Jump to content


Photo

The $100 House - Giving it a Try (in Detroit)


22 replies to this topic

#1 DrBubb

DrBubb

    Tri-Millennium Guru

  • Super Admins
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 63,309 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Hong Kong & London
  • Interests:Trading and investing in stocks and commodities. Writing articles on related subjects, while building this website. I am interested in creating ways for communities

Posted 13 April 2009 - 01:54 AM

Detroit - The $100 House
Artists are transforming a neighborhood, as friends buy
==========================

REBUILDING A NEIGHBORHOOD: "abandoned house by abandoned house"
Represents a "blank canvas" uponn which they can do their own things.
Not a place for "Ozzie and Harriets" (do UK members know what this means?)

Taking a Chance on $100 House.
From '20/20' at 10 p.m. - from ABC News : Watch VIDEO



(This isnt crazy.
What matters here, is not the price, it is: WHO ARE YOUR NEIGHBORS.
And if you can bring in your friends, you can create an "oasis"- a liveable
neighborhood in a tough city.)

Mitch Cope and Gina Reichert, started the ball rolling. An artist and an architect, they recently became the proud owners of a one-bedroom house in East Detroit for just $1,900. Buying it wasn’t the craziest idea. The neighborhood is almost, sort of, half-decent. Yes, the occasional crack addict still commutes in from the suburbs but a large, stable Bangladeshi community has also been moving in.



/more: http://www.powerhous.../updates/press/

"Cope and Reichert call their studio Design99, based on a $0.99/minute pricing scheme that allows them to offer architectural services that are affordable to just about anyone. The "Power house Project" is just one of Design99's endeavors (they also have a retail storefront on Hamtramck's commercial strip), but it's a primary focus as they aim to demonstrate through their own actions how to renovate Detroit properties using existing community and human resources in place of nearly non-existent financial ones."
/see: http://www.dwell.com...ng-detroit.html

MAP: http://powerhousepro...10_maphood2.jpg

= = = = =
LINKS:
Design 99 Contact..... : http://www.visitdesi...x.php?/contact/
Power House Project.. : http://powerhouseproject.com/
More Links, audio, etc : http://theburnlab.bl...no-one-can.html
Model D media.......... : http://www.modeldmedia.com/
Lansing, a model ? .... : http://capitalgainsm.../dtivg0207.aspx
Recession images...... : http://www.boston.co..._recession.html
Clone threads............ : HPC : GHPC
The market is "bipolar", swinging back and forth from a focus on Inflation to Deflation. Bet on swings; and stay flexible. What are bipolar markets? See: http://tinyurl.com/GEI-Manix

#2 DrBubb

DrBubb

    Tri-Millennium Guru

  • Super Admins
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 63,309 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Hong Kong & London
  • Interests:Trading and investing in stocks and commodities. Writing articles on related subjects, while building this website. I am interested in creating ways for communities

Posted 13 April 2009 - 07:29 AM

For Sale: The $100 House
By TOBY BARLOW
Published: March 7, 2009

RECENTLY, at a dinner party, a friend mentioned that he’d never seen so many outsiders moving into town. This struck me as a highly suspect statement. After all, we were talking about Detroit, home of corrupt former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, beleaguered General Motors and the 0-16 Lions. Compared with other cities’ buzzing, glittering skylines, ours sits largely abandoned, like some hulking beehive devastated by colony collapse. Who on earth would move here?

Then again, I myself had moved to Detroit, from Brooklyn. For $100,000, I bought a town house that sits downtown in the largest and arguably the most beautiful Mies van der Rohe development ever built, an island of perfect modernism forgotten by the rest of the world.


Lafayette Park : Mies van der Rohe Residential District : more

Two other guests that night, a couple in from Chicago, had also just invested in some Detroit real estate. That weekend Jon and Sara Brumit bought a house for $100.

Ah, the mythical $100 home. We hear about these low-priced “opportunities” in down-on-their-luck cities like Detroit, Baltimore and Cleveland, but we never meet anyone who has taken the plunge. Understandable really, for if they were actually worth anything then they would cost real money, right? Who would do such a preposterous thing?



A local couple, Mitch Cope and Gina Reichert, started the ball rolling. An artist and an architect, they recently became the proud owners of a one-bedroom house in East Detroit for just $1,900. Buying it wasn’t the craziest idea. The neighborhood is almost, sort of, half-decent. Yes, the occasional crack addict still commutes in from the suburbs but a large, stable Bangladeshi community has also been moving in.

So what did $1,900 buy? The run-down bungalow had already been stripped of its appliances and wiring by the city’s voracious scrappers. But for Mitch that only added to its appeal, because he now had the opportunity to renovate it with solar heating, solar electricity and low-cost, high-efficiency appliances.

Buying that first house had a snowball effect. Almost immediately, Mitch and Gina bought two adjacent lots for even less and, with the help of friends and local youngsters, dug in a garden. Then they bought the house next door for $500, reselling it to a pair of local artists for a $50 profit. When they heard about the $100 place down the street, they called their friends Jon and Sarah.

Admittedly, the $100 home needed some work, a hole patched, some windows replaced. But Mitch plans to connect their home to his mini-green grid and a neighborhood is slowly coming together.

Now, three homes and a garden may not sound like much, but others have been quick to see the potential. A group of architects and city planners in Amsterdam started a project called the “Detroit Unreal Estate Agency” and, with Mitch’s help, found a property around the corner. The director of a Dutch museum, Van Abbemuseum, has called it “a new way of shaping the urban environment.” He’s particularly intrigued by the luxury of artists having little to no housing costs. Like the unemployed Chinese factory workers flowing en masse back to their villages, artists in today’s economy need somewhere to flee.

But the city offers a much greater attraction for artists than $100 houses. Detroit right now is just this vast, enormous canvas where anything imaginable can be accomplished. From Tyree Guyton’s Heidelberg Project (think of a neighborhood covered in shoes and stuffed animals and you’re close) to Matthew Barney’s “Ancient Evenings” project (think Egyptian gods reincarnated as Ford Mustangs and you’re kind of close), local and international artists are already leveraging Detroit’s complex textures and landscapes to their own surreal ends.

In a way, a strange, new American dream can be found here, amid the crumbling, semi-majestic ruins of a half-century’s industrial decline. The good news is that, almost magically, dreamers are already showing up. Mitch and Gina have already been approached by some Germans who want to build a giant two-story-tall beehive. Mitch thinks he knows just the spot for it.

/see: http://www.nytimes.c...n/08barlow.html
The market is "bipolar", swinging back and forth from a focus on Inflation to Deflation. Bet on swings; and stay flexible. What are bipolar markets? See: http://tinyurl.com/GEI-Manix

#3 DrBubb

DrBubb

    Tri-Millennium Guru

  • Super Admins
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 63,309 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Hong Kong & London
  • Interests:Trading and investing in stocks and commodities. Writing articles on related subjects, while building this website. I am interested in creating ways for communities

Posted 13 April 2009 - 07:44 AM

hudkina
Registered User Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 5,509

ITS NOT THE ARTISTS - it's the immigrants....

LOL, it's funny how much national attention this non-descript little neighborhood is getting. The irony is that it's not the artists that will save the neighborhood. It's the growing immigrant population (many of them Muslims from Asia and the Middle East) that will determine the fate of the neighborhood.

The neighborhood (which I'll call Norham for being directly north of Hamtramck.) is less than 1/4 sq. mi. (0.21 sq. mi. to be exact) in area and had a population of 3,114 in 2000. That's a density of over 15,000 people per square mile.



The racial breakdown was:
37% Asian (though mostly from muslim countries)
28% White
17% Black
16% Multiple Races (That's a really high number!)
1% Native American
1% Other

Most of the streets are still relatively intact, though the northwestern corner of the neighborhood is home to a lot of vacant land. The housing is typical of inner-city Detroit working-class neighborhoods.
The market is "bipolar", swinging back and forth from a focus on Inflation to Deflation. Bet on swings; and stay flexible. What are bipolar markets? See: http://tinyurl.com/GEI-Manix

#4 DrBubb

DrBubb

    Tri-Millennium Guru

  • Super Admins
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 63,309 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Hong Kong & London
  • Interests:Trading and investing in stocks and commodities. Writing articles on related subjects, while building this website. I am interested in creating ways for communities

Posted 13 April 2009 - 07:49 AM

CBC interviews Design 99 duo on the $100 house phenom
Source: CBC News
The interviews continue with Gina Reichert and Mitch Cope of Design 99 as CBC interviews them.

Detroit In The News / April 7, 2009

Excerpt

Artist Gina Reichert and designer Mitch Cope weren't content to let that happen to the city where they live.

They bought a foreclosed home for $1,900 US last year and turned it into both an experiment in operating off the power grid and a centre to link artists and the local community.

"We really like to think that art is a catalyst and a bridge between all sorts of people and places," Reichert told CBC News.

"So the goal is the house acts as a forum to attract artists and designers and architects from other places to come and see the positive things about Detroit. It's really easy to find the negatives, but underneath all of that there's a really active culture and active community."

Read the entire article : http://www.cbc.ca/ar...it-artists.html
The market is "bipolar", swinging back and forth from a focus on Inflation to Deflation. Bet on swings; and stay flexible. What are bipolar markets? See: http://tinyurl.com/GEI-Manix

#5 romans holiday

romans holiday

    Tri-Millennium Guru

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,670 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The Southern Alps

Posted 13 April 2009 - 07:52 AM

The artists should set up a co-op. Get some investors interested. Buy out a whole suburb or set of streets. Bulldoze the lot and start again with completely new and interesting building methods. Personally, i am interested in rammed earth construction where soil is stabilized with a litte cement and rammed into monolithic structures. Like home-made stone. Hmmm.. that would be a good name for a business.
Modern money "shorts" the currency, and is backed by debt. The debt is real. A debt deflation will lead to a prolonged period of deleveraging, where the short-covering of currencies will strengthen currencies relative to asset prices. At the global level, in the FX market, central currencies will benefit from deleveraging at the expense of peripheral currencies. Due to instability and uncertainty, gold will benefit against all currencies as it continues to be re-monetized.

Hold on to your hats for hyper-deflation, where cash is king, and gold the King of cash.
[Silver? A Volatile Queen].

#6 DrBubb

DrBubb

    Tri-Millennium Guru

  • Super Admins
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 63,309 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Hong Kong & London
  • Interests:Trading and investing in stocks and commodities. Writing articles on related subjects, while building this website. I am interested in creating ways for communities

Posted 13 April 2009 - 07:58 AM

QUOTE (romans holiday @ Apr 13 2009, 04:52 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The artists should set up a co-op. Get some investors interested. Buy out a whole suburb or set of streets. Bulldoze the lot and start again with completely new and interesting building methods. Personally, i am interested in rammed earth construction where soil is stabilized with a litte cement and rammed into monolithic constructions. Like home-made stone. Hmmm.. that would be a good name for a business.


Admittedly, Detroit has some of the cheapest home prices in Amerrica.

But it is not only Detroit where this sort ofb thing can happen.
There will be other locations too.

The trick is to get enough like-minded people to share a vision,
that they are willing to participate in such an adventure.

This really could be a way forward for living in many depressed communities

This effort is a sort of real-life example of their creative endeavours



Design 99,
....which opened in a storefront on Jos. Campau between Belmont and Yemans streets in 2007 and closed its doors there earlier this year, is now in a building once occupied by Hamtramck Orthopedic Physical Therapy. It is a place that features a variety of works, many of them created by owners Gina Reichert, an architect, and artist-curator Mitch Cope.



The pair sells kitschy, comic-inspired pieces made by Hamtramck’s Steve Hughes and visual and audio art created by other artists. Design 99 sells the new version of the FM Buddha Machine, a device with pre-set musical loops that now has pitch control to make even stranger sounds.

On an icy night, people came in steady numbers to the gallery, snuggled between Dudek and Bozek’s Meats. Cope said individual exhibitions will be held at the space soon.

Design 99 has gotten attention for creating a gallery-shop that “blurs the distinction between art and design,” Reichert and Cope say, while nurturing “new ideas, products and projects … and showcasing local, regional and international talent.”

/more: http://www.hamtramck...ler-is-better-1
The market is "bipolar", swinging back and forth from a focus on Inflation to Deflation. Bet on swings; and stay flexible. What are bipolar markets? See: http://tinyurl.com/GEI-Manix

#7 DrBubb

DrBubb

    Tri-Millennium Guru

  • Super Admins
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 63,309 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Hong Kong & London
  • Interests:Trading and investing in stocks and commodities. Writing articles on related subjects, while building this website. I am interested in creating ways for communities

Posted 13 April 2009 - 08:48 AM

The Mies van der Rohe Residential District - in Detroit



...is both an outstanding example of Modernist architecture and one of America's most successful post-World War II urban redevelopment projects. Its 46 acres encompasses three distinct but carefully connected sections: on the western side are 21 multiple-unit townhomes and a high-rise apartment building;



... down the center runs Lafayette Park, 13 acres of greenery, recreation facilities, and a school; and farther east are twin apartment towers and a shopping center. Together the district comprises the world's largest collection of buildings designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, widely considered one of the century's greatest architects. Just after the end of the war, the city acquired a large tract of land east of downtown in order to rejuvenate what it considered one of its "worst slums." In 1956 Herbert Greenwald became the sole developer; he brought in Mies (with whom he had worked frequently), Ludwig Hilberseimer (a city planner), and Alfred Caldwell (a landscape architect). All four set out to create a "integrated community" that would "attract [people] back to the heart of the city."

Caldwell and Hilberseimer designed a naturalistic landscape that subordinated Detroit's most famous product to the needs of people, in part by dropping roadways and parking lots four feet below grade. The buildings reflected classic elements of Miesian design: steel skeleton frames that made no attempt to hide the building's structure, aluminum and glass skins, and open interiors that created a feeling of spaciousness. While the success of their work can be measured by the praise it has received over the years--one observer called it "the most spatially successful and socially significant statement in urban renewal"--perhaps a better recommendation comes in the low turnover and high occupancy rates the project continues to enjoy thirty years after its construction.

/see: http://www.nps.gov/h...detroit/d11.htm

Area Realtor: http://vasileffrealt...oit.com/map.htm
The market is "bipolar", swinging back and forth from a focus on Inflation to Deflation. Bet on swings; and stay flexible. What are bipolar markets? See: http://tinyurl.com/GEI-Manix

#8 DrBubb

DrBubb

    Tri-Millennium Guru

  • Super Admins
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 63,309 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Hong Kong & London
  • Interests:Trading and investing in stocks and commodities. Writing articles on related subjects, while building this website. I am interested in creating ways for communities

Posted 13 April 2009 - 10:52 AM

QUOTE (DisposableHeroes @ Apr 13 2009, 10:46 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It sounds like a good idea. If it doesn't work out, it's not as though they have lost much (especially in a house price down turn). Difficult choice if children are involved though.


Children may well come later... when the neighborhood is safer

I am actually thinking it may be interesting to interview them (for Commodity Watch Radio),
so I am wondering what questions people would ask.

"What do you do with children in this neighborhood?" - is a good one.
The market is "bipolar", swinging back and forth from a focus on Inflation to Deflation. Bet on swings; and stay flexible. What are bipolar markets? See: http://tinyurl.com/GEI-Manix

#9 dst

dst

    Centurion

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 214 posts

Posted 13 April 2009 - 11:56 AM

Reading this thread reminded me of Tim Harford’s 2008 “The Logic of Life” book. It is a popular economics book and has bits in it on cities, regeneration, failing cities but to start of - why cities are good:
Cities are environmentally friendly (relatively speaking – city dwellers use public transport more, consume less resources, have less stuff and the economies of scale of moving stuff to people etc).
Cities are melting pots of ideas you meet more interesting people in cities and crucially you learn from them. (He gives the small example of wanting to learn how to do public book readings: he went to see other authors giving book readings in a book shop – something relatively common in cities and rare in small towns.)

(I think a will separate out the points to avoid a monster post)


#10 dst

dst

    Centurion

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 214 posts

Posted 13 April 2009 - 11:57 AM

QUOTE (DrBubb @ Apr 13 2009, 11:52 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Children may well come later... when the neighborhood is safer

I am actually thinking it may be interesting to interview them (for Commodity Watch Radio),
so I am wondering what questions people would ask.

"What do you do with children in this neighborhood?" - is a good one.


Regarding city area regeneration and children – perhaps it is those without children that can kick start regeneration:

From Harford’s “The Logic of Life” – talking about the regeneration of part of Washington:
QUOTE
Many of the eager consumers of the bar culture that would transform the neighbourhood were gay, and this again reflects a kind of hidden rationality. We all have to weigh up costs and benefits. For many people cheap housing and convenient access to nightlife are benefits, and the bad schools and dangerous streets were lower costs. It wasn’t that they didn’t care about or fear the crime that blighted deprived areas – it was just the there was a bargain to be had, and they worried less than couples with kids.
That sparked a positive spiral. The busy, fun, safe streets the gay men helped to populate are attractive to everyone and soon all kinds of people were moving into what had previously been an impoverished enclave. The clincher was when the organic supermarket opened a large store…it became a focal point for further development: apartment blocks, restaurants, coffee shops…



#11 dst

dst

    Centurion

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 214 posts

Posted 13 April 2009 - 11:59 AM


Regarding failing cities in general and Detroit in particular, can a whole city regenerate or do they fall into a death spiral of only attracting low skill people constantly reducing the city’s “melting pot” value:

From Harford’s “The Logic of Life”:
QUOTE
But the quintessential emblem of urban misery is surely Detroit, a city that has lost more than half its people since 1950 and whose population has declined faster than anywhere else in the United States…it seems that land in Detroit’s city centre is so valueless that it might as well be left fallow.
…Why didn’t everyone leave? The answer is that houses in Detroit and other fading cities are cheap. (A real estate economist) estimates that a house that would cost 80,000 dollars to build could be picked up for much less that that in much of Detroit, where the typical house price is around $60,000 and many homes are cheaper still. There is no builder that would build those today…
But because the houses last for many decades, the price can fall and fall until it is low enough to suck people into failing cities…
It is not hard to see what kind of people is rationally attracted by a city with cheap houses but no good jobs: people who have already retired or people with few skills or people whose skills have fallen out of favour. For those people, the likely alternative to a cheap house and no job is an expensive house in a more dynamic city, but still no certainty of a good job…
The result is yet another rationally self-reinforcing trend, this time a vicious circle: struggling cities attract people with low skills, which means that they are unlikely to create the sort of exuberant innovation seen in more successful cities…



#12 dst

dst

    Centurion

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 214 posts

Posted 13 April 2009 - 12:20 PM

Continuing the flood...

Failing cities New Orleans after Katrina: rebuild a failing city or let it die?

Again from Harford’s “The Logic of Life”:

QUOTE
They saw struggling cities as a trap: deprived people with limited opportunities would be sucked in by the attraction of cheap housing and find themselves surrounded by other deprived people…
Yet the plans to rebuild New Orleans as it was before were simply plans to rebuild the trap and pay victims to move back into it. (Economist) was aghast: he argued that the money should be spent not on the city but on the citizens. A generous handout to everybody who was displaced by the hurricane would give them the opportunity to rebuild their lives anywhere they chose – which might include New Orleans but didn’t have to…They were more interested in the people who had once lived in New Orleans than in the abstract concept of the city itself…
(Another economist) He felt that the city was almost certainly finished and that the victims of the hurricane should have the freedom to choose how to spend any compensation they received. “Don’t make them go back to that pit”


EDIT: Sorry about the flood pun in was unintentional

#13 DrBubb

DrBubb

    Tri-Millennium Guru

  • Super Admins
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 63,309 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Hong Kong & London
  • Interests:Trading and investing in stocks and commodities. Writing articles on related subjects, while building this website. I am interested in creating ways for communities

Posted 13 April 2009 - 12:50 PM

Interesting contribution, DST.
Thanks for posting those excerpts

QUOTE (DrBubb @ Apr 13 2009, 06:52 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I am actually thinking it may be interesting to interview them (for Commodity Watch Radio),
so I am wondering what questions people would ask.
"What do you do with children in this neighborhood?" - is a good one.


Frizzers agrees that this could be a good subject for a CW Radio interview - any Questions for the couple?
(I am assuming that I will get ahold of them, and win them over to doing an interview.
I think they have an inspiring story to tell.)
The market is "bipolar", swinging back and forth from a focus on Inflation to Deflation. Bet on swings; and stay flexible. What are bipolar markets? See: http://tinyurl.com/GEI-Manix

#14 DrBubb

DrBubb

    Tri-Millennium Guru

  • Super Admins
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 63,309 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Hong Kong & London
  • Interests:Trading and investing in stocks and commodities. Writing articles on related subjects, while building this website. I am interested in creating ways for communities

Posted 13 April 2009 - 02:28 PM

(interesting comment by Sledge. from the HPC clone thread):

QUOTE (Sledgehead @ Apr 13 2009, 02:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
That's what I would hope, but I remember watching a series on musical roots and was simply flabberghasted not only by Detroit's pivotal role in so many musical genres, but moreover by its seeming inability to capitalise on the wealth of talent it has produced.


In particular 2648 West Grand Blvd, otherwise known as "Hitsville USA" - the epicentre of Motown, should by any reasonable reckoning, now form the nucleus of a lucrative music-tourism trade. Folks from all over should be able to go there and cut records just as the greats of Motown and soul did. As it says on Wikipedia.:
"Many Motown fans believed the company's heart and soul were lost following
the move (to LA) and that its golden age of creativity ended after its 13 years in Detroit"

The wiki article says it remains one of Detroits top tourist spots. But it looked like something out of High Plains Drifter the day the documentary went there. It strikes me that there ought to be a tourist trade capable of exploiting the "8 Mile" phenomenon as well as Motown. Surely there must be literally thouands of "freestylers" who would pay good money to tread the "Rabbit" path. then again, I'm a huge contrarion. Can't help myself.


Interesting thought.
Maybe this latest wave of Detroit artists will do a better job of capitalising on the commercial opportunties
this time around.

I find it encouraging that they are attracting attention from all around the world, now they need to show
something new and interesting to the curious who are tuning in to their story. More than just a lowball
investment opportunity
The market is "bipolar", swinging back and forth from a focus on Inflation to Deflation. Bet on swings; and stay flexible. What are bipolar markets? See: http://tinyurl.com/GEI-Manix

#15 lowrentyieldmakessense(honest!)

lowrentyieldmakessense(honest!)

    Millennium man

  • trial
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2,508 posts

Posted 13 April 2009 - 06:51 PM

good idea

people/locals working together - now that could get interesting

and if they could just take some points from this plan also


link
QUOTE
Baltimore is still in business. But from what we read, Detroit sounds like it has become a kind of Port-au-Prince with snowdrifts. The whole city sounds like a hellhole without the warm fires.

And now Obama is proposing to make things worse. More bailouts…more giveaways…more programs…more bureaucrats… Already, the ‘rich’ support whole sections of the population. Obama says he will raise taxes on ‘the rich,’ creating even more parasites. Of course, who cares if the rich have less money? They will still live in their leafy suburbs and send their children to private schools. But pity the poor parasites.

Neither Mr. Obama nor none of the candidates for Mayor of Detroit (the last mayor is doing time in a federal penitentiary) has asked for our advice. We will give it anyway. Want to save Detroit? Here’s how:

Abolish all welfare of all sorts…no unemployment insurance…no child tax credits…no welfare…no foodstamps…no nothing, except privately-sponsored charities. Close the public schools. Kick out all the bureaucrats and all federal and state employees. Abolish all rules concerning employment – no minimum wages, no overtime, discriminate all you want. Require all residents to say please and thank you…dress properly…and sneer at people who don’t seem to be gainfully employed or polite. Declare the city an Open City and Free Trade Zone. In exchange for cutting all federal aid programs, eliminate federal and state taxes for people living in the city. Allow unlimited immigration into the city…giving all immigrants a U.S. passport after 5 years of residency. Levy a flat 10% tax to pay for basic services. Eliminate elections…have the city controlled by a town council composed of 10 citizens chosen at random.

Within five years, Detroit would be the most dynamic city in the nation.


QUOTE
"You have to choose, as a voter, between trusting to the national stability of gold and the natural stability and intelligence of governments. I advise you, as long as the capitalist system lasts, to vote for gold."

George Bernard Shaw


QUOTE
The modern banking system manufactures money out of nothing. The process is perhaps the most astounding piece of sleight of hand that was ever invented. Banking was conceived in inequity and born in sin . . . . Bankers own the earth. Take it away from them but leave them the power to create money, and, with a flick of a pen, they will create enough money to buy it back again. . . . Take this great power away from them and all great fortunes like mine will disappear, for then this would be a better and happier world to live in. . . . But, if you want to continue to be the slaves of bankers and pay the cost of your own slavery, then let bankers continue to create money and control credit.

Sir Josiah Stamp, director of the Bank of England and the second richest man in Britain in the 1920s

#16 DrBubb

DrBubb

    Tri-Millennium Guru

  • Super Admins
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 63,309 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Hong Kong & London
  • Interests:Trading and investing in stocks and commodities. Writing articles on related subjects, while building this website. I am interested in creating ways for communities

Posted 17 April 2009 - 01:53 AM

I have emailed Mitch and Gina,
and requested an interview for Commodity Watch radio
The market is "bipolar", swinging back and forth from a focus on Inflation to Deflation. Bet on swings; and stay flexible. What are bipolar markets? See: http://tinyurl.com/GEI-Manix

#17 DrBubb

DrBubb

    Tri-Millennium Guru

  • Super Admins
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 63,309 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Hong Kong & London
  • Interests:Trading and investing in stocks and commodities. Writing articles on related subjects, while building this website. I am interested in creating ways for communities

Posted 20 April 2009 - 05:25 PM

Power House Project: Sustainable Renewal in Detroit

Danny Jensen March 19, 2009 | 6:46 pm EST

Artists Mitch Cope and his wife Gina, began The Power House Project with the goal of creating affordable, secure and sustainable housing from the vacant, vandalized and foreclosed houses of Detroit’s North side. Their inspirational story, featured on NPR yesterday, gives me hope that green community building will provide a pathway out of our current economic and housing crisis. After renovating an old Polish deli for their own house, the couple purchased and began converting a dilapidated, foreclosed house into a neighborhood gallery and visiting artists residence that will run entirely on wind and solar power. Known as the Power House, the project has already attracted artists from all over the world to move to the neighborhood, and as the Copes hope, eventually help renew the struggling neighborhood. Check out some of the manifesto for this super cool do-it-yourself experiment in sustainable living:

The Power house Project is first and foremost designed to stimulate communication and action within an otherwise challenging, albeit unique Detroit neighborhood by way of mining out the existing positive and productive aspects of the neighborhood. The Power House is designed to be a space where people feel comfortable to share ideas, knowledge and expertise about the fundamentals of neighborhood living, i.e., gardening, house work, new technologies, safety, and so on. The Power House is also designed as to be magnet for gathering whether they be neighborhood resources, energy, social change, story telling or simply a place to produce and view art and culture.

/see: http://powerhousepro.../updates/press/
The market is "bipolar", swinging back and forth from a focus on Inflation to Deflation. Bet on swings; and stay flexible. What are bipolar markets? See: http://tinyurl.com/GEI-Manix

#18 DrBubb

DrBubb

    Tri-Millennium Guru

  • Super Admins
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 63,309 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Hong Kong & London
  • Interests:Trading and investing in stocks and commodities. Writing articles on related subjects, while building this website. I am interested in creating ways for communities

Posted 20 April 2009 - 05:36 PM

"I MISS DETROIT" - as some return home
===========

“I miss Detroit,” Facione says between emotional rants about what happened to his hometown. He thinks it went from an idyllic city of neighborhoods, where people took care of each other and kept things clean and beautiful, to a city devoid of integrity, safety or ethics. (Though he concedes that perhaps the city didn’t take care of all of its residents back then.) Facione says it’ll take a businessman as mayor to turn Detroit around.

“I’d love to move back. But if my daughter came to visit me, and she was driving home with her three kids in the car, I’d have to think, ‘Is she going to make it? Is she going to make it home?’ You have to be realistic.”

Everyone in metro Detroit has heard confessions like Facione’s. But his story is one of many getting collected for a Shrinking Cities project called “Old House/New House” (one of 10 projects that will represent Detroit in the international exhibit). Milford resident James Cope, a construction manager and father of project curator Mitch Cope, is finding suburban residents who left the city, recording their stories and photographing their new houses as well as their old houses in Detroit. Then Cope is taking the suburbanites to their old Detroit homes, where they hope to meet the current residents.

I follow Facione on his 45-minute drive to his boyhood home, on Wittingham Street. The current residents aren’t in, but the garage in the back is filled with debris and trash. The street and the house look pretty nice, though not as landscaped as Facione remembers.

“This was the most beautiful garage,” says Facione, shaking his head. “You should have seen it. We worked on this for a year.”

There’s no guarantee that Facione’s story will make the cut for the final exhibit. Shrinking Cities is in the “gathering information” stage. Once that’s complete, by February, the development of Detroit’s art projects for the final exhibit will get honed. There are many details to hammer out

/more: http://metrotimes.co...ory.asp?id=5718
The market is "bipolar", swinging back and forth from a focus on Inflation to Deflation. Bet on swings; and stay flexible. What are bipolar markets? See: http://tinyurl.com/GEI-Manix

#19 OneHundred

OneHundred

    Tri-Centurion

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 535 posts

Posted 21 April 2009 - 12:42 AM

Interesting. The momentum seems to be building....

PRESS REPORTS ATTRACT NEW BUYERS to the area

Watching this episode was Ian Perrotta and his twin brother, Andrew. They were curious and did some research to see if houses could really be purchased for $100. After a chance encounter with a Craigslist ad that was listed as “deal of a lifetime: 50 houses for $75,000,” they located a few houses in the Hamtramck area and arranged to meet the seller’s agent the next day. By the arranged meeting time--10 a.m.--they were in Detroit. By the next week, five Quit Claim Deeds totaling $1,400 were in hand.

After the initial trip, both brothers decided to move to Detroit. Ian sent the mayor of Hamtramck, Karen Majewski, an e-mail informing her of his decision to move, volunteering whatever services a recent graduate with Political Science and English Writing degrees had to offer. Amazed and curious about the offer, she agreed to meet to have coffee and discuss the e-mail and the potential for Hamtramck’s future. It was at this meeting that the idea for Habitat for Hamtramck was presented and met with encouragement by the mayor, and at this point when the idea started to become a reality. “At the end of the meeting, Mayor Majewski offered her services in any way she could help,” recalls Perrotta.

The project begins on June 1st, 2009. The Habitat for Hamtramck website features a blog, pages about both houses slated for renovation, as well as links to Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, and other resources. Additionally, donations are now being accepted through Paypal. It is the embracement of these technologies that makes Perrotta believe his organization will succeed.
+ + +
http://www.ireport.com/docs/DOC-243457


Ian Perrotta with Hamtramck Mayor Karen Majewski during the meeting at Cafe 1923 on March 27, 2009.

+ + + + +

BUY A CHEAP HOUSE, FIX IT UP, GIVE IT AWAY


Habitat for Hamtramck is a grassroots organization
... with the goal of rehabilitating houses in the Hamtramck area of Detroit and then giving them to families that can help further the positive redevelopment of the area. By accepting donations from the public then redistributing the accrued funds vis-à-vis cash payments to local workers and cash purchases of the building material which can then be gifted to the jobsite, the organization can bypass bureaucratic hassles and tax impediments, speedily accomplishing tasks that may otherwise take months to complete by larger, less pragmatic organizations. The organization is taking steps to become a 501© non-profit--at which time all financial records will be available to the public--but for the present time every bank statement will be made public through a website that keeps real-time updates on projects, funds, and other developments, proving where all funds come from and go to.

*****UPDATE*****
Though our houses have the 48212 Hamtramck zipcode, they are technically not within the City of Hamtramck. Hamtramck is a separate city from Detroit and the two cities have unique though interconnected histories, independent political structures, separate municipal budgets, different cultural and demographic makeup, and strongly distinct identities. The City of Hamtramck is not a picture of urban decay: it is culturally vibrant and economically stable. However, the surrounding area is quite the opposite, and that is the area we will be focusing on


Links:
http://www.habitatforhamtramck.org
http://www.hamtramck.us
http://powerhouseproject.com/

#20 DrBubb

DrBubb

    Tri-Millennium Guru

  • Super Admins
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 63,309 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Hong Kong & London
  • Interests:Trading and investing in stocks and commodities. Writing articles on related subjects, while building this website. I am interested in creating ways for communities

Posted 25 April 2009 - 09:53 PM

We met Mitch and Gina this afternoon.

I convinced my nephew, a new graduate of University of Detroit architecture school, to drive us down to Hamtramck to have a look around. As it happens, I had the address of Design 99 in my pocket, We found the gallery and dropped in and found Mitch Cope and Gina Reichert. They are are very nice young couple exuding idealism and enthusiasm about their endeavor.

The 20/20 program ("Taking a chance on a $100 House") has brought huge amount of attention to their project. And they are still a liitle in shock by it all. They have received more than 200 emails from people saying that want to move to Detroit. And there have been so many requests for interviews that they have had to turn some down, including a few from nationally known talk show hosts.

I suppose it was a little bit of a novelty in Hamtramck having someone drop by from Hong Kong, to have a chat, So they were generous with their time and we had a good talk.

(photos coming later)

My approach was; Detroit is ahead of the country in this recession. Prices have been sliding so long, that they have reached rockbottom. When they hit $100, they cannot fall further, and so What's next?

What is unique about Detroit is its demographic story. Fifty years ago, it was a city of almost 2 million city, Recently, the population fell to under 750,000, meaning the city has shed almost 2/3rds of its population. With such a huge drop in housing demand, is it any surprise that prices are so low, and a home worth $80,000 to $90,000 a few years ago, can today be had for under $1,000.

Of course, not all homes in Hamtramck are so cheap. Those that have been well looked after, and are on better streets of this strongly Polish community are worth alot more. But some that have been trashed, or burned, and gone through foreclosure can now be had for a pittance. But much work, and some serious money will be needed to bring the, back. The question is, is it worth the time and effort?

Mitch and Gina clearly think so. Their idea is called the Power House concept. They want to start with a small and manageable project, like a single successful home, and rebuild the community a house at a time, bringing in new people with the same energy and enthusiam that they have started out.

The fact that their story has caught the attention of the media, and so many people have contacted them, shows that there is a real appetite out there, to try something new.

Gina said that she has heard about outsiders who have come into Detroit, buying up dozens of homes at a time, Some have even rebuilt homes, and sold them off, and come back 3-5 years later to find them ruined again. Mitch says that a little money being spent can be a good thing, but if you spend too much, and do it on too big a scale, it may not work. I suppose he means that the essential thing is the commitment of the new owner to the neighborhood, and rebuilding the community, not jyust throwing money at the problem.

200 emails were too many to cope with, so Mitch has turned them over to a local real estate agent, who has offered to help the people find the right homes. I asked how he had find the agent, who must see this as a bit of a windfall arising from the popularity of the television program. He said it was the same agent as had helped them with the $100 house. The availability of homes, with good title, coming at a cheap price through a clean foreclosure process is a critical condition. It gives the new buyer, a clear and clean claim to the home, and a "blank canvas" to start out with.

Mitch was born in Detroit had left the city, and tried working in other cities, and yet siomething kept calling him back. He wanted the chance to experiment, to start out with something and play with a house, just like it was an art project. And at the price of a home and cheap gallery space in Hamtramck, he feels little time pressure. It doesnt take much income to make it work. And he is left with time to experiment with different solutions and getting to know his neighbors.

Gina went to school in the Detroit area, at the famous Cranbrook Institute of Art. She took a job with a local architectural firm, at a high salary. But she found the work unsatisfying. It wasnt the quality of the work which mattered so much as becoming friendly with "the right people" in the firm. The projects were on too big a scale, so she quit her job to work with Mitch on a smaller and more human scale.

The couple obviously like interacting with their neighbors. They have even hired some of the local teenagers to help on renovation work. Instead of being targetted as victims by loval gangs, they have become providers of honest wages. And this transformation has helped to change their role in teh community, and make it safer for them.

As more friends and artists move into the neighborhood, the new people help to look out for each other, and the overall neighborhood becomes safer. The number of homes that get hit by arson or vandaklism reduces.

It has to be said that Hamtramck is not the most dangerous neighborhood in Detroit, it is a two mile square area with its own mayor, and a predominantly Polish group of residents. Many shops still carry Polish names, and you can see things like polish sausages advertised everywhere, as the local mixed population of Polish, blacks, and Bengladeshis go about their business. Few shops on the local high street are vacant. It remains a lively part of a shrinking city.
The market is "bipolar", swinging back and forth from a focus on Inflation to Deflation. Bet on swings; and stay flexible. What are bipolar markets? See: http://tinyurl.com/GEI-Manix




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users