Co-working spaces abound in Detroit for entrepreneurs and others

Detroit Department of Alternatives
Detroit Department of Alternatives

Entrepreneurs, artists, techies and others looking for workspace in Detroit now have a one-stop resource to help them search for the perfect place for their endeavor, DEGC’s Detroit Co-Working Space Finder.

We knew many spaces were opening up for entrepreneurs and others here in the city, so we did the research through the web and word-of-mouth and created this directory. Now people looking for space can use the Detroit Co-Working Space Finder to pick the space that best fits their specific business needs.

There are many different workspace options, from shared table space to a desk to a full office and shared conference rooms. Many include wireless, tech support, office supplies and even coffee and snacks.

Several of the co-working sites are linked to specific causes or industries. For example, Department of Alternatives on Washington Boulevard is dedicated to entrepreneurs working full time on alternative, market proven solutions to civic and social issues that affect our community. NextEnergy Center on Burroughs Street serves as a living laboratory for advanced energy technology development and demonstrations. Ponyride on Vermont leases studio space to artists and entrepreneurs who engage the citizens of Detroit in their creative practices.

These co-working spaces offer more than just a place to work, they provide the opportunity to meet and collaborate with a community of people with the same interests.

“OCD is a hackerspace, a place we go to make, experiment, learn and share with an eclectic group of interesting, creative, friendly people,” is how OmnicorpDetroit on East Division describes itself.

Pricing options vary widely. Many spaces offer daily, weekly and monthly rates or a punch card system for regular visits. Some offer special rates for non-profits. Other spaces require people to complete an application for membership.

The Detroit Co-Working Space FInder is available on the DEGC website at www.degc.org  as well as all the spaces listed, and the 54 organizations featured in BizGrid http://www.detroitbizgrid.com/

If a space is not listed, let us know and we’ll add it, because everyone needs to know Detroit is open for businesses of all sizes.

Catherine Frazier
Business Development 

Former Councilman Ken Cockrel will lead Detroit Future City Implementation Office

Kenneth Cockrel, Jr.
Kenneth Cockrel, Jr.

Ken Cockrel has stepped out of his role as Detroit City Council member and into a new role as executive director of the Detroit Future City Implementation Office. Detroit Future City is an initiative to implement creative ideas to transform the city in a coordinated way through a well-researched strategic framework. Launched in early 2013, DFC has 36 pilot projects underway to address neighborhood stabilization, create new “green” infrastructure from underutilized land, and remove blighted structures by “deconstruction” rather than demolition.

“Detroit is at a pivotal moment in its history and the Detroit Future City Strategic Framework presents us with an exciting opportunity to rethink, reshape and rebuild our city,” said Cockrel. “I am honored to be able to continue serving the residents and neighborhoods of Detroit as we work with our partners to improve the quality of life in Detroit by carrying-out the recommendations of the Strategic Framework.”

With his experience as Council President and Mayor, Cockrel is uniquely qualified to work with all the stakeholders and collaborators that are using Detroit Future City to inform their efforts to revitalize Detroit.

As Cockrel takes on his new responsibilities leading the Implementation Office, Dan Kinkead will serve as Director of Projects; Heidi Alcock will serve as Director of Operations; and Carrie Lewand-Monroe will serve as Director of Policy. The Office has several dozen potential projects in planning stages aside from those already in progress. It also seated a steering committee of community, business, government, non-profit and foundation stakeholders to guide its work. Detroit Economic Growth Association remains the fiduciary for the Office, administering foundation support for its work.

For more information about the initiative, visit DetroitFutureCity.com.

Malik Goodwin
Vice President, Project Management 

Parsons Brinckerhoff Will Study Alternatives for I-375 Corridor

I-375 project map in Detroit
I-375 project map in Detroit

I-375 — a major gateway to Downtown Detroit is coming due for major repairs soon, so the Michigan Department of Transportation and the Detroit Downtown Development Authority (DDA) are asking the question, “Does the current configuration of I-375 really serve the needs of Detroit today – and into the foreseeable future?”

The opportunity to reconfigure I-375 comes at a time of substantial investments and anticipated development in the central business and waterfront districts, and coincides with the anticipated need for substantial repairs on the bridges over I-375 and other maintenance work in the near future.

The DDA has approved a planning contract with Parsons Brinckerhoff Michigan, Inc. to develop a set of alternatives to the I-375 corridor that connects I-75 to Downtown Detroit.

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and other sources are paying for the $373,000 study, which will require traffic studies, stakeholder input, and developing concepts for five alternatives to the current configuration of I-375 from its intersection with Gratiot Ave. to Atwater St. Parsons Brinckerhoff is also expected to deliver an analysis of each option, including an economic analysis, traffic and environmental impact study and an assessment of the public spaces created by each option.

This was the perfect time to step back and take a look at how this important gateway to Downtown should be developed to serve a revitalized Downtown and East Riverfront. The DDA and MDOT have no pre-conceived ideas about what I-375 should be, just a recognition that whatever we do will have important economic development consequences for decades to come.

Parsons Brinckerhoff is expected to spend the first month conducting research and gathering input from surrounding property owners, community representatives and other stakeholders. The schedule anticipates Parsons Brinckerhoff will present the client group’s preferred alternative no later than July 2014.

Ed Tatem, Michigan President of Parsons Brinckerhoff says, “We are very excited to be responsible for studying traffic, gathering input from all stakeholders — including commuters — and presenting fresh ideas for this significant project.”

Kelby Wallace, MDOT Project Manager says, “The potential to transform this corridor will need to fit the future vision of the city, that is why the study is engaging numerous partners and investigating all options.”

Download additional background information and a PDF map of the I-375 study area in DEGC’s reference library.

Will Tamminga
Senior Project Manager