woodward avenue

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

FERNDALE, Mich. (AP) - The Woodward Dream Cruise is back for its 20th installment.

The annual celebration of classic car culture officially kicks off today. It runs through a number of Oakland County communities along the route.

Organizers say the cruise is expected to draw tens of thousands of classic and vintage cars. It's promoted as the world's largest one-day automotive event, drawing people and vehicles from all over.

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. speaking at Cobo Hall Detroit, June 22, 1963.
50th Anniversary Freedom Walk Facebook Page

Just as his father did fifty years ago, Martin Luther King III will address an expected march of thousands in Detroit.

This year Detroit celebrates the 50th anniversary of the day Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. stood before 25,000 people at Cobo Hall in Detroit and declared, "I have a dream this afternoon." This was just two months before the historic March on Washington.

Dan Gilbert purchases historic One Woodward building

Dec 3, 2012
mikerussell / wikimedia commons

Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert and his Rock Ventures LLC, have added another Detroit landmark to their real estate portfolio.

The investment group announced Monday it had purchased the One Woodward Avenue office tower.

The Detroit Free Press has more:

The 333,000-square-foot, 26-story building is about 60% occupied. Major tenants include the Detroit Regional Chamber and the law firms Fraser Trebilcock Davis & Dunlap, and Kitch Drutchas Wagner Valitutti & Sherbrook.

As with Gilbert’s other downtown buildings, Rock Ventures plans to renovate the building to accommodate what Gilbert envisions as the city’s emerging roster of technology employers.

Built in 1962, One Woodward was designed by famed architect Minoru Yamasaki and was originally built for the Michigan Consolidated Gas Co., now part of DTE Energy. The design is often called an early predecessor of the Yamasaki design for New York’s World Trade Center.

The building is the tenth downtown property acquired by Gilbert and Rock Ventures since January 2011.

“We continue to bet big on Detroit, and this purchase reinforces our commitment to the exciting entrepreneurial action on Woodward Avenue,” Gilbert said in a statement.

Gilbert now owns nearly 2.5 million square feet of office space in Detroit, making him the second-largest private owner of downtown property behind General Motors, Crain’s reports.

- Jordan Wyant, Michigan Radio Newsroom

M-1 Rail Detroit

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood met with Michigan officials today to discuss the development of a regional transit authority to oversee a light rail line in Detroit.

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing says plans for light rail in the city are being scrapped in favor of a regional rapid transit bus system.

Bus rapid transit is usually more efficient and faster than regular city bus services.

Years of planning and millions of dollars went into the proposal to run a light rail line up Woodward Avenue, from downtown Detroit to the city limits.

But Bing says he’s been talking with Obama administration officials, Governor Snyder, and other southeast Michigan leaders over the past several months.

John Smaltak / modernstreetcar.org

Federal officials and Detroit civic leaders want to reassure people that a light rail project is still going forward.

Those reassurances come after a week of press reports and swirling rumors that some of the project’s private backers may be pulling out.

A group of private investors had pledged $100 million to finance the Woodward Avenue rail line. That money is crucial for the city to get federal matching grants.