It was one wild year for the Motor City. While the eyes of the country may have been blinded by the headlines of the media, there was plenty that happened in the city of Detroit that we can all look back on and say, “Hey, that was pretty awesome.” From beaches and skating rinks, to store openings and Hollywood films, 2013 will certainly be a year to remember for the city of Detroit. Let’s take a second to look back on the five most exciting things that happened in the D in 2013.
Whole Foods Market and Meijer Opening
In June, Whole Foods Market opened its highly-anticipated doors to the city of Detroit. Located in Midtown at the corner of Woodward and Mack Avenue, the market has been “exceeding our wildest expectations,” said Whole Foods Market Co-CEO Walter Robb. Hiring 70% of its workforce from within the city of Detroit, the company remains committed to supporting the community, selling products from a long list of local vendors.
Shortly after Whole Foods Market opened, the Michigan-based one-stop shop, Meijer, opened its first Detroit location on the corner of 8 Mile and Woodward in July. The store has created more than 550 jobs. Like Whole Foods Market, Meijer has done a great job partnering with local farmers and businesses, selling numerous homegrown products.
Since their openings, both stores have been bustling with business. If you haven’t been to either of them yet, be sure to make a visit!
Campus Martius Park Beach/Winter Wonderland
The only park in the world that is a beach half of the year and an ice-skating rink the other half, Campus Martius took over as one of the main attractions in Detroit all year long. During the summer, the park heated up with activities. You could find people relaxing in the sand, enjoying a drink from the Beach Bar and listening to some great live music.
As the seasons changed, so did Campus Martius Park. From breezy beach to winter wonderland the park made a transformation and got prepared for the snow. The park is now packed with an ice rink, rink-side lounge and a 10,000-pound, 60-foot tree, glowing with 19,000 LED lights. With pop-up shops, restaurants, a beer garden and activities surrounding it, the heart of the central business district has definitely become a main attraction for not only Detroiters and Michiganders, but for people worldwide.
Transformers 4 Films in Detroit
Hollywood actors, fast cars, explosions and robots all visited the D this summer when “Transformers 4” came to the city to film. Parts of Detroit were “transformed” into a little Hong Kong, with larger-than-life structures, billboards and storefronts filled with Chinese script. Mark Wahlberg, one of the stars of the film, seemed to enjoy his time here as he touted on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” letting the country know that “Detroit is not what people think.” He continued his praise saying, “Detroit is a great, great city. Hopefully people continue to bring more business there and help the economy there.” Those are some great words from a great actor about a great city.
The NHL Winter Classic
After the 2012 lockout delayed plans for the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs to square off in the NHL’s annual Winter Classic, the two Original Six teams, and the NHL for that matter, are ready this time around. While the actual Winter Classic game will be played up the road in Ann Arbor, there’s plenty going on downtown! While the Detroit Tigers are resting up this off season, Comerica Park has transformed from ballpark to ice rink.
The Hockeytown Winter Festival has an action packed couple of weeks planned for the newly-installed ice rink. The rink will be hosting a plethora of hockey games, open skates and other family activities.
Downtown Detroit Retail
Handmade gifts and products galore,
The Detroit Shoppe, CityLoft and more!
Bike stores and toy shops are up and ready to pop,
So come on downtown and shop till you drop!
All year long, Detroit has been a retail destination. Somerset Collection CityLoft, 1701 Bespoke, Rock, Paper, Scissors, the Hand Made Company and Spielhaus Toys are just a few of the pop-ups that Detroit welcomed this year. Hopefully these stores will follow in the footsteps of MooseJaw, which began as a pop-up shop in 2012 and signed a lease in March of 2013. Remember, the year isn’t over yet so be sure to stop by and get your shop on while you can!
The fact is, Detroit is hustling and bustling. People are living, working and playing in all over the city. 2013 was a great year for the city of Detroit and we looking forward to 2014! What was your favorite thing that happened in the D in 2013? Share in the comments section below!
**Featured Image – Woodward Ave By Jess Dobbs of Intrigue Digital Photography.**