Open City: Square Feet

Open City is a group of entrepreneurs, aspiring entrepreneurs, and supporters of entrepreneurs working together to help foster small businesses in the city of Detroit. Last night’s monthly meeting at Cliff Bells featured properties and businesses for lease and sale around the city. The price range for rentable space ranged from $12-$15/sq.ft., even right downtown. This seems steep for the average person, but is apparently very reasonable for commercial space in comparison to many cities. It was suggested that one could negotiate with landlords for free rent in exchange for making long term improvements to any given space. If you are still skeptical it would do you some good to attend a meeting and get some first hand accounts from Open City members. Meeting amidst the splendor of Cliff Bells is immediate inspiration of success attainable through small business in the city of Detroit.

5 Comments so far

  1. Matt (unregistered) on February 20th, 2008 @ 11:01 am

    Unfortunately, the problem with many of these spaces is the sheer size/magnitude of them. Couple this size with the lack of consistent, after hours business and it creates a major impediment for many small business owners. No entreprenuer/small business has the resources to set up shop in a 30,000 square foot former Woolworth or Kresge’s storefront.

    Ferndale, Harmonie Park, Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Corktown, Royal Oak, even Greektown – they’re success in attracting small, local and unique businesses, in my opinion, is directly related to the amount of relatively small spaces available to small business owners.

    Break up the large spaces along Woodward and Washington Blvd; create small, unique spaces and watch business locate, grow and thrive along those corridors.


  2. April (unregistered) on February 20th, 2008 @ 2:05 pm

    I’m really bummed, because I was planning to attend yesterday. Both The Boy and I spent the evening saying we felt like there was someplace we were supposed to be…


  3. max (unregistered) on February 20th, 2008 @ 2:16 pm

    i think this is why the city residents need to let go of the whole "us vs. them" attitude (especially as it applies to the current mayoral problems). maybe right now, as i type this there is someone sitting in their Shelby Township house thinking about starting or expanding a retail business…think they’re going to want to move to a city with the types of problems they’re hearing about every day? slim chance. and it seems that the residents are more than happy to tell those people, "good, we don’t need you anyway" but guess what…the city does need them. the city needs lots of people with higher standards to come in. then maybe they’ll decide to move there…and demand that the schools get better…and that the police show up if they call them and not just accept the sub-par city services simply because they’ve become acustomed to it. again, my opinion but i’m a former "us" and a current "them" partially because i wasn’t able to settle for less when i knew something better was just down the road. i gave it a decade, though. okay, now you can all tell me you’re glad i’m gone and to stay out of your business.


  4. Matt (unregistered) on February 20th, 2008 @ 3:59 pm

    Max – what are you talking about ^^^? Nowhere in any of the comments/post above did anyone raise the "us vs them" stuff.

    Are you still bitter over the comments previously posted about you not having a voice in our politics due to you moving out? If so, wow, what a thin skin you have…

    And, way to fall into the surburban trap of generalizing that all Detroiters don’t care about education, safety, and sub-par city services. Simple folk, we Detroiters are… Thank God we simple folk have our surburban friends to set our priorities straight through their plentiful opinions and deep & profound perspectives.


  5. max (unregistered) on February 20th, 2008 @ 4:24 pm

    i’m not speaking solely from my experiences. just last night a local news station was discussing that issue and the first person they interviewed was a Detroit city resident and he implied that "us" suberbanites should stay out of "your" business but then almost everyone else (non-residents) expressed feeling of unity and spoke about how goings on in a large city can directly affect the surrounding areas. i honestly don’t care if "you city folk" want me there or not and don’t care that i no longer live in the limits…i have always and will continue to hope for the best for Detroit. and i apologize for generalizing…obviously not EVERYONE is accepting of the city services the way they are but after voting for change for ten years and always being in the minority it was apparent to me that most of the city had other things in mind. i guess my way is the wrong way and i’m cool with it. again, very sorry for generalizing. but it’s funny that you have told me that i have fallen into the "suburban trap" thus generalizing that all suburbanites think Detroiters don’t know how to do things. haha. whatever, it’s all just opinions and words. if any of you regular followers of this blog are unhappy with having a former resident posting here please make it aparent, it would be a little embaressing to be let go from a volunteer position but i’d get over it. and my skin is plenty thick or i would have given up singing the praises of the city a long time ago.



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