Category Archives: Detroit

DETROITography, a weblog of maps about Detroit

File under Detroit and maps


Maps and geography of Detroit – that’s what we are all about. We like to write about maps that other people make about the city as well as create our own maps of Detroit.

This map (one of many on the site) shows the overlap of what people map out when they say they are from Detroit. The densest is the downtown region only; the most generous encompasses a 9-county region. From Alex B. Hill, 100 Maps of Detroit:


I chose to look at the first 100 images that appeared in a Google image search for “map of Detroit” and overlay the results. Many corporations based in Southfield, Warren, or Dearborn choose to say they are based in “Detroit,” Likewise, most regional organizations (Detroit Chamber, Detroit Water & Sewage, SEMCOG, etc.) represent Detroit with boundaries that extend into surrounding municipalities, most commonly the tri-counties (Wayne, Oakland, Macomb). A number of the 100 maps show urban sprawl to varying degrees while some maps categorize municipalities around the city as “Detroit.” Some maps even included parts of Windsor, Ontario in the “metro Detroit” area. The larger boundaries match the Combined Statistical Area (CSA) and the Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) as outlined by the federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which represent “Detroit” as either a 6 county area (MSA) or a 9 county area (CSA).

Follow @detroitography for news of site updates and more Detroit map infos.


Packard Plant auction winner sends “the most insane press release ever”, bid cancelled by Wayne County

Detroit’s Packard Plant recently went up for auction, and the winner is a group led by Texas physician Dr. Jill Van Horn with a bid of just over $6 million. The press release sent on the occasion was described as “the most insane press release ever”. Some news coverage and the full text the PR missive follow below.

UPDATE 10/30/13: The Wayne County Treasurer’s Office has cancelled this bid, according to the Detroit Free Press. The second-place bidder is Chicago developer William Hults, and the third place bidder is Peruvian developer Fernando Palazuelo, both with bids of just over $2 million.

The Detroit News writes Statement from winning bidder on Packard Plant raises concern

Wayne County officials expect to see money Wednesday from a Texas doctor who won a tax-foreclosure auction for the Packard Plant, but acknowledge they’re concerned about a statement released by her staff that likened Detroit’s potential to hydroelectric power.

“It is the process that allows us to transform the lake from a canoeing and fishing kind of place into an energy producing kind of place,” reads a three-page statement from Dr. Jill Van Horn’s staff that was released to the media on Tuesday. “Detroit’s assets, like energy, also have a dormant value.”

The Detroit Free Press says Packard Plant auction winners release bizarre statement, still haven’t paid

Reached by phone Tuesday night, suburban Dallas family doctor Jill Van Horn said she and her investors have the $6 million that she bid for the property and she intended to come to Detroit to create jobs by investing in the site as a manufacturing plant.

She confirmed her group released the three-page statement Tuesday afternoon. The document, full of typos and titled “The Posential Energy in Detroits Assets,” contains nonsensical passages about her group’s plans for the plant and other vacant properties in Detroit. It mentions Van Horn’s “prophecy” to “resurrect Detroit.”

Does Texas Doc have $6M for Packard? Lots of red flags is the headline in Motor City Muckraker, and Deadline Detroit calls the news release a hot mess of weirdness.

A PDF of the press release comes from the Detroit Free Press, and there a copy on DocumentCloud from the Detroit News. The full text is below.


LED BY Dr. Jill Van Horn

Mark Day remarks to the Board:

“What is it that fixes the potential of the asset, so that it can put additional production into motion?”

What detaches value from a simple old plant such as Packard and fixes Detroiters to realize it as capital?

We can begin to finally answer by using an energy analogy that was put forth by Hernando Deesoto.

Consider Mountain Lake we can think about this lake in its immediate physical context and see come primary use for it such as canoeing and fishing.

But when we think about this same lake as an engineer would, by focusing on its capacity to generate energy as an additional value beyond the lakes natural state as a body of water. We suddenly see the potential created by the lakes elevated position. The challenge for the engineer, is the same challenge that all Detroiters face today, finding out how he can create a process that allows him to convert and fix this potential into a form that can be used to do additional work. IN the case of the elevated lake, that process is contained in a hydroelectric plant that allows the lake water to move rapidly downward with the force of gravity. Thereby transforming the placid lakes potential into the kinetic energy of tumbling water. This electric magnets that further convert into electrical energy.

As electricity, the potential energy of the Placid Lake is now fixed in the form necessary to produce controllable current that can be further transmitted through wire conductors in faraway places to display new production. Apparently Placid Lake can be used to light your room and power the machinery in a factory.

What was required was an external man made process that allowed us, first, to identify the weight of the water, second, convert this potential energy into electricity, which can then be used to create surplus value. The additional value we obtain form the lake I not the value of the lake itself, but rather the value of the manmade process intricate of the lake.

It is the process that allows us to transform the lake form a canoeing and fishing kind of place into an energy producing kind of place. Detroit’s assets, like energy, also have a dormant value.

Bringing them to life requires Detroiters to go beyond looking at the city’s asset as they are actively thinking about them as they could be.

It required a sophisticated process for fixing Detroit’s assets economical potential into a form that can be used to make additional production. Although the process to convert the potential energy in the water into electricity is well known. The one that gives Detroit’s assets the form required to put in motion. More production is not known, in other words while we know that it is the pin stop, turbaned, generators, transformers, and wires of the hydro-electric energy system, that convert the potential energy of the lake until it is fixed in a accessible form. We do not know where to find the key process that connects the economic potential of that Detroiters can benefit from.

This is because that key process has never been deliberately set up for Detroiters. Under the development plans that Jill Van Horn has co designed for Detroit. The city will develop through a variety of financial mechanisms that gradually will combine into a process that will churn out capital as never before.

Although the Japanese, Chinese and our financiers on Wall Street use their mechanisms all the time. Detroiters do not realize that none of the essential capital generating functions is being utilized in their area. Historically Detroiters used them as parts of the Banking and Financial system, but not as interlocking mechanism for fixing the economic potential of Detroit’s assets in such a way that they can be converted into capital for all Detroiters benefit.

This may sound complex, but consider the Penobscot building that sold for approximately
5 million dollars, but contains more than 1,000,000 square feet of luxurious office space. Then consider single family housing selling for $1,000.00 which contained more than 1,600 square feet. Then consider entire city block that are being sold for 100.00 a lot, further consider the millions of square feet in apartment buildings scattered throughout the city. Finally consider the fact that Detroit is in Bankruptcy and so is its sister city Hyland Park.

Now is not the time for native Detroiters to bicker over the price of the Packard Plant. Now is the time to form a coalition made of past and future developers in order to make a change in Detroit. Utilizing the private investors, the investment Bankers, Hedge Fund Lenders, International Bankers, and Faith Based Organizations located through the city to pull it up by its boot straps and make it whole again.

Dr Van Horn has assembled the investment Bankers, Hedge Fund Lenders, Private Investors and several Foundations, who intend to merge their financial resources with the local developers in Detroit, to transform the dormant capital the lies in every real estate parcel in the city of Detroit, into a fixed value of capital that will benefit all of the cities residence.

Prior to placing the bid on the Packard Plant, Dr. Van Horn’s prophecy was to resurrect Detroit by providing education, jobs and vocational training to the city’s residence, simultaneously unplugging the financial arteries of the city.

That decision was based on the gravity of the hour and the magnitude of potential jobs that the plant offers for the people of Detroit.

“Any intelligent foal can make things bigger, more complex and more violent. it takes a touch of genius– and a let of courage to move in the opposite direction.” Albert Einstein

Dr. Van Horn’s partners consist of all af the non–profit developers who elther own land or have designated development areas within the city. Furthermore, if the county doubts that we have the ability to perform, we challenge the caunty by stating at this time, Dr. Van Horn and her lenders, investors are prepared to travel fram Texas to Detroit and sit down with the county and make an offer for every vacant, abandoned and dilapidated apartment building within Detroit. Not only are we prepared to show that we have the ability to perform, but we are ready to perform.

Mark Day

if you have any questions or comments contact Davis Marshall (phone number redacted).

DTE statement on power outage at beginning of 3d game of 2013 ALCS at Comerica Park in Detroit

From DTE Energy:

DTE Energy addresses temporary lighting failure at Comerica Park

DETROIT, Oct. 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — DTE Energy’s preliminary investigation of the temporary lighting failure that occurred at Comerica Park during Major League Baseball’s American League Championship Series (ALCS), has found there was a cable failure in the area near the stadium, which caused the problem.

The lights in the stadium were out for approximately 20 minutes beginning at approximately 4:41 p.m. Power was restored in the stadium at around 5:00 p.m.

The cable failure caused a voltage reduction, which tripped the lights in the stadium. The momentary sag in voltage was an isolated incident.

DTE Energy maintains two independent electrical feeds for precisely this kind of an event. Both feeds to the park continued to provide power during the incident.

“We’ve identified the cause of the disturbance and we worked with officials at Comerica Park to resolve the issue quickly,” said Steve Kurmas, President and Chief Operating Officer for DTE Electric, a unit of DTE Energy. “We regret the interruption.”

DTE Energy (NYSE:DTE) is a Detroit-based diversified energy company involved in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services nationwide. Its operating units include an electric utility serving 2.1 million customers in Southeastern Michigan and a natural gas utility serving 1.2 million customers in Michigan. Information about DTE Energy is available at, and .


The Detroit “Metro Times” is up for sale

Originally seen on Deadline Detroit, my go-to place for quick hits on Detroit news – the Metro Times is up for sale. If you ever wanted to be in journalism now’s your chance.

From the article

The company that owns the Metro Times told its Detroit staff this morning (August 26, 2013) the paper is for sale, throwing the future of the 33-year-old alternative weekly into doubt at a time of great uncertainty for print publications.

Few details were available; employees were told not to speak to the media.

It was noted (and I can’t recall where, sorry) that there is no independent library that has a full run of the Metro Times archived, and there’s a reasonable concern that if the Metro Times morgue is sold along with the paper that a big piece of Detroit music history could be lost.

11th Kerrytown Bookfest, September 8, 2013, Ann Arbor Farmers Market

From the official Kerrytown Bookfest web site:

The 11th Kerrytown BookFest will celebrate Detroit and its writers with three panel discussions featuring celebrated auto executive Bob Lutz (“Icons and Idiots”), rock ‘n’ roll writers Steve Miller (“Detroit Rock City”) and Peter Benjaminson (“Mary Wells”) and urban observers Edward McClelland (“Nothin’ But Blue Skies: The Heydey”), Gordon Young (“Teardown”), June Thomas (“Redevelopment and Race”) and John Gallagher (“Revolution Detroit”) of the Detroit Free Press. The BookFest is set for 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday September 8 at the Farmers Market in downtown Ann Arbor. The BookFest is free. Parking is free.

See the full list of illustrious speakers and plan your trip to the event!

Detroit, Michigan has filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy

It’s all over the local news, but it’s a national story as well: Detroit has filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy.

New York Times: Detroit Files for Bankruptcy, July 18. “Detroit, the cradle of America’s automobile industry and once the nation’s fourth-most-populous city, has filed for bankruptcy, an official said Thursday afternoon, the largest American city ever to take such a course.”

Wall Street Journal: Detroit Files for Chapter 9 Bankruptcy, July 18. “The Chapter 9 case filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan came after Kevyn Orr, the emergency manager, failed to reach agreements with enough of the bondholders, pension funds and other creditors to restructure Detroit’s debt outside of court. The final decision rested with Republican Gov. Rick Snyder, who had appointed Mr. Orr as Detroit’s overseer in March.”

United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan does not yet have this filing in its “High Profile” cases.

Detroit Free Press, July 18. Detroit files for Chapter 9 bankruptcy amid staggering debts. “Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr, who in June released a plan to restructure the city’s debt and obligations that would leave many creditors with much less than they are owed, had warned consistently that if negotiations hit an impasse, he would move quickly to seek bankruptcy protection.”

Detroit News, July 18. Detroit files for bankruptcy. “A bankruptcy filing would come as an Ingham County judge is preparing Monday to hear arguments from retirees to block any attempt by Snyder to authorize a bankruptcy. A filing would produce an automatic stay of all pending litigation and would cap a month of intense talks between Orr’s team and creditors, which largely have failed to restructure as much as $20 billion in debt and long-term liabilities.”

Detroit Chapter 9 Bankruptcy Filing – WXYZ


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