap aims to connect Detroit's in-between spaces

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Street art is the name of the game in the alley at the TAP Gallery

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notebook doodles come alive via Whimsical Wheatpaste


Clayson: As a Spartan it makes me proud to hear Michigan State was so accommodating, but geography and place is one of the coolest things about the festival because we didn't plan any of these events — we're actually calling them "happenings" — we just provided a platform and place for them to occur and connected them to resources as well as potential team members and volunteers. Really we're just ensuring the caliber of these happenings are worthy of a design festival that we hope will help Detroit's creative community self-identify. 


MT: What are three or four of these "happenings" that we definitely shouldn't miss?

Anderson: One that strikes me is a group that calls itself D's Creatures. The lead on the project, William Tyrrell, works for the parade company and went to CCS; some of the other team members are teachers. They're custom building these huge creatures, and the production will culminate with an unveiling at a fashion show on a Saturday. They incorporate technology and found materials to bring it to life. That'll be at the Quark Gallery at 6166 Woodward, in the old Dalgiesh dealership. Wayne State and TechTown loaned the space, and they've had free rein of the space to build out these creatures. I also think the design battles will be really exciting. Live music, art and design will unfold and fly around before your eyes. 

Kirouac: I think that rapper and DJ Nick Speed is presenting one of the most exciting happenings. He'd been attending our info sessions and we'd been thinking about the perfect venue for him to present his Nick Speed Orchestra (featuring rappers, DJs and techno artists the likes of Phat Kat, Stretch Money, Mad Mike Banks, Jon Dixon, DJ Sicari, Cecilia Sharpe, Boldy James along with a live string section). We learned that Black Star, a duo comprised of rap icons Mos Def and Talib Kweli, were going to be in town at St. Andrew's on Wednesday, the festival's kickoff. So we kind of pushed Nick Speed into the Shelter that same night. It's great to put our stars on the stage in the same building as these international stars in their genre. 

Clayson: And I really like the "Mind the Gap" competition. It was one of the very first ideas to come through the door and it's proved to be one of the most ambitious proposals. It's like a parallel tract outreach effort to engage the community in coming up with creative solutions for in-between spaces. So the Detroit Design Festival put a call out, Mind the Gap answered the call, and called out from that platform for more specific engagement in the community. 


MT: "In-between spaces"? What exactly are you talking about?

Clayson: In-between spaces are those often overlooked transitional spaces like alleyways, those diagonal paths you see cutting through vacant land, underutilized streets and parks. They're fascinating spaces that add context and fabric to the city. They're highly unique, but might not be appreciated. They need some attention and it looks like they're going to get just the right kind. 


MT: Before the announcement of the fest, you announced a class of creatives-in-residents — these sort of artful entrepreneurs — providing an incubation hub at the Center. The festival is big news. What's next? 

Clayson: Well, we're trying to find a way to use the momentum from the design festival to continue those engagement activities where, both live and online, these creative practitioners can be exposed to each other and to new markets. That's really our pipeline for how we're identifying the next level of talent that could be connected to our next project, a TechTown project, or our resident program. And it's a fair process. More so than us just tapping our respective immediate peer networks.


MT: Considering the breadth and scope of this inaugural design throwdown, what should success look like? Not for the DC3 but for the people who attend?

Clayson: Well, we'll have old-school metrics such as number of people who attend, happenings proposed and happenings that were produced. But I think the intangible, hard-to-track piece can't be measured for another two years, when we can then look at what design conversations are happening in Detroit as a socio-economic engine driving positive change. And I'm not talking about getting attention from the arts writers at The New York Times — nothing against them — but from the business writers in the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times.


The Detroit Design Fest kick-off party happens from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21, at New Center Park, 2990 W. Grand Blvd., Detroit. An afterparty with Nick Speed Orchestra is planned at the Shelter. See detroitdesignfestival.com for more info. 

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