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  1. #1

    Default Penske Corporate HQ - Why Bloomfield if Penske's such a Detroit booster?

    There is no argument against Roger Penske as Detroit booster. But if he is really committed to the city, why not move Penske's Corporate HQ downtown? As it currently stands, Penske operates out of Bloomfield Hills. I guess this is a classic case of “if you’re going to talk the talk, walk the walk”.

    By the way, would anyone know how many people are employed at the Penske HQ?

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by tkelly1986 View Post
    There is no argument against Roger Penske as Detroit booster. But if he is really committed to the city, why not move Penske's Corporate HQ downtown? As it currently stands, Penske operates out of Bloomfield Hills. I guess this is a classic case of “if you’re going to talk the talk, walk the walk”.

    By the way, would anyone know how many people are employed at the Penske HQ?
    Agreed.

    Same with Hantz Group. They've brought up the entire east side for pennies on the dollar yet they can't even move their HQ from Southfield to downtown.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by tkelly1986 View Post
    There is no argument against Roger Penske as Detroit booster. But if he is really committed to the city, why not move Penske's Corporate HQ downtown? As it currently stands, Penske operates out of Bloomfield Hills. I guess this is a classic case of “if you’re going to talk the talk, walk the walk”.
    I'm betting a lot of the people who work there live out there. Penske may be a forward-thinking guy, but I bet a lot of his employees would be pissy about having to drive downtown, park downtown, and drive home each day.

    Heck, it may not be such a bad thing for now. Until we have a serious mass transit system, I'm a little wary of having every business locate downtown, because it'll mean a profusion of parking garages perhaps threatening the very architecture that has such value.

  4. #4

    Default

    Penske emerged as a "Detroit Booster" about ten years ago when he took the helm (at Dennis Archer's behest) as Chairman of the Detroit Super Bowl Host Committee.

    I believe that Penske HQ pre-dates that era.

    So, should he move now that he has decided to take on Detroit-centric projects suchas the Clean Downtown effort that he funded single-handly for years when the City could not afford a clean Downtown and neglected the streetscapes? I guess if he has money to burn. Re-locating corporate offices even on a very small scale is expensive, time-consuming, eating up a lot of staff time on non-core work.

    As to John Hantz - I wonder how many employees he has. His Hantz Woodlands has always had offices and operations in Detroit. And Hantz himself famously lives in Indian Village.

    What is the pont of such a discussion? is it to somehow infer that Detroit Boosters don't/won't put their money where their mouths are?

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by SWMAP View Post
    is it to somehow infer that Detroit Boosters don't/won't put their money where their mouths are?
    I thought it was pretty obvious that this was the point of this discussion.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Detroitnerd View Post
    I'm betting a lot of the people who work there live out there. Penske may be a forward-thinking guy, but I bet a lot of his employees would be pissy about having to drive downtown, park downtown, and drive home each day.
    One can still be a Detroit booster and not work or live in Downtown Detroit. In the real world, Metro Detroit is Detroit.

    And, agreed; I don't think it's a great mystery why a bunch of executives would prefer to work in Bloomfield Hills instead of Downtown Detroit. For one, they live five minutes away. Throw in free parking, no city income tax, no major hassles, and it's a big advantage.

    But the big one is you have a much better quality of life if you work near where you live, and rich folks live on Lone Pine Road, not W. Grand Blvd.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bham1982 View Post
    One can still be a Detroit booster and not work or live in Downtown Detroit. In the real world, Metro Detroit is Detroit.
    So Metro Detroit is chipping in on Detroit's $14B debt? Great news.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by iheartthed View Post
    So Metro Detroit is chipping in on Detroit's $14B debt? Great news.
    Yes, they are. Detroit is a net receiver jurisdiction. The net donor jurisdictions are subsidizing Detroit.

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bham1982 View Post
    But the big one is you have a much better quality of life if you work near where you live.
    Well, true, but most of us think of a brisk walk or bike ride through a lively neighborhood to get to work in five minutes, not traveling like this:


  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bham1982 View Post
    Yes, they are. Detroit is a net receiver jurisdiction. The net donor jurisdictions are subsidizing Detroit.
    Unless you look at all the taxes and fees that Detroiters pay. And also include the money that is extracted from Detroit privately. That provides a better view.

    I know this is wasted on you, though.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Detroitnerd View Post
    Well, true, but most of us think of a brisk walk or bike ride through a lively neighborhood to get to work in five minutes, not traveling like this:
    In some areas, maybe, but Michigan weather is horrible most of the year, and we love our cars, so probably no.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Detroitnerd View Post
    Well, true, but most of us think of a brisk walk or bike ride through a lively neighborhood to get to work in five minutes, not traveling like this:
    If by "most of us" you mean posters on this board...sure. However as to the 5 million metro area, those who think a brisk walk through a lively neighborhood to get to work is preferable to their current situation, or even a priority to them is a tiny and pretty much irrelevant minority. And they probably already do live that way in the rare areas where it's possible.
    Last edited by bailey; March-04-13 at 01:54 PM.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bham1982 View Post
    In some areas, maybe, but Michigan weather is horrible most of the year, and we love our cars, so probably no.
    Bham, how somebody can often be so correct and insightful, and just as easily surrender without objection to the mediocre status quo, is truly amazing.

    Right, the weather is stupendous in Brooklyn. That's why people walk several blocks to the subway, hop on, transfer in the city, and walk several blocks through Manhattan. That and they all hate cars. *eyeroll*

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by bailey View Post
    If by "most of us" you mean posters on this board...sure. However as to the 5 million metro area, those who think a brisk walk through a lively neighborhood to get to work is preferable to their current situation, or even a priority to them is a tiny and pretty much irrelevant minority. And they probably already do live that way in the rare areas where it's possible.
    Well, thanks for pointing out some language that should have been more specific.

    Nationally, when we discuss a trend of people wanting to live near where they work, we aren't talking about them living two exits away on the wonderful freeway. We really aren't. Most of the time, that national conversation about living near where we work goes hand in hand with walkability, bikability and density.

    Truly, only in yahoo Michigan would we consider living near where we work to being "five minutes [by car] away" ...

    And that "tiny and pretty much irrelevant minority" is tiny because it's well educated, up-to-date and ... moving to real cities that aren't stuck with the hopeless job of building the world of 1961 over and over again.
    Last edited by Detroitnerd; March-04-13 at 02:02 PM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Detroitnerd View Post
    Right, the weather is stupendous in Brooklyn. That's why people walk several blocks to the subway, hop on, transfer in the city, and walk several blocks through Manhattan. That and they all hate cars. *eyeroll*

    NYC is a huge outlier, IMO, and I wouldn't use it to really prove anything re. Michigan commuting patterns. It's just too different to anywhere else in the U.S.

    And the weather really is crappier in Michigan, especially when combined with the fact that there are few pedestrians, so businesses don't clean the sidwalk, so it's dangerous to walk down the sidewalk following a Michigan snowstorm.

    I remember attending something at the Fox last year on a Sunday afternoon, well after a small snowfall. Afterwards, we walked to a restaurant on Grand Circus Park, following Woodward, and the street was a complete mess and almost unwalkable. There was no evidence of salt anywhere. and this was our grandest avenue, in the most important section, many hours after the snowfall, and the lone pedestrians are walking in the street.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Detroitnerd View Post
    And that "tiny and pretty much irrelevant minority" is tiny because it's well educated, up-to-date and ... moving to real cities that aren't stuck with the hopeless job of building the world of 1961 over and over again.
    Sure, except if we look at the Metros that added the most people in the country, they are some of the most sprawled out places in the country. Drop a quarter million new jobs in Detroit and lets see what happens to that out migration trend.

    Also, to bham's point...
    Another trend that persisted: nearly all of the fastest-growing metro areas from 2010 to 2011 (46 of 50) were located either entirely or partially in the South or West.
    -Census Bureau
    Last edited by bailey; March-04-13 at 02:19 PM.

  17. #17

    Default

    Detroit was also once one of the fastest-growing, sprawling metro areas. Houston, Phoenix, etc. are the next Detroit. Hardly enviable long-term, but undeniably great fun while it lasts. One day they'll wonder how they could've built all those winding, identical suburbs in the middle of a giant desert. Couldn't those idiots see how unsustainable it was? Then will come the inevitable answer: "We didn't know any better. Everyone was doing it. How were we supposed to know? The politicians - everyone - promised us it was OK."

  18. #18

    Default

    As for this Penske fella, you would think a guy whose entire lifeblood is based on car sales, rentals and racing would be looking for a little more of a walkable neighborhood.

  19. #19

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 401don
    As for this Penske fella, you would think a guy whose entire lifeblood is based on car sales, rentals and racing would be looking for a little more of a walkable neighborhood.
    I'd imagine a Belle Isle penthouse next to the permanent race track would suit him just fine.

  20. #20

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bham1982 View Post
    NYC is a huge outlier, IMO
    The WORLD is a huge outlier in your opinion.

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by bailey View Post
    Sure, except if we look at the Metros that added the most people in the country, they are some of the most sprawled out places in the country. Drop a quarter million new jobs in Detroit and lets see what happens to that out migration trend.
    Kind of hard to argue with that last point when the whole region is hostile to investing in cities and would rather keep tearing up greenfield like gas was still 95 cents a gallon.

    Quote Originally Posted by bailey View Post
    Also, to bham's point... -Census Bureau
    So correlation equals causation?

    Go ahead. Be my guest, kick and scream and resist the future until metro Detroit is a forgotten backwater. I really don't care anymore.

  22. #22

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bailey View Post
    Sure, except if we look at the Metros that added the most people in the country, they are some of the most sprawled out places in the country. Drop a quarter million new jobs in Detroit and lets see what happens to that out migration trend.

    Also, to bham's point... -Census Bureau

    And all these new areas are building light rail and densifying their core city neighborhoods. Houston's downtown and midtown areas are growing like gangbusters, and the city has a long term plan for light rail across the entire city. Meanwhile, Detroit still lives in 1961, as Detroitnerd said.

  23. #23

    Default

    What about security and heath and welfare concerns? What happens in Downtown Detroit in a serious 911 condition? Are there ladder trucks for a fire? Are there adequate EMS for a major disaster? Anyone working Downtown is taking a huge risk. Convincing workers to move Downtown for work has to be a major task.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by gameguy56 View Post
    And all these new areas are building light rail and densifying their core city neighborhoods. Houston's downtown and midtown areas are growing like gangbusters, and the city has a long term plan for light rail across the entire city. Meanwhile, Detroit still lives in 1961, as Detroitnerd said.

    Downtown Houston is in the same sad shape as Detroit, maybe worse. Main Street is empty, moreso than Woodward, and the last remaining retail (the Macys) is closing.

    And Houston is incredibly sprawly. It's even sprawlier than Metro Detroit, and they're building subdivisions like gangbusters. Haven't seen much urban growth there, and I'm down there a few times a year.

  25. #25

    Default

    Kind of hard to argue with that last point when the whole region is hostile to investing in cities and would rather keep tearing up greenfield like gas was still 95 cents a gallon.
    Well, that may be, but those who are "well educated, up-to-date and ... moving to real cities" in fact arent. Some of them are moving to NYC, but the vast majority are moving to Dallas, Houston, Phoneix, and Arlington..etc.

    So correlation equals causation?
    Um. no. but in this instance, you rejected Bham's posit that Detroit's weather has something to do with people's desire not to want to walk everywhere. I simply pointed out that per the census. the vast majority of the growth in metro areas in this country are in more temperate climates in the south and west.

    Go ahead. Be my guest, kick and scream and resist the future until metro Detroit is a forgotten backwater. I really don't care anymore
    .
    I don't think you quite understand my point. I'm not anti transit or pro sprawl. We should have comprehensive, multi modal transit. however, I'm just saying that is a minority position here and if migration trends are to be believed .. a minority position nationally when it comes to where people choose to live. If walkability and mass transit were real priority for most people, then Dallas/Ft Worth would be a very different place. Chicago wouldn't be losing population, Miami would be shrinking, LA would be empty, and so would Phoenix.

    People go where the jobs are and all else is secondary.

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