January 14th, 2022

Very Detroit Radio ( Episode 169 )

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Very Detroit Radio on January 14th, 2022

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Unknown Speaker 0:17

All right. Welcome everybody to very Detroit radio coming to you since 2018. Right here from 690 a MWNZK. I want to shout out to Spacelab Detroit. I want to say thank you to Detroit bold coffee.com Thank you to fathers justice law 313-819-9176 And thank you to the monthly standard dot news. We were just talking with Rodney here before this show. You're listening to very Detroit radio. We've been coming to you since 2018. Right now we've got Frank and his wife with us Frank and Karen hammer. Welcome to the show. Frank and Karen.

Unknown Speaker 1:02

Griese, Greetings Greetings. And hello, hello. Hello. First of all, thank you so much for calling into our show. We saw your article in the monthly standard dot news. We are very Detroit radio. We've been broadcasting since 2018. And we'd like to, you know, talk about different pieces and parts of our city that are important to us. And looking at the article you'd use too, are wanting to save the Coliseum at the State Fairgrounds.

Unknown Speaker 1:39

So, yes.

Unknown Speaker 1:43

First of all, just a shout out to Rodney Pearson for bringing us together. Yes. And for his considerable coverage about the fight between the community regarding the fairgrounds and the state and the city. And we were Yes, our mission was actually to save the state fairgrounds

Unknown Speaker 2:10

and repurpose it for 21st century. Right. And we, when the city bought the land and there's a longer history, eight year you know, a almost a decade prior to the city buying the land.

Unknown Speaker 2:26

The city made it very clear that they wanted to turn it into an industrial zone.

Unknown Speaker 2:37

Although the city had asked for community input, when the city bought the land, well, community input was shuns and set aside. And fast forward in 2020, they announced the dead struck a deal for a mammoth warehouse for Amazon, in place of what used to be the safe air and also included to other sites that would be industrialized, as well. So the fight recently centered on the historic buildings, and I'll let my wife explain that part of it. Excellent. So when the

Unknown Speaker 3:23

public meetings were held on zoom in, they were limited public meetings, and the questions allowed were limited by the city. So people were the issues that the people were trying to talk about. They had to fight to bring that to the city. But anyway, they the the three public buildings, historical buildings, that the Detroit residents wanted to save, were the Coliseum, the dairy cattle building, and the Joe do Mars facility and

Unknown Speaker 4:07

and then later on the bandshell. And this came to a head when the city decided to dismantle the bus center and create a Trent what they called a transit center. And they were going to demolish the buildings because they were in the footprint of where they wanted the road to go. So with public pressure, which there was a great amount of they, including mustering architects and city planners and other folks who knew what they were talking about, they said they could repurpose these buildings and make them usable, both for transit and for things like local business, small businesses within these

Unknown Speaker 4:59


Unknown Speaker 5:00

and even events, public events and,

Unknown Speaker 5:05

and showcasing things that were particular to the point. Well, long story short, the dairy cattle building was saved, the city approved to save it and make it the new transit center. But they are going to demolish the Coliseum. And

Unknown Speaker 5:29

in spite of public pressure to do otherwise. And these,

Unknown Speaker 5:35

the Duggan has said from the beginning that he had plans to make this an industrial zone and didn't want and well, we'll just have to sacrifice the historical structures.

Unknown Speaker 5:54

So that's where that's where it's at. Now, they are going to demolish the Coliseum. Unless Unless there's a

Unknown Speaker 6:04

huge, huge effort made by all kinds of people to make them stop and reconsider. They just say, Oh, it's too expensive to keep up and to maintain that structure.

Unknown Speaker 6:22

To change it from a from what it is now to a facility that can accommodate TRANSYT along with the dairy cattle building, and have the other purposes, some of which I mentioned. I see. So at this point, the fight to save the Coliseum seems lost is what I'm hearing.

Unknown Speaker 6:48

It's an uphill struggle. I don't know if it's lost my attitude toward these things. It's not over till it's over. Right. And it's still up when is it due to be demolished?

Unknown Speaker 7:01

No, we don't know. We don't know. So the the residents in the city, the community really didn't wasn't you feel was not heard?

Unknown Speaker 7:14

And wasn't given the really the respect to be heard all the way around?

Unknown Speaker 7:21

Oh, when it was being discussed? Is that what I'm hearing that it was a limited amount of questions that you could ask and what question what the question types to address the concerns?

Unknown Speaker 7:34

Yeah, I can answer that.

Unknown Speaker 7:38

So when the city announced the deal for this 4 million square foot warehouse,

Unknown Speaker 7:49

they had a timeline. And that timeline was about, I want to say about a month, month and a half before the city council was going to vote on such a consequential

Unknown Speaker 8:00

deal of great consequence to Detroit and, and just the region. And it was very clear that they were going to really, really push through what they had already agreed to. And, you know, tamp down Community Voices. One of the most amazing episodes was when they went to the City Planning Commission

Unknown Speaker 8:26

for the purposes of rezoning from a regional park to and industrial they call it light industrial. And there was like a seven or eight hour meeting of the City Planning Commission that went on until about wee hours in the morning like close to 1am. And one of the commissioners, this hood, Lauren, who had Lauren hood,

Unknown Speaker 8:52

publicly objected to the intense pressure from the city to get this done in one zoning meeting, when in fact she said this normally would take months.

Unknown Speaker 9:06

So if you get the sense of the amount of pressure that was put on various, you know, including the city council, including the Zoning Commission and so on, they were set on this deal and they did not want to have the voice of the community that had already been out there. They had been talking about the future that fairgrounds for as far back as when the State Fairgrounds was the State Fair was first closed in 2009. They knew what was out there. But they had to ran this through over the incredibly positive conceptions that were being put forward by the community for what a Grand Place this would be in the center of three counties right for 21st century destination as in the way that the State Fair has served as a destination during the 20th century.

Unknown Speaker 10:00

Right. But that was rolled over that was squashed. And it was done in quick order, as it turned out,

Unknown Speaker 10:09

the community's questions and objections compel the city to actually extend this

Unknown Speaker 10:17

deadline for this public input. And due to the public input, there were some, you know, like concessions made to the community. But it was a far cry from what the community was asking for. Well, I mean, even just from the onset of it all I remember, first, you know, that it was closing, right. And then all of a sudden, the big retail

Unknown Speaker 10:47

structure was put on that corner, right? The Meijer everything else that was the retail part, which that happened probably some years ago that that zoning was in place. That was part of the state fairgrounds, right, that corner piece.

Unknown Speaker 11:04

Originally, it was, but that was sold separately. That was not considered fairgrounds land, it was residential, it was residential land. And it was sold

Unknown Speaker 11:17

to a developer who eventually, through many iterations, sold it to developers to build the Meyers in the shopping center. The rest, which really was the fairgrounds was in the ownership of the state of Michigan for at least eight years after it was closed before it got sold to the city. And there was a lie that did all that. Granholm said, Oh, it's not making money, which was not true. In fact, there was a program using the State Fairgrounds year round, that included hockey town.

Unknown Speaker 11:58

The Little Caesars hockey, the Joe Doomers, sealed house, the Detroit Equestrian Club, next shot golf, the DNR pocket park, and all kinds of events that were going on. So it was paying for itself. But she

Unknown Speaker 12:15

she said it wasn't and use her executive powers to shut it down.

Unknown Speaker 12:23

Oh, boy, I mean, you know, this whole State Fair, State Fairgrounds from the very beginning, you know, I saw that there was multiple people involved in it. And they were trying to do different things in the day. And then when I saw the retail

Unknown Speaker 12:41

location popping up, you know, you just wonder what's the best use if you really, really take the time to consider what the best use for that location with the historical buildings? Because when I look at it, doesn't Detroit have enough industrially zoned land?

Unknown Speaker 13:02

Come on, we need to increase industrial zoning. First of all, that's my first question is, why do we have to make this industrial when the rest of the city is pretty much all industrial? You know, that would be my first question is, what is the reason for that to be done? Now?

Unknown Speaker 13:23

When we have so much industrial space that's not being utilized? Why don't we put Amazon over there? You know, but it seems like the lobbying in the power and the money has taken over logic.

Unknown Speaker 13:38

Indeed, and the answer to your question is that the size of the State Fair, the fairgrounds was 162 acres of continuous one piece, one land one, one property. And secondly, because it was a state fair, it didn't require remediation, environmental remediation, that you could find that other industrial sites, right. So they looked at it as Oh, this is, this is so central for this mega warehouse. This is so expansive in terms of the amount of land and by God we won't have, we're not gonna have to do any environmental remediation. So yeah, this is perfect for the Amazon plan, which was to use this particular mammoth warehouse to feed to be a feeder, right to the other warehouses in the region. We have was being constructed there, which will open in 2022 is one of the biggest warehouses that Amazon has, certainly in the United States. And

Unknown Speaker 14:43

the question you raise is a pivotal one for residents of Detroit, and that is, why is public land used for private profit? Right and that's the trick that got pulled on residents and

Unknown Speaker 15:00

destroying history and culture in the process. And not only that, you have to look at what that land will do for the community. And like, you mentioned earlier, Frank was that, you know, you have to look at, you know, that whole three region, the three counties connecting right there, the historical piece to it, the lands that, you know, what we could have done with that land, the equestrian part, the other things that really gives our community something that, you know, would be a gem, a unique thing that would bring us all together. And, you know, we're not gonna all gather at the Amazon warehouse, are we? You know, no, well, you know, you know, you hit it yet. It's something that's, I think, one of the most underlying

Unknown Speaker 15:52

facets that people understand in their belly. And that is, the fairgrounds was a place that brought the whole region together, right, in an environment that was very supportive. That was very

Unknown Speaker 16:09


Unknown Speaker 16:11

And it was a place where the traders coming in could come into some ready contact with the Rural sectors of Michigan, the farmers, the ranchers, the you know, and it was a it was

Unknown Speaker 16:28

it was a jewel, for us culturally. Yeah. It has been just devastated. And, you know, the, the other piece of it is that, then they set up a something called a state fair and Novi. Oh, yeah. privatized. And they even got rights to the name, Michigan State Fair Novi.

Unknown Speaker 16:53

And we know that the traitors don't don't go out to know about you go to something called a state fair. No. Which is just a minor shell of of what the fair used to be. Yeah. What a shame and all so many things about this give me you know, bad feelings in my stomach, you know, from the very beginning of the description of how it started, then how did the land get, you know, reallocated and all of a sudden, we've got a Meyer's there and other retailers there and now, and then all of a sudden Amazon's in there, and we're changing industrial zoning. I mean, I really think you know, the city needs to now figure out where are we going to move the Coliseum to? And I want my 162 acres of public land back? And where are you going to put that? And also, I want to know, if you're, you know, if you're going to make more industrial land, then you should clean up other industrial land, and put our 162 acres back to the public. where's that going to be? Where are we going to put that 162 acres that we lost? I want that answer. You don't I mean, there's a cost. And let me add one other note. So

Unknown Speaker 18:15

we, we believe that reasons of all All this has happened and taking place has to do with an analysis of the power structure in the city of Detroit and the power structure in this city starts with Dan Gilbert, and Quicken Loans and the fact that he practically you know, we should be calling Detroit Gilbert Ville right? All the buildings that this

Unknown Speaker 18:37

you know, businessman owns in Detroit, and it is our estimation from various signals, that they had never had any interest in making a fairgrounds a popular regional destination site for fear that that would take away from the Detroit

Unknown Speaker 18:56

scene and that downtown downtown and Gilbert and powers that be

Unknown Speaker 19:03

ellipses and so on, want that to be the destination place and let the fairgrounds be the industrial sector? Because that's where they want all the consumer money's coming in to downtown Detroit. Well, I'm sorry, but the people have a voice you know what I mean? And it needs to be heard. And I just think that what you're doing and your fight is a noble fight. And I you know, for its people like you that will keep our city in check. Unfortunately, you know, I've I see that structure that that gross big building on eight mile that I pass by every day now, because I drive down eight mile from my studio that's on right here off of Greenfield and eight mile over by Northland mall and I drive down eight mile and I pass that whole structure every single day. And I look at it and it makes me kind of sick, that we took that out of our, our region and that we

Unknown Speaker 20:00

We did what we did we allowed there, you know, really is a shame, especially the history that goes into the State Fairgrounds. I remember going there as a kid, and all of us, do you know what I mean? That's where we would connect. And it wasn't far from Hamtramck. And it was, you know, in our city. So thank you so much, folks for doing what you're doing. Is there anything else you want to say before we let you go?

Unknown Speaker 20:22

Yeah, I think that for anybody that wants to see more about what we've been talking about, a good place to go online is to the our website and it's my fairgrounds. future.org and my is letter M letter I, my fairgrounds future.org and

Unknown Speaker 20:42

and there's also a Facebook page called Future of the Michigan State Fairgrounds, which deals with the kinds of issues that the public has wrestled with regarding the fairgrounds, but also future issues for the future development that are important to all our residents in Detroit. Absolutely. So that's EMI fairgrounds. future.org Thank you so much, folks, for joining us today. We appreciate it. We thank you. Thank you all right, have a great day. You're listening to very Detroit radio here on 690 am next up we got Darren Washington from shops on top and Modelle dress Hello, Darrin Hey what's up my friend how you doing? Oh, so good. So good. It was great to see you the other day when with my friend we were in Eastern Market and as we were walking around we noticed that one coffee shop was closed another coffee shop was closed and I said why don't we go to the shops on top and go see my friend Darren Washington that opened up the shops on top and ngModel dress five years ago now wow man Is it time flies and I guess when you when you passionate and when you determine you know and good things happen you just got to stay focus and you know we blessed to be there you know shops on top you know it's all it's all it's a nice spot for people to come and see some destination spot we call it Detroit shopping destination where you know you can get you get 8000 square feet of retail space get a coffee bar you get event space you get you get also you get a nice beautiful modell dress ladies store and also you got highspeed menswear, so you know it's a place for people who come Don't we want to make it comfortable for don't forget your wall of socks man. You guys have an awesome awesome like array if you're looking for socks anybody? Yeah, man. You guys went to town on the socks. You got a whole wall going all the way down? Yeah, we call it the world. The the wall the sock.

Unknown Speaker 22:48

Man, you know and that's something that sets you apart from somebody else when you got a cool pair of socks on. Oh, man, you know, you know, it's like, you know, it's a conversation piece. You know, you get you get you get a chance to just make a conversation. We have some cool socks, you know, start it starts the conversation sometime. Absolutely. Now I remember I remember Darren because Greg and I, when we first were starting very Detroit. You were the first guy we interviewed and you were just opening up just opening you weren't even open yet. Remember that you weren't open? Yeah, I was barely Oh, I was barely trying to open anything. Yeah, October November somewhere in there. 2017 You guys came up and I was still working right? I was physically physically working to trying to finish the place out.

Unknown Speaker 23:36

Construction. Yeah, he's like that. Yeah, it was about half complete. I remember because you were you know, you're showing me this is going to be the event space and I saw right yes. And this is gonna be this and this is gonna be that and this is gonna be this and then you know over time you know I've gotten to some of your parties and you know all my friends love the clothing that you guys select. So I want to talk a little bit about your women's clothing you and your your your wife handle your wife handles the oh you both work together. I mean you guys are such a nice pair but yeah, yeah, yeah, we very fortunate we've been married 32 years then the business you know 30 years plus right in the retail business so you know it's all passionate for is kind of you know, it works great you know we we have a great relationship you know, we always you know, complementing each other as far as making sure that you know things work out great. No, nothing's perfect but you know, we always try to stay positive stay energetic and keep and keep things moving the right direction but yeah, hotel dress. She you know, we both buyers are the store we kind of like we have some nice coolest fashion for Lady Oh yeah, no more. We try to keep it classic. Danko we try to keep it will classic looking where you can wear these your garments for years to come. We don't try to be in a trend. We try to keep it clean looks we call

Unknown Speaker 25:00

Clean, Polish, you know, classic clean Polish look. Yeah, man, you always look good, you know? Oh, well, I mean, you're you know, it's because you know good fashion is timeless. Yeah, yes. Good fascist timeless man if he says that, you know Chanel does or other people have done but that's the kind of store that you remind me of is that because of your fashion experience your retail experience your knowledge of what is a trendy thing and what isn't, you know what's going to stand the test of time? Yeah, the dresses are honestly classy, well chosen pieces, you know, that are gonna last your testing time. That's just in the dress department. You're welcome. And then when I walked into the men's department, man, I almost I wanted to pick up the four different colored velvet suits. You have jackets you have over there, man. So that's another classy piece you guys do? Yeah, we love it's called High Street Menswear. We have a nice department where men can come in and we have beautiful sport coats. We kind of specialize in sport coats. Yeah, we have really nice you know, hats and scarves and ties. And you know it's a it's an It's like a It's more like a boutique kind of haberdashery. Right for men. Yeah. And men come in really good specialist. Especially store. Yeah, find unique pieces. You know, we're there. And it's a very affordable to I got to make sure everybody knows. Yeah, we look high in but we're very affordable, right? And I try to keep my prices. And this year, dang cold prices went through the roof. Or went through the roof bars, wholesale prices, shipping back shipping everything. I mean, I you know, but what I did? Honestly, truly honest. I did not give that price to the customer. I made sure my room so I didn't make my cut this year. You took it you know, you took a hit on Yeah. To give your customers the right price. No question. But no question. But I say my customers and I love my customers. I really appreciate every customer comes up there. And I try to show appreciation, because that's what keeps us going. That's what's really truly where it starts at Danko is customer service. So I can't have I can't that place looking like a multibillion dollar operation. But I'm not giving quality service quality service. I mean, really true greatness come from. So right now this is not trying to give good service. That's amazing. That's, you hit it right on the head there. You know, I mean, you can have the best, the best kind of everything. But if you don't have the respect that you give to the guests, and you know, that's something that's been on my mind, you know, because you just can't forget that your customers and your gusts are lie, you're in business. And I feel so the reason, right? Is why you're in business. And if you're not in business, to take care of your guests, and you can be a restaurant, you can be a bar, you can be an art gallery, you can be whatever, you know, yes, you won't make it. If you don't take care of your customers, right? Your customers are going to feel that you don't you know, maybe you don't care about them. Maybe you don't care if that fits well, you don't you know, maybe you're not taking care of them if something went wrong with the piece. But I know you're doing all of that right? Because you wouldn't be there for five years.

Unknown Speaker 28:24

You made a location that was from zero to hero. I'm telling you the place looks phenomenal. You've even got your own line of coffee. Yeah, got online coffee. I'm proud of that. It's called Red Velvet. Yeah, coffee. We have like six different flavors. Nice. Oh, by the way, did you did you? Did you like, Oh, I loved it. I loved it. I enjoyed it. And I even loved your event space. Man. Your coffee was excellent. You made me a fresh cup of coffee. I sat there with my friend, Bert. And we watched and we sat in your event space. And what a beautiful event space right on the corner there overlooking Eastern Market, man and people can read that right? People can? Yeah, yes. Yeah, that event space. We have. Yes, it holds about 125 people tops. Beautiful. And you can you can, you can bring your own food in you can you know you can bring your own DJ.

Unknown Speaker 29:19

We give you we have tables, high tops, low tops, oxides tables, we that's that's that's included in our price with the event space. Okay, and you can rent it for four hours, five hours, however many hours you'd like. Wow, we normally give customers a couple hours kind of come set up the space. How do you want it done you get like four to five hours to the party. And also and then you can also not another hour to kind of kind of wrap up so you can almost say eight hour day basically. Right? And you know really only 1500 You know for the for the whole day. Eight hours is you know we that's a bargain price. Oh space. Oh yeah. You know, and giving you you know, give me a great look. Well, I tell you it's abuse.

Unknown Speaker 30:00

Fill Spaces got great window exposure. You've got everything there set up for everyone. Um, hey man, you know I would love to have a very Detroit reunion there. You know what I mean? That would be a great space for that. It's open it's open for you my friend you know no worries. Thank you. We We try our best to we truly try our best Danko to bring something quality to the city of Detroit and you've done it if you know if I'm a we are native of Detroit me and a wife being here if all our lives and you know we well traveled we've seen it we've seen all over the country right? We know what it's like to really bring something nice to the city and we have something truly we proud of it's on top people have you have not been there yet. Please stop in and we're going to spoil you right Oh yeah. Oh yeah, for sure. Man. You guys are beautiful. You're doing everything right now. Give us the address for everybody to know exactly where it is. There you go. Yeah. We located in the eastern market right there on Russell address is 2362 Russell Street. Right there in the heart Eastern Market is 2362 Russell Street right there in Detroit Michigan Eastern Market downtown Eastern markets and it's in the building read between the highway and gratia yeah the service drive yet between own Roscoe between Gratiot and that service freeway right down the service drive. You will not be disappointed if you walk into this this facility man it's beautiful Modelle dress shops on top. Yeah, thank you so much.