Here’s a breakdown of some of the biggest developments and events coming to the Motor City this year.
By Shelby Tankersley
U.S. Figure Skating Championships
Just a year after their Olympic efforts, America’s best figure skaters will compete for national titles at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Detroit, which hasn’t hosted the competition since 1994. The event will take place at Little Caesars Arena.
“Detroit and all of Michigan is a skating hotbed that is home to many of our top athletes, both past and present,” U.S. Figure Skating Past President Sam Auxier said in a statement. “Detroit, highlighted by the newly opened Little Caesars Arena and downtown redevelopment, will be a great host to our athletes, coaches officials and fans from around the country. It will be a wonderful event in one of the great, new venues in our country.”
Top skaters from the Mitten and competitors at the championship include ice dancers Evan Bates and Madison Chock, who competed at the 2018 Winter Olympics.
North America International Auto Show
Kicking off the new year is a tried-and true-Detroit tradition: the North American International Auto show. This year will be the last time the show takes place in the winter. In 2020, the show will move to June
This year, virtual reality and alternative fuel vehicles are expected to make a big footprint, but event goers can expect the classic muscle, futuristic and concept cars the show is known for. Including everything from street race-ready cars to practical four-wheel drive trucks, the North American International Auto Show has something for everyone.
Shortly after the Detroit-based Quicken Loans announced it would sponsor the PGA Tour, the famous golf competition announced last May that Detroit would host a week of the tour in 2019. Though the tour has made recent stops in Grand Blanc, this competition will mark the first time the tour’s golfers have played in the Motor City
The competition will be held at the Detroit Golf Club, which has been in operation since 1899 and boasts some of the most beautiful courses in the state. Detroit’s competition is dubbed the Rocket Mortgage Classic, tipping a hat to Quicken Loans.
7.Liv sits on the Avenue of Fashion at Seven Mile and Livernois and, when the project is finished, will be in one of Detroit’s booming areas near the University District, Bagley and Sherwood Forest. It’s also near he Fitzgerald neighborhood, which has been targeted for revitalization by the city of Detroit.
Staying true to the spot’s roots, the former home of the B. Siegel department store, 7.Liv will serve as retail space, but will also have apartments and underground parking. The project is led by Matt Hessler, who has worked on other Detroit-based retail initiatives and is backed by big names like JP Morgan Chase and the Michigan Economic Growth Corporation. 7.Liv’s construction started last February, and it’s expected to be completed .
The District Detroit
There are more than a few projects underway in Midtown’s District Detroit development. The space is a labor of love for the Ilitch family, who owns Little Caesars Pizza, the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Tigers. Since the district began with Little Caesars Arena, the goal has been to highlight Michigan and Detroit-based businesses. The nearly century-old Detroit Life Building at 2210 Park Ave. will turn into office space and street-level retail.
Michigan Central Station
Though this project isn’t expected to reach completion until 2022, Ford already opened the doors by inviting the public to experience the rebirth of Detroit’s famous, previously abandoned train station. Since Ford acquired the station, it has held a number of parties and community events in the space.
When the project is completed, Ford executives say the building will have a new purpose that doesn’t include trains. The space will be a mix of retail, office, community space and, of course, serve as a Ford hub that the company hopes will be frequented by many Detroiters and visitors.
The well-known watch company opens its first hotel to the public this month, and Motor City visitors will get to enjoy the Detroit-style opulence it offers. The rooms have hardwood floors and are full of Shinola products. The minibars also introduce guests to locally made products. Of course, the rooms have plenty of views of Detroit, as it’s smack in the middle of the downtown shopping district.
The hotel also includes several restaurants, like San Morello, and a few places to grab a cocktail or a brew like the cocktail lounge Evening Bar and beer hall Brakeman. If patrons are into shopping, they can check out the retailer Good Neighbor. Madcap Coffee will also be in the hotel for guests who need a caffeine fix. Aside from the food and retail, the building boasts a conservatory overlooking Shinola Alley and Farmer Street.
“Downtown Detroit continues to develop and attract more visitors than ever before, so we saw this as a chance to create a boutique hotel that combines the best of two Detroit-based companies — Shinola’s high-quality American-built craftsmanship and Bedrock’s development and urban revitalization expertise,” says Andrew Leber, vice president of hospitality for Bedrock, which partnered on the project. “We’re really looking forward to providing a hospitality experience on Woodward that is completely original to Detroit.”