Posts tagged with "rock ventures":

Frustrated transit advocates blast ballot delay by Detroit’s Regional Transit Agency

detroit_light_rail_01 Detroiters have heard before that the Motor City could see better mass transit as soon as 2015. Local and state leaders came together in 2012 to form the area’s first regional transit agency (RTA), but Streetsblog reported locals are losing patience with Michigan’s newest RTA. detroit_light_rail_02 While waiting times for buses drag on, frustration grows. The RTA recommended holding off on a ballot measure for another two years, prompting a protest march from transit advocates. They marched from the Rosa Parks Transit Center to the board’s meeting place at 1001 Woodward, one of many Rock Ventures developments in the region (Read a Q&A with Rock Ventures real estate chief Jim Ketai here). We Are Mode Shift reported even members of the RTA are losing faith:
Larry Dilworth, a member of the board’s Community’s Advisory Committee and the disabilities advocacy group Warriors on Wheels, told board members he had considered stepping down from his position with the CAC due to doubts about the RTA’s short-term effectiveness.
RTA’s chief executive John Hertel resigned in January in part because of concerns about funding stability—a problem that still plagues transit efforts in a region with a long history of sprawl, segregation, and steep financial challenges. Detroit’s light rail project, the Woodward Light Rail Line, got a boost last year from former U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood in the form of $25 million in federal TIGER funding. The 3-mile long light rail system along Woodward Avenue would include 11 stops running from the city’s downtown to New Center.

Design Competition Reimagines Detroit’s Hudson’s Department Store Site

Submissions to the “Redesigning Detroit” competition matched the enthusiasm of its sponsor, Rock Ventures / Quicken Loans, in envisioning a future for the once iconic J.L. Hudson’s department store on Woodward Avenue downtown. Demolished 15 years ago, the 25-story tower left a physical and symbolic gap in the city’s urban fabric that the competition asked its entrants to repair. "You couldn't ask for a more exciting piece of property to redevelop, and one that can have such a profound impact on how Detroit feels about itself and sees itself," said Reed Kroloff, outgoing director of the Cranbrook Academy of Art and advisor on the competition. The juried competition garnered 200 submissions. Winners were awarded $15,000 for first place, $5,000 for second place and $2,500 for third place, but it’s unclear what will be built. Jim Ketai, who manages Dan Gilbert’s real estate entity, mentioned plans for two residential towers on the Hudson site in a Q&A with AN. The goal of the competition from the sponsor’s standpoint was apparently to get a conversation going. Per their usual MO, Rock Ventures made one stipulation: it had to include retail. Here are the winners: First Place: “MINICITY Detroit” Davide Marchetti and Erin Pellegrino; Rome, Italy  Second Place: “Detroit Entrepreneurial Center (DEC),” Efrain Velez, Juan Nunez, Marko Kanceljak; Kalamazoo, Michigan Third Place: “Highwave Detroit,” Team Rossetti/Metrogramma; Southfield (soon to be Detroit), Michigan   Three projects also won a public voting round, earning cash prizes of $2,500, $1,000 an $500 respectively: First Place: “Hudson’s Quarter,” Emilie M. Rottman and James G. Ramil; Washington DC Second Place: “Exten(D),” Extending Life in the D, Beyond the 9 to 5, Smith Group JJR-Diana Khadr, Tengteng Wang, Alexa Bush, Kyle Johnson, Jessie McHugh; Detroit, Michigan comm3 Third Place: “Blue Fountain Tower,” Salvador Parra Espinosa and Selene Serna Contreras, De San Bernadino; Toluca, Mexico