Axios Detroit

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πŸŽ‰ TGIF! Thanks for following along with us all week. The news never stops and we appreciate you being here.

❄️ Today's weather: Partly sunny with a chance of flurries. High of 13Β°.

Today's newsletter is 904 words β€” a 3.5-minute read. Edited by Everett Cook and copy edited by Joyce Laskowski.

1 big thing: District Detroit expansion counts on new office demand

Illustration of office chair on a β€œwelcome” home mat

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The District Detroit's $1.5 billion build-out is relying on demand for "lifestyle" office space that aligns with a post-pandemic hybrid workforce.

Why it matters: At a time when the office market is in flux nationally, Detroit developers are suddenly making a major play to attract employers looking to upgrade their in-person spaces.

  • The District's plans are on top of 400,000 square feet of office space planned at Dan Gilbert's Hudson's site.

Driving the news: The District proposal β€” led by the Ilitch family's Olympia Development and Stephen Ross' Related Companies β€” calls for three new office buildings, one incubator and six other developments with residential, retail and hotel space.

Zoom out: Ross' bullish outlook on office space extends beyond Detroit.

  • In a move Crain's Chicago characterized as an "audacious post-pandemic gamble," Ross recently switched plans for a Chicago apartment and hotel complex to a 41-story, 1 million-square-foot office building.

State of play: The District Detroit office bet hinges on companies accommodating the modern worker, one who occasionally works from home and β€” when in the office β€” expects access to local businesses, public outdoor spaces, new air ventilation systems and a work environment optimized for collaboration.

What they're saying: "Brand new office product, we believe, is very much in demand," Andrew Cantor, executive vice president at Ross' Related, tells Axios. "It's incredibly lacking in Detroit in particular."

Between the lines: The Detroit Center for Innovation, a research and entrepreneurship center going up in the District in collaboration with U of M, also is expected to drive demand to the new office buildings.

What we're watching: Will the new offerings attract companies from outside Detroit, or will new vacancies be created from businesses moving in from within the region?

The bottom line: Olympia and Related's proposed office buildings won't be complete for at least another three years, so there's time for the office market to potentially align with their vision.

  • "The true demand has yet to be seen, but I think there's plenty of upside," Adam Ferguson, principal at the Southfield-based Bernard Financial Group, tells Axios.

2. FOIA Friday: Tigers plates you're never going to see

Tigers vanity plate

Tigers vanity plate. Photo: Samuel Robinson/Axios

After writing about banned license plates last week with the help of MLive, we received the full list of the state's 21,000 banned plates.

Why it matters: Requesting records already published by another outlet typically come faster than those requested independently and allow you to see the full picture.

The intrigue: About 600 plates were banned only in combination with a brand logo, with the "special cause: Detroit Tigers" being the most popular.

  • "OOBIE," "AAYUMM," "0RK," "1LDO," "33ZNUTZ," are all banned because the Old English D completes the explicit word.
  • We're not so sure about "D0RK," though.

Be smart: Want to find out what your local reporters are digging into? Ask the agency for a copy of the FOIA requests they've received in the past few months.

Worthy of your time: The full list of banned plates, a living document described by MDOS as the "Bad Word File."

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3. What to do this weekend

Illustration of a latte with "weekend" written in the foam.

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

If you want to brave the weather this weekend, we've got a mix of events for you to check out:

πŸ₯³ Motown Love: The weekend-long event features local vendors, a poetry workshop and Motown-themed musical performances at the riverfront Valade Park.

πŸ”Š Corktown Sounds Benefit Festival: Six bands play at three neighborhood bars β€” McShane's, Nancy Whiskey and Lager House β€” tomorrow starting at 3:30pm.

🦞 Lobster boil: Ferndale's Voyager restaurant has a special menu today and tomorrow. The $80 lobster boil package includes mussels, clams and andouille sausage.

πŸ›· Go sledding: Here are some local places where you can take to the hills.

4. Democrats move up presidential primary without GOP support

Illustration of a magnifying glass examining the state of Michigan

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation Wednesday moving Michigan's presidential primary from the second Tuesday in March to Feb. 27, 2024, and to the fourth Tuesday in February for future presidential primaries.

Driving the news: The Senate bill didn't get enough votes to take immediate effect until 90 calendar days after this year's legislative session ends.

  • So the Legislature must adjourn by Nov. 29 for the proposal to apply to the 2024 presidential primary. If not, it won't apply until 2028.

What they're saying: "This is an opportunity for Democrats and Republicans in our state to come together and say our electorate has a lot to offer β€” Michigan is important," said state Sen. Jeremy Moss (D-Southfield), who sponsored the bill.

The other side: RNC bylaws prohibiting the state from holding primaries before March 1 would see Michigan lose up to 90% of delegates at future national Republican conventions.

  • "This is the very definition of disenfranchisement," Sen. Jim Runestad (R-White Lake) said during his no-vote explanation last week. "They claim that the move would raise our profile, but the president is their incumbent. Why then would this change matter?"

What's next: Michigan still has to earn the votes of the full DNC to become an early primary state.

New jobs to check out

πŸ’Ό See who’s hiring around the city.

  1. Product Owner at Emergent Holdings.
  2. SAP Integration Consultant, Director at PwC.
  3. Director Revenue Cycle Systems at McLaren Health Care.

Want more opportunities? Check out our Job Board.

Hiring? Post a job.

5. 1 Lego mural to go

Lego mural

Bakpak Durden's 2019 "Let's Build a Community" mural on Warren Avenue in East English Village. Photo: Annalise Frank/Axios

Artist Bakpak Durden's 2019 "Let's Build a Community" mural featuring Legos is plastered across the side of ZAB Cultural Collective's coworking building.

  • "A combination of 'play' and community building is at the core of this piece and the neighborhood that it represents; togetherness, fun, understanding and growth," Durden's website says of the artwork at 16927 E. Warren Ave.

Our picks:

πŸ₯΄ Joe recalls going airborne and getting the wind knocked out of him sledding as a kid at Frog Island Park in Ypsi.

πŸ’» Annalise is amused by the early Mac emulator site she read about in Ina Fried's Axios Login tech newsletter (which she highly recommends).

✌🏽 Sam is slamming the door on Jack Morris' face on the way out. Goodbye!

🍸 Everett just completed his first-ever Dry January and is officially nervous about his liver for next week's Axios retreat in D.C.